If you’re like me, you run your dishwasher daily! Dishwashers can be an eco-friendly way to clean dishes as they use far less water than hand washing. According to NRDC, hand washing a full dishwasher’s amount of dishes uses an average of 27 gallons of water. An energy efficient dishwasher uses only 3 gallons.
But it isn’t just water that’s used to clean dishes in a dishwasher. If you value your health and the environment, opt for non toxic dishwasher detergent. Below I have listed the best non toxic dishwasher detergents on the market. I also detailed what ingredients are most important to avoid.
Best Non Toxic Dishwasher Detergent
There are a few factors to consider when searching for the best non toxic dishwasher detergent. I start with brands that disclose all ingredients. Brands are not required to disclose every ingredient in home cleaning products. But it’s difficult to determine how hazardous a cleaning formula is if we don’t know what’s in it!
The list below includes top rated products by the EWG. Each product has been rated an “A” rating for both environmental and human health impact.
No matter what detergent you choose, you need to start with a clean dishwasher for best results. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to clean your dishwasher and dishwasher filter.
- Enzyme rich formula cuts through tough grease and food residue to leave dishes sparkling clean
- Free of fragrances, dyes, phosphates, and chlorine bleach
- Convenient single dose dishwasher pods just toss right into the dishwasher
My husband and I really like using these dishwasher detergent packs. Our dishes come out clean without the use of fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or chlorine bleach. The convenient pods also remove the need to measure any powder or liquid cleaner.
These dishwasher tablets are also a USDA Certified Biobased Product. This means the product contains a USDA-verified amount of renewable biological ingredients. Seventh Generation advertised a 78 percentage.
- Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dishwasher Detergent Powder powers through stuck-on food
- This powerful formula leaves dishes spot-free, streak-free and sparkling clean
- 0% fragrances, dyes or chlorine bleach
I love using Second Generation powder dishwasher detergent. This product cleans dishes without the use of fragrances, dyes or chlorine bleach. It isn’t tested on animals and even works well in hard water households.
I like that this product is packaged in cardboard so the packaging can be composted once the powder has been used. This is the only product on the list that is sold in sustainable, plastic-free packaging. Ultimately it’s a great non toxic, sustainably packaged dishwasher detergent.
- ECO-FRIENDLY - With every spray, pour and pump, Better Life proves that the world's most powerful...
- SPOT-FREE DISHES - Our natural, ultra-concentrated dishwasher gel powers through stubborn stains and...
- SAFER FOR MESS MAKERS - Phosphate-free, bleach-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, preservative-free.
Better Life detergent is made from plant and mineral materials like coconut and corn. This formula is phosphate-free, bleach-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, and preservative-free. I love that each ingredient is clearly denoted along with the source and purpose.
As far as cons go, the brand does suggest that you rinse your dishes before loading. With other conventional detergents, you only need to scrape excess food bits before loading. No rinsing necessary. Rinsing first is typically a waste of water, something that is a disappointing necessity with most non toxic detergents. While this product is green, efficacy might still be a concern.
- Automatic Dishwasher Pcas with High perfomance results.Dishes come out clean and residue-free
- Fragrance-Free Dish Pacs. Made without perfumes, dyes, phosphates, chlorine.
- Made with 96% Naturally derived ingredients from plants and minerals
Nature Clean claims that their formula is made from 96% naturally derived ingredients. Their dishwasher pacs are fragrance free, cruelty free, and vegan certified. They are also septic tank and grey water safe.
Many non toxic dishwasher detergent brands suggest a pre-rinse before loading. This brand is no exception. Either way, this is a fantastic, non toxic dishwasher detergent worth trying.
Ingredients to Avoid in Dishwasher Detergent
I used information provided by the EWG to guide this list. Out of 133 dishwasher detergents reviewed, 22 were given an “F” rating. I looked at the most common, low-scoring ingredients and detailed them below.
I should also note, some of the ingredients below are considered “non-specific.” Brands are not required to list all ingredients in household cleaning products. So some ingredients are bucketed into non-specific terms like “colors” or “binders.” EWG automatically gives these ingredients an F rating. That’s because the brand has not provided adequate hazard data for consumers.
I’ll detail some of the most common specific and non-specific ingredients to avoid below.
Concerns include: government enforceable restrictions. Also general systemic/organ effects, and developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects.
Concerns include: biodegradation, respiratory effects, damage to vision, skin irritation/allergies/damage.
Concerns include: skin irritation/allergies/damage, acute aquatic toxicity, respiratory effects, biodegradation.
Concerns include: developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, respiratory effects.
Concerns include: cancer, digestive system effects, respiratory effects. Also skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to vision.
Concerns include: cancer, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, damage to DNA, respiratory effects. Also, nervous system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage. Plus damage to vision, general systemic/organ effects.
Concerns include: acute aquatic toxicity, chronic aquatic toxicity, general systemic/organ effects.
Concerns include: cancer, general systemic/organ effects, respiratory effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage. Also damage to vision, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, acute aquatic toxicity.
Concerns include: acute aquatic toxicity, respiratory effects, respiratory effects, general systemic/organ effects. Also skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to vision, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects. Lastly, cancer, general systemic/organ effects, nervous system effects, digestive system effects.
Before you go, here are a few more non toxic cleaning posts worth poking through: