Soap

Soap Review by EncinoMom Staff

Circle of Soaps Photographed by Lisa Keating for EncinoMom.com's soap review.
Soap Review Photo by Lisa Keating for EncinoMom.com Seventh Generation

Just when I thought life couldn’t get more complicated, I ended up in the soap aisle at my local Target. Yes, it’s come to this…an entire soap aisle! Here at EncinoMom, we’re as excited by cleanliness as the next person. The number of choices available – even after you’ve decided to limit yourself to the biodegradable and green varieties – is a little overwhelming. So we set out to pick the very best one. Here’s what happened.

Mrs Meyers Basil Scented Dish SoapFirst of all, we restrained our impulse to buy one of each biodegradable or green soap available! We still ended up with 5 contenders. So we bought these 5 dish soap brands to see how they compared:  Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Dry (Basil Scented), J.R. Watkins (Lemon Scented), Method (Clementine Scented), Seventh Generation (Unscented), and Green Works (Original, made by Clorox).Green Works Dish Soap

Some had great scents, all had nice suds, and all appeared to clean well! We began to suspect a deep, dark secret:  soap is soap.  We decided to check Consumer Reports. In the May 2011 issue, they came to the same conclusion! Their “Best Buys” were Ajax and Kirkland Signature (Costco).
J.R. Watkins Dish Soap
Consumer Reports also clarified the many green terms that are used in advertising: “Meaningless claims. “Natural,” “environmentally friendly,” and “nontoxic” lack standard definitions. Even “biodegradable” means little unless the claim is specific: for example, “biodegradable in three days” or “certified biodegradable.”Method Soap Refill Not exactly the result we were hoping for. We like that Method offers packaging so you can fill your decorative soap dispenser or refill and reuse your empty Method container. We are partial to the label designs of Mrs. Meyers and J.R. Watkins brands. Mrs. Meyer’s brand had the most pleasing scent, but this is highly subjective and dependent upon personal preference.

We can’t really tell you which soap is the most environmentally friendly. Many consumers like to support companies that share their priorities of environmental stewardship, or those that are locally based, give back to the community, etc. Most companies have websites that give consumers all of this information plus specifics about the ingredients and contact details in case you have further questions.

All things being equal, you may choose to base your decision on price, scent, packaging or even color. Pricing doesn’t seem to be connected to cleaning power in any way. So walk down the soap aisle and choose the soap that suits your mood! You’ll probably see us there pondering the perfect purchase!

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