cleaner dish detergents

Now that you're well on your way to greening your cleaning supplies, this week we'll look at dish detergent, for both hand washing and dishwashers. Some of those same chemicals found in your sponges can also be in your dish detergent.

How clean is your cleaning, really? You have to eat off those plates!

Most brands that make a liquid dish detergent also make dishwasher packs or powder, so whatever your preference, you're still covered. The main things to look for are detergents that don't include triclosan, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, dyes or synthetic fragrances, and do include a biodegradable formula. Recycled/recyclable packaging is also something to look for.

According to Gimme the Good Stuff, "Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are common foaming agents, usually derived from coconut. Both SLS and SLES produce lovely bubbles in your dish soap, and are found in lots of “natural” brands. SLS is okay in my opinion (although not ideal), but SLES is not."

As with the laundry cleaners, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers and The Honest Co. are popular alternative brands. Ecover is a smaller brand, but still available in local stores (hello, Drug Emporium!) Ecover does use SLS in their formula.

The Sweet Home did a test of eco-friendly and conventional dish detergents to see how everyone compared. They found that Seventh Generation and Dawn performed the best of all 20 tested brands. They chose Seventh Generation as their top pick, "because the company doesn’t use dyes or synthetic fragrances that may contain potentially harmful compounds, and it doesn’t test on animals."

From Faye researched many different eco-friendly dish soaps and chose Earth Friendly Products' Dishmate as her favorite.

Diashwasher packs tend to be a bit more sketchy - if the wrapper disintegrates in the wash, there's a chance of plastic residue on your dishes, and if you tear the wrapper off first, then you've got extra trash. If you go for the liquids or the powders for your dishwasher or soap for your sink, don't overfill! You'll overuse and run out of detergent faster.

What's your favorite eco-friendly dish detergent?

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