Automatic Dishwashing Detergents

Until now, if you have hard water, the most difficult product to substitute an environmentally preferable one for has been automatic dish detergent.

Most commercial products contain phosphates and chlorine, and while these are problematic for the environment, they leave the dishes sparkling clean. But phosphates soften water and can cause algae blooms in lakes and ponds, and the production of chlorine can cause dioxin and other organochlorines that are long-lasting in the environment.

I am sure I am not alone in having had to wash a film off the dishes a few times after experimenting with the green brands of automatic dish detergent over the years, and ultimately given up and bought a leading commercial brand. It is great to announce that those days are over. Two leading green brands of automatic dishwashing detergent, Seventh Generation and Ecover, have reformulated their products, and the new formulas truly work as well as the leading national brands, even if you have hard water. They are chlorine and phosphate free. The Seventh generation product is also “Free and Clear of Perfumes and Dyes,” and the formula has been particularly improved to reduce spotting and filming.

32 comments

Sheri J.
Sheri J.3 years ago

Nadie S. - thanks for the dishwasher detergent recipe. I don't have a health store here so I'll see if they have any of that stuff at Walmart.

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

never used a dishwasher

janet T.
janet t.3 years ago

Bi-O-Kleen also has a dishwasher power and I love that brand, they make the best of everything.

Ermes B.
Ermes B.3 years ago

Thank you.

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

have been phospate-free for decades...it became possible for laundry in the 1970's

Zee Kallah
.4 years ago

thank you

Bernadette P.
Berny p.5 years ago

anything eco friendly works!

Nadie St-pierre
Nadie St-pierre5 years ago

I use to buy Seventh Generation, which is an excellent product, until I started making my own, which works just as well. Note that I don't have hard water.
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup Borax
1 cup sodium carbonate
Mix together and use as regular dish washing soap.
All of which I buy at my health food store.
Almost no packaging and half the price!

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Mari Basque
Mari 's5 years ago

Anything that helps!!!