Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Building The Better Bacteria: Dial Liquid Hand Soap Works (We Think)!

The Good: Goes on easy, Seems to kill bacteria, Leaves skin feeling clean
The Bad: Faint odor
The Basics: Dial liquid soap is easy to use and effective at cleaning the hands and (apparently) killing bacteria.

Everyone wants to be clean, I think. Okay, I know I like to be clean. I used to live with a germaphobe and she was obsessive about being clean. I actually liked that quite a bit. I find myself contemplating this now because when she left, she left a pretty massive collection of Dial Liquid Soap in convenient bottles around. I recently ran out and was forced to actually consider the product I had been using since she left.

Dial Liquid Soap is a yellow/amber gel that comes in a 7.5 oz. bottle. The bottle is smooth and this particular one has a flip top lid as opposed to the pump. The same product is available with a pump for ease of dispensing. Honestly, outside the bottle getting wet and slipping from one's hand - which is a possibility if one is washing their hands and trying to get the liquid soap out - the flip top is not a big deal.

Actually, in checking out Dial's site and going to the store to replace the Dial liquid soap I had, I discovered at least 90% of the the Dial Liquid Soap available now comes exclusively with the pump. The flip-top lids appear to be being phased out. That's fine; the pump allows easy access to the liquid soap without making a mess. This, presumably, also allows the user to control how much liquid soap they are getting with a theoretically average amount being dispensed with one pump. I write "theoretically average" because as someone with larger hands, it often takes me one and a half pumps to get enough soap for my cleansing needs. That was a distinct advantage of the flip top lid; greater control. This allows for less waste with children and enough soap for adult hands.

The 7.5 oz. container is likely to last a family about a month, a single person at least a quarter of a year. As someone who gardens but enjoys having clean hands the moment I come inside, the Dial Liquid Soap lasted a surprisingly long time in the summer.

Part of the reason for the soap lasting as long as it did certainly has to do with the lather quality of Dial Liquid Soap. In truth, I probably used more than enough of the Dial Gold (the brand name for the standard yellow/amber Dial Liquid Soap) than I actually needed because, well, living with a germaphobe makes one a little over-careful in that department. With patience and "proper" handwashing technique, a little Dial liquid soap goes a long way.

One dime-sized droplet of Dial liquid soap is enough to more than sufficiently clean one's hands when one uses a little water and rubs their hands together. The product forms a consistent lather that quickly coats the hands within ten hand rotations (i.e. ten times you rub your hands together to form a lather). The resulting lather is white with a yellow tint and - again, germaphobe rubbed off on me! - I tend to rub my hands for approximately twenty seconds before rinsing the lather off.

The Dial liquid hand soap has a consistency of your average shampoo and when it lathers, it bubbles up nicely into a coating which needs to be washed off. I mention this because occasionally, I'll see someone try to use Dial liquid soap by getting a lather and simply flinging it off their fingers. This leaves the user with a faint coating of soap on their hands and a residue that will get on other things. The sensation of the soap when not properly rinsed off is an oily feeling and it does leave a residue on places one touches afterwards.

Properly rinsed off, Dial liquid hand soap does not leave a residue. I've found it rinses off fairly easily, with all of the lather dissipating in less than ten seconds under running water. The liquid soap leaves the hands feeling clean and the impressive aspect about it is that while Dial liquid soap does not have any texture or grit to it, normal handwashing with the liquid soap does manage to get virtually all of the dirt off one's hands.

Dial liquid soap is pretty ineffective against sap, though. Then again, most people don't look to a liquid soap to take on sap. This liquid soap also manages to leave the hands feeling clean without drying them out. In fact, the only time Dial Gold liquid hand soap has left my hands feeling overly dried was when I washed my hands using it about ten times in a two hour period - it was a bid day for planting and replanting plants and running in and out of the house - but how much that had to do with the soap and how much had to do with hands drying from dirt and water friction, I cannot say.

With average use, Dial liquid hand soap will not dry out the skin. It does not taste particularly good and it does sting the eyes, though, so do not use Dial liquid soap to wash your mouth out or clean your eyeballs. Seriously, it's a hand soap.

The only other drawback to Dial liquid hand soap that I've discovered after two years of use is that frequent use of it leaves a distinct scent to the hands. Dial Gold has virtually no odor, save a pretty generic soapy scent. And yet, it does cling to the well-washed hands that are constantly washed with it. This can be a little disconcerting and my solution was to break my skin's routine by using the liquid hand soap in everyday use and Bath & Body Works' Cinnamon Bun Heaven 3-in-1 (reviewed here!) every shower and actually paying attention to my hands. Every shower, I use the 3-in-1 and exfoliate my hands better than I used to using a loufa mitt (reviewed here!). After weeks of being unsettled by the scent of Dial on my fingers - I noticed it more when I was trying to fall asleep - this regimen seems to have worked to solve the perceived problem.

Dial liquid soap in the 7.5 oz.. container also comes in various scents which I'm sure I'll try once I run completely out of what is kicking around the house. But knowing that overkill with the classic soap leads to a faint scent on the hands ought to be useful.

The Dial liquid hand soap is also anti-bacterial and it seems to work for that. Having never checked it out under a microscope, I cannot say with any authority that it is scaring away bacteria, but I almost never get sick. Of course, consistent use does lead to the evolution of bacteria-resistant bacteria, which will breed as a result of all the anti-bacterial soaps and lotions out there. Until they come for me and my arsenal of Dial liquid soaps, I'm content to live in denial of their existence.

For day-to-day use, I've not found a better liquid hand soap, though I honestly haven't been looking. This product seems to do exactly what it claims to with minimal side effects.

For other soaps or anti-bacterial gels, please visit my reviews of:
Christmas Tree Vanilla Bean Noel soap
Night-blooming Jasmine Body Wash
Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Anti-Bacterial Gel


For other health and beauty products, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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