The Guide > Household > Cleaning > Dishwashing Detergent
Dishwashing Detergent
Most cleaning products don't list ingredients. However, you can learn something about a product's hazards by reading its label. 'Danger/ Poison' - most hazardous; 'Warning' - moderately hazardous; 'Caution' - slightly toxic. Ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. These include skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.
  • Avoid:
  • chlorine or ammonia, listed as active ingredients
  • formaldehyde, terpenes, phenols, chlorine, organic mercurials, balsams, aluminium complexes, chlorine, organic mercurials, balsams, and aluminium complexes. These are known to have carcinogenic effects.
  • detergents containing alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) - do not degrade completely and are known hormone disruptors.
  • detergents containing phosphates - cause algal blooms in water ways
  • Look for:
  • biodegradable to AS4351, or better still, an international standard
  • plant-based ingredients, instead of petroleum-based
  • concentrated form
  • specific ingredient information (such as solvent-free no petroleum-based ingredients solvent-free, no petroleum-based ingredients) rather than unregulated greenwash claims (such as natural and eco-friendly)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the foaming agent commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, and toothpastes. It's also found in industrial products including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. Although used in low concentrations in bodycare products, it ends up on the most sensitive areas of our bodies almost every day. It is well known in the scientific community as a common skin irritant. In stripping away oil and drying the skin's surface, it reduces the skin's ability to effectively regulate moisture, and increases the skin's absorption of certain other chemicals such as preservatives, fragrances and colour additives. It's used in our products primarily because it's cheap, often derived from palm oil. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is the alcohol form of SLS. It is slightly less irritating than SLS, but may cause more drying. There is mixed opinion as to whether SLS and SLES are carcinogenic (cancer causing), however, it is possible both may be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which is a probable carcinogen.
EWG
  • Avoid if you have sensitive skin. Read the product label and seek and alternative product without SLS, where possible. (i.e. ammonium lauryl sulfate as a surfactant).
  • Seek out products that claim to be 1,4 dioxane free or SLS/SLES free.
Features: 100% Australian owned, cruelty free, GECA Approved, palm oil free, toxic free
Founded by two dads from Bondi Beach. Koh dishwashing tablets are 100% Australian owned, certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), accredited cruelty free, grey water safe and free of palm oil and nasty chemicals. Available online.
Manufacturer: Koh
Features: Certified organic, cruelty free, Australian owned, carbon neutral
Miessence has an extensive range of certified organic products for skin, hair, body, cosmetic and oral. Available online.
Manufacturer: Miessence
Features: Non-toxic, no petrochemicals
No Sodium Lauryl Sulphate; No Phosphates; No Harsh Detergents; No Toxic Chemicals; No Animal Testing
Manufacturer: Envirocare
Features: 100% Australian owned & made, cruelty free, vegan, palm oil free, non-toxic
SimplyClean launched in 2012. All their products are made in Northern NSW. Their range of environmentally friendly cleaning products are non-toxic, palm oil free, vegan, cruelty free (accredited by PETA) and grey water safe. Available from selected wholefood stores and independent supermarkets.
Manufacturer: SimplyClean
Features: 100% Australian owned & made, cruelty free, plant-based, non-toxic
Founded in 1989, Tri Nature's award winning range of eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products are Australian-owned and made, plant-based, accredited cruelty free, grey water safe and free of nasty chemicals.
Manufacturer: Tri Nature
Find farmers' markets, food coops, farm gate products at Local Harvest
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