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Products I Like – Non-Toxic Dishwashing Soap

Non-Toxic Dishwashing Soap

Do you know that your everyday dishwashing soap may contain carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane – something that is rated 10 out 10 (10 being the most toxic) by the Environmental Working Group? Additionally, your dishwashing liquid may contain harsh preservatives (some of which are carcinogens), perfumes (that may contain carcinogenic phthalates), sulfates (that may irritate the skin), dyes (that maybe carcinogenic too), questionable emulsifiers and stabilizers? It has been really challenging to find an absolutely non-toxic dishwashing soap, because I wanted to find something not only non-toxic, but something that performs well and that is also affordable. I’ve searched high and low for a while. And finally in this post I will present you with my three top choices of non-toxic dishwashing soap, including a surprising recommendation!


Non-Toxic Dishwashing Soap: Eco-Me Dishwashing Soap, $9.99 for 16 oz


Ingredients: Water, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Caprylyl Capryl Glucoside, Leuconostoc, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Plant Essential Oils

What I Think About Ingredients: The surfactant (aka cleaning agent) used in the formula is called decyl glucoside. It is biodegradable and mild and does not have any impurities. If you have to use a surfactant, in my experience, this is the safestone. This non-toxic dishwashing soap has preservatives that are the safest preservatives available. The liquid is scented with essential oils, and they carry an unscented version too (what I use). I have not found any health or environmental concerns over the stabilizer and solubilizer. All in all, this non-toxic liquid soap is free of petroleum derivatives, is biodegradable, and most likely does not have any contaminants.

What I Think About Performance: I like it! My husband does not love it because it is not overly sudsy, but he is getting used to it. Do not expect tons of suds though. By the way, those questionable surfactants are great at producing suds. But this non-toxic dishwashing liquid does produce enough lather to do the job. If you have super greasy pots and pans (first of all, stop eating that greasy food :)), you might want to soak it in hot soapy water first. I find pre-soaking very helpful and it saves water too. I am able to get my cast iron pan clean after cooking bacon in it. In fact, the other super lathery “soap” damaged my cast iron pans.

Cons: the company was bought out and it is unclear what is next. I was unable to speak to any company representatives, which I normally do before making my recommendation. Also, it is not cheap.

Where to Buy and Cost: 

If you buy a pack of 6, the price is much better.

Dish It Out™ Dish Liquid by Better Life, $6.99 for 22 oz


Ingredients: purified water, potassium cocoate, lauryl glucoside, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, decyl glucoside, glycerin (vegetable), aloe barbadensis leaf extract, tocopherol (vitamin E)

Manufacturing Location: St. Louis, Missouri

What I Think About Ingredients: this non-toxic dishwashing soap contains the family of glucoside surfactants (cleaning agents) and potassium cocoate (which is a saponified coconut oil) that I find the safest. Vitamin E is derived from a natural source, which makes it unlikely to be contaminated with toxic hydroquinone. And here is the interesting part – it contains no preservatives. The company says that that they use very little water – not enough for bacteria to grow.

What I Think About Performance: I like it less than the Eco-me liquid. It does not produce much lather but somehow it works. Interestingly, my husband likes it.

Cons: As they use corn oil, I naturally wanted to know if it is genetically modified. I was told by a company representative that while they try to avoid genetically modified corn, at the moment they do not have sufficient processes in place to assure there are no GMOs used. While it is disappointing, it is a start. (As an aside, the more of us call them and voice our concerns, the sooner they will have those processes in place.) By the way, I like their dishwasher gel a lot.

Where to Buy and Cost: the price is affordable. You can buy it in Whole Foods or Amazon: $5.69 for 22 oz or $5.41 with monthly subscription.

And finally a surprising recommendation….

Non-Toxic Dishwashing Soap:

Coconut Oil Soap with Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $6.99 for 4.25 oz


Ingredients: Saponified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Sodium Cocoate), Distilled Water.

Manufacturing Location: home-based business at their farm in Oklahoma

What I Think About Ingredients: True soaps are made by the process of saponification. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a big fan of true soap. This bar soap is made with only one oil, and the oil is organic. If you want as safe of a product as possible, this product is for you. In addition, this is a good way to avoid plastics.

What I Think About Performance: I would not recommend this soap for washing your body because coconut oil is known to be drying. Coconut oil is added to the blend of oils for making soap because it produces a rich lather. And this is why 100% coconut bar soap is perfect for doing the dishes. This non-toxic dishwashing soap works very well. When I do dishes with it, I remember my childhood. We had two types of bar soaps sold at the store – body and hair soap and household soap. I grew up using a bar soap for doing dishes. I understand that psychologically it might be difficult to use a bar soap but I really wanted to include it in this list of non-toxic dishwashing soap for anybody who wants a toxin-free natural product without a plastic container.

Where to Buy and Cost: this non-toxic dishwashing soap is only sold on the company’s website and there is a standard shipping charge of $5.99

Also, I wanted to add that if you use it, is a good idea to use gloves while doing dishes for at least three reasons – it prevents your skin from drying, it gives you an ability to use hotter water to break down the grease, and prevents your skin from absorbing any chemicals you do not need. I recommend using gloves made of natural rubber. Here is a good option.

In conclusion, I want to encourage you to share in the comments below what you use for doing the dishes. I am constantly on the lookout for non-toxic products so if I like your suggestion, I will update the list of non-toxic dishwashing soap.

Update:  Check out my video about how to do dishes with mustard seed powder.  It really works!


Non-Toxic Dishwashing Soap Options

42 thoughts on “Products I Like – Non-Toxic Dishwashing Soap”

  1. Hi Irina
    Thanks as always for another useful post! I wonder if you could list out some ingredients that you *do not* like, so we can check on the products we use? Is sodium laureth sulfate something to avoid?

    I’ve been using Ecover (aqua, sodium laureth sulfate, lauryl glucoside, lactic acid, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, fragrance, limonene, hydrolyzed wheat protein, citral, aloe barbadensis leaf juice) and just recently tried the Costo/Kirkland brand of “environmentally responsible premium liquid dish soap” which has a bunch of nice labels on it stating tough on grease, biodegradable, naturally derived & recognized for safer chemistry. I recognize this is marketing and not regulated 🙂 – it contains sodium lauryl sulfate, water, lauramine oxide, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium xylenesulfonate, alcohol denat., fragrance, benzisothiazolinone (proprietary), methylchloroisothiazolinone (proprietary), methylisothiazolinone (proprietary), citric acid.

    typing out all these crazy names, I suspect I know what you are going to say… I’m especially curious on your opinion of Ecover as I have been *thinking* I’m using a safe brand all this time and wonder if I really am!


    1. Hi Joy,

      Ecover was tested by the Organic Consumers Association and they found that it is contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. The test was done in 2009 but I have not heard of any changes to the formulation. Here is the link to the test results Sodium Laureth Sulfate is pretty bad one. You can read about it here. I do have a list of ingredients I recommend staying away from. You can see it here. And the Costco “soap” does not look good: fragrance, benzisothiazolinone (proprietary), methylchloroisothiazolinone (proprietary), sodium laureate sulfate are immediate concerns. Have you seen my post about ECOS dishwashing liquid?

      1. Thank you!! Not only are you super-informed, you are very speedy in your response tonight! 🙂 I will give ECOS or one of your other suggestions a try. Appreciate the links to your older articles – I had seen them a while ago but it’s always good to be reminded of the resources on your site.

  2. Hi, one more post — thought I’d share some add’l pricing info from Amazon since these are relatively pricey soaps.

    The Eco-Me soap is available on Amazon at a slightly better price if you buy a 6-pack: $39 plus free shipping.

    And the Better Life soap is available with Amazon’s subscribe and save – bringing it to $4.55/bottle if you purchase enough items to qualify for 20% off.

  3. Oh man! I’ve used Ecover for YEARS also. What a disappointment. I dread trying to clean dishes with these toxic free versions…. but I’d rather not be putting carcinogens in my children’s food. Boo! (Thanks Irina!)

      1. Unfortunately Ava Anderson has been called out as greenwashers due to their labels listing ingredients that are not there and due to the fact that they were using SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE in their products!!!! I’ll never buy from them again and no one should.

  4. I can’t wait to try one or some of these out! Thanks Irina! One item to note for anyone buying the rubber gloves – the small are SMALL! I have what I consider to be normal-sized hands, and I couldn’t get the small on. I’ve bought small in other brands and didn’t have an issue, so just something I wanted to mention! So if you have small hands and always feel other gloves are too big on you, you will likely love these. They fit my mom fine so I’ll just grab a larger pair for myself. 🙂

  5. Thank you again for your amazing research. I can’t remember the source but my mom found that Honest Company’s dish soap was rated pretty good Like a “B”, “A” being the highest. I haven’t read their ingredients or bought it just yet. I’ll have to check EWG’s rating….
    Also, DO NOT wash your cast iron pans. they are to be wiped out with towel or scrubbed with a brush with no soap on it. You can sometimes rinse them but NEVER use soap on them. Not only will it rust them and ruin them but you ruin the natural “seasoning’ They also need to be seasoned, or oiled if you will, every so often.

    1. Hi, Teresa! It is rated C. You can see here. Yes – you are right about cast iron pans. Although the manufacturer’s instructions say that mild soap can be used. Thank you for leaving the note! It is good to hear from you.

  6. Thanks! Ok so it WAS Ewg that she saw it on. It was a long time ago like a year or more ago. Either they changed the formula and then got a lower rating or it was the dishwasher soap. Bummer!

  7. I see where there was a recommendation for a natural rubber glove at one time, but I have been unable to find a link or see where a brand was mentioned. Could you tell me what natural rubber gloves you recommend? Thanks so much!

  8. Hi Irina,
    Thank you for your quick reply! I will be buying the Mama Suds dishwasher detergent and liquid Castile soap to use as hand washing soap in my bathroom. I will definitely share my opinion on both these items as soon as I get a good sense of their effectiveness.
    Thank you for all your great work! It’s very comforting to find some of the products that it has taken me hours upon hours of research to find as recommended on your blog! It gives me a greater piece of mind!

  9. I am just loving your blog. Thank you for all your time and effort that you put in to provide us with all this information. I do not live in the States and a lot of these we do not get here so I rely on a LOT of online shopping at the moment like iHerb etc. I came across the brand Attitude and the dish wash soap rated A on EWG but not all the ingredients are super safe. What do you think of the brand and are there any other brands that you would recommend I check out as this is really important to me to go more Green and Natural? Thanks so much Irina. xxx

  10. I was doing much research and came across Attitude Little Ones Baby Bottle & Dishwashing Liquid Fragrance Free, whose ingredients are: aqua, coco-glucoside, myristyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, sodium chloride, sodium gluconate, sodium citrate.
    Does that look safe? I am trying to find a safe, non-toxic dish soap for the baby’s dishes as well as ours.

    1. Hi, Cynthia: That looks good except that I do not see any preservatives listed. You might want to email them and ask what broad spectrum preservatives they use. Thanks. ~Irina

  11. Hi Irina,
    Thank you so much your wonderful article. I would like to buy coconut oil soap with extra virgin coconut oil to clean my baby’s dishes. Can you please let me know whether it is listed EWG database and it has any other certification for its 100% natural ingredients. Is the performance great on cleaning dishes. Thank you.

  12. Hi Irina,

    Thanks for the work you do on your blog. Are you familiar with Fit Organic dishwasher gel (free and clear)? Ingredients are Water, Organic Alcohol, Organic Glycerin, Organic Guar Gum, Natural Mineral (Potassium Hydroxide), Organic Berry Saponins, Organic Sunflower Oil. Says certified under Oregon Tilth. I have not tried it yet, but am hoping it works.

  13. I tried it last night and used vinegar as my rinse (as I normally do) and they came out perfect. Very clean and the glasses were sparkling. My rinse dispenser only holds enough for each load, so I don’t have to worry about the vinegar eating away at the seals, rubber, etc. I’m really pleased. Some of the others were not available in most of the stores here, but Fit was. I’ll try their laundry detergent and their dish soap as well. I should add that I do rinse my dishes well before they go into the dishwasher and we do not have hard water.

  14. The name of your web “I read labels for you” is genius! Thank you for reading labels for us! :)) sometimes we are too busy to make health conscious choices. It’s very helpful to refer to a source where someone has done the job for you.

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