This is one of those products that makes a one-off reappearance and then disappears, never to be seen again. After years of bringing out their very popular reusable bubble bars - The Mum, Tulip Mum and Madame Butterfly, Lush obviously decided that they could take their ideas that one step further, and release a bubble bar designed not for the bath, but one designed to be used to clean dishes. The idea is that you present your loved one with one of these, with the promise that you'll lighten her load and wash up for her on Mother's Day.
Although I no longer live with my mum, I was rather intrigued by this unique product and purchased a Washing Up Fairy Reusable Washing Up Bubble Bar for myself. Although the sentiment is not the same as buying it for someone else, I wanted to see how it compared to the fairy liquid I have been using for many years.
Firstly, its rather obvious that the Washing Up Fairy is much more appealing to look at than the bottle of green liquid that lives by my sink. Sporting a beautiful combination of green and pink (yellow and pink for the original), this solid bubble bar almost makes washing up seem more exciting. Almost. What is great about this solid product is that it doesn't need to be packaged in plastic, making it more environmentally friendly.
From the ingredients list, it's difficult to tell what has been added to this bubble bar to make it work in the same way as washing up liquid, and how it differs from the bubble bars we use in the bath. However, the addition of lemon oil hinted that this product was going to be a citrus affair. Although the initial smell I recognised was a gentle citrus one, once I began using this bubble bar, I picked up a slight aniseed fragrance as well, which I was not expecting and found rather pleasant.
As with all of Lush's other bubble bars, Washing Up Fairy works by being held under water when you're filling up the sink, and can then be swished around until you're happy with the soapiness of the water. This product is really effective at creating bubbles so you only really need to keep it in the water for a matter of seconds before it can be removed and stored somewhere dry for future use.
I first decided to use this when one of the residents in my flat was moving out, and myself and the other flatmates decided to strip the kitchen down and clean everything in sight. After using this bubble bar to fill eleven sinks throughout the process, I discovered multiple things:
Firstly, the Washing Up Fairy turns the water a really silky smooth consistency and this remains throughout the entirety of using that bowl of water. Secondly, the bubble bar is really gentle and caring on your skin, and despite having my hands submerged in this water for near on eight hours, I wasn't left with dry or tough hands once I had finished. Finally, a little goes a long way, and after multiple uses, the product had barely altered in size, meaning it's great value for money and would probably last a good six months at least - far longer than the average shop-bought washing up liquid.
Unfortunately, the one aspect that I noticed this product suffered with, was when it came to those tougher jobs - dried on food at the bottom of pans and aged stains that refused to budge. As the Washing Up Fairy doesn't contain those added ingredients that help to break down stubborn grease stains, it meant I had to invest a little more elbow grease into removing them myself. However, the fact that my hands were left velvety-smooth afterwards was definitely worth the little extra work I had to put into the washing up, to get the hob done.
Secondly, this is a product you have to think carefully about storing in between uses. You must make sure you place this somewhere dry and away from getting splashed. Furthermore, you should pat the bubble bar down afterwards to remove any unwanted liquid, otherwise you may find that this little fairy will run a little and perhaps stain your surface.
Overall, while it is designed to be used as a replacement for washing up liquid, I cannot see any reason why this couldn't be used in the bath as a regular bubble bar as well. Although I haven't tested this idea out yet, I am confident that it would make quite a moisturising bath, and the gentle lemon aroma would compliment any bath bomb you choose to cocktail alongside this.
Priced at £4.50, it's definitely a lot more expensive than your typical bottle of washing up liquid. Furthermore, it's less effective at removing tougher stains than alternatives and there's always the issue of where to store the wand to stop it dissolving when not in use.
However, it's a great novelty idea that holds more meaning behind the sentiment than the actual deed, and would definitely make any mother happy to have that little extra help. It would be a lovely present for children to give and would perhaps encourage younger ones to help out, as it gives washing up just that slightest bit more of a fun factor about it.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cream of Tartar, Glycerine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Lemon Oil, Limonene, Gardenia Extract, Citral, Colour 45350, Colour 45350, Colour 17200, Colour 14700.
Year Of Original Release: 2012.
2017 Price: £4.50 each.