Why Buy Non-Toxic Dish Soaps?
You might wonder, “Will switching to non-toxic dish soap really make a difference?”
Unfortunately, the array of colorful, fragrant kitchen supplies we’re become accustomed to can contain toxic ingredients that can significantly impact your health and the environment.
Where dish soaps are concerned, this means grease-destroying enzymes, bleaching agents, surfactants, preservatives, and other harsh chemicals.
These compounds enter our waterways and affect human health, with some linked to allergic reactions, skin irritation, or even cancer.
More concerning still is that dishwashing detergents and other cleaning products in the United States are not required by federal law to list the ingredients.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) inspected over 300 products, giving each cleaning solution a hazard rating from A to F. Nearly 60% of the products got a D or an F, meaning they’re likely to be harmful to human health and the environment.
Here are some of the common harsh chemicals in dish soap and dishwashing liquid to avoid:
- Phosphates: Phosphates get into waterways, leading to mineral poisoning and harming aquatic ecosystems and marine life.
- Polyacrylates: This chemical is toxic to marine animals and can cause critical burns and eye damage to humans.
- Benzisothiazolinone: This is a pollutant to marine life and can cause lung, skin, and eye irritation and bronchitis in individuals.
- Methylisothiazolinone: Many individuals are allergic to this compound, causing allergic reactions and, in some cases, neurotoxicity.
- Synthetic Fragrances: The nice scents of traditional dish soaps have countless undisclosed compounds, leading to allergic reactions, rashes, and harm to the environment.
- Dyes: Dyes don’t serve a purpose and may cause rashes and allergic reactions. Many dyes used in dish liquid have been linked as endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.
- Bleach: Bleach damages the eyes and skin. It can also lead to gastric issues, throat damage, and fluid build-up in the lungs.
- Surfactants: Surfactants are typically sourced from palm oil, petroleum, or animals in regular liquid soap.
Is Dawn Soap Non-Toxic?
Dish soap brands like Dawn, Cascade, and Ajax are readily available at nearly all grocery stores. The bright colors, pleasing scents, affordability, and marketing materials make it easy to grab a bottle off the shelf without much thought.
There’s a baby duck on the dish soap bottle; how can it be harmful?
Unfortunately, there are many harmful ingredients in Dawn dish soap, depending on the product you purchase.
Out of the 17 Dawn products reviewed by EWG, only three scored above a B, and only one received an A rating. Over 50% of the products received a D, and around 30% received a C rating.
The lowest-rated products contain methylisothiazolinone, harmful dyes, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and other toxic compounds.
These ingredients may cause damage to the nervous system, respiratory system, and organs, leading to skin irritation, allergies, or even cancer. If they don’t harm humans, the ingredients are likely to damage waterways, aquatic ecosystems, and marine animals.
So is dish soap toxic?
Yes, conventional dish soap can contain countless harmful ingredients that damage waterways, marine ecosystems, and human health.
Although conventional dish soaps are accessible, convenient, and affordable, the best natural dish soaps are safer for you, your loved ones, and the environment.
Even though we think we’re getting our dirty dishes clean with dish soap, natural ingredients are the only way to ensure they actually are.
How We Chose The Best Natural Dish Soaps
If most conventional dishwasher detergents contain harmful compounds and business practices, how do you know if dish soap is non-toxic?
In other words, what is non-toxic dish soap?
Just as our ethical and sustainable beauty criteria help us pick out the best sustainable beauty brands, we used the following guidelines to suss out sustainable soap brands for beautiful, sparkly clean dishes:
- Non-toxic: Let’s make organic dish soap the norm. Especially since normal dishwashing liquids typically include harmful compounds, like phosphates , sodium lauryl sulfate, and synthetic fragrances, which get into waterways, damaging sensitive ecosystems. We actively look for brands prioritizing plant-based ingredients and biodegradable formulas.
- Cruelty-free and Vegan: We firmly reject any dishwashing liquid or bar products that have been used on animals. Beeswax container pods are one thing, but there is no justification for using animal-derived ingredients, which are, unfortunately, commonly employed as surfactants in cleaning products.
- Palm oil free: We prioritize non-toxic dish detergents without palm oil. In cases where manufacturers utilize palm oil, it is crucial they source it sustainably, such as through certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
- Ethical ingredient sourcing: We value dish soap brands that prioritize the ethical sourcing of their ingredients, ensuring fair practices throughout the supply chain.
- Thoughtful packaging: We prioritize zero waste packaging options that are either compostable or reusable. At the very least, packaging should be recyclable and preferably made from recycled materials.