Environmentally Friendly Dishwasher Detergents

What you need to know about dishwasher detergents that do the job and are good for the environment

Environmentally Friendly Dishwasher Detergents

Many dishwasher detergents might do a great job cleaning your china and flatware, but they aren't so great for the environment. Like many cleaning activities, dishwasher detergents can have their own impact on the earth. In fact, the feds banned any commercial dishwashing detergents that contain phosphates.

You may have tried doing your dishes by making use of phosphate-free detergents. However, you've read that these also encourage algae growth. This creates another set of issues as it would threaten aquatic plants and fish. What would be the best solution?

Non-toxic dishwasher detergents

Besides being user-friendly to the environment and your home, what are some of the common traits of good dishwasher detergent?

First, it needs to get the job done correctly. What is the use of spending your money if the dishes are not spotless? Top-quality detergents make it super easy to get rid off food buildup and everyday messes one would experience after enjoying a meal.

Second, one should pay attention to detergents that have fragrances as these are generally made up of a host of ingredients, in the hundreds, of which some are not even mentioned on the labels as the manufacturers guard them. What comes to mind is Phthalates as they can be found in synthetic and natural fragrances as it ensures the scents last for longer. However, this ingredient is linked to some severe health problems, which include hormone disruption. It can lead to endocrine disruption, allergies, and even asthma.

What are some environmentally friendly alternatives?

Based on the issues mentioned earlier, many are now turning to single-dose detergents that are made available as tablets, packs, and pods. It doesn't get any easier than just taking one out at a time, placing it in your dishwasher, and starting your machine.

Single-dose packs are not only environmentally friendly but also very economical as there will be less wastage when filling your dishwasher. However, it turns out that the cost per serving is higher than using powers or gels.

Some of the newer brands have taken it one step further by taking an all-natural approach by offering a cleaning formula that is free from fragrances and any synthetic ingredients.

The way these dosages work is by using enzymes to eat through any mess and doing so continually while your machine is busy washing cutlery, cups, and other dishes. All it contains is the scent of lemons.

Why is eco-friendly dishwashing detergent necessary?

If we use dishwashers to clean our dishes, then we can potentially cause indoor air pollution. We need to preserve the health of our families and take care of the environment by taking the necessary precautions.

Following are two reasons why we need to opt for natural dishwashing detergents:

  1. Many of the more popular brands contain chlorine bleach, which can result in various respiratory problems. The fumes are released in the air while your dishwasher is running through the drying cycle. There are various safer alternatives we would rather use.
  2. Regular dishwashing detergents contain sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive and can trigger asthma and cause burns.

Choose natural dishwasher detergents

Make use of natural detergents as they can be remarkably efficient at cleaning your dishes without any harm done to the environment or your health. You can help them do a more effective job by scraping away any leftover food before placing the dishes in your dishwasher.

Following are three reasons why it makes sense to use natural detergents for your dishwasher:

  1. Biodegradable: What this means is the detergent is all natural and made from plant-based ingredients that break down very quickly without any harmful effects.
  2. No artificial fragrance: The dish detergents are non-toxic and any scents used are made from essential oils.
  3. Ingredients are listed: With natural products, all the ingredients they use are fully disclosed. This is unusual as many cleaning product manufacturers are not obliged by law to list their ingredients.

It is a very serious matter to make use of dishwasher detergents that contain harmful chemicals. In South Korea, for instance, more than 100 people have died by using certain humidifier disinfectants during a ten year period.

While we are not advocating that people will die from using non-natural detergents, the health hazards are real, and so are the effects on our environment.

Next time you visit your nearest grocer, looking for environmentally friendly dishwasher detergent, you may want to pay attention to the online product guidelines regarding which brands are non-toxic and free from harmful fragrances.

Resources—Force of Nature, Ethical Consumer, Green Growing