Store-brand dish liquids can cost as little as $0.06 per ounce…or even less when an aggressive sale is found. Name brands commonly price out at $0.15 per ounce, but can be $0.29 cents and up to almost $1.00.
Consumer Reports decided to get to the bottom of the dish soap bottle and determine where consumers get the most value. Their tests showed the more expensive detergents do a very good job at cleaning. Then again, so did the cheaper options.
All of the tested soaps contained surfactants…cleaning aids that reduce the surface tension between oil and water. Consumer Report’s team couldn’t find any apparent reason for the price gaps, but the makers of DuoDish and The Laundress do point to the advantage of using their product in the sink and dishwasher.
The Consumer Reports “Best Buy” is Kirkland Signature brand and Ajax, both at $0.06 per ounce. The Laundress was at the top of the price scale, costing $15.00 for a 16 oz. bottle.
The “green” brands claim to be safe for septic tanks and aquatic life. They also point to avoiding the use of fragrance and dyes. While some of these features are difficult to put a price on, Consumer Reports suggests that most consumers are paying for packaging and not performance.