There are two types of people in the world: those who rinse their dishes before popping them into the dishwasher, and those who throw them in with all their war wounds. Either way, let’s just be grateful Joel Houghton invented the dishwasher back in 1850 and since then has saved the hands and time of so many around the world. Dishwashers can be an eco-friendly way to clean dishes as they use far less water than hand washing. According to NRDC, hand washing a full dishwasher’s amount of dishes uses an average of 27 gallons of water. An energy efficient dishwasher uses only 3 gallons.
But it isn’t just water that’s used to clean dishes in a dishwasher. If you value your health and the environment, opt for a non-toxic dishwasher detergent like Berkley Green’s. Below details what ingredients are most important to avoid and WHY Berkley Green should be your choice!
The ingredients to avoid in your dishwater detergents:
1. Fragrances: The word “fragrance” seems simple enough on the outside, but inside is another story. Of course at first sight, you think of fresh smells and clean feels, but in reality, each fragrance is made up of many ingredients, sometimes hundreds, which don’t have to be disclosed on ingredient labels which is the first sign of warning. The presence of “fragrances” in your dishwashing detergent means that your soap could cause asthma, allergies, and endocrine disruption as well as cancer, reproductive toxicity, and other sensitivities. Fragrances may make your dishes smell clean but in reality they aren’t making them any cleaner, and are only adding health risks into your detergent.
2. Polyacrylates: The concern around these are the impurities that tend to coexist with them, including acrylic acid, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, and methacrylic acid. Acrylic acid is known for causing eye damage and severe burns as well as allergic dermatitis and respiratory irritation. It’s also toxic to aquatic life.
3. Methylisothiazolinone: This preservative is common in detergents labeled as “natural” even though it’s linked with inhalation toxicity, dangerous allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity. Again because cleaning product manufacturers aren’t required to list all their ingredients, it’s hard to know what products this is in. Our advice is to look for non-toxic dishwasher detergent that says “non-toxic,” “gmo free.” “epa certified.”
4. Preservative-free or MIT free.Benzisothiazolinone: This is an antimicrobial agent found in personal care products and cleaning products. Large amounts of this can be harmful to you and that's why Berkley Green only uses MIT at .02%. It is the only preservative that really works at a very low level in the formula. This is where the green movement and science are not perfectly aligned. MIT has to be in the product to maintain its preservative otherwise it can grow bacteria quickly if the consumer does not use the product properly or opens up the bottle and doesn’t use it quickly enough. Remember these are still natural ingredients and they have an entire set of other issues. It is important to understand the importance of these ingredients.
5. Sodium hypochlorite is also known as bleach. It is used because of its broad spectrum antimicrobial function. Sodium hypochlorite is corrosive to eyes and skin, can cause throat irritation and gastric burns, is a respiratory irritant and is associated with acute or chronic bronchitis. OSHA requires that workers use it only while wearing a mask and gloves and it is deadly when swallowed by children (and it is one of the most common chemicals accidentally swallowed by children). When mixed with other cleaning agents like ammonia, deadly chlorine vapors are emitted.
6. Dyes that make a dish detergent look innocently blue, yellow, orange, green aren’t doing anything other than attempting to give you the perception that the product is more effective. They don’t actually make the performance of the detergent any better, and in fact introduce significant health risks that you’ll want to avoid.
There are many factors to consider when searching for the best non toxic dishwasher detergent and most important is a brand that discloses all ingredients, like Berkley Green. Brands are not required to disclose every ingredient in home cleaning products. But it’s difficult to determine how hazardous a cleaning formula is if we don’t know what’s in it! That’s why Berkley Green makes it a priority to disclose the few ingredients that are in each product. We like to keep them minimal and effective.