Hand Soap Reviews


Compare hand soap brands Balnea, Thankyou, Pear’s, Lux, ALDI Tricare, Palmolive, Dettol, Dove, Woolworths Essentials, Coles & Nivea on their effectiveness, feel on skin, value for money, scent, packaging design and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Balnea

Balnea has topped Canstar Blue’s hand soap ratings, achieving five stars on effectiveness, value for money, scent, packaging design & overall satisfaction.

Balnea washes up best in hand soap ratings

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 soap will kill off most germs from your skin, this is typically where the similarities end. That’s why we’re dishing the results of our customer ratings to finally clear up the differences.

In our second year of pumping out hand soap reviews, Canstar Blue surveyed almost 2,000 consumers to find out how they rate the soap they’ve most recently purchased. We’ve taken the guesswork out of buying hand soap by putting brands to the test on how they handle key factors such as effectiveness, value for money, feel on skin, scent and packaging design. With the real-world experiences of Aussie households behind them, our star ratings provide a helpful guide to which brands are dishing out the best hand soap for families. It’s worth mentioning that our ratings incorporate different types of hand soaps — liquid, bar and foaming, meaning we’ve got you covered no matter your preferences.

While 11 brands received the minimum sample size to be included in this year’s review, it was Balnea that washed its hands of the competition with five stars for overall satisfaction and all other research categories except for feel on skin.

Best-Rated Hand Soaps

Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of hand soaps saw 11 brands compared and rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:

  • 1st Balnea
  • 2nd Thankyou
  • 3rd Pear’s
  • 4th Lux
  • 5th ALDI Tricare
  • 6th Palmolive
  • 7th Dettol
  • 8th Dove
  • 9th Woolworths Essentials
  • 10th Coles
  • 11th Nivea

This year, Balnea is the only brand to achieve five stars for overall satisfaction. Most brands earned four stars overall, while Coles and Nivea recorded just three stars.

There were a number of other noteworthy results, including Thankyou securing five stars for both scent and feel on skin, while Pear’s was the only other brand to score a five-star rating which it earned for feel on skin.

What to consider when buying hand soap?

Liquid soap, sponge and towels in a wicker basket on a light background

When it comes to hand soap, our survey indicated the following drivers of customer satisfaction, listed in order of importance:

  • Effectiveness: 32%
  • Feel on skin: 27%
  • Value for money: 17%
  • Scent: 14%
  • Packaging design: 10%

We’ll look into each variable next, but first, here’s what else our survey revealed:


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 flus, plus any other nasty stuff. With 24% of survey respondents indicating that they’ve tried multiple hand soaps, there’s certainly plenty of choice in the market, making it easy to switch if one brand doesn’t cut it.

  • Balnea was the only brand to score the top result for effectiveness, with the majority of brands scoring four stars. Coles and Nivea were both rated three stars.

Feel on skin

Woman in a bathrobe is washing hands.

No one enjoys soap that leaves your hands feeling dry, or stings your skin. Typically, brands add additional moisturising or exfoliating ingredients 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, 11% of adults said they buy sensitive hand soap.

  • It wasn’t easy for brands to win over customers for feel on skin, with most getting four stars. Thankyou and Pear’s were the only two to be handed five stars, while Woolworths Essentials, Coles and Nivea received three stars.

Value for money

A bar of soap doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but you may still want to find one that’s good value for money. Our research found that 18% of respondents buy the cheapest brand, which leaves the rest spending a little extra for soap they prefer.

  • Balnea was the only brand to rate five stars for value for money, with Lux, ALDI Tricare, Palmolive, Woolworths Essentials and Coles rated four stars, with the rest on three stars.


Handmade spa soap bars with natural ingredients

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, in particular with soaps targeted at sensitive skin.

  • Balnea and Thankyou earned five stars for scent in our review, while most brands scored four stars, except for Woolworths Essentials, Coles and Nivea, which were rated three stars.

Packaging design

While this last 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.

  • Balnea received five stars in this category, while most brands scored four stars, except Lux, Woolworths Essentials, Coles and Nivea, which received three.

It can be fun trying out new hand soaps with all those different textures and scents. As our ratings show, there are so many different brands and products on offer, so enjoy yourself!

Online Grocery Shopping Reviews

Photo credits: Africa Studio/shutterstock.com, mama_mia/shutterstock.com, Summer Photographer/shutterstock.com, Ireine/shutterstock.com

More about Hand Soap

Our hand soap ratings saw a number of brands perform well in different areas:

  • Best Overall: Balnea was rated best for overall satisfaction, followed by Thankyou and Pear’s.
  • Best for Effectiveness: Balnea was rated best for effectiveness, ahead of Thankyou and Pear’s.
  • Best Feel on Skin: Pear’s was rated best for feel on skin with Thankyou and Balnea the next best rated.
  • Best Value: Balnea was a clear winner for value for money, leading the way from ALDI Tricare and Woolworths Essentials.
  • Best Scent: Balnea was again rated best for scent, followed by Thankyou and Pear’s.
  • Best Packaging Design: Balnea was rated best for packaging design, ahead of Thankyou and Dettol.

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,095 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 and used hand soap in the last 3 months – in this case, 1,987 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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