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MamaSuds Dishwasher Powder Review

Written by Irina Webb

MamaSuds Dishwasher PowderThis is probably not a newsflash, but most dishwasher detergents including dishwasher powder products can contain ingredients that are not good for us or for the environment. Typically, they fall into four types.


The first type is phosphates. Phosphates leak into water systems and promote the overgrowth of algae, which depletes the water’s oxygen supply, killing off fish.


When a dishwasher detergent is advertised as being “non-toxic” or even “natural,” sometimes all it means is that it is free of phosphates, which is a good step in the right direction.


In addition to phosphates, manufacturers often use chlorine and sulfuric acid. These harmful chemicals can release fumes during the drying cycle.


Preservatives are the next group of ingredients of which to be wary. Benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone are the most common preservatives in liquid detergents.  The EPA cautions against their use in food, and here we are using them to wash our dishes.


And lastly, manufacturers often use synthetic fragrance. As you may know, in the U.S., manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients in fragrance, which are usually closely guarded trade secrets.


I searched high and low and found a number of dishwasher detergents that don’t contain these culprits.


However, in addition to knowing the ingredients in the detergent, it is also important to know how the detergent is made. This is because the process of ethoxylation (i.e. using ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen) can result in product contaminated with 1,4-dioxane (which is linked with cancer), and you won’t find either ethylene oxide or 1,4-dioxane on the label. For example, Seventh Generation detergents contain ethoxylated ingredients.


So I narrowed my search to those products that avoided the above problem ingredients and were not made by the process of ethoxylation.



Over the years, I have tried many dishwasher detergents and learned that if a dishwasher detergent does not contain ethoxylated ingredients, chances are that it won’t work very well.


With this said, you can probably imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered MamaSuds Automatic Dishwasher Powder. It works well, leaving the dishes clean, sparkly, and without any white film. And it is made with only 4 simple safe ingredients.


Michelle, the founder of MamaSuds®, spent 2 years figuring out how to make a safe dishwasher powder that works. And I am glad that she did not give up in the process so now we can enjoy a product that we can use without wondering how much of its residue we are ingesting or how it impacts the environment.


MamaSuds Automatic Dishwasher Powder Ingredients


Non-GMO Citric Acid: Citric acid is often derived from GMO corn, but Michelle made sure that the citric acid she uses is made from non-GMO corn. Citric acid is safe – it is added to store-bought tomato sauces and other foods to add a sour flavor and to help with preservation. It is considered safe – in small quantities of course.


Sodium Bicarbonate: is also known as baking soda – also safe.


Sodium Percarbonate: is prepared from hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen so all you are left with is sodium carbonate, which we talk about next. So while it is not a food grade ingredient, it does not leave any concerning residue (source).


Sodium Carbonate: aka washing soda or soda ash, is a white odorless powder; it can be irritating to the lungs if inhaled (so don’t do it!) and it can make you very sick if eaten in large quantities (as can a lot of other things); however, it is not known to be harmful to the environment and it is rated 1 on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being most toxic) in the Skin Deep database with a fair amount of data.


In fact, MamaSuds dishwasher detergent is rated in the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Guide to Healthy Cleaning and received the highest rating – an “A.” Sometimes, a product can be rated “A” in the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, while not all individual ingredients are rated A. Here, every ingredient is rated A and two out of four are food-grade. After reading ingredients of so many dishwasher detergents, I can say with confidence that this is the cleanest product I have seen. Now let’s talk about its performance.


MamaSuds Automatic Dishwasher Powder Performance

MamaSuds Dishwasher Powder

I rinse leftovers of food off the dishes. Per instructions, it says to use 0.5 to 2 scoops in the dishwasher dispenser, depending on how big the load is. Initially, I used 1 scoop and it worked great. I also used vinegar in the rinse aid compartment. The dishes came out clean.   Then, I decided to use only 0.5 scoop and the dishes came out clean too – amazing!


Where to Buy MamaSuds Automatic Dishwasher Powder


You can buy on with the coupon IRLFY10 and you will receive 10% storewide.


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21 thoughts on “MamaSuds Dishwasher Powder Review”

  1. Where can I find this brand in Europe? Is there any equivalent brand that you know? Thank you for this valuable review.

    1. Hi Aylin. Contact the company directly, I did and they worked out a price for shipping it to me here in the Middle East. They just need to know how much of which items you would like to order. Will be placing my order soon. Hope that helps

  2. Hi there, I love the Mama Sud dishwasher soap. I kind of tricked myself into thinking the allegedly big names are ok to use.. all the more I am relieved to now wash wish crystal clear conscience. The detergent is very efficient and you can wash a lot of machines with it. The dishes and glasses come out clean. I also ordered a trial laundry detergent (like it) and the anti ageing creme – which smells delicious.

  3. I am going to be trying this out ASAP… But I was wondering if there is a safe Rinse Aid that I can also invest in as we live in an EXTREMELY hard water area?

  4. The MaSuds products look good and it is wonderful that the laundry soap is simple, safe and unscented! There’s a site at for chemically sensitive people. They have a list of many safe products that work. MamaSuds products etc., may be a good fit and could potential help many people.

  5. We seem to have issues with the powder not dispensing all the way during a cycle and therefore, our dishes not getting fully clean or rinsed. Any suggestions?

  6. Hi Irina,

    I love MamaSuds Castile Soap! I tried her dishwasher powder as I too was thrilled to find something so natural. With that said I am sad that the dishwasher powder did not work for my water type. I tried all of the “tricks” that Michelle the owner of MamaSuds suggested to try and adjust to my water type. However, I was not successful 🙁
    In my quest for another alternative I found the following brand at my local grocery store and I want to know what you think: the brand is Full Circle and the auto dishwasher packs are free and clear and the ingredients are: non ionic surfactants and citric acid.

    They have worked very well but before I continue using I would like to know they are indeed safe. I tried to do some research on them but they are not on the EWG database and I did not even find them listed on the company’s webpage.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi, Maria: It is nice to hear from you. Are the only ingredients listed non-ionic surfactants and citric acid? California just signed a law requiring companies to disclose ingredients of cleaning products so there should be better disclosure soon. When it says “non-ionic surfactants,” they simply name a category, which does not tell us much. ~Irina

  7. I too had the same issues with the Mamasuds dishwasher powder not cleaning my dishes because of my hard water even after doing her recommended tips. I since have fallen back on Lemi Shine dishwasher pods along with Lemi Shine booster for hard water and it really works. I just get concerned about any harmful residue left since they feel almost slippery after a load so I always rinse myself with hot water by hand which is a pain but I haven’t found any non-toxic dishwasher packs that actually work in hard water. The Lemi Shine Booster ingredients: natural citric extracts and citrus oils. The Lemi Shine Dishwashing Detergent Pods, Powder & Gel Combo ingredients: Biodegradable surfactants, citrus oils, sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium sulfate, sodium silicate, chelating agents, enzymes and natural citric extracts. Does this look bad or clean?

    1. Hi, Cynthia: The ingredients of the Lemi Shine dishwasher pods are not disclosed. When it says “biodegradable surfactants” and “chelating agents,” it is naming ingredients categories, not ingredients. It is like saying “vegetables” or “grains.” Have you tried Better Life gel? ~Irina

    2. We too have very hard water and I have found that adding a small amount (approximately 1/4 teaspoon) of the two ingredient natural Lemi Shine Booster in one side of the detergent dispenser and a small amount of powdered Lifekind detergent beside it works well if I set our dishwasher on the heavy cycle. I do not think the Lifekind has the safest ingredients, but it is working for now until I find something better. Better Life gel did not work for me, but I haven’t tried it in combination with the Lemi Shine. I set our machine to “no rinse aid” also and do not use any rinse aid.

  8. Two questions: 1) How does the MamaSuds laundry detergent fare? Is it as clean as the dish detergent? 2) I did a bunch of research into dish detergent and am trying “A Better Life Dishwasher Gel” because it’s affordable and Amazon Prime carries it – can you tell me if it’s truly non-toxic? It definitely has more than 4 ingredients, they are: Potassium cocotte (natural Castile soap), purified water, sodium citrate (mineral derived), coco-glucoside (plant derived), sodium silicate (mineral derived), decal glucoside (plant derived), quillaja saponaria bark (soap bark) extract, glycerine (vegetable), sorbitan oleate (plant derived), natural enzyme blend (less than 5%), citric acid.
    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi, Jennifer: thank you for your questions. In my opinion, Meliora makes the safest laundry detergent and there is no plastic packaging, which is a huge plus. Personally, I try to reduce plastic as much as I can. If Meliora does not work for you for some reason, you can certainly go for MamaSuds laundry detergent. MamaSuds uses sodium borate, which at very oral high doses may cause testicular atrophy, impaired fetal skeletal development, and decreased birth weight in animals. In Europe, sodium borate and boric acid are not allowed to be used on peeling or irritated skin or in products for children under 3 years due to absorption concerns. However, I believe it is okay to use sodium borate at a small concentration in a laundry detergent especially considering that if you have very hard water and need to resort to it for better results. Most conventional laundry detergents have much worse offenders to worry about. 2.) I used to use A Better Life Dishwasher Gel before I discovered MamaSuds. Yes, the ingredients are fine. However, it is not clear what preservatives they use. When I called them they said that they use a very small amount of water so preservatives are not needed. However, they list water at the beginning of the list, which should mean that water is not used in a small quantity. I wish I could speak with somebody behind the customer service but it did not happen… Plus, again plastic bottles… What do you think? Does this help? ~Irina

  9. Thanks Irina for all that you do. I was wondering have you looked into the Nature Clean line for dishes and rinse aid?

    Their dishwashing PACs ingredients are: Ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Carbonate Peroxide, Sodium Silicate, Zeolite, Sodium Polyaspartate, Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Metasilicate, Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate, Enzyme Blend, Poly Vinyl Alcohol (water soluble film)

    The rise aid ingredients are: Aqua/Water/Eau, Decyl Glucoside, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Iminodisuccinate

    What rinse aid do you recommend? We have hard water and stainless steel inside the dish washer.

    How about MADE OF Foaming Dish & Bottle Soap? The ingredients are: Aqua, ORGANIC Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, ORGANIC Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, ORGANIC Glycerin, ORGANIC Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, ORGANIC Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol, Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract

    I also have a friend looking for gluten free, corn free, coconut free dish soap. Any suggestions come to mind?

    Thank you again for making such knowledge available to the untrained masses! It is truly appreciated.

  10. Hi Irina! I am also wondering about non toxic rinse aids, and would appreciate it if you could drop a recommendation!

  11. My water is too hard for mamasuds.
    However, I THINK mygreenfills/trulyfree dishwasher soap is clean? I can’t see any of the specific no ingredients, and it works well in my hard water. I would like to know I’m choosing an actually clean company though.


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