The Best Safe & Non-Toxic Dish Soap Brands
Scrub your dishes sparkling clean with safe, eco-friendly dish soap for a healthy home and a healthy environment. We’re sharing the best non-toxic and eco-friendly dish soap brands that deliver foamy suds and cut grease without the harmful chemicals.
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Dish soap is one of those household products that everyone uses, usually more than once per day. If you’re trying to avoid harsh preservatives, endocrine disruptors, allergens and irritants, you may want to check the ingredient list of the dish soap you’re currently using. Not only can conventional dish soap affect the health of you and your family, but once dish soap washes down the drain, it can negatively affect the health of the aquatic ecosystem.
The good news is that there are some brands of natural dish soap that don’t contain harmful ingredients and are greywater-safe. Beyond dish soap, use non-toxic all purpose cleaners and give your kitchen a plastic audit, replacing what you can with non-plastic alternatives.
I’ve found 6 brands of dish soap that don’t contain any harsh preservatives, endocrine disruptors, allergens and irritants. But first, here’s a list of chemicals that you don’t want in your dish soap.
Ingredients To Avoid In Dish Soap
- Artificial (synthetic) fragrances: Fragrance can contain hundreds of chemicals in one formula. Some of these chemicals, like phthalates and parabens, are endocrine disruptors, while others are suspected carcinogens. Phthalates, commonly used in fragrance to prolong the scent, are known to mimic hormones and can interrupt normal hormone functioning and production. They can also pass through the placental barrier and affect the developing fetus.
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives– DMDM Hydantoin and quaternium-15, are preservatives that slowly release carcinogenic formaldehyde over time. They are also respiratory irritants.
- Isothiazolinone preservatives– These preservatives are used as antibacterial and antimicrobial agents. Methylisothiazolinone (an endocrine disruptor), Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Benzisothiazolinone (environmental pollutant that’s toxic to fish) are in this category. They are all irritants.
- Sulfates (SLS and SLES): Sulfates are chemical surfactants. At concentrations greater than 2%, sulfates have been linked to skin irritation in humans and animals. Sulfate exposure, including Sodium Laureth Sulfate, can also cause eye and respiratory irritation. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane (not listed on ingredient labels), a byproduct created during the processing stage. 1,4-dioxane is a known human respiratory toxicant and likely human carcinogen.
- Antibacterials: Triclosan and other antibacterial agents are still found in household cleaners. These substances have been linked to endocrine disruption and antibiotic resistance.
- Ethoxylated ingredients– DEAs, MEAs and TEAs are used as foaming agents and surfactants- they can react with Polysorbate-20 and PEG compunds and ingredients that end in “eth” and “laureth” like sodium laureth sulfate to form 1,4 dioxin.
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine: A detergent and surfactant that creates a thick lather and foaming action in dish soap. Cocamidopropyl Betaine was named “Allergen of the Year” in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. It’s likely an environmental toxin too.
- Colorants: Bright colors don’t make dish soap more effective, so why buy a brand that uses them? Color additives are derived from petroleum, so they are not sustainable and may contain carcinogenic contaminants as byproducts, like Benzidine and 4-amino-biphenyl.
Even if you think your dishes are rinsed clean, there may be soap residue containing any of the harmful chemicals listed above left on the dishes. You may also risk exposure by inhaling fragrance chemicals and bubbles as you do dishes or cause irritation on your hands.
When there are effective dish soap alternatives that are safe and non-toxic, there’s really no need to expose yourself and your family to the harmful chemicals in some dish soap brands like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid (this gets a score of D from the Environmental Working Group). Aside from your family’s health, all of the greywater gets washed into our waterways, and any harmful chemicals can negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem.
We’re sharing the best non-toxic dish soap brands that cut through grease and get your dishes clean without harmful chemicals.
Attitude Dish Soap
- Cost: $4.95 for 23.7 oz ($0.21 per ounce)
- Scents: Citrus zest, Pink Grapefruit, Coriander & Olive, Green Apple & Basil, Wildflowers, Unscented
- From the Attitude Living website: Keep your kitchen sink and dishes spick and span with ATTITUDE Nature + TechnologyTM Dishwashing Liquid – Citrus Zest. Our unique formula is made with deep-cleansing and antibacterial agents like saponin, and uses natural and plant-based ingredients. Plus, it’s ECOLOGO® Certified, sustainable and biodegradable, with foaming action that is tough on grease but soft on hands, so you can use it daily, worry-free!
- Shop: Attitude Dish Soap
Sonett Dish Soap
- Cost: $14.99 for 34 oz ($0.44 per ounce)
- Scents: Lemon, Calendula, Sensitive (all scents are natural essential oils from organically grown plants).
- From the Sonett website: Sugar, starch, and coconut oil serve as raw materials for the sugar surfactants used. Combined with coconut oil alcohol sulphate produced from coconut oil and sulphur oxides, they form a combination of substances which complement each other, increase their cleansing performance and possess excellent fat-dissolving properties as well as outstanding skin tolerance.
- Shop: Sonett Dish Soap
Eco-Me Dish Soap
- Cost: $11.70 for 16 oz ($0.73 per ounce)
- Scents: Fragrance-free, Lemon Fresh, Herbal Mint, Citrus Berry (scented using plant essential oils)
- From the Eco-Me website: This powerful plant-based natural dish soap works quickly cutting through dirt, grease and grime leaving dishes sparkling clean without a filmy residue. It’s packed with natural plant extracts and plant derived soap making it safer for you and your family. It rinses off easily and is gentle on hands. No Harsh Chemicals, Great Natural Scents, Greywater & Septic Safe. What it Doesn’t Contain: No Dyes or Colorants, No Harsh Preservatives, No Sulfates (SLS, SLES, ALS), No Animal Testing or By-Products.
- Shop: Eco-Me Dish Soap
9 Elements Dish Soap
- Cost: $8.99 for 16 oz ($0.56 per ounce)
- Scents: Lemon, Eucalyptus
- From the 9 Elements website: 9 Elements Dish Soap is vinegar powered to remove grease and residues, like hard water minerals and tough coffee & tea stains. This formula cuts through grease, tough beverage stains, and chalky hard water residues with the purifying power of vinegar without leaving behind vinegar odors. Made with 100% Lemon Essential Oil for a refreshing scent. Made without artificial preservatives, dyes, thickeners, and synthetic fragrances.
- Shop: 9 Elements Dish Soap
No Tox Dish Block
- Cost: $9.99 for 6 oz ($1.67 per ounce)
- Scents: Fragrance-free
- From the No Tox website: New updated formula with bigger, fluffier bubbles and stronger grease cutting in all water types. The DISH BLOCK® concentrated dishwashing soap is a cleaning powerhouse with a rich, sudsy lather. Cuts stubborn grime and grease on dishes, pots and pans. With added aloe vera to be gentle on your hands. Free of dyes and fragrance.
- Shop: No Tox Dish Block
Aspen Clean Dish Soap
- Cost: $9.99 for 18 oz ($0.56 per ounce)
- Scents: Unscented, Lavender & Lemongrass, Eucalyptus & rosemary (scents made from natural essential oils from organically grown plants)
- From the Aspen Clean website: EWG verified. This dish soap is natural, nontoxic, and eco-friendly. It’s made from sustainable ingredients, and septic tank safe so you know it’s not harming the environment when going down the drain. It is hypoallergenic and made only from cosmetic grade ingredients. It will leave all your dishes shiny clean and free of toxic residues, and your hands soft and healthy thanks to skin-smoothing ingredients. Ecocert certified, Vegan.
- Shop: Aspen Clean Dish Soap
Blueland Dishwasher Tablets
- Cost: $18 for 40 tablets plus reusable storage tin
- From the Blueland website: All power, no plastic—our naked dishwashing tablets come free of PVA/PVOH (polyvinyl alcohol), so you can consciously clean your dishes. Includes 1 Forever Tin and 40 Dishwasher Tablets. Once empty, simply refill with more tablets. Refills packaged in compostable paper pouches.
- Shop: Blueland Dishwasher Tablets
Natural Rinse Aid
Nature Clean Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Cost: $6.67 for 8 oz ($0.83 per ounce)
From the Nature Clean website: Nature Clean® Dishwasher Rinse Agent removes spots and film from dishes, glassware, and cutlery without the use of phosphates, EDTA, NTA, alcohol ethoxylates, dyes and fragrances. Just good, clean ingredients. This product is biodegradable and not tested on animals.
Shop: Nature Clean Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Eco Me Rinse Aid
Cost: $19.99 for 8 oz ($2.50 per ounce)
From the Eco Me website: This natural Rinse Aid adds a cleaning boost to your dishwasher to help remove caked on food, detergent and water spots. It leaves a streak-free shine. This natural plant-based cleaning system is free from dyes or colorants, harsh preservatives, sulfates (SLS, SLES, ALS) and no animal testing or by-products. Fragrance free, natural antibacterial properties, greywater & septic safe, no harsh chemicals.
Shop: Eco Me Rinse Aid
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