TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: “I will not use dishwashing / dishwasher liquid which contain, Ammonia, APE, DEA, MEA, TEA, Dioxane, Dyes, Chlorine, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Fragrances, Parabens, Phosphates, Sulfates or Triclosan  because they are harmful to my health, the health of my children, and the health of the planet and her inhabitants.”

At the risk of sounding redundant (which I fear these theme weeks might make me) most conventional soaps (of all kinds) are bad for our health, our children's health, and the health of our environment. It is an annoying problem to have in existence, but as luck has it, 'tis problem easy to solve.


- The Problem(s) -


In conventional dish soaps, including dishwasher soaps, for example Dawn, Cascade, Finish, PalmOlive, Ajax, Trader Joe's, Walmart Great Value, there are an unusual number of negative chemicals, even more than there are in our body soaps. 

Some of the chemicals found in your dishwashing/dishwasher liquid include: Ammonia, APE's, DEA, MEA, TEA, Dioxane, Dyes, Chlorine, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Fragrances, Parabens, Phosphates, Sulfates and Triclosan.  I wrote up on each of these chemicals: what they are, what they do to you, the environment, and her inhabitants. It came out to a two page document, which made this blog post look super daunting, so, if you'd like to read about each chemical individually (which I recommend you do) click HERE and the Word doc will jump out at you. The words in bold are the ones you want to check your dishwashing / dishwasher liquid / powder ingredients list for.

To sum up, in Cliff's Notes styles, the issues caused to humans by these chemicals, some of which are already classified as carcinogens (Dioxane, PEG, Formaldehyde, DEA, MEA, TEA), and some of which are derived from petrochemicals, which leave traces of heavy metals like arsenic (Dyes CI, FD&C D&C), potentially cause cancers (Phthalates, Triclosan), cause growth of breast cancer cells (APE), hormone disrupters (DEA, MEA, TEA), cause and aggravate asthma (MEA), decrease muscle mass, increase fat deposits, cause early onset puberty, create reproductive difficulties in both men and women (Parabens + Sulfates, Triclosan), affect thyroid functions and disrupts endocrine production, cause learning disabilities (Triclosan). Then there is the harm to environment caused when these baddies are created and distributed (by us) down into our waterways, affecting our wildlife, including fish, which we eat (yum, yum, chemical cocktail). Again, to read more on these chemicals individaully, click HERE.

- The Solutions -


Now this bit you have to be careful of too, there are a number of brands calling themselves 'natural' and it turns out they actually aren't, for example:  Grab Green Dishsoap, Green Works, Trader Joe's Next To Godliness, and Dishmate Earth Friendly, each one rated F in EWG's rating system, despite their claims of safely

Strangely, one brand the eco warriors seems to love, one which I understood was biodegradable (turns out that means nothing as brands can use that word without the product actually being so) is, Mrs. Meyers. It turns out there are a number of chemicals in that one too, though it rated a C, which is better than the previously mentioned brands. 

Here are some recommendations via EWG's website which rated/graded A:

[Dishwashing Liquid]

[Dishwasher Soap]

[Baby Dishes]
*this product is safe (rated A), but this brand also has some items on the F list ie// their laundry detergent

- ONE MORE THING -

One of the other great things about eco dish and dishwashing soaps is that they're concentrated, which means you go through less, spending less, and creating less waste (even if that waste is recycling).


- AMAZING RESOURCE -

The decision making process is made easier on the EWG website HERE, you can search brands you are using and see their ratings and read more on concerns of the particular brand you are interested in. They also have a search section for makeup, facial cleansers and exfoliators ect..


Source: EWG, David Suzuki, EPA
Affiliate Link: I signed up to Amazon Affiliates today, so if you click through to buy any of the products linked in they might throw me a few cents. I will donate half of any earnings to charity.