What Is Natural Dish Soap?
You’ve probably seen natural dish soap in the isles of your health food store, but what is natural dish soap, really?
Does it work?
What are its benefits?
And is it right for you?
This post answers these and other questions.
But to better understand what natural dish soap is, let’s find out more about regular dish soap.
What’s in conventional dish soap?
If you’re using conventional dish soap, then your ingredients list will look something like this:
The “score” on the right refers to the ingredient’s safety, according to the Environmental Working Group.
If you look up the individual ingredients in conventional dish soap, you’ll find warnings like these:
Some concern for asthma, skin allergies, irritation, environmental pollution… Sound good?
And this isn’t even the worst example; it was one ingredient from one product that we selected at random.
It’s from a humdrum, run-of-the mill, conventional dish soap that millions of consumers use every day. Most likely a brand that you’ve used too at some point.
Here’s why you should be concerned:
Why harsh ingredients should worry you
Most municipal water in the US is hard water.
Hard water includes healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Groundwater acquires these minerals from the surrounding rocks as it makes its way through the ground.
Wondering whether you live in a hard or soft water area? Here’s a map that will show you.
The distinction between hard and soft water is important.
Because hard water leaves behind minerals on your dishes.
And conventional dish soap, with its toxic ingredients, tends to cling to the minerals, with all of these things ending up on your freshly washed dishes, where they dry.
Come mealtime, these toxins are still on your dishes and get picked up by the moisture of your food.
Hitchhiking on your food, the dish soap enters your body, your bloodstream, your organs… you get the idea.
Here’s what some of the most common ingredients in conventional dish soap can do to your health:
Some of the most concerning ingredients have the most innocuous-sounding names: “Color” and “fragrance”.
They sound so simple, right? You wouldn’t expect them to be of great concern.
But unfortunately, these two ingredients are unregulated. The US government allows the manufacturers of dish soap and other products to protect them as a trade secret.
This means that a manufacturer can hide as many chemicals behind these terms as they please.
Up to 3,000 of them.
Remember the fragrance screenshot from before? Here it is again:
See at the bottom where it says this ingredient can be found in 1,945 products?
Better steer clear of any products or brand that don’t fully disclose its ingredients.
Now you know what’s in conventional dish soap.
So let’s move on to natural dish soap.
What is genuinely natural dish soap made of?
When you look at natural dish soap you’ll find a totally different picture.
Here’s an example of what we mean:
See the difference? Just 6 ingredients: castor oil, lavender oil, water, glycerin, coconut oil, and potassium carbonate (what your great-grandmother knew as potash), an ingredient that’s safe enough to eat.
You can easily understand what’s inside the product, and the ingredients are safe. None of them have health, environmental, or disclosure concerns.
Just a pure product that gets the job done, with no side effects.
Watch this video to learn more:
And genuinely natural dish soap works.
Want proof? Here’s what people have to say about it:
Here’s one more happy customer:
And one more:
Genuinely natural dish soap works great. It gets your dishes just as clean as conventional dish soap does. And all without the nasty chemicals.
So everything’s perfect, right?
Not so fast.
There’s one vital thing to watch out for when buying natural dish soap.
Not all natural dish soaps are equal
Not by a long shot.
Natural or “green” products have become very popular.
While this is a great sign that people are valuing their health and the environment, there’s also a downside:
Brands have started to “greenwash” products that are anything but natural.
Conventional dish soap brands started adding a few natural ingredients to their formulas, and began marketing them as “healthy” and “green”.
This makes shopping for truly natural dish soap more challenging.
Here’s what we mean.
Check out this excerpt of an ingredient list we found in the EWG database:
Do these look like conventional or natural product ingredients?
Looks like a conventional dish soap, right?
Unfortunately, these ingredients are from a product that markets itself as a “natural” dish soap brand.
And yet you see lots of chemicals in the ingredient list-- and along with them, lots of concerns.
The brand whose ingredient list is pictured above (Citra Solv) is no outlier. Other dish soap brands that have cultivated a “natural” and “green” image – brands like Seventh Generation, Babyganics, J.R. Watkins, and Mrs. Meyer’s – are just as bad.
Is that what you expect from a natural dish soap?
We don’t think so.
So, is this where you throw in the towel?
No need to. Here’s an easy solution:
As you’ve seen, we’ve used plenty of screenshots throughout this post. They come from an awesome database that will make it easy for you to judge whether a product is truly natural, or if a brand is trying to fool you.
Simply head over to the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
You can look up the ingredients of pretty much any dish soap this is.
Here’s a quick warning:
If you’re the health-conscious type, you might get shocked at what you’ve been putting on your dishes.
A truly natural dish soap uses natural ingredients.
There should be no hidden surprises in the ingredient list. --Meaning, no toxic chemicals that you’d expect to find in conventional dish soaps.
Just an honest product that keeps you and your loved ones safe, and your dishes clean.
If you’re ready to do some truly natural dish-washing, here’s where you can buy the most natural dish soap there is.
(When you make a purchase from links in this post we might receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)