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Detox Your Home: 5 common toxins found in dish soaps

7 minute read / For your home

Washing the dishes. It’s something you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about, but it’s a chore performed daily in almost every home. It starts with a squeeze of dish soap, a few swishes of the sponge, followed by a water rinse. But that conventional dish soap you’ve been using? It doesn’t all wash off. In fact, it leaves toxic chemical residues behind on your dishes and glasses that pose significant health hazards over the long-term.

Failing Grades for Conventional Dish Soaps 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) evaluated 326 dish soaps and assigned each one a hazard rating ranging from A to F, A being the safest, F being the most toxic. About 65% got a D or an F, including many of the big conventional dish soap brands you might be familiar with. Unfortunately, there are no national requirements to list ingredients on cleaning product labels. Cleaning product manufacturers can use almost any ingredient they want in their formulations, including those that are known to cause harm. If ingredients ARE listed, they can often be vague and misleading. So, how do you identify harmful, toxic chemicals if you don’t have a team of staff scientists to help? Read on for a primer.

Know Your Clean

Smarter dishwashing starts with recognizing the harmful toxic ingredients that can be left behind on your dishes and/or ingested or absorbed by your skin. Here’s what to avoid:

Dish Washing 101

Here are some smart, simple ways to clean your dirty dishes safely that are also kinder to people and the planet.

The Safer Way To Do Dishes

Looking for a safer alternative to conventional dish soap? ECOS® Dishmate® dish soaps and high-performance ECOS® Wave® Dishwasher Gel are Safer Choice certified. Made without DEAs, MEAs, TEAs, 1,4 dioxane, dyes, formaldehyde, or phthalates, they safely tackle grease and grime, are gentle on skin, and are greywater safe.

ECOS is so committed to using safer ingredients that we made a list of 500 known toxins – a.k.a. “the Nasties” – that we promise never to use in our products. Check out the list here: We hope it helps guide you to products that are better for you, your home and our planet.

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