NOTE: This is not a sponsored post, these are my opinions only from personal use as I wanted to share with others that may suffer skin irritations that there are products out there that are really gentle on our hands.

Hand washing dishes can really irritate my hands. They flare up with red, very itchy patches that take weeks to go away. It can be quite annoying especially at night time and for most of the time I have just lived with it or sought some relief from a steroid cream from the doctor.

I have always known that it was caused by washing dishes. The days I am at home I find myself washing up several times a day. While I know I could use gloves ( this just feels impractical to me, by the time I get the gloves on wash a few things, I’m just turning around taking them off again and on to something else, so my willingness to use them isn’t high). I have tried Barrier Creams and haven’t seen any great results, I’ve tried warm water not hot – no difference either. And finally I could resort to just using the dishwasher ONLY but again I really only use it if I am busy during the week or I just.cant.be.bothered with the dishes tonight option.

Photos of the beginning of my skin irritations after 2 weeks of changing back to Palmolive.


I have also tried numerous dish soaps. Blast, Earth Choice, Aldi brands, Morning Fresh, Palmolive Gentle Hands, and generic supermarket brands all leading to the same problem, RED.ITCHY.HANDS.

This is my personal experience with certain brands, I do realise that other people will have no problem with these brands as everyone has different skin conditions and resilience.

MORNING FRESH – Made my hands dry and itchy
BLAST & EARTH CHOICE – Weren’t to bad on my hands but I found with long time use they weren’t much better.
ALDI BRANDS – My hands were overly dry, cracked, and itchy all over.
GENERIC SUPERMARKET BRANDS – The worst choices I have ever made.
PALMOLIVE GENTLE HANDS – Gave me red raised itchy patches within days of using it.

So I was pretty much a scratching red handed mess most of the time, using creams to make the cracks sting less.

Then something happened I was sent a bottle of METHOD PUMP DISH SOAP to try NO request for a review was asked it was purely a “we thought you would like this”. I thought, gee that was nice, love the cool pump bottle and the smell is quite nice too. I used it for 2 months and then ran out of it 2 weeks ago. I went back to using up the leftover Palmolive Gentle Hands I had under the sink. AND THEN 2 days later my hands got red itchy patches.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT…….IT HIT ME for the past 2 months I did not once have red itchy hands, my nights weren’t consumed with scratching my hands after washing dishes and I hadn’t even given my dermatitis a thought. The reason was I was using METHOD dish soap a product I had never tried before and it did not irritate my hands.

Needless to say I contacted the lovely people at Method and asked what ingredients they used in their dish soap were different from other traditional dish soaps.  They said that “other dish soaps used petro-based ingredients and Method does not.  Our dish liquid is coconut and palm oil based which is gentle for most skin types.”

After doing some www searching I found the ingredient listing for the Palmolive dish soap and Method dish soap. Shown here.


ingredient what it is health + environmental summary
purified water solvent non–toxic; safe in environment; widely available
sodium lauryl sulfate surfactant (cleaning agent) low skin irritation in use and not toxic; biodegrades readily; derived from coconut oil
alkyl polyglucoside surfactant (cleaning agent) very gentle on skin and not toxic to people; biodegrades readily; made from corn sugars and coconut oil
lauramine oxide surfactant (cleaning agent) not toxic in use, no chronic health effects; biodegrades readily; derived from coconut oil
alcohol solvent (ethanol) not toxic in use if ingested or in skin contact (1$ shooter night not incuded); biodegrades readily; produced from corn sugars
vegetable glycerin solvent non toxic in use and not irritating to skin; readily biodegradable; made from vegetable sources
citric acid complexing agent not toxic in use if ingested or in skin contact; biodegrades readily; produced from corn sugars
alcohol ethoxylate fragrance emulsifier low skin irritation and not toxic in use; biodegrades readily; made using synthetic materials
sodium chloride salt table salt – safe for people (unless too much is eaten on potato chips); widely available and safe in the environment
benzophenone-4 uv absorber not toxic or irritating in use to skin or eyes; moderate biodegradability; made from synthetic materials
aloe barbadensis leaf juice moisturizer safe for people, moisturizing to skin; biodegrades readily; sourced from natural aloe plants
preservative stop bacterial growth safe for people (low skin + eye irritation); biodegrades readily; made from synthetic materials
tocopheryl acetate vitamin e – antioxidant not toxic in use, skin protecting effects; biodegrades readily; sourced as natural vitamin e
color (not in basil) color safe for people, free of heavy metals + allergens; effective at ultra-low levels; won’t accumulate in environment; made from synthetic materials
fragrance oil blend fragrance free of phthalates and other dirty ingredients, not irritating to skin or toxic in use; partial natural essential oil content, partially synthetic ingredients

With a little more research into some of the ingredients listed on the Palmolive dish soap I found that some of the ingredients are nasty and do contribute to skin irritations.  I am by no means a chemist to explain these compounds in great depth…so here is the link to read more.  The one ingredient that did stand out from here was SD Alcohol 3A which Palmolive contains, it states on this page that it is considered potentially toxic and contributes to skin irritation and dermatitis. Which would explain why my hands are so irritated.

When I googled to see what was said about Method it confirmed what I had already been told and witnessed by using the product: “Method’s dish soaps contain cleaning agents derived from coconut oil and include aloe and vitamin E to soften skin, and natural scents like cucumber, grapefruit and lavender. Method’s formulas are non-toxic, biodegradable and not tested on animals. Method is rich and sudsy, has a fun slogan (“people against dirty”) and is slightly more expensive than traditional dish soaps. Method can be found at most large retailers.” (Source: http://www.ehow.com/list_5787099_non_toxic-cruelty_free-dish-soaps.html)

Here is also there rating on www.goodguide.com which looks at the products impact on our Health, Environment and Society.  Method ranked 14 out of 242 Hand dishwashings and Palmolive ranked 159.

In conclusion from personal use and the information I have been provided and sourced for me personally I will be making the permanent switch to Method Dish Soap.  Yes it is more expensive, however it lasts for about 2 months per bottle, my personal life is improved by it, I’m not spending extra money on creams, gloves etc… It works with my life instead of me having to make my life work with it….. and that is what is most important to me.

You can purchase The Method Dish Soap online at www.methodhome.com.au

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  1. Mary Preston February 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Fabulous thank you!!

  2. A.L.M. February 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. felicakes November 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    I am exactly like you. my skin started peeling and my hand itches if I use anything other than Method. My hands now are itch free. 🙂

  4. Brandi January 14, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    I suffer from terrible cracked hands and peeling palms from doing the dishes. We first thought I was allergic to dawn brand. It would send pain and rash of previously mentioned symptoms up my arms. I started using Avveno with calmine& proxamine to help with it. Until Christmas Eve I got my first bottle of Method. I’ve used every brand imaginable already and they’ve failed me. A hidden ingredient in many soaps is quantrium-15? And it tends to be the evil that is harming our beautiful lady hands. So stick with Method and make sure to email them with a thumbs up so they know how awesome they are.

    • Amanda January 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      So glad Method works for you too. I have already let them know how awesome it is. 🙂

  5. Charelai June 10, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    Oh my gosh! Lightbulb moment for me, too!!! I got this contact dermatitis soon after starting a new job at a spa as an esthetician. I’m constantly washing my hands, of course…and the soap they provide us is – you guessed it – Palmolive! I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what was causing the dryness, redness, (sometimes raised bumps), and itchiness. There were so many “new” products I was working with, and hair products I used to keep a nice, professional look at work… After eliminating those products from my routine, and just when I think things are improving, it would flare up again. Gah!!! Thank you for sharing your story…I’m confident now that’s what it is. Geez!

    • Amanda June 10, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

      I’m so glad you found this helpful. I have not touched Palmolive since and my hands have never been dry, cracked or red again.

      • Amy December 5, 2018 at 6:13 am #

        I have been struggling for 4 years with extremely dry and cracked hands. So much that they would split and bleed down along the cracks. Nothing I tried helped. 2 different dermatologist said it was Psoriasis but nothing they prescribed helped either.
        I was thinking it that it was one of the different soaps I was using and had switched all of them but not my dish soap. Dawn works so well on grease I was afraid to try anything else. Recently bought Palmolive because I remembered the commercial that it was soft on hands.
        It was a little better, gloves were my next option but are hard to remember to put on for every little thing.
        I googled reactions to dish soap and found this page today and am going to go buy some Method tonight!!!
        My hands are so bad today I am wearing latex gloves with Aveeno cracked skin relief CICA ointment on. I have found the the Aveeno anti-itch concentrated lotion helps with the burning and itching.
        This is the 1st time in years I am hopeful that the pain and itching will stop along with the embarrassment.

        Thank you

        • Amanda December 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

          Hi Amy, I know exactly how you feel. It is terrible. Since this post I have started to use the Organic dish soap in the brown squirt bottle from Woolworths (on the top shelf) and it doesn’t cause a reaction either.

  6. Lynda October 19, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    Thank you so much. I have been suffering with hand eczema/contact dermatitis for over 2 years. My husband said this morning “Do you think it could be the Palmolive dish soap? We started using that about 2 years ago?” SO I googled and found this article. Yep, light bulb moment….After changing soap, laundry detergent and shampoo and buying tons of moisturizers and ointments and a trip to the dermatologist who have me spray that burns like fire and took layers of skin off, I think this is the solution. Getting this stuff today! Thank you!!!

    • Amanda October 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi Lynda, I glad I could help. How are your hands now?

    • Natalia July 25, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

      Same situation here. Have been trying to figure out for months. So glad I found this article. I’ll try Method soap and see what happens!

  7. Cindy November 17, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    For years I wondered what was causing my hands to itch and get hive like welts. Thought it was food related and tried elimination diets to find the culprit but to no avail. Then I stumbled upon this page and decided to give Method a try. It’s been 4 months now with NO MORE ITCHING!!! I will never use anything else. I pray Method never changes their formula.

    • Amanda November 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

      It’s amazing isn’t it. After reading up on it, it all made sense.

  8. Ginny January 19, 2016 at 8:16 am #

    Thank you so much! I am going to order this today. So glad I found your post!

  9. Melissa from Miami March 17, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    GREETINGS from sunny (and crazy hot) Miami, Florida, USA!! I Googled “best dish soap for dry, sensitive hands” and, luckily, came across your very helpful article/post on METHOD dish soap. As you might imagine by my query the dish soap that I’m currently using is eating my hands alive! They are raw, cracked, red and even peeling/flaking. Not fun!! I have a 25 month old who is still in diapers so I spend half the day in front of the sink either washing sippy cups or washing my hands after all those nappy changes. Thank you for reminding me about METHOD as I had used it in the past in the Clementine scent and loved the scent and lack of nasty, irritating ingredients. I’m going to my local Target tomorrow to buy some and throw my Palmolive out! Congrats on your blog! Kisses to your boys. I also have two. :))

    • Amanda March 21, 2016 at 10:20 am #

      Hi Melissa, so glad that this could help. It is also still hot here on the Gold Coast, Australia even though we should be starting to cool down.

  10. Lisa July 13, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    My goodness this is crazy to think all this horrible raised burning rash that itches and cracks and oozes when the top layer of the bumps gets rubbed on is due to DISH SOAP!!!!!! I have thought it but I realized I have changed every soap in my home but the dawn dish soap. I think I am also sensitive to real homemade soaps too. I’m sure any lye based soap would cause damage to my already damaged skin. I was diagnosed with dishidrotic eczema about a year ago. I was always told its diet related but washing dishes always was hard on my wrists ( wear the water line and suds sit when I wash) now thanks to this eye openening post it like an ah ha moment, humbling moment and kinda embarrassing moment thst it was as simple as dish soap but I always thought it to be something super complicated. I will buy method brand tomorrow. Blessings to you. I will try to post back on results

  11. Carrie April 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    Am going out to buy some today. I’ve been wearing gloves but finding them cumbersome. I was using the Palmolive ‘dermatologist tested’ Sensitive Hypoallergenic dishwashing liquid thinking it’d be best for my eczema prone hands!

  12. Martaia April 30, 2017 at 3:15 am #

    Did your hands ever bring up blisters and itch really bad?

    • Amanda May 8, 2017 at 10:44 am #

      Yes they did, so bad I couldn’t stop scratching.

  13. Genevieve Davis May 1, 2017 at 12:07 am #

    Im happy i found this…. Going to give Method a try. Thanks

  14. Maureen Rockwood May 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    Wow thanks! Have been suffering for years but always thought it couldn’t be the Palmolive ” its safe for your hands! Oh you’re soaking in it!” Madge-if anyone remembers the old commercial!

  15. Janet H June 11, 2017 at 7:21 am #

    my hands are really bad too so I just went out and bought some
    do you have any suggestions for shampoo and body wash also

  16. Betty Jeeves September 28, 2017 at 3:57 am #

    I too worked out it was Palmolive causing my hands to crack, peel, ooze and itch uncontrollably so on the advice of my mother in law I now use lux flakes which is usually used in the laundry for washing woollens. Bingo! No more raw hands. When I read your blog I thought I would see if I could buy Method in New Zealand but cannot, so for any Kiwis who have this problem use Lux flakes ?

  17. Becca April 21, 2018 at 7:18 am #

    I have suffered from this since after my last pregnancy! I knew it was the dish soap because I’ve always had a slight irritation to it. I’ve been using gloves for over a year, but it has put a serious cramp in my cleaning style! I can’t just grab the dish rag and wipe up a mess. I’ve got a soap-dish cloth and a non-soap-dish cloth. Also, it’s a full time job keeping the insides of my gloves dry! 😛 I sincerely hope Method works for me too. I use their handsoap without issues.

    Thank you so much for this post.

    • Amanda April 23, 2018 at 8:01 am #

      So glad to hear. It was a life changer for me when I figured it out.

  18. Reader#384 April 25, 2018 at 1:04 am #

    We were doing okay with Ajax orange for the past 19 years. Then this last bottle had a “New improved” and our whole household 4 kids and 1 parent erupted in to sniffles and sores every time we washed hands or dishes. Heck, the smell stays behind on surfaces. Contacted Colgate to complain and they wanted us to take a health survey. That doesn’t fix anything. Your suggestions sound great, but a few issues. I’m actually allergic to coconut and daughters allergic to aloe. That makes these a no go. Any other suggestions?

    • Amanda April 30, 2018 at 9:03 am #

      That’s so frustrating, when they change things. I have had luck with the Ecostore brand and Organic Care brand.

  19. Rachael April 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

    Thank you. I have the same thing. I will try this hope it works. What soap do use?

  20. Nk May 8, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

    I have tried everything but nothing works for me .I have tried method soap in the past but didnt remember how it worked for me.I am planning to give it a try again but once my rash are healed.I have rash since years not getting any better with anything .Will try this

    • Amanda May 14, 2018 at 9:14 am #

      It’s so frustrating. I have just had another outbreak which I haven’t had since this post as I trialled a new dish soap. I now have to heal my hands and go back to my trusty dish soap.

  21. Carol May 12, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

    I’ve found that Shaklee Dish soap works for me. And it lasts forever and works great.

  22. Nicole June 28, 2018 at 7:52 am #

    I just went to the dermatologist today, I’ve been suffering from the red, itchy bumps on the back of my legs for over a week. Yep it’s contact dermatitis from Palmolive! My family was in town for Father’s Day and so the patio furniture was cleaned off with Palmolive dish soap and even though it was washed and dried off I have a horrible rash on the back of both of my legs from just sitting on the “clean” chair! Did anyone ever try contacting Palmolive? Just curious if it is worth it.

    • Amanda July 3, 2018 at 7:13 am #

      Hi Nicole, I am sure they know and I am sure they don’t really care. I just hope enough people who suffer from this find my article and stop using their product. My hands have thanked me everyday that I stopped using it.

  23. Rose September 19, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    I have been using Palmolive dish soap with oxy and I havr developed a rash with blisters and when it dries up from the cream I use, I’m left with hard scaly fingers. I now hate to wash dishes. Sometimes my husband washes the dishes. Where can tje method dish soap be purchased?

    • Amanda September 25, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Rose, it is the absolute worst. You can method from Big W or online. I have also found that the Organic brand in the brown little bottle from Woolworths doesn’t irritate my hands as well.

  24. Melissa Fisher December 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

    How can I receive a trial sample? I’ve tried so many other brands and none have worked. If I try it and it doesn’t irritate my skin, my loyalty to the brand is guaranteed. I have hands that have cracked and bled most of my life. Sure, I can use the dishwasher but not for everything. Those exceptions kill me. I’ve tried every brand on the shelf at the store and honestly, all have failed. More money just to try another brand. Like I said, if the claims are true, you’ve got a loyal customer… can I get a trial?

  25. Steena December 6, 2018 at 12:04 am #

    I have gone through exactly the same thing every single detail that you have mentioned and I’ve come to realize that there’s only one dish soap that works without hurting my hands everybody should at least try it and that is any product that Dawn makes it washes oil and grease off of birds and all kinds of animals and is safe for them it is safe for us it is never made my hands red once or crack

  26. Charlice May 29, 2019 at 12:30 am #

    Thank you so much for this article. I probably wouldn’t even know I might get cracked skin from using certain dish soaps. I’ve only got that with some laundry detergents. Will probably have to check which ones to avoid from now.

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