When you’re beginning your zero waste journey, one of the simplest places to start is in your kitchen. Nowhere else in the home do we see so much plastic packaging and single-use waste! And when thinking about simple swaps, your dish soap is a good place to begin. Zero waste dish soap not only reduces plastic waste, but it’s also better for your health too!
Traditional dish soap contains toxic chemicals such as DEA (diethanolamine), triclosan and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). These chemicals can cause hormone disruption, allergic reactions and even cancer. I think we’d all rather avoid these types of substances on our dinnerware!
And while many of us recycle the plastic bottles our dishwashing detergent comes in, the sad reality is that 91% of plastic waste never gets recycled. Bottom line, it’s better to avoid buying it in the first place.
Plastic free dish soap comes in many forms, from solid blocks, to refillable dispensers. Below, we’ll look at some of our favorite toxic free and no, or low waste dish soaps, so you can make the right choice for you and your family.
And an added bonus? You may just find some of these waste free dish soap options are cheaper than their conventional alternatives too. Along with helping the environment, you may just be helping your bank balance as well!
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Best Zero Waste Dish Detergent
From organic dish soap bars, to refillable non-toxic dish soap, below are some of the best products on the market to make your dishes squeaky clean, without harming the environment – or your hands!
Our first zero waste dish soap is the Solid Organic Dish Soap Bar. This is a plastic-free, vegan dish soap that is perfect for reducing waste in your kitchen while achieving a sparkling clean dish rack too!
Handmade in the US, each natural dish soap bar comes with a reusable & recyclable tin, making both storage and travel easy too. Looking for a dish soap to take camping? You’ve found it in this eco-friendly dish soap!
Free of chemicals and artificial fragrances, this organic dish soap comes in a 7 to 8 oz bar and is made from skin-friendly coconut and castor oils. With the addition of some lemon and orange essential oil, this wonderfully effective and environmentally friendly soap smells and feels divine.
If you’ve never used a solid dish soap before, you may feel a little sceptical at first. I get it! But I dare you to try it and I bet you’ll never look back. Just make sure you use it with an eco-friendly scrubber, such as a dish loofah, or a natural hemp scrubbing brush. Luckily for you, Brooklyn Made Natural sell everything you’ll need for your new zero waste dishwashing routine!
If you prefer a more conventional dishwashing liquid, this one may be for you. With all-natural ingredients, the Cleancult Dish Soap has a wonderful Grapefruit Basil Scent that fills your kitchen with its delightful fragrance.
This low waste dish soap was awarded the Parents Magazine’s “Green Picks” of the year for sustainable cleaning products.
Cleancult Dish Soap comes with a grease-fighting formula that will leave your dishes sparkling clean, without the use of Phthalates, SLS, Phosphates or any other nasty chemicals. It’s cruelty-free and packaged in a recyclable paper-based carton which you can use as a dispenser, or to refill your favorite glass or ceramic dispenser.
Oh, and have you ever washed the dishes only to find your hands feel dry and uncomfortable afterward? Well, there is no such problem with this soap. Its fresh aloe leaves your hands in a state of moisturized bliss.
Etee have reinvented dish soap with their innovative concentrated pods. Did you know that most conventional dish soaps are 90% water? Yup, Etee do away with the unnecessary packaging, and produce their zero waste dish soap in concentrated form – leaving you to add the water at home.
This not only reduces the amount of packaging needed, it also means you’re reducing the amount of emissions from shipping & handling too.
The biodegradable pods are made from beeswax, meaning this option may not be suitable for vegans. But you can rest assured that the wax is 100% organic and harvested using cruelty-free practices. And the non-toxic dish soap concentrate is made of all plant-based ingredients.
That’s right – you won’t find any nasties like SLS, Phthalates, sulphates or colorants in this soap. Just powerful, natural, grease-fighting ingredients!
Choose from 3-9 pods, grab any old glass jar you have laying around at home, and get scrubbing! You’ll love the delicate sunshiny citrus scent this plastic-free dish detergent leaves on your hands and in the air.
Bestowed Essentials have created a vegan dish soap that’s kind on your hands, while at the same time being able to tackle even the dirtiest of dishes!
This hefty 12oz block of plastic free dish soap is made from olive and coconut oils and french green clay. And as usual, contains no hidden harmful ingredients.
Bestowed Essentials are a neurodivergent, female, veteran-owned company based in the US who strive to provide jobs for those who normally face barriers to employment.
They aim to produce primarily package-free products, and they source their ingredients from sustainable sources. They even manufacture with solar power! And Bestowed Essentials partners with the Ocean Blue Product to remove trash from the beach. That’s a whole lot of feel-good purchasing power right there!
There is no better way of tackling dirty dishes than with the power of natural ingredients! This organic dish soap from Meliora uses natural ingredients such as coconut and sunflower oil to leave your dishes sparkling clean and free from grease or residue.
And what’s better is that your hands will love you for it! Naturally moisturizing, you can say goodbye to dry cracked “dishwashing hands” after you start using this lush solid dish soap.
Simply rub your brush or natural dishcloth on the bar and scrub away as normal – it couldn’t be simpler to switch to a zero waste dishes routine!
If you want a dish soap that lasts months and is easy on your wallet, Castile dish soap is ideal. An added bonus is that Meliora promises to donate at least 2% of all of its sales to nonprofitable organizations such as Women’s Voices for the Earth. So you’re doing good with your purchase too!
Looking for zero waste dishwasher detergent for your machine instead? These plastic-free pods from Dropps (the same people who make our favorite zero waste laundry pods) are housed in water dissolvable, compostable packaging. Doing away with the need for plastic wrap.
Inside, you’ll find grease-fighting, mineral-based ingredients such as oxygen-based bleach for a sparkling shine!
Dropps Dishwasher tablets come in a recyclable cardboard box and are shipped using 100% carbon neutral methods. They also partner with Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservancy organization.
It doesn’t get much more back to basics than this simple no waste dish soap from Life Without Plastic.
Made from just four plant-based ingredients, including moisturising coconut oil and shea butter, you won’t be complaining of dry hands after using this wonder product!
This handmade soap is highly effective at cutting through grease. But its natural ingredients mean it’s completely safe and healthy to use. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and septic safe.
Packaged in just a simple recyclable and biodegradable paper box (you can even through it in your compost!), there is literally zero waste when it comes to this product. Pair it with a plastic-free dish brush for eco-friendly dish scrubbing!
Dish soap bars do need to be stored in a way that allows them to dry between uses, so consider also picking up a wooden soap holder while you’re at it too – to keep your soap lasting longer!
This zero plastic dish soap from rE: is plam-oil free, and made from natural ingredients. Lightly scented with a fresh citrus fragrance, it’s tough on grease, while being kind on your hands.
This waste free dish soap comes packaged in a simple paper box that can be recycled or composted. If you want to reduce the disposable plastics in your home, this is a great place to start.
Another great thing about this safe dishwashing soap is that it also comes with a natural loofah slice which you can use as an attractive and effective soap holder in your kitchen. If you’re not familiar with loofah – it’s a super versatile natural product (basically a dried loofah plant) that can be used for all manner of things around the home. Including as a dish soap holder, and as a zero waste dish scrubber!
This dish soap from No Tox Life is the ideal cleaning product to add to your kitchen if you want something hardworking, yet safe. To ensure your dishes are thoroughly washed, this produces a beautiful lather without the nasty aftertaste.
Although unscented and fragrance-free, the aloe-vera extract in the soap will keep your hands ultra-smooth and perform a deep cleanse of your pots and pans at the same time.
This versatile soap can also be used to clean your kitchen surfaces, and even your oven top too! Each block weighs just under 6oz and should easily last 2 to 3 months with proper care.
It contains no nasties, uses all vegan ingredients, comes packaged in a simple paper box, and is palm-oil free.
Common Good Dish Soap is 100% plant-based, sulphate and paraben-free, cruelty-free (leaping bunny certified) and safe for every member of the family. And it’s fragranced with 100% pure essential oils for a gentle, natural scent. It does contain sustainably sourced palm oil.
This non toxic dish detergent is kind on hands while being effective at cleaning dishes and leaving them shining! Common Good products are sold in plastic bottles that are refillable and commonly recyclable. So while this isn’t a zero waste dish soap, it’s better than some on the market. We’ve included this option for those who want a low waste product that is safe to use, but aren’t ready to make the switch to soap bars (yet).
Zero Waste Dishwashing Tools
Working your way towards a waste-free kitchen by using zero waste dishwashing liquid is all well and good, but you can do one step better by using sustainable dishwashing brushes and scrubbers too! Here are some of the best plastic-free dishwashing tools to accompany your new environmentally-friendly routine.
This bamboo and tampico fiber brush set is eco-friendly, long-lasting, and 100% natural. You’ll get one handle with a brush head, and two further replacement heads, making it extremely good value. And because it’s a completely natural product, it’s biodegradable and compostable too.
These brushes are ideal to use with dish soap blocks, and can clean pots, pans and dishes with ease.
If you prefer to use a cloth or sponge when doing the dishes, these dream cloths are the perfect zero waste answer.
Each cloth holds 13x its weight in water, and they’re made with 100% plant-based ingredients.
The cloths should last up to a year of regular use (washing them in the machine or dishwasher every week to keep them tip-top), and once they’re past their best you can simply toss them in your compost bin.
You don’t need to buy anything new to house your plastic free dishwashing liquid, as I’m sure you’ll have some old bottles knocking around at home already. But if you want something a little bit more aesthetically pleasing, this glass soap dispenser from Etee is the way to go.
Ideal for using with their dish soap concentrate, this mason jar with pump looks great on your countertop, and can be used time and time again.
Already have some mason jars at home? You can just buy the pump attachment separately!
If you want something a little grittier than a sponge, but a little more versatile than a scrubbing brush, this loofie scrubber from Etee could well be the answer.
With a biodegradable sponge/cloth on one side and a natural loofah scrubber on the other, it’s the all-in-one plastic-free dishwashing solution you’ve been looking for!
Buy one or a three-pack to use around the home – they’re also fab for cleaning bathrooms, the laundry, or any miscellaneous messes.
The final “must-have” when using zero waste soap bars is a good soap holder. This isn’t just for aesthetic value, a good soap holder will allow any excess water to drain off, which means your soap will last longer.
This wooden soap holder from the HTB Store is made from FSC Certified Teak Wood and will look great on your countertop while prolonging the life of your dish soap.
Now you have all the tools you’ll need for an eco-friendly scrub! Don’t forget to check out our Zero Waste Kitchen article for more ways to reduce waste in your home.