Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to do this post for you all for the past year and half, believe me or not! Hahaha…as you know I haven’t been very up to date with these things. Momlife + Worklife. Also, I wanted to organize it the best way I can so its easier and simpler to understand. Anyways, I think I am just going to dive into it… and so here it goes. My tips for you for eco-friendly dish washing.
ECO-FRIENDLY DISH SOAP
WHY / BENEFITS: Regular dish soaps have chemicals that can be toxic to humans, water and aquatic life. For example, in the case of humans, a chemical called Triclosan which is used to make a cleaner “anti-bacterial”, bio accumulates in our body and is often credited to the growth of “superbugs”. I know what you’re thinking —” C’mon! we don’t really consume dish soap! Plus, the water goes through a treatment plant before hitting the water outside”. You’re right we don’t consume dish soap intentionally but most of the times, you do have soap remains on the dishes which can eventually end up on your food. And suppose you do get rid of all soap from your dish, the chemicals that go down the drain will still affect the environment around us. You see, even though the water from households go through a sewage treatment plant, the toxic chemicals in the water are not fully removed in the process. Hence, they end up contaminating the fresh water outside and become harmful to aquatic life and animals (and the food chain). Eco-friendly dish soaps are free of these toxins and are biodegradable too!!
ECO OPTIONS: I have seen some dish washing methods posted on pages like Wiki How, where you can wash your dishes with baking soda and vinegar. And they seem pretty cool and economical too! However, with two kids, I chose to use an eco-friendly dish soap instead as it was easier to work around and took less time.
The photograph above shows few examples of soaps I have used and am using. Eco dish soaps like the ones from Method or Unscented Company works like regular soap but doesn’t use toxic ingredients and are biodegradable (meaning that they can break down naturally back to earth). They remove grease quite well too! I was happily surprised when I switched to them. Also, another option can be Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds, which require you to dilute the solution according to the kind of cleaning you need to do. For example, in their site it states for dishwashing “Undiluted: ½ tsp. Sal Suds in a large sink of water. 1 drop Sal Suds for one pot.” https://www.drbronner.com/all-one-blog/2018/07/sal-suds-dilution-cheat-sheet/ 😉 I use it for heavy duty cleaning like cleaning my stove, this stuff is magic!
WHY / BENEFITS: Eco-friendly methods of scrubbing the dishes mean that the products you are going to use will create less waste for the environment + some even safer for your health! Most of the eco-scrubbers are biodegradable, which means it can break down into nature without causing any harm. Regular scrubbers, like synthetic sponges, have micro fibers that breaks off as you use them and these micro fibers go through the water and into the ocean, eventually landing into our food chain.
There are reports found where chemicals used to make these products are contaminating aquatic life. 🙁 Not only that, plastic sponges don’t last very long and are known to grow bacteria in them quite easily! And the less they last, the more we use and MORE gets DUMPED into the landfill! 🙁
ECO OPTIONS: My favourite dish washing scrub is probably the wooden dish brush. Cuz, hey! Nobody wants to accidentally touch that mushy gooey stuff on pots and pans *cringe*.
The one shown on the left here is made from wood and usually allows you to change the head of the brush once the bristles wear out. The best part is, since the bristles are made from natural fibers, the whole thing is biodegradable 😀
I couldn’t find a good scrubber like this when I started buying things for my kitchen, but I came across the dish brush by Full Circle. It has a wooden handle and the head and bristles are made from 100% recycled plastic. I’ve been using this for two years now and it is still going strong!! (this particular one has amazing ratings on Amazon.)
For hard to reach areas you can use scrubbers made from natural fibers. The one shown on the bottom right is a scrubber made of coconut fiber. They are the sizes of regular sponges but sturdier and doesn’t scratch your dishes! 😀
Psst you GUYS!! I was also going to put Stainless steel scrubbers as an option however! I just got reminded that they come from a non-renewable resource 🙁 and most of the time the metal is not recycled as the scrubbers end up in landfill + do not deteriorate easily. So just gotta keep that in mind.
EXTRA TIP: Dipping your unwashed dishes inside a sink full of water to get rid of food scum is probably more water saving than trying to scrub each dish under running water. (Might be obvious but shared just in case <3)
OK So…As you probably know by now, I try to be eco-friendly when I can and I am not perfect but I am willing to learn and be better. And sometimes being eco-friendly can be a little overwhelming or expensive! Trust me…I get it! It can be discouraging sometimes but do not give up! Do what you can, I believe EVERY LITTLE STEP COUNTS! Don’t worry about what people say (eye-rollers we know you) just keep trying!
As my old man used to say, “GOOO PLANET”