My Favorite Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent
Just like other conventional cleaning and household products, traditional dishwasher detergents are full of toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals can be incredibly harmful to your health. They may lead to chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalance, brain fog, immune health issues, brain health issues, mental health problems, reproductive and fertility issues, and other health challenges. Many of the ingredients are carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins.
Traditional dishwasher detergents can also be hard on your dishwasher. They can also leave grime and detergent residue in your dishwasher. This makes cleaning more challenging and the lifespan of your dishwasher shorter. Fortunately, there are better options. You can find non-toxic dishwasher detergents that are safer for your health, better for the environment, safer for your dishwasher, and easier on your wallet. I bet you are curious.
In this article, I will go over the problems with traditional dishwasher detergent. I will go over the top 8 most common toxic ingredients in traditional dishwasher detergent. I will offer some safe, non-toxic ingredients to look for in better dishwasher detergent alternatives. Finally, I will share my favorite non-toxic natural dishwasher detergent I use at home.
Problems with Traditional Dishwasher Detergent
Using your dishwasher can save you time and energy. But if you are not using the right dishwasher detergent, it may also be risky for your health. Conventional household cleaning products are full of chemicals and toxins.
Traditional dishwasher detergents are no exception. Chemicals and toxins in traditional dishwasher detergents may cause mild to acute health issues, including skin problems and mild allergies.
Ongoing exposure to chemicals and toxins in traditional dishwasher detergent or other conventional cleaning products may lead to chronic symptoms and chronic or serious health consequences, including immune health issues, brain fog, mental health issues, fertility and reproductive issues, hormonal imbalance, and even cancer (1, 2).
Endocrine disruptors mimic your hormones and can result in hormonal imbalances and problems, including menstrual issues, infertility, miscarriage, and cancer. Neurotoxins can affect your brain health, leading to migraines, headaches, brain fog, concentration issues, memory problems, and mental health challenges.
- Allergic reactions, including respiratory issues, wheezing, watery eyes, redness, swelling, skin reactions, or anaphylaxis
- Respiratory issues, such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and coughing
- Asthma attacks or other lung issues
- Headaches or migraines
- Brain fog
- Other brain health symptoms, including poor memory and difficulty concentrating
- Digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion
- Chronic pain
- Autoimmune issues
- Chronic inflammation and related chronic health issues
- Hormonal issues, including PMS, heavy periods, skipping menstrual periods, infertility, miscarriage, low libido, and thyroid dysfunction
- Mental health challenges, including ADHD-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety
Besides health issues, traditional dishwasher detergents can also be hard on your dishwasher. They can also leave grime and detergent residue in your dishwasher. This makes cleaning more challenging. A dirty dishwasher leads to dirty dishes. It can also lead to technical issues and reduce the lifespan of your dishwasher shorter.
Fortunately, you can find non-toxic dishwasher detergents that are safer for your health, better for the environment, safer for your dishwasher, and easier on your wallet. But before I get into these better options, I want to go over the top 8 toxins that can harm your health in traditional dishwasher detergent.
Top 8 Toxins in Traditional Dishwasher Detergent
So what toxins and harmful chemicals do you need to watch out for when buying a dishwasher detergent? The top 8 toxins in traditional dishwasher detergents include formaldehyde, phthalates, dyes and fragrances, ethanolamines, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, triclosan, and chlorine. Let’s take a look at them:
Formaldehyde is a preservative that is added to detergents to prevent any bacterial contamination. However, formaldehyde is a toxic irritant and can be harmful to the human body, especially in large quantities. It is a known carcinogen. Spotting it on your dishwasher detergent can be difficult since it may appear under different names.
Common names to look for include methanol, methyl aldehyde, methylene oxide, bronopol, diazolidinyl urea, disteardimonium hectoride, imidazolidinyl urea, methylene glycol, nitromethylidynetrimethanol, and quaternium-15.
Phthalates are used as a water-softening mineral. They serve as fertilizers in water. However, they can be incredibly harmful to not only humans but also marine life. If there are too high levels in the water, it may lead to oxygen depletion and may promote the growth of toxic algae.
Phthalates are also endocrine disruptors that may lead to hormonal, developmental, brain, reproductive, and other problems. Phthalates are commonly found in synthetic fragrances and any cleaning and household products made with them.
Dyes & Fragrances
Dyes and fragrances are commonly added to traditional dishwasher detergent and other cleaning products, including dish soap and laundry detergent. You may know many of them through their color name, including Yellow-5 and FD&C Blue.
Dyes tend to include various irritation compounds, including benzidine, which is a known carcinogen substance. Dyes may also increase the risk of hyperactivity and mood disorders. Due to health reasons, many dyes are banned in countries outside the US.
Fragrances are a mix of substances that are a mix of up to 3,000 different chemicals. They don’t stay in dishwasher detergents and other cleaning products but may make it onto your spoons, forks, plates, and cups. This means that you may digest them, which can lead to all kinds of health issues.
Ethnanolaimnes are a group of amino acids that include DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine). They are antihistamines and are used as foaming agents in dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, dish soap, and all-purpose cleaners.
They are also known as carcinogens and neurotoxins. They may cause allergies, irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, throat, and lungs, headaches, drowsiness, and vertigo.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a polymer created from ethylene oxide and is an anti-redeposition agent. When used in laundry, PEG can penetrate clothes and clean them more deeply, preventing dirt from re-propositioning. In dishwasher detergent, it may allow for better cleaning.
It is a chemical that is synthetic and degrades very slowly. It may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. It may produce byproducts contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and/or ethylene oxide, which can be carcinogenic and toxic.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfates
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are types of chemicals that make dishwasher detergents, dish soap, and other similar cleaning products foamy. It helps the product to cut through and remove grease.
Now, flames and bubbles can be nice and fun, especially for kids. But when they absorb through your skin, they can cause 1,4-dioxane contamination and can be quite harmful. They may cause red skin, rashes, irritation, and other allergic reactions.
Triclosan is a synthetic chemical with all kinds of health risks. It is added to dishwasher detergent and dish soaps for antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal benefits to clean your dishes and reduce the risk of microbial infections.
That may sound good, but triclosan can also disrupt your hormonal health, endocrine system, and thyroid health. It may also be partially responsible for the growth of so-called ‘superbugs’ because it can bioaccumulate in your body.
Chlorine is also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate. You may know it as a substance added to pool water to make it clean. It is also added to dishwasher detergents and other cleaning products for the same purpose.
However, it can be incredibly toxic to fish. It may release into the air leading to allergies and other health issues. And you may absorb it through the skin or ingest it when left on plates. It is even listed on the EPA’s Community Right-To-Know list and in the 1990 Clean Air Act.
Non-Toxic Compounds to Use
When looking for a non-toxic dishwasher detergent, avoid traditional products. Read the ingredients for the above-mentioned and any other toxic chemicals. Avoid any synthetic fragrances or dyes. Look for natural and eco-friendly products. When looking at the ingredient list, look for these non-toxic compounds that are safe to use without harming your health:
Citric acid is concentrated from lemon peels. It is a safe and natural compound to look for in dishwasher detergent.
It helps to break down hard water and balance pH levels which can help the dishwasher detergent work better. Citric acid can remove any grime and grease. It also helps to remove microbes and mold.
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a fantastic natural cleaning product for all kinds of purposes. It can help to remove stains and grease. It helps to neutralize odors.
Mixed with water, you can also use it instead of a dish soap or clean the surface of your kitchen and bathroom.
Sodium acetate or organic salt is another great ingredient in non-toxic dishwasher detergent. It is a great ingredient for removing stains.
It is a particularly great option for metal surfaces. It may help to inhibit the growth of microbes and mold. If you are making a water-baking soda mix to make your own cleaning products, you can add some organic salt or other salts to make it more effective.
Sodium citrate from mineral salt may be an excellent option for heavy-duty non-toxic dishwasher detergent. It can sequester positively charged calcium and magnesium ions from tap water, making it safer.
Thanks to this ingredient, you need less dishwasher detergent to get the same results. It works even with shorter cycles, which saves money and energy and is better for our environment too.
Sodium chloride from table salt is another great ingredient to look for in non-toxic dishwasher detergents. Salts have ionic qualities. This helps to absorb any stains. One quick tip: if you drop something greasy, just pour some table salt over it.
It can help to absorb the grease and remove stains even from carpeting. In non-toxic dishwasher detergents, beyond removing grease and stains, it also helps to kill and reduce the growth of microbes.
Introducing Truly Free Dishwashing Detergent
You may be wondering how to find a good non-toxic dishwasher detergent. Look no more, I have a great option for you. I recommend Truly Free Dishwasher Detergent. We used it at home with my family. My wife, Angel and I both love it. It cleans effectively. We feel safer using natural cleaning products, especially with four little ones around. We always recommend this product to friends and family, and I recommend it to my clients in my practice.
This is a non-toxic dishwasher detergent that helps to remove grease, grime, stains, gunk, foul odor, and hard water. You don’t have to worry about gunk, dirty dishwashers, and dirty dishes that need to be washed even after a heavy cycle. No need for scrubbing either, trust me. It saves time and protects your health.
There are no toxins, only natural ingredients. It’s safe for your health, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, plant-based, dye-free, fragrance-free, and packed in recyclable plastic. It is free of synthetic fragrances but provides a hint of fresh lemon smell thanks to the concentrate from lemon peels.
It supports dishwasher efficiency and lifespan. It is affordable. Since you will need less detergent and can run shorter cycles with the same results, you will also save money while protecting your health and the planet. What are you waiting for? Try Truly Free Dishwasher Detergent yourself now and get 50 free loads of dishwashing detergent + free shipping on your order.
Traditional dishwasher detergents are full of toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals can be incredibly harmful to your health. Many of the ingredients are carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins. They may increase the risk of chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalance, brain fog, immune health issues, brain health issues, mental health problems, reproductive and fertility issues, and other health challenges.
Fortunately, there are better, non-toxic dishwasher detergent options out there. They are safer for your health, better for the environment, safer for your dishwasher, and easier on your wallet. I recommend that you choose non-toxic dishwasher detergents and non-toxic cleaning products in your home to protect your health and our environment.
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