Canstar Blue’s latest hand soap review compares Dove, ALDI Tricare, Palmolive, Dettol, Thankyou, Balnea and Coles on their effectiveness, feel on skin, scent, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
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* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. By default, brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are sorted by the mean overall satisfaction score as rated by consumers. You can click the arrows at the top of any column in the table to sort by the results in that column. ^ By clicking on a brand or ‘details’ button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to our referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that our referral partner does not cover, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue. Canstar Blue research finalised in November 2021, published in December 2021.
Hygiene is no laughing matter, which is why we need to lather up on as much handy information as we can about the products we use to stop the spread of germs. When it comes to hand soaps, do you have a brand you’re committed to sticking to? While any decent hand soap will kill off most germs from your skin, this is typically where the similarities end.
To get the dirt on which soaps work best (and which don’t), Canstar Blue again surveyed nearly 1,000 Australian consumers for their feedback on the liquid or foaming hand soap(s) they’ve recently purchased and used. Brands were rated on their effectiveness, feel on skin, scent, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum survey sample size (30 responses) are compared in our report.
Our latest results saw Dove wash up best for hand soaps, with five-star reviews for overall satisfaction and in the majority of categories.
Best Hand Soaps
Here are the best brands of hand soaps in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Dove topped our hand soap review after rating best for feel on skin, scent, packaging design and overall satisfaction. Runner-up ALDI Tricare was rated best bang for buck, while Dettol was the top pick for effectiveness. Thankyou also managed to score five stars for packaging design.
What to consider when buying hand soap
COVID-19 has undeniably highlighted the importance of maintaining good hygiene habits, especially when it comes to washing our hands. Canstar Blue’s latest research revealed that over a third of Australians (34%) have changed their handwashing habits since the onset of the pandemic. We additionally found that two-fifths of people we surveyed said they’ll continue to wash their hands more frequently to avoid getting sick (42%).
So, it’s no surprise that value for money now trumps effectiveness as the most important factor when buying hand soap (25%). Other drivers of customer satisfaction include:
Feel on skin: 23%
Packaging design: 15%
We look into each variable in more detail below.
Value for money
Hand soap doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but if you’re buying a bottle each week, then costs can quickly add up over time. Our research found that 15% of Australian consumers buy the cheapest brand, which leaves the rest spending a little extra for soap they prefer.
ALDI Tricare was the only brand to achieve five stars for value for money, while most other brands got four stars. Thankyou landed on three stars.
Feel on skin
No one enjoys soap that leaves your hands feeling dry, or stings your skin. Typically, brands add moisturising or exfoliating ingredients into their products to help keep your skin feeling soft. There are also a number of brands that offer different textures, while others market hypoallergenic soap for those with sensitive skin. In our survey, 10% of Australians said they buy hand soap that’s suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Dove was rated best for feel on skin, achieving five stars. All other brands got four stars, except Coles and Balnea which scored three stars.
Most brands offer a range of different scents from floral fragrances to exotic aromas. Whatever takes your fancy, there’s sure to be something out there that appeals. It’s also possible to go fragrance-free though, in particular with soaps targeted at sensitive skin.
Dove also received the only five-star review for scent, while Palmolive, Dettol and Thankyou scored four stars. All other brands got three stars.
While this satisfaction driver doesn’t directly affect the product itself, it helps with the overall experience. Stocking your bathroom with soaps in luxe bottles and fun designs might enhance the mundane task and help impress your guests.
Dove and Thankyou were rated best for packaging design, while Palmolive and Dettol followed behind on four stars. The remaining brands landed on three stars.
Effectiveness is key when it comes to hand soap. After all, what’s the point of washing your hands if the soap isn’t doing its job? The ingredients in soap are aimed to kill germs and help prevent the spread of cold and flu, plus any other nasty stuff. With 24% of survey respondents indicating that they’ve tried multiple brands of hand soap, and a similar number of people having sampled different types of soap and scents from the same brand (25%), there’s certainly plenty of choice in the market, making it easy to switch if one brand doesn’t cut it.
Dettol was the only brand to rate five stars for effectiveness, while most other brands ended on four stars. Balnea and Coles got three stars.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased (from a supermarket or pharmacy) and used hand soap in the last six months – in this case − 995 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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