1/21/20 Cleaning Up Our Act – Dishes

My mission: natural products that are truly safe for the whole family.

https://www.ewg.org/guides/ -the site for research. Keep in mind that this is a .org site. I try to be careful when I trust things on the internet, and I try to use .org whenever I can!

My fight against toxic products continues in the kitchen. We are embracing this CLEAN makeover as a journey. A slow, steady journey; swapping one product at a time. This past week I researched all things DISH WASHING. No, we don’t apply dish washing detergent directly to our bodies, but all of us have dishes and we all must wash them. Here is where my research took me:

Dish Washing Soap

We know that our skin is semi-permeable and it’s an entry point for toxins. So if we soak our dishes, we are also soaking our hands. This is a problem that can be solved two ways. First, purchasing gloves crossed my mind. But these chemicals are still toxic to the environment, and don’t really “go away” when they go down the drain. Since I am in the business of replacing (not adding) I decided that replacing is what I would do, and I found a suitable replacement for my toxic dish soap.

I had been using Dawn Free & Gentle Liquid Dish Soap. I know that you know what is coming next. Every time I mention a big-box brand with a product description like “free & gentle” it turns out to be toxic. This is no different, Grade of D. Why? There are six problematic ingredients. “Fragrance” is one. (yes, on the front of the bottle, the description under FREE and GENTLE says “No dyes or strong perfumes.” So there you go.) The other questionable ingredients include PPG-26-BUTETH-26 (possible organ system toxicity), Phenoxyethanol (especially dangerous for infants), and one of our #1 problem makers- Methylisothiazolinone. This last one is the hardest to get rid of. I’ll mention it again later.
After doing my research online, I spent a morning at Target and Whole Foods to see how difficult it is to purchase natural dish soap. The answer- not difficult! Well, at Target, anyway. I found a decent sized area of “natural” dish soaps. The best is pictured below: Puracy Natural Dish Soap. Rated: A

Target, in Glenview

What I found at Whole Foods was pretty interesting. They had a smaller section of dish soaps to choose from because they already vet their products. Seventh Generation, 365 Dish Soap and Mrs. Meyers didn’t get the grades I expected. A common chemical is the Methylisothiazolinone I mentioned above. This is found in a lot of products that don’t make the cut, and it’s known for triggering eczema and causing mild irritation, itchiness, redness. All things that I am not interested in happening to my hands. Especially because I already found a great product- Puracy. Method Dish Soap is another brand, but all of the options were scented and yep, you guessed it. The “fragrance” ingredient is present (along with a few others, the same as most of the other natural dish soaps.) While a switch to any natural dish soap is a step in the right direction, my research has lead me to personally choose this dish soap:

Puracy Natural Dish Soap

  • Target Stores $4.99 for 16 fl oz
  • Amazon Prime $14.99 for a 3 pack

What about Dishwasher Detergent?

This one was tougher for me. The nature of the rinse cycle is that it rinses the chemicals off the dishes. So, I thought, is it really necessary to use an all natural product for this, since, in theory, none of the chemicals are coming in contact with myself or my children? The easy answer is, yes, because it’s better for the environment. But that is not specifically what this search is about, so I dug deeper. Will it really affect my family if I continue to use my Cascade Dishwasher Gel? (Graded F by ewg.org) Well, dishwashers are a surprisingly big source of indoor air pollution because we end up inhaling chemical vapors during the wash cycle and even more so after we open the door when the dishes are done. So the short answer is, yes, this matters and I easily found a good and accessible alternative.

My pick for Dish Washing Detergent I was able to find at Target & Whole Foods:

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent is available in powder or packs, both Graded A. The Dishwasher GEL is Graded C, we have learned that liquids are harder to find CLEAN. It has some of the same ingredients we discussed above, including Methylisothiazolinone and two with some concerns of cancer. So for us, powder it is.

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Powder

  • Target $6.49
  • Whole Foods $6.99
  • Amazon Prime currently does NOT have a competitive option. (But the last time I said this, one popped up. So please let me know if you can prove me wrong!)

Thank you

Thank you for joining me on this journey. There are so many people doing this WITH me. I love all of the collaboration. And there are so many people who have gone BEFORE me, who are sharing tips every day! It’s amazing, being a part of something so good and pure.

The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way.”

-Grace Hopper

NEXT UP: SUNSCREEN This is a big deal, most are incredibly toxic. (Even expensive brands and products marketed for KIDS.) We know that sunscreen is INCREDIBLY important, and I am determined to understand why so many are toxic. I will be posting about sunscreen throughout the week on our Instagram account, below.

Follow our journey on Instagram:



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