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What's the best "green" or environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid you've used?

I use Seventh Generation now, and find it pretty effective. It does have all the sodium laureth sulfate type stuff, though. What's your choice if you use a "green" dishwashing liquid? I'm looking for handwashing detergent recs, not dishwasher. Thanks.

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  1. I've tried a lot of them, and I've found that Method works the best, but there are a couple of drawbacks:
    1. The scents are pretty powerful and IMO all of them are pretty nasty except for the cucumber. They used to make an unscented variety but they discontinued it :(
    2. The design of their pump dispenser is AWFUL. It shoots a projectile stream of soap forward instead of down, so I kept ending up with it all over my clothes or on the floor instead of in the sink or on the sponge. Lesson learned - now I buy the refill bags & pour the soap into a refillable OXO dispenser.

    1. I use 7th Generation, too. Is there a problem with sodium laureth sulfate?

      I see that Whole Foods has its own version of something unscented, which it displays right next to the 7G. It's $2.99 v. $3.99 for 7G.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jay F

        Is there a problem with sodium laureth sulfate?
        Depends who you ask. It can cause skin & eye irritation in some people. There are groups claiming that it's a carcinogen, but that hasn't been proven. The issue is that the production of sodium laureth sulfate (and a number of other substances) also produces a byproduct called 1,4-dioxane - which is a likely carcinogen - and many products that contain SLES also test positive for trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Oh. I did not know that. Thanks, ghg.

      2. For actually biodegradable, nothing beats Dr. Bronner's.
        For degreasing, use simple green.

        Remember, dish soap is totally not necessary unless you've got oil (or bacon grease, or other things with fat.) Hot water kills bacteria.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Chowrin

          Unfortunately this is not true. It takes water at 140F to kill bacteria, above the setting of most hot water heaters and well above what people are willing to tolerate even with gloves.

          What is true is that merely warm water and a good scrub will in most cases *remove* enough bacteria from smooth surfaces like plates, glasses and silverware that most people need not worry. But if you've got a particularly troublesome bacteria source like raw chicken juice in your sink some detergent soap is definitely called for.

          1. re: nokitchen

            nu, yes. but raw chicken juice falls into my "contains fat" category, anyhow.

          2. re: Chowrin

            x1000 on Dr. Bronners. I have a gallon jug under the sink, attached to my built in soap dispenser and use it for everything.

            Everything else "greenwashed", including Method, 7th Generation, Mrs. Myers, etc. make my skin peel until it bleeds.

            1. re: Chowrin

              Simple Green is toxic. Check out the MSDS and the Environmental Working Group information. They fooled a LOT of us. (It hurts my lungs - which is why I looked it up to begin with. And wow.) Did you know it can kill insects? Really not good stuff.

              1. re: Vetter

                "Readily Biodegradable perOECD301D, Closed Bottle Test"

                ... kindly bother to look up what TOXICITY is, dammit! it's not about how irritating the stuff is! It's about building up inside you and causing long term damage!

                Read the words I write. Recognize that they're technical terms that have established meanings.

                This is not cyanide, which does build up within the body -- small amounts over time can kill you.

                That is all non-toxic means.

                1. re: Vetter

                  Thanks for sharing your experience--this is good to know. This product is widely available, and usually real 'green' cleaning products aren't, you have to hunt for them.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    not sure how this flunks the "green" test...?
                    Care to enlighten?

              2. Mrs Meyer's Lavender Dish Liquid is my favorite. It smells more like apple pie than lavender to me. Not sure why.

                1. http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment...

                  This waste water district is more concerned about grease and solids going down your drain, than about the kind of soap.

                  1. I love Mrs Meyer's. I've used many different scents--right now still have Iowa Pine from Christmas.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: foiegras

                      Oh, that's so funny. My entire reason for using "environmentally friendly" dishwashing liquid is to get something unscented.

                    2. I also meant to suggest steering clear of the "Greenworks" dish soap made by Clorox - it really doesn't work well.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Opposite of my experience. I have found all of the Greenworks products work extremely well, even better than their "non-green" counterparts.

                        1. re: MelMM

                          Interesting - I wonder if the formulation has changed over the years? I tried the dish soap when they first introduced the line about 6 years ago. I had to use much more of it to get my dishes clean, and it didn't do a very good job on grease.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I've only seen the dish soap locally in the past couple years, so I've started using it relatively recently. I've been using their all-purpose spray cleaner and bathroom cleanser for much longer. The latter is truly awesome.

                      2. I use the entire line of Mrs. Meyers products and love them! Dish soap, liquid hand soap, all purpose cleaner, laundry detergent and softener. The basil scent is my absolute favorite!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: TXMandy

                          I need to try the Mrs Meyers dish soap. I LOVE their lavender liquid fabric softener & laundry detergent.

                          1. re: TXMandy

                            Agree about the basil--it's really great.

                            I use a bunch of different products too, including the laundry detergent and hand soap, but I do not like the dishwasher detergent. I find it imparts the scent & the taste of the essential oils to silicone items. (This doesn't happen when washing by hand ... I guess it's all the time & heat in the dishwasher.)

                            1. re: TXMandy

                              And you basically always do have troublesome bacteria, right? I am not one to desanitize to death, but I'm not about to give up soap ;)

                            2. I really like the Costco brand soap. Works very well and doesn't leave your hands smelling awful like the non green name brand soaps.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Rick

                                I like the Costco soap too. What I don't like is pouring it into smaller containers.

                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                  We like the Costco soap too. I don't know if they still make them, but we have a "Never MT." Basically a setup to connect the soap dispenser in the counter to the big bottle under the sink. Tube, check valve, and caps of all sizes with holes in them (for the tube).

                                  The funny thing- I didn't realize that the soap has a bunch of grapefruit extract in it. My wife is not a huge fan of grapefruit. But I think, many years later, we're on our second bottle.

                                  1. re: ted

                                    Thats really cool!
                                    We used to have a a pump with a holding tank for the soap. I refilled it every so often, and used the under sink storage space for some really large mixing bowls. I noticed that I was going thru a TON of dish soap. So I checked and the reservoir was leaking and the mixing bowl under it was full of soap!

                                    1. re: ted

                                      Grapefruit extract is probably not a scent. It is a very powerful anti-microbial.

                                2. I prefer Joy. Suds well in salt water.

                                  It does come in other colors.

                                    1. Thanks for all the input everyone. Mrs. Meyers' products sounds really great, but they're nearly twice as expensive as 7th Gen, so I think that's what I'll stick with for now. Thanks again, ninrn

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: ninrn

                                        The theory (strategy) is that the pleasure of the scent makes it worth paying more ... they are marketed as aromatherapy cleaning products. I totally agree that if I'm cleaning, it should be as pleasurable as possible ;) And think of all the money we're saving doing the work ourselves.

                                        I use some 7th Generation products & love the company ... the scents are not nearly as good, and I find the products not overwhelmingly effective.

                                        1. re: foiegras

                                          I agree foiegras! The basil scent of the Mrs. Myers actually puts a smile on my face everytime I smell it. I'd probably wear it as perfume if I could get away with it ;-)

                                          1. re: foiegras

                                            Just shows how people differ. I find the scents of the Mrs. Meyer's products to be so strong as to be intolerable. I can't express how much I hate them. Mr. MM loves them, so he buys their hand soap for himself, but I avoid their products due to the overpowering smell.

                                            1. re: MelMM

                                              Interesting! When I go out in the backyard and the dryer's running, I get just a touch of natural scent. (I use Mrs Meyer's laundry detergent, nothing else.) But if I go out & my neighbor's dryer is running, I am overwhelmed with the synthetic scents of Tide, Bounce, etc., etc.

                                              I don't care for the lemon verbena scent ... that one I find unpleasant. But all the others have been great, especially some of the LE/more difficult to find ones like honeysuckle, rhubarb, gingerbread. I really like the geranium too (part of the regular line).

                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                I have not tried their laundry detergent. I use only unscented laundry detergents (All Free & Clear or the Costco version of the same), because like you, I get overwhelmed by the scents of regular ones. I don't know why we humans have decided to put perfume in *everything*. All those competing smells, it just doesn't make sense.

                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                  I love Mrs Meyers lavender fabric softener because the smell of lavender is so calming - it's ideal for my sheets & PJs, particularly since I have serious trouble falling asleep. I could do without scents in anything else, and I really can't stand heavily scented dish soap. Who wants perfume on their dishes to interfere with the aromas of the food they eat?

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    Have to admit, I do not use fabric softener, or dryer sheets, or anything else besides my unscented laundry detergent.

                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                      I use fabric softener only when I am drying highly static clothes (nylon, polyester) Which is not often because 90% of the clothes we wear are cotton.

                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      In my experience, the hand dishwashing liquid does not perfume dishes (or anything else being washed).

                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                        I smell it, no matter how well I rinse. I notice the scent from lemon products used in the dishwasher too.

                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                  I have this reaction to the Mrs. Meyer's scents as well. And they seem to linger for hours.

                                                  At first I thought it was just one - I think I tried the basil first - but I've tried several different products with a variety of scents, and ended up giving them away. I have some Lemon Verbena toilet bowl cleaner that I'm trying to use up, but since I hate it so much, I think I'll give it away or pitch it.

                                            2. We use a tiny amount of good old fashioned Ivory Liquid. If not that a bit of 7th Gen Lavender.Both heavily diluted. Love the scent/suds of both.

                                              If that isn't doing the trick a bit of white vinegar, some soaking time, and some rough scrubbing with a stiff brush works wonders.

                                              1. I detest scents of all kinds. We prefer 7th generation and it works well. Everything else we've tried either stinks or doesn't work. I'd prefer to avoid SLS because the research is mixed but haven't found anything that works without it.

                                                At least 7th generation is honest about. Almost no one discloses ingredients and it is pretty clearly in some of the ones where they don't state it but don't say they don't use it.

                                                Ecover is great for the dishwasher.

                                                1. I had to come put in a vote for soapnuts liquid. I make it very strong and freeze and fridge it, and vastly prefer it for laundry...and recently found it does a great job on average dishes. I wouldn't use it for a pork-fat heavy meal, but a marinara bowl? Sure. You do have to get used to the idea that the lack of suds doesn't mean anything (or blend it up into foam if you must).

                                                  It also leaves NO scent. Same thing with laundry. The liquid has a vinegarish scent, but it washes away beautifully.

                                                  1. my favorite is biokleen