Organic, Natural Dish Cleaning

Written by PV Webmaster on . Posted in Natural cleaning

Homer Simpson is Mr. Sparkle

Homer Simpson is Mr. Sparkle

Despite the widespread use of dishwashers in our homes today, there are still many of us that opt to wash our dishes by hand.  Whether it’s to save money on the immense electricity they require or just as a reason to work together as a family, hand-washing dishes is here to stay.

So why not do it safely?

We all know food is the center of many of life’s celebrations and has been for … well, likely since the beginning of mankind.  But after the food, comes the cleaning.  Just like you take time and care about what goes into your body during a meal, similar attention should be paid to what you use to during clean up. The product you use should be safe for your skin and environmentally friendly – your health is still important after the meal!

The problem with chemical-based cleaning products, as we’ve covered before, is that they are abrasive, often bad for your health, and leave your home with a chemical smell and residue.

Not to be a scare-monger, but there are some reports that indicate conventional dish soaps that contain phthalates can lead to reduced sperm count in men and possibly even liver cancer.

Cleaning your dishes naturally

Why not go organic and natural? There are organic cleaners for every possible use that you can think of, and that includes dishes. Don’t skip being environmentally friendly and healthy when you do the dishes – use organic materials to clean your dishes, regardless of whether you choose to wash them by hand or load them in a dishwasher.

A great “bonus” of using organic dish soap is that the soap is also good for your hands, too! Use one that contains aloe vera or chamomile to soothe your skin.

Not surprisingly, the main organic ingredients in organic dish cleaners are the same ones we see in most organic cleaning products:

  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Essential oils

Here’s a simple effective recipe for natural dish soap:

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (unscented or your favorite scent)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 4 drops essential oil scent of choice (citrus recommended)
  • 1 tsp. of vinegar

Simply mix everything together and store it in an old liquid dish soap bottle! Use as you would store-bought liquid dish soap. For an added touch, squeeze an entire lime or lemon into the mix as well!

Note that some people have had their mixture blend easier by adding a cup and a half of warm water to the mix.

Castile soap can be found at most GNC stores or your local health-food stores; it’s a very common item in any health food store.

Store-bought organic dish cleaners

Organic Dish Soap from President's Choice

Organic Dish Soap from President’s Choice

If you aren’t much of a do-it-yourself person and prefer store bought or commercial organic cleaning products for your dishes, you are in luck: there are a lot of organic cleaners on your store shelves that can get your dishes shiny clean.

Also, because organic ingredients are usually better at cleaning than non-organic, you won’t use as much when you do your dishes! This alone saves money, and can help offset the sometimes more expensive organic dish cleaning products on the shelf.

When shopping for organic or natural dish cleaning products, always always look for USDA organic certified dish detergent. Products bearing the USDA stamp are manufactured and regulated according to strict organic standards and are free of pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, and artificial additives.

Ingredients to look out for (bad!):

  • Chlorine
  • Phosphates

Please note: Each of us has different levels of mineral content (known as hardness) in our water at home – you may have to alter the recipe slightly and adjust the amounts accordingly. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting a bit! But watch how your skin reacts to the ingredients: you might need to wear gloves while cleaning.
Martha Stewart Clean Dish Soap
Check out some of the following “off-the-shelf” organic & natural dish cleaning products:

Organic Dish Cleaning using a Dishwasher

Here is a handy and effective organic & natural dishwasher soap recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 5 packs of True Lemon
  • 2 packs of True Orange
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda

Directions: Add all ingredients into a large bowl. Combine well with a whisk. Use a funnel and pour into a one quart jar or container. To use, add 1 tablespoon to both soap containers.

Natural Dish-washer rinsing agent: Here’s something most of you can do right now: if you have a dishwasher and use a rinse agent, look at the ingredients on the back. You will very likely see vinegar as the main or supplementary ingredient – so why not ditch the chemicals and go for the real thing? I can guarantee you the results are spotless glasses and dishes, every time.

Put undiluted vinegar right into the rinse compartment in your dishwasher – that’s it!

Some of the most popular commercial organic dishwasher products:GrabGreen Automatic Dishwashing Detergent

This is the 2nd post in our Natural Cleaning series, complete series list here.


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