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Plastic-Free Living

10 Natural Alternatives to Dish Soap

January 30, 2024

Whether you ran out of dish soap and the stores are closed, or you just want to try another method to cleaning your dishes, here are some natural alternatives to dish soap that will still get your dishes clean.

Toxic Chemicals Found in Dish Soap

Commercial dish soaps and detergents often contain various chemicals, some of which may be considered toxic or irritating to humans and the environment. Here are some common toxic chemicals found in traditional dish soaps and detergents:

  1. Phthalates: Phthalates are often used as fragrance carriers in dish soaps. They have been linked to various health concerns, including disruptions to the endocrine system.
  2. Triclosan: Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that was once common in dish soaps. It has been associated with environmental and health concerns, and many manufacturers have phased it out of their products.
  3. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives may be present in some dish soaps. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can cause respiratory and skin irritation.
  4. Ethanolamines (MEA, DEA, TEA): These chemicals are used as emulsifiers and can react with other ingredients to form potentially harmful substances. They may also be associated with skin and eye irritation.
  5. Chlorine Bleach: Some dishwashing detergents contain chlorine bleach, which can release harmful fumes and may be irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

When creating Blueland, we formulated our products with people and the planet in mind. Our products have received the EPA Safer Choice Seal and have been Cradle to Cradle certified for safety.

10 Natural Alternatives to Dish Soap and Detergent

While traditional dish soap is effective for cleaning dishes, there are natural alternatives that you can consider. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of these alternatives may vary, and it's always a good idea to test them on a small scale before using them extensively. Here are some natural alternatives to dish soap:

  1. Castile Soap: Castile soap is a plant-based soap made from vegetable oils. It is gentle and can be used for various cleaning purposes, including washing dishes. (You've probably heard of Dr. Bronner's)
  2. Baking Soda: Baking soda is a versatile cleaning agent. It can help remove grease and grime from dishes. Mix it with water to form a paste or sprinkle it directly on dishes and scrub.
  3. White Vinegar: White vinegar has natural antibacterial properties and can help cut through grease. Mix it with water to create a cleaning solution for your dishes.
  4. Lemon Juice: The acidity of lemon juice makes it effective in cutting through grease and removing odors. It also leaves a fresh citrus scent. Mix it with water to create a cleaning solution.
  5. Salt: Salt can be used as a gentle abrasive to help scrub dishes. It's especially useful for removing stuck-on food. This works especially well with boiling water to remove burnt-on bits.
  6. Cornstarch: Mix cornstarch with a bit of water to create a paste that can be used for cleaning dishes. It can help remove stains and leave dishes shiny.
  7. Coconut Oil: While it might seem counterintuitive, coconut oil can be used to break down grease on dishes. However, it's important to note that it may leave a residue, so use it sparingly.
  8. DIY Dish Soap: You can make your own dish soap using a combination of natural ingredients like grated castile soap, water, and essential oils.
  9. Blueland Dishwasher Tablets: Did you know Blueland makes
    plastic-free dishwasher detergent tablets
    ? They have all of the cleaning power of a liquid detergent packed into a solid, dry, single-dose tablet so you can pop it in your dishwasher and hit start. Not only are the ingredients better for you, it's also the most sustainable way to wash your dishes.
  10. Blueland Dish Soap: Don't have a dishwasher or need something for those hand wash only items? Blueland also makes a
    powder dish soap
    made with plant-based and planet-friendly ingredients. All of the power, non of the plastic waste.

Remember to be cautious when combining ingredients, and always spot-test a small area before using a new cleaning solution extensively. Additionally, these natural alternatives may not produce as many suds as commercial dish soaps, but they can still effectively clean your dishes.


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