safe natural dish washing detergents
safe natural dish washing detergents

3 Best Safe Dish Liquid Soaps (SLS-Free, Eco-Friendly)

We may think about what we put inside our bodies and even on our skin (like deodorant), but most of us forget one item in the house that sometimes ends up in both – dishwashing detergents. And not all dishwashing soaps are created equally. As with all products, many manufacturers cut corners to save money and most have little concern about our or our environment’s well-being. You have asked us for recommendations for safe detergents for washing your dishes, so here are 3 best safe & natural dishwashing detergents.

But before we begin, let’s examine what’s lurking in your typical dishwashing liquids.

8 Harmful Ingredients in Conventional Dish Soap

  1. Triclosan – a synthetic chemical that can distrupt natural thyroid and endocrin systems and may be harmful to your hormones as well.
  2. Fragrances – any fragrance mixture can contain a combination of 3,000 different chemicals. Over time, it all adds up.
  3. DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) – hormone disrupting chemicals. Risk of dioxane contamination through regular exposure to these chemicals.
  4. Chlorine (sodium dichloroisocyanurate) – very toxic to environment and listed on 1990 Clean Air Act and EPA’s Community Right to Know lists.
  5. Formaldehyde (methanol, methyl aldehyde, methylene oxide)- a known carcinogen. Often combined with detergents to prevent bacterial contamination. However, higher concentrations of this is toxic for the human body.
  6. Ammonia – an extremely toxic chemical that should be avoided where possible. When combined with bleach it can release eye, respirory tract, and skin damaging fumes.
  7. Phosphates – often added to act as a water softener in water. However, it can cause nutrient pollution and stimulate algae growth, which can lead to eutrophication and harmful algal bloom. Avoid this to keep our environment healthy.
  8. SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) / SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) – used in many products to give its foamy properties and also allows dish soaps to cut through grease. However, this chemical is known to easily absorb through skin and can potentially lead to 1,4-dioxane contamination. It is also known to cause allergic reactions and rashes.

While companies can easily justify that all of these have one function or another, and their amounts are too small to do any damage, drop by drop, it all adds up for our health and our environment. Dish soap is just one of many things we use daily that can impact our health and environment. There is no reason why companies can’t use more natural ingredients to achieve such a simple task such as cleaning dishes.

3 Best Safe Natural Dish Washing Detergents

So here are 3 dish soaps that we recommend. We analyzed hundreds of dishwasher soaps based on several factors, including their impact on environment (recyclable, biodegradable, made using renewable energy), impact on your health (ingredients), and how well they actually work as dishwasher liquid. We had to disqualify some of the most popular like Dr.Bronner’s, Mrs. Meyers, Method, Green Works, Simple Green Naturals and Seventh Generation as they contained one ore more ingredients listed like SLS.

1. Ecos Dishwashing Liquid

Our rating: 4/5

  • Plant-based, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients
  • Packaged in recyclable containers
  • Made with renewable energy

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (coconut-based surfactant), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (coconut-based surfactant), Cocamidopropylamine Oxide (coconut-based surfactant), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Natural Fragrance, Methylisothiazolinone (preservative).

What we love:

Ecos dishmate liquid is manufactured with 100% renewable energy, contains recyclable containers and the dish soap itself contains biodegradable ingredients. It is SLS-free. Doesn’t dry your hands out.

What we don’t:

You need to use more of it and have a bit more patience with it, we also don’t think natural fragrence is needed, but some people enjoy it.

You can buy it here.

2. Better Life Dish Soap

Our rating: 4.5/5

  • Naturally derived and plant-based ingredients
  • Non-toxic, biodegradable
  • Made in USA, with solar energy
  • Sulfate-free, paraben-free
  • Fragrance free

Ingredients: Purified water, potassium soap (natural castile soap), lauryl glucoside (plant derived), coco-glucosides, vegetable glycerin, coco-glucoside citrate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, tocopheryl (vitamin E) acetate, citrus limon (lemon) peel extract, salvia sclarea (clary) extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel extract.

What we love:

From the beginning, it’s made in solar-powered energy, with recyclable materials and biodegradable formula. It is one the few dishs soaps that are SLS free.

What we don’t:

The ingredients list is a bit long and its also a bit less efficient at getting grease out, so may need to use a bit more of it.

You can buy this dish soap here.

3. Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap 

Our rating: 4/5

  • Sulfate-free (SLS, SLES, SCS) , paraben-free, petroleum-free, no animal by-products
  • Non-toxic, biodegradable

Ingredients: Purified Water, Lauryl/Myristyl Glucoside (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (Coconut-Based Cleanser), Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Lauramine Oxide (Coconut-Based Cleanser), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Vegetable Glycerin (Plant-Based Skin Softener), Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Aloe Vera (Plant-Based Skin Softener), Citric Acid (Plant-Based Water Softener), Sodium Citrate (Plant-Based Water Softener), Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate (Plant-Based Cleanser), Natural Fragrance, Benzisothiazolinone (Biodegradable Preservative)

What we love:

It’s free of sulfates, uses plant-based ingredients that are biodegradable, and overall provides a good value.

What we don’t:

This product has many ingredients. Also some of the packaging is plastic #7 which is only recyclable in some centers.

You can buy this product here.