The Very Best Dish Soap for Tackling Your Dirtiest Dishes

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How do you make dishes less of a chore? Well, you better find the best dish soap to make cleaning those greasy pans a breeze. Don't worry—we tested 14 and found the very best.

Test Kitchen Preferred The Best Dish Soap cropClaire Krieger/Taste of Home

As much as we love cooking at home, there’s no getting around the mess it leaves behind. Personally, I don’t mind wiping down the counters or taking out the recycling—those are the easy chores. The one task I dread the most after cooking up a cheesy, saucy dinner is the dishes. For folks that don’t have the convenience of a dishwasher (or just prefer to do it the old-fashioned way), that means busting out the rubber gloves—yes, you should be using them—and attacking the grease.

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Dish Soaps

To find the best grease-busters, Taste of Home editors and staff put 14 of the most popular dish soaps to the test to see how they stacked up. Over several weeks we washed our Test Kitchen’s dirtiest dishes—even pans coated in bacon grease—and recorded diligent notes about each soap’s performance. Here were our top performers:

Best for Seriously Greasy Messes: Dawn Ultra Platinum

Dawn Ultra Platinum Refreshing Rain Scented Dishwashing LiquidVia

When it comes to the best dish soap for cleaning away all the bits left in the pan and all the grease in your skillet, you can’t go wrong with Dawn Ultra Platinum. A small amount of this soap easily cleaned a whole sink of dishes with ease. Without a lot of scrubbing, our testers were able to get rid of even stubborn, stuck-on bits from casserole dishes and cookie sheets.

The ultimate test, though: bacon grease. When it came to getting rid of every dishwasher’s nightmare, one of our testers had this to say: “It pulled bacon grease right off the pan—even cold grease came right off.”

When it comes to doing dishes, can you ask for anything more? Sure you can! Testers also liked the mild scent of this dish soap. It was fresh smelling but not overpowering—the perfect complement to a well-dressed sink.

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Best for Dishes and Hands: Palmolive Oxy Power

Palmolive Ultra Oxy Power Degreaser Liquid Dish SoapVia

If you’re looking for a good grease-fighting soap that’s easy on your hands, opt for a bottle of Palmolive Oxy Power. This soap cut through sheet pans of bacon grease—cooking bacon on sheets in the oven is so easy—without much scrubbing. This formula left our testers’ hands feeling soft. However, Palmolive had a pretty strong scent that some folks didn’t care for, so be aware if you’re sensitive to perfumes.

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Most Concentrated: Clorox

Clorox Liquid Dish Soap, Oxi Fresh Scent, 26 Fl OzVia

We all know Clorox for its bleach, but did you know it made a good liquid dish soap, too? With just a few drops, testers generated enough thicky, foamy suds that cleaned every dish. This bleach-free dish soap gave us thick, foamy suds that helped clean every dish. Some testers said that they had to scrub just a bit harder with this soap, but in the end, the dishes were sparkling.

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The Bottom Line

In our test, we found that these classic cleaning brands performed the best when it came to cutting grease. Others just didn’t measure up, at least not without a lot of effort or using a lot of product.

More Ways to Use Dish Soap at Home

When you’re not scrubbing away at your dishes—learn how to do it the right way here—you can still make use of dish soap to clean elsewhere. Keep a small bottle in your laundry room, especially. A small dab of dish soap and some warm water does wonders removing grease from clothing. Using just a small amount of each, scrub the stains lightly with a clean cloth or clean toothbrush. Pop it in the washing machine and you’ll find that your grease is gone. Check it out in our video and pick up a few other cleaning tips to boot.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.