I Don’t Have a Dishwasher, But J.R. Watkins’ Dish Soap Is the Next Best Thing

I Don’t Have a Dishwasher, But J.R. Watkins’ Dish Soap Is the Next Best Thing

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One of my friends has a theory: You’re either a dishes person or a laundry person. This friend is convinced that, given the choice, everyone has one chore they’d deem slightly less detestable. I, for instance, am Team Laundry all the way. Sure, it’s laborious, especially since I have to lug my clothes to the local laundromat, but I find clean laundry much more satisfying than an empty sink. In fact, since my apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher, hand-washing dishes tops the list as my least-favorite housekeeping task.

Over the years, I’ve bought a little bit of everything to incentivize myself and dress up my sink area: “cute” scrubbers, trendy soaps, fun dish towels, you name it. And yet, I. Still. Hate. Doing. The. Dishes. A few weeks ago, though, J.R. Watkins reached out to me about testing their first-ever dish soap. As a long-time fan of the plant-based brand’s hand soaps for their packaging, price, and practicality, I was intrigued and gave it a go. And, dare I say, it’s actually made cleaning dirty plates and pans a little more fun.

There’s honestly a lot to love about the new foaming dish soap, which just launched last week. First and foremost, I was drawn to its looks (I’m a style editor, what can I say?). As to be expected from J.R. Watkins, the cleaning staple comes in a well-designed, pretty bottle that’s compact enough to fit on my tiny kitchen counter. Its yellow packaging also nods to another major selling point — its scent. Made from natural ingredients, it gives off a delicious lemony fragrance that makes my entire sink smell like summer personified and blows every other soap smell out of the (dish)water.

Of course, it’s equally (if not more) impressive from a functional standpoint. In fact, a little really goes a long way… which, yes, every single dish soap seems to claim nowadays, but I can confirm that J.R. Watkins lives up to the hype. That’s even without chemicals like sulfates, formaldehyde, phosphates, and triclosan! The nozzle actually rotates to offer two different release options: a foam or a spray. Take your pick, then just spritz it directly onto your dishes (no matter how greasy or dirty), wipe with a sponge, rinse, and voila — instantly clean (and clean-smelling) dishes. I’ve definitely spent way less time scrubbing away at the sink since putting this product to use.

At just $6.99, this dish soap is affordably priced cleaning magic in a dual-use (and fully recyclable, cap and all) bottle. Want to keep the sleek container around? You can purchase a J.R. Watkins dish soap refill packet for $7.99. Both the full bottles and refills are available via the J.R. Watkins site as of now and will launch in Target stores on Apr. 24. Whether you’re Team Laundry, Team Dishes, or just Team Clean (please, sound off about this in the comments!), consider this foaming dish soap a must-have.

Blair Donovan

Shopping Editor, Style

Blair is Apartment Therapy’s Style Shopping Editor, where she covers the latest brand launches, need-to-buys, and anything related to her two unofficial beats — cane and rattan. Whenever she’s not perusing for the latest home finds (a rarity), you’ll probably find her reading, watching a horror film, or on the hunt for the best tacos in New York (recs are encouraged).

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Dawn Dish Soap Just Got a Major Makeover — And I’m Strangely Excited

Dawn Dish Soap Just Got a Major Makeover — And I’m Strangely Excited

Laura Schocker


Laura Schocker is an editor, writer, and homebody with more than a decade of experience in lifestyle and digital journalism. Before Apartment Therapy, she worked as the digital director at Real Simple and the executive healthy living editor at The Huffington Post. Her writing has also appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, BBC.com, Prevention, TheBump.com, and TheNest.com, among others. Laura is a three-time Webby winner and was chosen as one of Folio’s Top Women in Media. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She lives in NYC’s Upper West Side with her husband, daughter, and two plants.

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This Ceramic Dish Set Is the Perfect New Apartment Buy for Your Kitchen

This Ceramic Dish Set Is the Perfect New Apartment Buy for Your Kitchen

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Recently, I moved into a new apartment after a year of living with my parents. I had tons of belongings stashed away in my storage unit ready to be dusted off and set back up, but as every new apartment dweller knows, there are tons of little things that you usually want to replace with every new move. Chief among them: soap dispensers, utensils, curtains, and especially cleaning tools. One new apartment find that made setting up my kitchen a breeze was this convenient dishwashing set by Full Circle, an eco-friendly home product line I recommend everyone check out.

The Full Circle Stash & Friends Sinkside Dish Washing Set included everything I needed to tackle dirty pots and pans while keeping my dishwashing supplies in one neat place. In the past, I’ve resigned to getting my scrubbers, sponges, and sink caddies from the local dollar store which (surprise) never stood the test of time. That’s why I appreciated that each items was hefty and durable. Ahh, the quality! The set includes Full Circle’s popular “Be Good” dish brush, two walnut sponges, their “Bubble Up” palm brush and sudsing base, and the Stash ceramic caddy which stores the dish brush and sponge. Made with ceramic and metal materials, the sink caddy and tray are sturdy and can be thrown in the dishwasher for occasional cleaner. I give it bonus points for the steel gray colorway, which compliments my gray and white countertops so well!

What I love about the “Be Good” brush, aside from the fact that it’s made with quality and sustainable materials, is that it’s such a great multipurpose tool for the kitchen. I always like to do a thorough clean of every new apartment before I move in, and this brush helped scrub away the hidden grime in the grooves of the kitchen sink that the cleaners missed. It’s also a lifesaver when it comes to scrubbing tough dish stains (like the hardened bits of mac and cheese left in my casserole dish after Thanksgiving). I use the “Bubble Up” scrubber and sudsing base daily, as it helps me not wear out the use of the sponge quite as fast.

Speaking of the sponge in this kit, I absolutely love that it’s accompanied by a built-in sponge holder inside the ceramic caddy. It stores the sponge upright so that it dries evenly after each use. As a result, I also haven’t noticed that moldy smell with this sponge that I have with previous sponges over time.

I loved that this Stash & Friends kit came with everything my kitchen sink needed, and scratched one of my emergency store runs for household goods off my list. Full Circle also offers other household cleaning bundles that I’ll likely invest in, like their “Bottle Service” refillablle glass bottle set and their “Green Team” dusting set. But it doesn’t stop there; you have over a dozen cleaning bundles to choose from. Whatever cleaning supplies you’re in the market for, prepare to be amazed by one of the Full Circle’s impressive cleaning bundles. You won’t regret it!

Jasmine Grant

Senior Commerce Editor

Jasmine is Apartment Therapy’s Senior Commerce Editor, where she’s devoted to leading shopping guides and bringing you the best deals on the internet. She knows a whole lot about rugs, candles and geometric vases. Ask away!

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