The Definitive Guide to Hand Soap

The Definitive Guide to Hand Soap

It’s that time of year! Time for gift giving and picking out just the perfect gift for our friends and family. That’s why I’m bringing you my Definitive Guide to Hand Soap. Hand soap is sure to make everyone smile when they open their stockings on Christmas morning! Right?




Ok, nobody is really going to buy their friends and family hand soap for the holidays, but I thought I would write this post because there are so many fun, limited edition cleaning product scents this time of year. I thought I would throw this out there in case you are at your favorite Target, Walmart, or grocery store and want to add something fun and festive to your cart.


People tell me all the time, “How do you like cleaning so much? I don’t get it.” One of the reasons I like cleaning so much is that I make it fun! I know, I’m not curing cancer or designing jet engines, but I think even the small things in life are worth making a little better.


I also have some pretty strong opinions about hand soap and thought it might be fun to create a definitive guide to hand soap hits and misses. I love natural and cruelty-free personal care products and maybe I could save you some time in choosing hand soaps that are in general gentler on the environment and also effective and smell delicious! Here goes…



+ Softsoap Handsoap

I’m including this one because this was the very first hand soap I bought when my husband and I moved in together! How cute. We have a saltwater aquarium and really liked the design. Here’s why I wouldn’t buy this product today: it contains parabens, triclosan, and sometimes microbeads (at least the old formulations) and is not certified cruelty-free. These things matter to me, and if they matter to you I would avoid products like Softsoap.



+ Method “Waterfall”

If we’re looking at the kind of hand soaps I buy now, Method is one of those brands that is gentler on the environment and more in line with the type of products I like to buy. Unfortunately, these kinds of scents are just not my favorite. I like a definitive scent not an idea or a mood. I also thought the Method liquid hand soaps didn’t have the foaming I like, and the residue is sticky around my sink.



+ Pharmaca

I am such a huge, huge fan of Pharmaca that I hate to give a thumbs down to any of their products. One of the products I’m not fond of is their hand soap. The scents are pretty decent, but they don’t bubble and feel kind of liquid-y straight out of the pump.



+ Yes To Grapefruit Basil

Yes To makes some decent products, but this particular scent just didn’t work as expected. The citrus formula leaves citrus oils on my hands that sting so much when I change my contacts! Now I try to really rinse my hands multiple times to get the residue off. It’s a miss because I use hand soap for contact changes in the morning and night and if it doesn’t work for that, it’s not the hand soap for me.



+ Honest Company Mandarin

Awful, awful, awful. I find Honest Company products to be kind of hit and miss. Maybe it was the batch I got, but I ordered two of these online and when they came the scent was like stale paper and filmy bar soap. The foaming was so so, but the scent was really off, and I ended up pitching the rest.




+ Method Orla Kiely Vanilla Chai

This is my Holy Grail hand soap that doesn’t really exist anymore. I wish I had bought a whole case of this when it came out. It was part of a fall scent collection and it had everything I love about a hand soap: cute container, perfect scent, good texture, gentle on the planet, and decent foaminess. I am also a huge, huge fan of the designer Orla Kiely. Method please bring this back!



+ Method Vanilla Chai Holiday Collection

This is what I’m left with now once they discontinued the Orla Kiely version. It’s still pretty delicious smelling. I also like the Method foaming dispenser texture better than the liquid. Unfortunately, because it’s part of a holiday collection, I don’t like having it on my counter post-holidays. Despite that, this is a great option in the Method family.



+ Everyday Shea Mandarin Mango

My husband picked this one out and it hits every one of my criteria: delicious scent, great price, moisturizing, gentle on the planet, and good foam. I’m not crazy about the packaging, but it’s still pretty cute.


+ Seventh Generation Mandarin Orange

Notice a citrus theme? I love citrus scents! In the old opaque packaging, I really didn’t like this product, but the new packaging and formulation is great. It’s so bright and cheery looking and smelling. It also foams nicely and is very gentle on the planet.



+ Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Apple Cider

I love all of Mrs. Meyer’s products. This limited edition scent is amazing! It’s perfect for fall and honestly any time of year. My other fallbacks are radish, lemon verbena, and lavender. You can’t really go wrong with any Mrs. Meyer’s products.



+ Yes To Coconut Lemongrass

This version of the Yes To hand soap is amazing! The scent is great, no stinging residue, gentle to the planet, and looks great on my sink. This is a big win for me!