Online Review: Off-Brand Dish Soap

This consumer review comes to you as a soap opera. Because that’s what it was.

Episode 1: “A Simple Request”

A domestic crisis was afoot in the kitchen: our sink was buried in dirty plates, bowls, pans, mugs, takeout containers, and silverware, but dish soap was nowhere to be found. I would be the one to take care of this collective mess, so to ease my burden I asked my roommates to provide the necessary materials.

Just about everywhere you look, there’s a store that carries dish soap. When you think about it, it’s almost harder not to buy dish soap than it is to actually buy it. So, I felt confident in asking my able-bodied, money-having, store-entering roommates to find some. Here’s the text message exchange that brings Episode 1 to a deceivingly calm end:

Me: Hello! We are out of dish soap (Yikes!). I would be so grateful if one of you could grab some today. Thanks and please let me know if can do!

Roommate 1: *does not respond for 2 hours* *posts 13 photographs on IG* *likes 7 statuses on FB* *un-likes 1 status out of spite*

Roommate 2: *does not respond for 2 hours* *puts 12 items in an online shopping cart, removes 3 items, buys none*

Me: Hi guys, can anyone help out?

R1: Sup?

R 2: haha ya sup ?

Me: Just need some dish soap. Pretty please 🙂

R1: *18 minutes pass* K

Me: Thanks, R1!

R2: *1 second later* oh thank god i thought i would actually have to do something for the house what a relief !

At this point, I felt certain that when R1 entered the household, new dish soap would also.

Episode 2: “Expectation Is The Root of All Heartache”

Six hours elapsed since the text messages. It was Friday and nighttime, but stores were still open—they don’t shut down because everyone wants to drink PBR and say dumb things about their workweeks.

Roommate 1 sauntered in around 11 p.m. carrying a six bottles of designer beer and zero bottles of dish soap. I asked about this, and R1 said, “Oh. I sort of forgot about that. I’ll get some tomorrow!” I nodded, sneaking a furtive glance toward Dirty Dish Mountain.

Had I known that R1 would be a total let down, I would’ve bought the soap myself. It’s just that I wanted another person to take an ounce of responsibility for something in the apartment.

I sprayed a perimeter of bleach-based cleaner around the sink’s perimeter, hoping that it would fend off the roaches for the next several hours.

Episode 3: “Glistening Hope in Our Soap”

The next morning, I entered the kitchen with my index finger poised on the spray nozzle of a Raid can. Upon closer inspection, I found that Dirty Dish Mountain was, miraculously, not overrun by insects.

However, five un-rinsed designer beer bottles had appeared next to the sink. The sink is where there is water—water is the thing that can rinse bottles and other knickknacks.

I was moments away from sending an unfriendly text message when a crumpled black bag caught my eye. I thought it might be garbage, but inside this mystery bag was a bottle of New Dish Soap!

I deleted the draft of my text message and reveled in what I did not know was a temporary victory.

Episode 4: “Why”

A few seconds later, I opened the dish soap. I’m not sure what nose-less chemists concocted or condoned this product; when I lifted the lid, I was hit by a floral scent that mingled, sickeningly, with leaf rot and imitation crabmeat. The label titled the fragrance “A Little Something”.

R1, why? Why didn’t you get a scent called “Original” or “Clean” or “Tropical Breeze Paradise Vacation”? Why didn’t you conduct a sniff-check before purchasing a product that is defined by its scent? Why did I trust you to conduct a task that is critical to the wellbeing of those whose food intake depends heavily upon clean plates?

Season Finale: “I’ve Made A Huge Mistake”

I took a deep breath (after taking a large step back from the odorous bottle). Some soap is better than no soap, right? R1 tried—she made a special trip late last night or early in the morning. I could hold my head high, breathe through my mouth, and scrub the grease from those dishes.

I felt resolute in my decision to take the high road…until I got to plate No. 1. The soap didn’t appear to be soap in the slightest. Rather, it was essentially water with food coloring, fragrance, and a sticky consistency. I used ½ cup of “soap” for one plate.

I sighed audibly, placed the soap product into a trash bag, and headed to the nearest store. My main quest was to buy the soap I actually deserved; my side quest was to find and befriend other individuals who lingered in the soap aisle to browse the scent profiles and select the highest quality product for those who trusted them with such an essential purchase.

 

 

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