Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Dial Soap: The Incredible Shrinking Bar

Once upon a time “bath size” bars of soap were all five ounces. Most have now been downsized to 4.5 ounces.

The latest move, however, is to go even smaller. Dial for Men is a prime example.

*MOUSE PRINT:  The 4.5 ounce bar is now 4.0 ounces — over 10% smaller.

dial soap small

OLD                                      NEW

So these three packs are 12 ounces instead of the old 13.5 ounces, but still priced the same.[Click picture to view net weight statement.] 

Downsizing is a sneaky way to pass on a price increase because you are getting less for your money but may not catch the change. As is typical for many downsized products, the manufacturer diverts your attention from the net weight statement to something else “new”. In this case, they are calling it a “new grip bar” because ridges have been carved into it.

I suspect it will still slip out of your hand when wet and sudsy, so wouldn’t you rather have that half-ounce back?

Share this story:
All comments are reviewed before being published, and may be edited. Comments that are off-topic, contain personal attacks, are political, or are otherwise inappropriate will be deleted.

99 thoughts on “Dial Soap: The Incredible Shrinking Bar”

  1. The longer soap dries, the longer it will last. A typical bar of soap takes about 4-6 week to dry, and for the pH to mellow.

    This grandma was a Lever Bros 2000 fan for all my 2000 body parts. My DIL bought me a wonderful bar of soap at a craft fair last year and I fell in love with it. Only thing is, I didn’t keep the wrapper so I could find where to buy more. Hence, I fought back the soap industry by learning how to make my own soap. I donated all 20 bars of commercial soap to a homeless shelter.

    Wow, what a difference. Real soap doesn’t dry out my skin, smells awesome and last a long long time in the shower. It is also perfect for washing my hair; I haven’t bought shampoo in nearly a year. I got so excited about it that I took a bunch to my office to share; everybody loves this soap so much that both men and women have been buying my soap and coming back for more. Old fashioned, no animal fats, with natural oils like olive, palm, coconut, almond and cocoa butter. Surprisingly delightful. Today, I took a new adventure and made my own laundry powder for the first time and will now be saving a lot of money and the environment at the same time. You can make your own, too!

    If I offended anyone by sharing my story, I apologize. My intent was to share the good news of discovering real soap and provide the opportunity to make your own, too, rather than promote sales without permission.

  2. I have noticed shrinking amounts in products for some time now. I was glad to hear I’m not the only one peeved about this. I have used Dial Pure and Natural for years now – it was perfect soap, no frills, no skin reactions, quite inexpensive (compared to the smelly versions), this soap didn’t shrink however, it completely disappeared, no one carries it now. I believe Dial was bought by a German company, Henkel? Mabey their behind all of these changes. Buying ice cream now just makes me angry. Think your buying a half gallon – think again, most brands now are less than that.

  3. Concerning DIAL soap…I know that the size and shape was changed in order to keep down on the price due to increased production costs, etc. I know that costs are going up and I expect to pay them. I would much rather have the old size and shape of the DIAL bar and am willing to pay more for it because I expect to. For heavens sake, charge more for the original bar rather than trying to fool us into thinking the price hasn’t really changed.

  4. I too have to shop around for soap again. I bought an 8 pack and found the hollowed out deceipt bars as noted. I want a rectangular bar. No compromise. I’d rather pay more for the same stuff. They should sell Classic Dial soap bars (remember New Coke?) at a fair price, to the consumer and the company. Until they do, I’m off trying other brands of rectangular bars.

  5. Dial soap–not only is it smaller but the “new” shape with more surface area and indentations to hold water will cause the bar to disappear faster. Bummer

  6. That is a 11% decrease in weight. I find the bar very uncomfortable to grip. If you look at the individual bar wrappers, you will notice that the date code information had to be moved toward an end as the machine would not print it due to the new shape. This added to the cost to change the manufacturing line. The big cost change would be all of the molds they have to change to handle the shape. What a stupid mistake by Dial.

    Dial has wasted the consumers money by making the changes the way they did. They probably view it as their money, but we paid their bill by buying their products. If they would left things as they were, the price increased could have been reduced a few percentage points from the 11.11% increase.

    I also think it is consummer fraud to not mention “New Improved Smaller Size, same price” so customers would know. That is being dishonest with consumers.

    We all need to let the consumer protection agency know about this deception of the public.

    To get visibility on this, does anyone have the talent to put a you-tube video together?

    Our only resource is to use less soap. Any ideas? What if we put the bar in a cloth bag, I wonder if it would last longer.

  7. Bumble Bee tuna today at Sam’s club was $10.38 for 8/5oz cans. Last week it was $8.12 for 8/6oz cans. Net price increase of just over 53% !!! Package shink of 17% with combinced price increase of 53%. How gullible do they thing we are? Needless to say I didn’t buy any tuna this week. I’ll have to find somewhere else to get my protein.

  8. Having used Dial bar soap for more years than I care to remember, I am upset by the continuous downsizing of the Dial bar soap and will no longer buy it. The cutout from the non imprinted side of the bar is ridiculous and a ripoff and I will no longer participate. They can spin it any way they like but it’s still a ripoff and makes the use a significantly less tolerable/enjoyable experience. I’d prefer they stop with the downsizing already and just increase the prices if they must. Dopes!

  9. I have used Dial soap for 50 years, since childhood. Have had building annoyance over recent months with the new bar’s size and shape and found this site, so I now know its not just me. I truly don’t care that much about the price – inflation happens. But I will not be played for a sucker by this company and its deceptive practices, and have made my last purchase of Dial soap.

  10. I’ve been welding dial soap bars together for years. I tell myself I’m using the
    same bar that I bought 20 years ago. I’m only half way through the new concave bar
    (I would have bet its lighter too) but it looks like it will break before I can
    weld it to the next one.

    Angry in Amesbury

  11. Stefan,

    Pure and Natural as you know it was discontinued. It was reformulated, repackaged, resized, and renamed Dial Basics. The representative I spoke with, when I first discovered this, claimed that Pure and Natural didn’t sell well. I countered that it would have been a much bigger seller if consumers could ever find it. She also claimed that the only formula difference was that the new version contains more coconut oil to be creamier.

    Unfortunately, it is the only commercially available soap that I can use, because everything else is either too harsh or too stinky. It isn’t as good as its predecessor, but it’s better than the competition. Until I start making my own, this is what I have to buy.

  12. Hate to sound like an old record in this blog but our family started using Dial when first my wife and I married over 50 years ago. I agree with all the critics in this blog and would have chalked up a price increase for the same product (full sized bar of Dial soap) as normal. How much was a gallon of gas, a pack of cigarettes, a loaf of bread in 1957?

    Following the advice above we also left a message on Dial’s website (http://www.dialcorp.com/index.cfm?page_id=12) advising them of another lost customer. When our current stock of Dial bars are gone, which will be quick with the reduced 4oz size bars, we will begin testing other brands.

    Dial Soap Company does not realize how truly faithful their customers were. Showering should be pleasurable, not a cause for anger yet when you feel abused you become angry. It’s sad, really!

  13. I agree with every thing y’all are saying about Dial. They are not offering an “improved” product, they are only trying to deceive the very customers that built the Dial company. The company that now owns Dial is Henkel. Their slogan is “Henkel – A BRAND LIKE A FRIEND. How do you say “friend” in German? Henkel is a German company and anyone who has bought a MERCEDES-BENZ or BMW motorcycle in the past 10 years knows that German quality has severely suffered at our (U.S. consumers) expense. When foreigners assume ownership of American land and factories, they become our landlords and holders of the mortgage on our national treasury. They dissipate wealth instead of creating it since their profits return to foreign lands and the taxes are paid to foreign governments. I don’t blame Henkel totally for the fact that the bar of soap that I’ve enjoyed for 37 years is now not a good value. I blame the Dial Corporation for allowing another superior, American made product to be ruined by corporate American greed.

  14. I had just e-mailed the Dial company before clicking on thie site. I, too, told them that I did not like the new shape and that I would be willing to pay more for the same old bar of soap I have enjoyed for 20 years. If it remains the new shape, I will discontinue buying it. That’s the only power I have, but I do believe it should be exercised frequently by consumers.

  15. Really getting tired of companies and people who think they have to cheat others to get ahead in life. AS far as the dial soap issue goes….I of course knew imediately the new shape was just a way to give their customers less…but making the “Dial” soap so that it disolves faster is unacceptable. I am going to stop buying Dial soap now and every other product that shows they opperate like so many other ungodly people who have no integrity. This has to stop, but of course it won’t.
    It’s amazing what the greed, envy and desire to have more than the neighbors has done to the United States and the World. [This post has been edited.]

  16. I too am sick of the hidden downsize, but concerning soap (Dial), I unwrap
    several bars and set them on edge in the cabinet so they are less moist when
    I use them weeks later, and they don’t get mushy as quickly.

  17. not only is the size smaller…they’ve made it so that as the bar gets smaller it will “break” in the middle forcing you to throw it away half or three quarter used.

    i will be writing to dial corporation as some of you have. nothing will happen but at least they’ll know they have another dissatisfied customer who will discontinue using their products.

    corporate america…………it’s all about the almighty dollar. shame on them all!!

  18. I too will quit using Dial soap after 40 years of use. But only after using up
    a hundred bars I recently bought at Office Depot Stationary Store going out of
    business at 70% off. It was the 3.5 ounce travel size, only lightly smaller than
    the new smaller size. I could have taken one downsizing, from 5 to 4.5, but it seem like only a matter of months the second downsizing occured. Besides welding mentioned by several others, I also used broken portions in my Shaving mug. Anybody remember the wire cages you put handsoap scrapes in to wash your dishes?

  19. Pure and Natural soaps have been reformualted with baby powder included. It is a filler that takes the place of other ingredients because it is CHEAP. Call Dial and ask them WHY.

  20. Does anyone know if the Dial soap bars can be returned to the store and money refunded, or is this just one of those “too bad, so sad” pieces of information for which we must suck up and not hurt anyone’s feelings?

  21. I too have been ripped off by dial and I think it is ridiculous. I call it a rip off because there is no notice of new and unimproved size reduction.This is ludicrous, I used dial throughout the years and recently decided to return as I can only use so many soaps on my skin. Thinking I was going to save cash and getting suckered and scammed out of my money.I will NEVER buy dial again.

  22. I have used Dial bar soap since the early 60’s
    and raised 4 children using it. I am really
    mad about the way they have decreased the bar
    size. It’s sneaky the way they have cut into it on the top and bottom. Before it’s half used up, it breaks in the middle. I had rather they go up on the price than push the
    smaller bar on us. I have now changed to another brand after all these years. Irish
    Spring might be a little smaller, but it’s
    a lot easier to hold and smells good too.
    I will not buy Dial again

  23. I just discovered the new downsized soap, What a ripoff! When they are stacked on top of each other in the package, you would never know. I called up Dial and the representative made it sound like I was the first to complain about it. He said he would promptly pass my concern to management. Yea, right. I now add Dial soap to the list of products I won’t buy. You can cheat me once, but you won’t cheat me twice. However, a quick look thru the internet and I see that maybe some other soap manufacturers are doing the same thing. Buyer beware.

  24. I think that these corporations think we are ignorant and will not notice. It is so frustrating to see the Dial soap disappear in your hand. Another one is ice cream — so if you need a specific half gallon for a recipe, you have to buy 2 containers and measure it. The list just goes on and on. I remember when potato chips were 1# bags – and that was no bargain. It only takes 2 average potatoes to make a pound.

  25. have used Dial for 50 years.Shrinking is bad enough but changing
    the shape therefore melting faster is very deceptive.
    I agree with all the comments that have been said.

    Send all theSE e-mailers a reply AND REFORMULATE TO OLD DIAL.

    I hope someone listens before you go our of business.

  26. I’v used Palmolive Soap for about55 years and it too has downsized from 5 oz. to 4.5 then 4 and now it’s down to 3oz. which is just plain robbery. It’ hard to find Palmolive any more but you can usually find it at Dollar stores where you get 3-3oz bars for $1.00 which is a great price but it was sure alot better when it was 5oz.

  27. Why don’t you cheats wise up? We consumers are not as dumb as you think.I , among perhaps thousands are boycotting your “cheap shot” product. You carved a “camel- back ” into the bar and got away with it— now you found that you could go one step further and carved a channel into the back!!!!You DIRTY-ROTTEN @$#%$#@$$#.

  28. Okay, think about it. Which part of the soap wears out the fastest? The ends, right? So by making the ‘hourglass’ shape, the fastest wearing parts are the largest, so the soap doesn’t become a useless sliver quite as rapidly. And that hollow ‘scoop’ on top? When your old bar does become a useless sliver, you can set it on top of the new bar and it fits perfectly in the scoop. The two become one and there’s no waste. I LOVE the new shape!

  29. I too feel like I’m being screwed by the soap company (DIAL). After reading all the negatine comments about the shrinking bars of soap, my thoughts are that these manufacters’ must think we’re a bunch of dummies and we won’t object. I placed a call to the Dial Co. and expressed my dissappointment about after 9 showers all I had left was a small sliver that was ready to break in half if I tried to use it again. The woman I spoke to was very cordial and appoligetic to me, and is going to send me some coupons. In the meantime I took another commentors advice and bought 2 bars of Oatmeal and Honey soap at Trader Joe’s. I’ll let you all know how this works out. Me thinks I’ll probably stick w/Joe’s soap W/ the honey in it. I AM a beekeeper and know how very good honey is for us in many, many ways. While I’m on the subject, becoming a beekeeper is a very rewarding experience and I encourage any and all of you to consider trying it as a hobby. You will not only help your local enviroment, if you join a local beekeepers club
    you will meet some of the nicest people in the world, and your neighbors will love you, (and your bees ) for making their gardens more bountiful!Thank you all.

  30. Well, I’m back 14 days later. Dial Soap Co. sent coupons like they said they would, so sit down so you won’t fall over from your heavy laughter.
    I recieved the following coupons:
    4-$0.35 off any Dial product.
    1- .40 off any Renuzit product
    1- .50 off any Purex Detergent
    $2.20 total
    Thats it! I’ve probably lost hundred$ because of their cost cutting tactics and their way of being sorry is to send me $2.20 so I’ll be stupid enough to go out and spend more bad money on their products!
    It’s good to know they own Renuzit and Purex, I’ll be very wary of those products also.
    I went to Trader Joe’s and bought the Oatmeal & Honey soap, and I’ve got to tell you, what a great soap to clean your self with! I couldn’t believe how wonderful it felt on my face and……..It’s been 14 days that I’m using it and I can’t see much shrinkage at all.I’m sold on it! And, of course the Honey Bees had alot to do with this soap being so terrific!!
    Speaking of bees again (ahem), if each of you and your friends would plant 2- Butterfly Bushes this spring, you will “bee” helping the honeybees a whole bunch. AND, if you become a beekeeper, you will most often be a “conversation piece” wherever you go. It really is a rewarding and gratifying hobby. You won’t be disappointed! Check out my club–www.backyardbeekeepers.com. We just had a soap making workshop!!
    Thanks, Joe the Beekeeper

  31. Don’t blame Dial, blame Wal Mart. When presented with a price increase, Wal Mart threatens their vendors with being thrown out. Since Wal Mart sells 40% of the Dial sold in America, we are at their mercy.

  32. i have always loved dial and always hated what happened to the bar. i am tryin other soaps but still buy dial. i am tryin to “wing” myself. PLEASE DIAL-i rather pay more. bring back the five oz. it looks like someone craved each bar my hand.

  33. I don’t think I noticed the reduction 5oz to 4.5 but sure did the new cut away version of DIAL that kept slipping out of my hand. I suspected I was getting less for the same price but didn’t go back to the last time I purchased it to check sams sale slip. Had every intention of emailing them but am procrastinator to the Nth. Decideded to google it and was suprised this deception goes back to 2007. Guess that was the 5oz to 4.5. I also am going looking for another. During my years in navy there was a time/place where dial wasn’t avail. Used Ivory unscented and was acceptable. Just looked it up and can get 16 4.5oz bars for $9.99. So next visit to sams I’ll be checking that out with feel check to be sure it doesn’t have concave. For those who want to keep it from dissolving so fast, Don’t leave it on it’s side between uses. Prop it one it’s side. It won’t develop that slim which slides off immediately next time you use it (waste).

  34. I have purchased an 18 bar pack of Dial from BJ’s for several years. Last summer when I used the first bar from a new pack I noticed a change in shape. Since I still had one bar left from my previous pack, I was able to make a comparison. The packaging was exactly the same. Both wrappers stated that the soap net weight was 4 ounces. However, the old bar weighed 4 1/2 ounces. The new bar weighed 4 ounces. So Dial changed the wrapper first so no one would notice, and then, six months later, downsized and reshaped the contents. Worse still, the curved shape on one side exposes more surface so the bar disappears faster, and it now breaks in half at the thin point before it is used up. I used to get 8 or 9 showers from a bar of dial. Now I get five. I hate to reward this type of dishonest behavior. The buying public rejected the 12 oz. pound of coffee, and the 12 oz. package of bacon. When I finish my last little bar of Dial, I will switch to a 4 1/2 oz. bar of Ivory. I hope everyone does.

  35. 40 year Dial user here! I have had enough of Dial’s BS bait and switch. Anybody got an alternative? My loyalty has been ABUSED! I need a soap manufacturer that is true to its customers.

    Get wise Dial. Raise the price. I think we are all wise enough to understand inflation, but we will NEVER tolerate deception!

  36. Guess what gang….everyone seems to notice the “size” shrinkage…what about the quality?
    Has anyone noticed their bars of soap in the shower are not lasting as long.
    My wife and I are not heavy people at all but we are “round” at 55 years old and we were joking about needing to lose weight because the soaps aren’t lasting. It turns out that the “hardeners” in the soap have been diminished so it will wear out faster!

  37. Now that they’ve downsized the bars, they wear out to the irritating little soap slivers twice as fast. Thank you Dial and Irish Spring!!! [/sarcasm]

    I’ve already started looking for a decent locally made soap not made by a greedy megacorp, and plan to buy at least a ten year supply just to make sure that I won’t be contributing to a greedy CEO’s bonus for the next decade.


  39. I’m looking for another brand. I’ve used Dial ever since I got my first sample bar but the size is disturbing enough without all the extra creme that makes it disappear that much faster. Anyone know of a soap that equals the old Dial?

  40. Dial Soap NOW EVEN smaller!

    I was a bit dissed over the whole center being shaven out Dial bar soap, but now….its EVEN SMALLER than that!
    I actually went as far as to contact the company and tell this megacorp that I’ve used Dial since my childhood and due to the downsizing of the bars and the increase in price…I refuse to buy anymore! I’ve posted their actual response. Enjoy!


    Thank you for taking the time to contact us concerning Dial Bar Soap. Your comments are appreciated because they help us to understand how we can better serve our consumers.

    We recently reduced the size and shape of our bar soaps. These changes were implemented to allow us to maintain the high quality of our product and also respond to the rising cost of raw materials and shipping charges. Our goal is still to provide you with quality products at an affordable price.

    Your comments are being passed along to our Marketing Department.

    Again, thank you for contacting us. The issues that concern you are of great importance to us.

    Consumer Affairs

  41. I’ve been noticing for some time how Dial soap wears and breaks in the middle. I opened a new bar today and examined the concave side and the imprinted side. Both are concaved to the point of being ridiculous. I’ve used Dial for 40 years. I too will look for other alternatives. Sure do miss the full size bars.

  42. I noticed the dial joke bar too….that’s how I found this site….do they think we’re stupid.
    it’s like the Canadian bacon on mcdonalds egg mcmuffin. It used to be at least 1/4 inch thick, now it’s so thin you can’t even taste it. Charge more , but keep the size the same…..

  43. This is amazing to have so many people commenting on what was once a valuable, worthwhile bar of soap! I loved Dial – depended on it and considered it a “standard” in my home. Not anymore. I might as well collect those dinky little bars of soap from hotels that are cheap and annoying. Way to go Dial! You’ve lowered your standard. I would so much rather pay an extra .50 per package and know you kept your integrity instead of assuming we are all so stupid as to not notice the “shrinking bar” effect. Today I bought a bar of good old fashioned Lava soap. It cost $1.87 and it is still the 5.5 oz soap. I was happy to pay for something worth the quality and quantity.
    Way to go Lava!

  44. I want the 7 oz bars back….. those little bars you just keep getting to the piece you throw away sooner. plus I can hold on to it

  45. We have no TJ in our area, and the question remains for me: what substitute is there for Dial that is a soap without lots of perfumes and stuff that make me itch. But since the lightbulb has gone on for me as to what Dial has done, I intend to look for whatever generic soap will fill the bill.

    I believe the anger expressed on this web site as to the shrinking size, deceptive advertising, and corporate chiseling relates back to a sense that the strong, sensible country we grew up in is disappearing. Goods sold for one price, one uniform size, and came with a money back guarantee (car dealers excepted, and that’s why they had the reputation they had). Once upon a time, you went to Mexico and laughed at the cheap stuff in the bazaars that you were expected to bargain for. It defined what was meant by a “Banana Republic.” Look around you, and you see that’s what the USA has become. Everybody on the plane paid a different price for the same ticket, fine print on packaging containing all the “gotchas,” etc.

    But hey, it’s cheap!

  46. I too will miss my Dial soap but I have had it! No one mentions how UGLY the bar of soap gets after a few uses. The gray lines that appear? The misshapen bumps the bar gets after awhile? I’ve always been a fan—been using it for over 50 years—and would’ve accepted the shrinking size, but the aesthetics are terrible. Oh, and the fact that the pieces will not adhere to a new bar when you open one up. Bah. I’ll check out everyone’s recommendations, thanks.

  47. Dial soap is now so creamy that it’s gone in no time at all. Northern bathroom tissue is about 1/2 inch narrower. I swear Dawn dish detergent has been diluted. What ever happened to these company’s pride in their products? I’ve used Dial since I got my sample in the mailbox years ago. I’m done with Dial.

  48. Am ready for at least the 5oz bar back if not larger.
    Bummed at the henkel corp [which] decided to snake the consumer by reducing the dial gold bar size (was 5oz, was 4.5oz and now 4.oz) and keeping or raising the price.

    Also they changed the formulation to wear our quicker hence more trips to the store to have to buy those dang smaller bars the disappear too quickly.

    What is this world coming to? I hate the liquid soap as it seems half of it is wasted as it rolls off the body.

    Come on Henkel science and development and marketing departments. Bring back you Dial Gold Bar soap we all can write about with love and admiration. Simple marketing customer satisfaction philosophy!

    Here is the link to voice your discontent with the smaller size of Dial Bar Soap:

Comments are closed.