How Safe Is Your Dishwashing Liquid?

Many dishwashing liquids contain triclosan, an antibacterial compound that helps kill germs. However, studies have shown that even after washing, some traces of this compound stay on the dishes. Our skin can be an entry points for toxins, too. If we use a toxic dish soap several times a day, we could be left vulnerable to health problems. Research from the University of Chicago has shown that triclosan causes a wide array of diseases and metabolic disorders, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and behavioural and metabolic disorders. So, what do you do?

Understand labels – Read and understand what the labels mean when they use descriptions like ‘surfactant’, or ‘foaming agent’, ‘PH adjuster’ or ‘cleaning agent’. Do your research online and look for what ingredients are used and their possible side effects on health.

Avoid fragrances – Artificial fragrances can contain a lot of chemicals, including phthalates. Fragrances are a major cause of allergic reactions.

Make your own dishwashing detergent – Here the active ingredient is washing soda, a nontoxic cleaner that helps fight grease. Add in a little borax to help remove hard water deposits and disinfect your dishes.

Switch to a plant-based variety – Chose products with ingredients that are plant-based, as compared to petroleum-based. Most natural cleaning dishwashing liquid contains ingredients like coconut oil or olive oil. Here’s how you can make a non-toxic, natural and safe dishwashing detergent:

Take 1/3 cup organic liquid pure castile soap, 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup organic lemon juice, 2 tbsp. organic white vinegar, 1 tbsp. baking soda, 1/2 tbsp. organic calendula oil 1/2 tbsp. organic olive oil. Mix them together nicely. For rich, natural fragrance you could also add some drops of essential oil like thyme or lavender. Pour in a bottle. Give it a good shake before every use.

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