Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent Options That Do Squeaky Clean the Safe Way

Some traditional dishwasher detergents contain toxic chemicals that get onto the plates you eat from — but these powerful eco-friendly dishwasher detergents don't.

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Apr. 18 2024, Published 10:34 a.m. ET

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You wouldn't choose to fill your plate with poison, so why wash it with something toxic? Some traditional dishwasher detergents contain chemicals that can disrupt the gut microbiome and cause chronic inflammation, among other harmful effects — and yes, they're leaving residue on your dinnerware. I get it — filling and emptying the dishwasher is a chore you just want to get over with. But making the switch to eco-friendly dishwasher detergent can go a long way in terms of your family's health and the environment.

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Of course, the effectiveness of different products vary no matter what. But there are so many eco-friendly dishwasher detergent options available at this point that brands are truly trying to outdo each other. And the result is dishwashing pods, tablets, liquids, and more that are made with non-toxic ingredients yet get your dishes, glasses, and silverware spotless — and many of them are also cruelty-free and zero-waste, like the six picks below.

After giving these eco-friendly dishwasher detergents a whirl, I promise you'll never go back to loading up your machine with chlorine, formaldehyde, and synthetic dyes ever again.

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Dropps Dishwasher Detergent: Ultra Concentrated Pods (Pack of 64)

Dropps makes its Ultra Concentrated dishwasher pods using mineral-based ingredients, oxygen bleach (not to be confused with chlorine bleach), and zero harsh chemicals. It promises to clean so thoroughly a pre-wash won't be necessary. Dropps' pod membrane is water-soluble, and even the packaging is 100 percent cardboard and recyclable.

"It’s so easy to use these pods, and the dishes and glassware come out sparkling clean," one customer wrote.

$25 at Dropps

AspenClean Dishwasher Pods (Pack of 28)

These EWG Verified pods contain AspenClean unscented dishwasher detergent, which takes on your grimiest, gookiest dishes and bowls without using phosphates, dyes, or anything you wouldn't want to pass through your lips. Plus, the tub they come in contains no plastic and is compostable. "Your dishes coming out of each load sparkling clean!" one reviewer reported.

$19 at AspenClean
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Blueland Dishwasher Detergent Tablets (pack of 60)

Blueland gets glowing reviews on Amazon from thousands of "grateful" reviewers, because these tablets clean well without compromising your health or the planet. There are no fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or preservatives in its dishwasher detergent tablets and no plastic either — not even in the paper packaging. The plant-based tablets were tested in labs and proven to banish even burnt-on grease.

$19 at Amazon

Attitude Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 26)

Attitude Dishwasher Tablets contain all the good stuff, none of the toxic stuff, and they have another extra-special feature: the water-soluble tablets extend the life of your dishwasher by acting as an anti-limescale agent. Some traditional dishwasher detergents contain harmful compounds called surfactants to cut grease, but Attitude's surfactants are vegetable-based. These tablets are packaged in fully recyclable cardboard.

$12 at Attitude
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Ecos Plant Powered Dishwasher Detergent (Pack of 45)

If you really want to go waste-free, these plant-based, plastic-free dishwasher detergent sheets by Ecos are great because they dissolve completely, require fewer resources to produce, and can be split up for smaller loads. You just fold the sheet up and pop it in your dishwasher's tablet compartment.

$28 at Walmart

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Powder

Seventh Generation is a household name for good reason — and its dishwashing detergent powder is perfect for all you old-fashioned types who eschew pods and tablets. The powder is free of fragrances, chlorine bleach, and dyes, is made with a biodegradable formula, and is sold in 90 percent plastic-free packaging.

"Surpassed my expectations," wrote a Cascade convert.

$13 at Amazon
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