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This past year has highlighted the importance of washing your hands properly and more often than ever before. Our hands are our everyday life tools that touch everything — from doorknobs to keys to smartphones and even our own bodies. Keeping them as clean as possible has been proven to effectively decrease your risk of getting sick or spreading germs to others. One of the best (and most fun!) types of soap out there to help you stay as healthy as possible is foaming hand soap.
Unlike some bottles of antibacterial hand soap and hand sanitizer, foaming hand soap produces a rich lather of bubbles that you can easily spread across your entire hand’s surface. The foam also helps you ensure you’re hitting every spot of your hands — from the back of your hand to your knuckles, nail beds, etc. Furthermore, foaming hand soap is great for kids just learning how to use hand soap in general, as the bubbles make it more fun and help them visually identify which parts of their hands have or haven’t been cleaned yet.
As with all hand soap, it’s critical to use it effectively and wash your hands thoroughly to get the maximum benefits every time. Per CDC guidelines about hand washing, the best way to wash your hands is to:
1. Lightly wet them
2. Apply soap
4. Wash for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice)
This might sound basic, but you’d be astounded at the number of people who don’t wash their hands correctly.
What Makes Soap Foam?
Foaming hand soap gets its specification from, you guessed it, foaming agents known as ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate that act as surfactants. This means they reduce the surface tension of water and enable it to break up dirt, oil, sebum and other gunk on your skin and wash it away. These are “sulfates,” which are chemicals that some natural or eco-friendly soap brands try to avoid. However, we’ve included a few brands below that are gentle on the environment and also foam when you use them. These brands tend to use non-sulfate chemicals to create foam.
If you’re ready to pick out some new, foaming hand soap for your bathroom or kitchen, keep reading. We’ve selected our 15 favorite foaming hand soaps from all corners of the internet.
Best Foaming Hand Soap
1. Dove Foaming Hand Wash
A major complaint against frequent hand washing is that soap can dry out your hands pretty quickly. If you’re already prone to dry hands, the problem can get even worse. Using the right body lotion can certainly help, but you’ll also want to use a hand soap with moisturizing properties in it to minimize effects. This hand soap from Dove is gentle and nourishing. It’s infused with lavender and yogurt and contains five times the number of moisturizers as the leading hand soap brands. It’s alcohol, sulfate and dye-free, and each bottle contains 150 pumps.
2. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Foaming Hand Soap
Mrs. Meyers is a major favorite of mine for foaming hand soap that’s gentle on the environment, isn’t too drying for your hands and smells great. This lemon verbena scent is very pleasant, and the soap is made with essential oils, aloe vera, olive oil and other ingredients that make it moisturizing and great for cleansing any time of day. This hand soap is paraben-free and is made without artificial colors, and none of the brand’s products are ever tested on animals.
3. Blueland Hand Soap Starter Set
MOST ECO-FRIENDLY OPTION
Blueland has a whole line of eco-friendly cleaning products that consist of tablets you dissolve in water in reusable containers that create the formulas. This foaming hand soap is made without parabens, phosphates, ammonia, chlorine bleach or other harsh ingredients. The tablets come with delicious scents like Iris Agave, Perrine Lemon and Lavender Eucalyptus, and all it takes is 9 oz. of water to activate them. This starter set comes with their “Forever Bottle” which is a 9oz. glass bottle and three refill tablets of varying scents.
4. Method Pink Grapefruit Foaming Hand Soap
BEST CITRUS SCENT
Method makes foaming hand soaps with delicious scents that won’t just clean your hands but will leave them smelling fresh all day. This pink grapefruit one is my favorite, but their “Waterfall” scent is another favorite if you’re looking for a new go-to. The hand soap is naturally derived but foams as well, and is triclosan-free and biodegradable. Sodium chloride acts as a thickener for the very lightweight hand soap and is derived from an abundance of mineral resources.
5. Ever Spring Lavender & Bergamot Foaming Hand Soap
Ever Spring is a Target-exclusive brand of foaming hand soap that dispenses already in a rich lather. This lavender and bergamot scent is light and refreshing, and the soap is formulated to leave your hands feeling soft as opposed to being stripped of all moisture. As an added bonus, it’s a very affordable hand soap at less than three dollars for 10 ounces, and it’s available in several other scents.
6. J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap
GREAT FOR DIRT AND GREASE
This mild but strong foaming hand soap has premium ingredients designed to get grease, oil, dirt and other gunk off your hands quickly. It’s formulated to not dry out your hands even with frequent handwashing and can be used anywhere — in the kitchen, bathroom, garage and even workshop. It’s made with a combination of plant-based cleansers, and it has a fresh lemon scent that’s not too overpowering.
7. Dial Complete Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap
This is another great foaming hand soap option that’s also antibacterial and designed to kill 99.99% of bacteria during your wash. It’s tough on germs, but gentle on skin with a creamy, rich lather that’s formulated to not dry your skin out. It’s got a fresh pear scent that’ll leave your hands feeling nice all day long.
8. Equate Foaming Antibacterial Hand Soap
For a budget-friendly foaming hand soap that kills harmful germs, look no further than the Equote Foaming Antibacterial Hand Soap. This soap is both triclosan- and paraben-free, meaning it’s safe for the whole family to use. And, while it does feature a fresh scent, it’s made from a gentle and mild formula that won’t irritate the skin. At under $2 per bottle, this soap is a no brainer if you’re looking for something cheap and easy.
9. Aleva Naturals Foaming Hand Wash
BEST FOR KIDS
This foaming hand wash is made for kids with natural and organic ingredients and is designed to help make life easier for parents with young children. It contains no harsh chemicals for your little one’s hands and the powerful cleansing formula comes from essential oils, botanical extracts and other naturally derived ingredients that clean away dirt, grime and oil easily. This brand’s formula was made by a pharmacist, naturopath and herbalist who combined their collective expertise and made an excellent, safe hand soap for kids.
10. Puracy Natural Foaming Hand Soap
Puracy makes plant-based cleaning products and soaps that are both good for you and good for the environment. This foaming hand soap contains coconut-based cleansers that produce a luxurious foam while hydrating your skin. The formula is completely triclosan-, sulfate-, paraben- and phosphate-free. Plus, Puracy never includes animal by-products or perfumes in their products. The soothing lavender and vanilla scent is produced using natural, essential oils.
11. Gelo Foaming Hand Soap Value Pack
BEST REUSABLE BOTTLE
It used to be that choosing refillable cleaning products and soaps was the more expensive option, but Gelo is here to change that. For less than $15, you’ll receive both a foaming soap pump bottle and two soap refills with four gel tablets each. That’s eight bottles of soap or 80 fluid ounces, making this a bargain per bottle. To make the soap, simply fill the bottle and insert a gel tablet. The result is a richly lathering soap with a gorgeous lemon-basil scent made from essential oils.
12. Michel Design Works Foaming Hand Soap
When it comes to bathroom hand soap, you want a bottle that looks good sitting on your carefully designed sink and matches your decor. The Michel Design Works Foaming Hand Soap is certainly one of the most attractive bottles on our list thanks to its elegant seal and wrap-around, lemon-filled sticker. The soap itself contains shea butter and aloe vera to leave your skin cleansed and moisturized, and the lemon-basil scent makes it feel like you’re constantly in the bathroom of a fancy Parisian restaurant.
13. Petal Foaming Soap Dispenser with Hand Soap Refills
BEST ZERO WASTE
The Petal Foaming Soap Dispenser takes refillable soap one step further by making a product that’s completely zero waste. The dispenser is created from aluminum and recycled plastic, while then soap pods come in a different, aluminum container. The soap itself is plant-derived and phosphate, sulfate- and paraben-free. It boasts a natural, lemongrass scent and is suitable for all types of skin.
14. Bath and Body Works FRESH AND BRIGHT Foaming Hand Soaps
Bath and Body Works have been acclaimed for decades for their strong and pleasant scents. And, their foaming hand soaps are no different from their lotions, body washes and candles. This set of five foaming hand soaps each features a different, delightful scent, allowing you to match your soap to the season or to your mood. The soap itself contains vitamin E with softening shea extract and aloe to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.
15. Disney Mickey Mouse Shaped Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser
If normal foaming hand soap isn’t enough fun for you, level up with Mickey Mouse-shaped foaming soap. With each pump from this dispenser, you’ll receive the signature head and ears shape that Disney has made famous. This soap is meant to be exclusive to the Disney parks, but it has since made an appearance on Amazon. Just be aware that this item goes in and out of availability quite often, so if you see it in stock and want to order it, do so as soon as possible.
Foaming Hand Soap Refills
When you buy your foaming hand soap, you’ll also want to pick up a couple of refill pouches so you don’t have to run out and grab more each time the smaller containers dry up. The refills below mostly consist of the brands above and are also a more environmentally-friendly way of replenishing your hand soaps when they run out. Fewer small plastic bottles and fewer trips to the store make these a gentler option for the planet.