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The 5 Best Hand Soaps (2023 Review)

Washing your hands is a key part of staying healthy and fighting germs. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best hand soaps on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Washing Hands with Soap iStock

Washing your hands can eliminate the germs that collect on your skin, preventing their spread into your body and onto other surfaces. Hand soaps come in various forms from foaming cleansers to all-natural remedies. To help you select a product that fits your hygienic needs, the This Old House Reviews Team evaluated the best hand soaps on Amazon. Here are our top picks.

Best Lather: Puracy Hand Soap

This 99.95% natural hand soap eliminates germs and invigorates the skin without using triclosan, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals. Its honey-like gel turns into germ-killing suds when you lather for 20 seconds.

Key Features

  • 12-ounce dispensing bottle
  • Lavender and vanilla scent
  • Plant-powered formula

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked this soap’s pleasant scent. They also said that it worked well on sensitive skin because of its soothing and moisturizing ingredients. However, unhappy customers claimed that the soap was less thick and lather-forming than advertised.

Best Refill: EO Hand Soap

This soap uses gentle amino acid cleansers to clean your hands. Meanwhile, aloe vera, calendula, white tea, and other botanical extracts moisturize your hands, soothing and softening your skin after every wash.

Key Features

  • Two 32-ounce refill bottles
  • French lavender scent
  • Organic formula

What Customers Are Saying

Positive reviews mentioned this soap’s relaxing scent. Customers also liked how little they had to use. However, customers who left negative reviews for this hand soap said that it dried their hands.

Largest Dispensing Bottle: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap

These three large bottles give you weeks of germ-fighting, soothing soap in your bathroom and kitchen. The soap’s thoughtful formula doesn’t contain ethanolamine, parabens, phthalates, or artificial colors that can irritate your skin.

Key Features

  • Three 12.5-ounce dispensing bottles
  • Honeysuckle scent
  • Plant-derived formula

What Customers Are Saying

Customers said that this soap left their hands feeling soft and smooth and smelling pleasant. However, dissatisfied customers had to use several squirts of soap to feel clean, causing it to run out quickly. Other users said that it was difficult to dispense.

Best Citrus Scent: J.R. Watkins Hand Soap

If you like the fresh scent of citrus fruit, this soap is for you. It’s made from plant-based, cruelty-free ingredients that are gentle on your skin but effective at removing dirt, bacteria, and viruses.

Key Features

  • 11-ounce dispensing bottle
  • Lemon scent
  • Organic formula

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon customers praised this soap’s scent, claiming that it smelled like they had just cut into a lemon. The citrus fragrance eliminated and replaced the smell of garlic, fish, and other foods on customers’ hands. However, many users were disappointed by the bottle, which leaked in transit.

Largest Pack: Seventh Generation Hand Soap

This laundry-scented hand soap is an effective way to fight germs without leaving an overbearing scent. It uses a 97% bio-based formula that’s free of dyes, triclosan, chlorine, phthalates, and other ingredients that irritate your skin and are bad for the environment.

Key Features

  • Eight 12-ounce dispensing bottles
  • Free and clean scent
  • Plant-powered formula

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked the consistency of this soap. They also said that its gentle, light-smelling formula was good for those with sensitive hands and noses. However, some customers had issues with getting the bottle’s pump to work properly.

Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing hand soap, consider the following factors to determine which product is best for you.


Hand soaps most frequently come in either liquid or foam options. Liquid soaps use water and friction to create lather, while foam soaps have a bottle that mixes air with the soap as it’s dispensed to form a foamy texture. Both types of soaps are effective if they’re used properly, so it’s a matter of personal preference whether you want to spend more time creating foam.


Above all else, soap needs to be effective to be worth purchasing. Your hand soap should eliminate germs when you properly lather and scrub your hands.


Second to killing germs, hand soap should also have a pleasant smell. The scent options for soap are limitless. There are also unscented choices if you don’t want there to be a trace of soap after you clean your hands.


Look for hand soaps that don’t use harsh ingredients, as these can break down your skin’s moisture barrier and result in dry skin. Soaps that have hydrating, chemical-free ingredients are best at cleaning your hands without drying them.

How To Purchase a Soap Dispenser

Soap is a must for any bathroom, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep it in the plastic bottle that it comes in. To add more decoration to your bathroom, you can purchase a separate dispenser and pour your soap into it. Below are some factors to help you find a dispenser that matches your bathroom decor.


The design of a soap dispenser largely depends on what material it’s made from. Common dispenser materials include plastic, stone, and metal. You can find these materials in a variety of colors and patterns to match the aesthetic of your home.


Most soap dispensers are manual, meaning you push the handle down yourself to dispense soap. However, there are also automatic dispensers on the market that release a blob of soap onto your hand when you get near their motion sensor. Though more expensive, these dispensers are useful if you’re worried about contaminating the handle of a manual one.


Most dispensers are compact to fit neatly on a shelf or counter. However, keep in mind that the smaller the dispenser, the more often you will need to refill it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need to wash your hands?

According to the CDC, people frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth, which are prime locations for germs to enter the body. By washing your hands, you can eliminate the bacteria that settle on your hands, preventing their spread.

When should you wash your hands?

Although you shouldn’t limit hand washing to after a particular event, the CDC outlines some instances where washing your hands is absolutely necessary:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who’s sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up after a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

What steps should you take to properly wash your hands?

Here are some of the CDC’s recommended steps for properly washing your hands:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water—the water can be warm or cold.
  • Apply soap to your hands, and lather it by rubbing your hands together. Ensure that you’re getting between your fingers, on the back of your hands, and under your fingernails.
  • Continue lathering and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t want to count to 20, sing the alphabet once or the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
  • Rinse your hands under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel, or let them air-dry.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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