Non Toxic Dish Soap Guide – Which Dish Soap Is Safe?

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Non Toxic Dish Soap

Non Toxic Dish Soap Guide – Which Dish Soap Is Safe?


I use dishwasher for most of the dishes but I also wash some dishes with my hands. The ones I wash with hands include pots and pans, some glasswares and baby dishes. I do so simply because I want my pots to last longer. I also find washing throughly with hands cleans better for some items than washing them in the dishwasher. When I wash with hands though I always wondered if I rinsed the dish enough so that no soap chemical residues are left on the dishes. If the chemical residues are left on the dishes, I can easily ingest them. My daughter can ingest them too. However, what if those chemicals are harmful? Although, the amount we eat may be very little but I certainly do not want to eat them at all. I don’t want that for my daughter either. In this post, I share with you what chemicals to avoid in the dish soap and what non toxic dish soap is available for you and your family.



What Chemicals To Avoid In Dish Soap



As I have mentioned many times on my posts, manufacturers are not required to list ingredients in fragrance under the law since they can be a ‘trade secret’. Therefore, we wouldn’t know what toxic chemicals are in the fragrance.  Fragrance often contains phthalates which are endocrine disruptors.  Endocrine disruptors interfere with our endocrine system.  They can cause some cancers, lowered fertility and an increased incidence of endometriosis. Therefore, fragrance should be avoided.



Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)/ Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) are another very common toxic chemicals that are found in household cleaning products, laundry detergent, tooth paste, etc. These chemicals are surfactant, detergent and foaming agent. There are about 16000 studies out there talking about toxicity of sodium laurel sulfate (SLS). Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) can irritate skin, eyes and lungs. Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) is harsher and stronger than sodium laureth sulphate (SLES). A milder surfactant can be created by putting sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) through the ethoxylation process. This ethoxylation procession makes SLS to SLES. However, during this manufacturing process, Sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) can be contaminated with a toxic byproduct, 1,4 dioxane.  1,4 dioxane is a possible human carcinogens.




Formaldehyde is highly toxic chemical.  It is classified as a known carcinogen by US national toxicology program. People get often exposed to formaldehyde by inhaling off-gassed formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can cause skin, eyes, nose, and throat irritation or some cancers. It is added to the dish soap to enhance the smell. Sometimes, formaldehyde is not directly added but some other chemicals that were added may react with water and release formaldehyde.  DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate are some of the formaldehyde releasing ingredients. DMDM hydantoin and quanternium-15 can also trigger allergies and irritate skin and eyes at low doses.



Sulphuric Acid

Sulphuric Acid is a very strong chemical and it can cause severe burns and tissue damage when it comes into contact with the skin. It can also irritate nose and throat and cause difficulties in breathing if inhaled. It can also cause blindness to the eyes and cause a hole in the stomach if swallowed. It is often used in toilet bowl cleaners and drain de-cloggers but also in dish soaps.




Triclosan is an antibacterial agent. However, this chemical is so toxic that Canada added it to toxic substances list. In US it is banned to be used in antibacterial hand soaps and body washes. Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen. It can be absorbed through skin. It can also cause skin irritation, dermatitis or allergies.




Phosphates make detergents more efficient and help eliminating the spots and film on dishes that can form. However, phosphates can promote the growth of certain algae in water and reduce oxygen levels that are needed for our marine life.



DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) 

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) are Ethanolamines compounds. They are used as foaming agents or emulsifiers in many house hold products including dish soap. They can be dangerous when they react with other ingredients. They can react with nitrites and form nitrosamines which is a carcinogen. Nitrites can be present in dish soap as ingredients or contaminants. In edition, DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which is a known carcinogen.



Ammonium Sulfate

According to carpet cleaning dublin. ammonium sulfate is usually used as a fertilizer for alkaline soils. In dish soap, it is used as a cleaning and foaming agent.  Direct contact with eyes or skin can cause itching, redness, irritation, and pain.



Non Toxic Dish Soap


All of the dish soap listed below do not have toxic ingredients such as Fragrance, Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS)/ Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Formaldehyde, Ammonium Sulfate, Surphuric Acid, Triclosan, Phosphates, DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) or other toxic ingredients. Let’s take a look!


Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Soap – Non Toxic Dish Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Soap is a multi purpose soap. It can be used as a body wash or a shampoo or even as a cleaning spray or a dish soap. It has no synthetic detergents or preservatives and none of the ingredients are genetically modified. It is also biodegradable. It is even packaged in 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottles.

In addition, it is USDA certified organic and vegan, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.

EWG Hazard Score: A (A is the least hazardous, F is the most hazardous)

Ingredients: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, potassium hydroxide, organic palm kernel oil, organic olive oil, organic orange oil, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, organic lemon oil, organic lime oil, citric acid, tocopherol


Toxic Ingredients:  All ingredients in this dish soap are rated from A to C, majority and overall rate of A. Therefore, the ingredients are safe. There is some contamination concern of hydroquinone with one of the ingredient, tocopherol. However, the concern level is not high. If you want to avoid this ingredient, you can choose other non toxic brand.

More Info



Eco-Me Dish Soap – Non Toxic Dish Soap


Eco-Me Dish Soap is made with natural plant extracts and all natural plant derived ingredients. It is chemical free containing all natural antibacterial properties. It cleans effectively without any filmy residue. It is also greywater and septic safe and will not harm marine life.


EWG Hazard Score: A (A is the least hazardous, F is the most hazardous)

Ingredients:Water, Coco Glucoside (Coconut-derived Soap), Sodium Lauryl Glucose and Lauryl Glucoside (Plant-derived Soap), Vegetable Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate (Food-grade Preservative), Xanthan Gum, Natural Plant Essential Oils, Citric Acid.

Toxic Ingredients: All ingredients in this dish soap are rated from A to C, overall rate of A. Therefore, the ingredients are safe.

More Info



Attitude Dishwashing Liquid – Non Toxic Dish Soap


Attitude Dishwashing Liquid is made with natural ingredients and it is bio-degradable. It is UL Ecologo certified, PETA certified, and vegan. It is also not tested on animals.

EWG Hazard Score: A (A is the least hazardous, F is the most hazardous)

Ingredients: Aqua (solvent), Coco glucoside (surfactant), Myristyl glucoside (surfactant), Lauryl glucoside (surfactant), Sodium chloride (viscosity controller), Sodium gluconate (chelating agent), Sodium citrate (chelating agent).

Toxic Ingredients: All ingredients in this dish soap are rated from A to C, overall rate of A.


More Info



ECOS Dishmate Dish Liquid – Non Toxic Dish Soap


ECOS Dishmate Dish Liquid is made with naturally derived cleaning agents and it is biodegradable. It packaged in a recyclable container.

It is also hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty-free.

EWG Hazard Score: A (A is the least hazardous, F is the most hazardous)

Ingredients:Water,  Sodium Coco Sulfate (plant-derived surfactant), Cocamidopropylamine Oxide (plant-derived surfactant), Lauramine Oxide (plant-derived surfactant),Coco Betaine (plant-derived surfactant), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate (plant-derived water softener), Citric Acid (plant-derived pH adjuster)

Toxic Ingredients: All ingredients in this dish soap are rated from A to C, overall rate of A. Therefore, the ingredients are safe.

More Info



Final Thoughts

All of the above dish soaps are safe and non toxic. They are all rated ‘A’ by Environmental Working Group (EWG). They do not contain any toxic chemicals I have mentioned above. They use plant-derived, natural or certified organic ingredients. My favourites are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Soap and ECOS Dishmate Dish Liquid. I am a Dr.Bronner’s Soap fan. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Soap is made from certified organic ingredients and they can be used as not only a dish soap but also as a multi purpose cleaner for your home, a body wash or a shampoo. I also like ECOS Dishmate Dish Liquid because it is made with natural plant derived ingredients. They both wash dishes very well too. These non toxic dish soaps are not only good for us but also they are good for our environment.  They are biodegradable and will not harm our marine life. In addition, I feel safe knowing that soap residues from these dish soaps will not be toxic if there were some left on the dishes.


If you want to find out which laundry detergent is safe, please read my post, ‘Which Natural Laundry Detergent Is Safe? – Non Toxic Laundry Detergent‘.




  • go_new_mommy

    Isabelle has been an entrepreneur for last 16 years in retail and educational industry. She is also a mom. She is a mom entrepreneur who is always trying to find a better, easier way to run her business. She also tries to provide organic and non-toxic living environment for her child. She likes to research for the most non-toxic products or safe alternatives and share them with parents. In addition, she is against animal testing and supports cruelty-free products.


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