11 Best Non Toxic Dishwasher Detergents

Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and hello to a pristine kitchen. Explore our top picks for non toxic dishwasher detergents, ensuring a spotless shine without compromise.

Have you shied away from non toxic dishwasher detergents, because you believe that chemicals are required to get sparkling, spot-free dishes? It’s time to bust through that myth because dishwasher detergents that contain natural and organic ingredients not only are tough on grease, but they are also safer for humans and the environment.

*Suzi(Gurl Gone Green) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Dirty Labs Dishwasher Detergent and Booster

Dirty Labs Dishwasher Detergent + Booster

Dirty Labs is the best non toxic dishwasher detergent in my opinion for a couple reasons.  First, the ingredients are clean but it actually cleans your dishes- they come out sparkling and streak free!  Even food that was stuck on- it doesn’t mess around.  The second reason is they really take sustainability to the next level with their packaging.  The container is made out of recycled cardboard and there are no plastic pouches involved. They really have thought of everything.

Why Choose Non Toxic Dishwashing Detergents

There are a couple reasons why it is probably worth at least considering a non toxic dishwasher detergent. This includes:

1. Health Impacts 

Using natural and organic ingredients in our cleaning products reduces the risk of allergic reactions, skin irritations, and accidentally ingesting chemicals with our next meal from the chemical residue left on our dishware. When you use a non-toxic dishwashing detergent, you also avoid the onslaught of chemicals that’s in the steam when you open your dishwasher.

2. Environmental Impacts 

Wastewater treatment plants are not able to prevent all chemicals from getting into bodies of water such as lakes, streams, ponds, and rivers. 

Many traditional detergents contain phosphates which may seem like benign compounds, but they can be the catalyst for an ecological disaster. Okay, disaster is a strong word, but their bioaccumulation in the waterways causes algae blooms. The proliferation of algae results in less oxygen in the water and consequently harms marine wildlife.

It’s not just phosphates that can be problematic, it’s all of the chemicals such as dyes and artificial fragrances that can affect the marine ecosystem. Some of the unintended consequences to marine life are shorter life spans and reduced fertility. 

dishwasher filled with dishes and silverware
Getting your dishes clean means looking for a dishwasher detergent that isn’t filled with toxic ingredients!

Ingredients in Dish Detergents

As always, when looking for non toxic products for our homes, there are usually some common ones you see over and over in certain products. Here are some ingredients you may want to avoid when looking for you next dishwasher detergent:

Phosphates – Chemicals that can pollute waterways and cause algae to grow out of control and negatively impact other aquatic life. (source)

Artificial Fragrance – A cocktail of chemicals that can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and are harmful to the environment. (source)

Dyes – These chemicals can trigger rashes and allergies and most are proven endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. (source

Polyacrylates – Exposures to acrylates have been related to eye, throat and skin reactions as well as more serious health consequences such as reproductive toxicity, cancer, neurological damage, development issues, organ system toxicity, cellular damage.(source)

Sodium Hypochlorite – This is another name for bleach. It can cause gastric burns and it can be damaging to eyes and skin and cause major throat irritation. (source

Benzisothiazolinone – A chemical that causes eye, lung, and skin irritation, and it’s harmful to fish. (source)

Methylsothiazolinone – Associated with allergic reaction and inhalation toxicity. (source)

Ethoxylated surfactants – Ingredients such as PPG, PEGs, Polysorbates, and Sodium laureth sulfate are ingredients that may leave behind trace amounts of carcinogens 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide which are linked to cancers and development issues not to mention harmful to the environment. (source)

powdered dishwasher detergent being put in a dishwasher
A non toxic dishwasher detergent can work just as well as a conventional detergent.

Unfortunately when you see a list of everything you shouldn’t be using, it lends the question of what should you look for in an effective dishwasher detergent that is free of toxins. Here are some ingredients that would be beneficial:

  • Citric acid – plant-based pH adjuster 
  • Sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) – a mineral-based scouring agent and deodorizer.
  • Sodium citrate  – plant based water softener
  • Sodium silicate – mineral corrosion inhibitor
  • Sodium carbonate – mineral based cleanser and water softener
  • Sodium percarbonate – mineral based cleanser, stain remover
  • Sodium sulfate – mineral processing aid
  • Amylase – enzyme that cuts through starch molecules
  • Protease – enzyme that breaks proteins down
  • Alkyl polyglucoside – plant-based cleanser 
  • Decyl glucoside – plant-based foaming cleanser
  • Sodium Polyaspartate – plant-based anti-redeposition agent
  • Sodium carboxymethyl inulin – ​​anti-redisposition agent that suppresses filming and spotting

Best Non Toxic Dishwasher Detergents

Related Content: Blueland Review (Non Toxic Cleaning Products)

Dishwashing Detergent FAQ’s

1. Why are phosphates bad in dish detergents?

Phosphates can be harmful to the environment because the chemical compounds can pollute waterways and cause an overgrowth of algae which can harm fish and other aquatic life. Unfortunately, waste water treatment plants aren’t able to prevent all phosphates from escaping into rivers and lakes.

2. Can natural dish detergents actually clean tough grease?

Yes, natural dish detergents can cut through grease through mineral and plant-based ingredients.  

3. Is there a non toxic dishwasher detergent available at Target?

Yes, you can find Blueland dishwasher detergent tablets and Puracy dishwasher pods at Target.

4. Does having hard water change the effectiveness of a natural dishwashing detergent?

Hard water can compromise the effectiveness of some, but not all natural dishwashing detergents. 

To combat hard water, it’s important to look for a natural dishwashing detergent that contains a sodium-based chemical as the main ingredient. Sodium creates a reaction that reduces residue on dishes effectively turning hard water into soft water. 

Through research and customer reviews, Discover magazine listed Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets and Blueland Dishwasher Detergent Tablets as 2 of the 10 best dishwasher detergents for hard water in 2023. 

Non toxic dishwasher powder and pods
Dishwasher detergents can come in a variety of forms- powder, pods, tablets and even liquid.

Conclusion: Do Natural Dish Detergents Perform As Well As Conventional?

Yes, natural dish detergents can perform just as well as conventional detergents. The key will be to find a detergent that is formulated to meet your needs. Hopefully through this post you’ll discover the detergent that is right for you.

What’s your favorite natural and non toxic dishwasher detergent? Share below!

If you liked this post, check out these past posts:

Cheers, Suzi


Suzi is a wife, and mama who is passionate about sharing her natural lifestyle with those around her. She created Gurl Gone Green to show how our everyday decisions, from what we use on our face, home and the food we eat affect us more than we know. She loves holding space where people can weed through the marketing clutter to find truth, and ultimately make the best decision for their families.


  1. Erika L

    Thank you for the very helpful information.

  2. Ryan

    I didn’t see you mention whether or not each brand gets rid of breastmilk residue.

    • Suzi

      Hi Ryan,

      I’m not currently breastfeeding so wasn’t able to test to see if they were able to get rid of the breastmilk residue.


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