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  1. Jackie says


    I know that some essential oils are not okay for baby, especially a newborn. I noticed that eco-me dish soap contains essential oils as an ingredient. Is this safe to use on Baby’s bottles/dishes?

    • Maia James says

      Hi Jackie-
      In the quantities present in the Eco-Me soaps, and particularly because you rinse dishes (as opposed to, say, a body lotion you apply), I am definitely not worried about the essential oils. If you’re still concerned, you could get this one:

      • Stephanie Jo says

        Hi there! I use a Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap/water mix as described above, but in my dishwasher. I’ve been doing it for two years and works just fine! Because of the high heat, Castile soap does “fog up” a bit. Simply put some vinegar in the rinse compartment, or pour some vinegar in and do a short cycle after the main one. Just don’t mix the soap and vinegar together! They cancel each other out!


        • Lindsay says

          This is the way to do it. We use castile soap for washing dishes by hand and in the dishwasher. Don’t forget the vinegar. 🙂

      • Analu says

        Hi Maia,

        What’s the latest status on your safe dishwasher detergent guide?? I am extremely interested in reading your choices and purchasing the best option ASAP!

    • Maia James says

      I would ask your pediatrician, but my understanding is that they now say sterilization is not necessary and soap and hot water is fine.

  2. Patty says

    The johnson and Johnson products that used to contain formaldehyde , how harmful was it?! When my 4 year old was born, the hospital used the head to toe bodywash to rinse some of her baby supplies (pacifiers and bottle nipples) and I’m sure we continued to do so at home for a few months. Is this harmful to her?! I know we rinsed everything when washed and used small amounts of soap but the crazy in me has me nervous.

    • Maia James says

      Don’t worry! Small exposure like that for a short period of time doesn’t confer an appreciable risk, in my opinion.

  3. Lauren says

    Hey Maia- do you have any hand sanitizer recommendations? Also any toothpaste recommendations?
    Thank you!

  4. Ann says

    Hi Maia, could you tell which one is better and safer for my child?

    1. Pigeon liquid cleanser – water, polyoxyethylene(20) sorbitan monolautate, sodium citrate, alcohol, sorbitan monolaurate, sodium benzoate, flavor, polyepsilon-lysine.

    2. Attitude – Coco glucoside (<5%), myristyl glucoside (<5%), lauryl glucoside (<5%), sodium chloride (<5%), sodium gluconate (<5%), sodium citrate (30%).

    Are there any bad ingredients?

  5. Susan says

    Have you heard of Frosch from Germany? I loved Sonett but very sad that they don’t deliver to US anymore. I can’t quite tell from the ingredients listed, but is this dish soap considered good stuff?

    • Maia James says

      Hi Susan,
      Unfortunately, no, Frosch uses synthetic colors and fragrances, and doesn’t disclose many of their ingredients.

    • Maia James says

      Hi Yukino-
      I wasn’t familiar with that brand, but just checked the ingredients. Looks like everything is safe!

  6. Julie Righthouse says

    Hi. Would like to know what you think of Baby Ecos? I bought the toy and table cleaner and bottle cleaner…says it’s supposed to have all plant based ingredients.

  7. Kyle says

    Hey Maia!

    My wife and I are so bummed that Sonnet is gone from the US. We stocked up when they purged, but we had almost everything they made. What I’m wondering is why were we shipping liquids from Germany -> US. Why didn’t they import the powder (if you know), and mostly what I wanted to know was if you had any idea if down the road they’re coming back? Was it one lady that was importing on her own, or the company Sonnet actually having a US presence? Either way, we should probably take it off the guide unless there is a plan for the future. the liquids were just powder + water, so if they DO come back I would recommend they get the powder for dish, laundry, etc. since no point in shipping water around the world :)… thanks for all you do.

    • Maia James says

      There was only the one importer in upstate New York, and as far as I know, there are no immediate plans to begin importing it again. So yes, when we update the Guide, we will have to remove Sonett.

  8. Melissa says

    Have you rated any of the Attitude Products?

    Is Attitude Dishwasher Eco Pouches ok?
    Any ingredients of concern?

    sodium citrate <100%
    sodium carbonate <5%
    oxygen-based bleaching agents (sodium percarbonate) <5%
    sodium silicate <5%
    vegetable non-ionic surfactants <5%
    sodium gluconate <1.5%
    enzymes <1.5%

      • Melissa says

        Thank you so much for your reply. I just recently found your website and it’s been so helpful! Thank you for your hard work researching all this.

  9. Melissa says

    All Organic Dish Soap
    Any ingredients I should be concerned about?

    Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Glycerin, Organic Potassium Sunflowerate (organic sunflower oil soap), Organic Potassium Olivate (organic olive oil soap), Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Ethanol, Potassium Hydroxide, Organic Fragrance (lemongrass).

      • Cami S. says

        It looks fine to you? I was just reading about Potassium Hydroxide online and its an inorganic compound that it highly corrosive at high levels, can cause burns and scarring with great exposure. AKA potash or KOH. Airborne particles can be corrosive to eyes, skins and respiratory tact in short term exposure. How can we be sure what level they are using in the soap? Its in castille soap too. I just don’t know here….

  10. Candice says

    That homemade dish soap you have listed above, Dr. Bronners castile soap, lemon oil, and water – can lemon essential oil be used? Also, is this handmade soap safe to use on my baby’s bottles, nipples, etc.? Thanks!!

  11. Alicia says

    I know of some people that order products from The Melaleuca Company and they really seem to like the products they have used and some of the food items they have tried. Have you done any research on this company?? Thank you

    • Maia James says

      A little, and I don’t love what I’ve heard about them. That said, I need to research further before taking an official position!

  12. Brie says

    Would you be able to recommend any safe liquid hand soaps? (Honest? Natures Gate? Mrs Meyers? Dr Bronners? Puracy? Ecos? Method? Seventh Generation?) Thank you advance!

  13. Catherine Horton says

    Hello. I use the Dr Bronners Castile soap mixed with water for dishes however it leaves a film. Is there a certain Dr Bronners that leaves less of a film then others?? I have not tried the lemon mixed with it perhaps that will help.

  14. Galyna says

    Hello girls,
    what do you think about FIT organic foaming dish and hand soap? Is it 100% safe? Is it better or worse than Better life soap?
    Thank you

  15. Caitlin says

    Hi Maia,

    First just want to say, this website has become my Bible! I’ve found so many great products on here, from our new Soaring Heart mattress to our 6-month-old’s Hevea teethers. Thank you so much for doing this research and sharing it! I’ve passed it along to everyone I know who’s interested in natural and safe products.

    I ordered a bottle of Sonnet on Amazon before I realized they’d stopped importing, and it turns out it shipped from Japan. The label looks the same, but all the information is in Japanese. Now I’m not sure what to think – should I trust the brand, as far as the integrity of the product, and assume this is a label made for their market in Japan? I get nervous whenever I can’t read a product’s label. What do you think?

    • Maia James says

      Hello and thanks for the kind words:). I have no reason to think that the Japanese Sonnet is counterfeit or otherwise shady, but of course I can’t vouch for it, since I have no idea who that Japanese distributor might be!

  16. Nicole Meyer says

    What an informative site. Thank you so much. Curious if you know anything about products by The Laundress? I’m considering The Laundress Delicate Fabric Wash.

  17. Shelley Neunsinger says

    Hi! I love your website and use it often to research everything! I was reading your latest on safe dishwashing detergents. I saw the homemade dishwashing soap using Dr. Bonner’s Pure-Castile Soap. I have been using is for several months for homemade handsoap and laundry detergent. Today I actually sat down to read the very fine print on the bottle and two ingredients I was wondering about for safety are potassium hydroxide and tocopherol. Only tocopherol was listed in your glossary. Should I be concerned with either of these chemicals? Thanks so much for what you do!!

    • Maia James says

      Tocopherol is not of concern in a product you’re not ingesting, IMHO. Potassium hydroxide isn’t such a great ingredient (it’s a type of lye used in liquid soaps), but I also personally think it’s okay in this use.

  18. allison needles says

    Hi Maia~
    I am just looking into the Puracy products and got some of the stain remover and laundry liquid. Have you found these to have problem ingreds? You made mention of a concern.

    Thank you for this soap dish guide – so much!!!


    • Maia James says

      It’s not the worst stuff in the world, but nothing is organic (as far as I know), and I don’t like that they use benzisothiazolinone as a preservative.

  19. Sandra Salatich says

    I am curious about the problem with Seventh Generation products. I see you are not recommending them and wondered if you could provide your evaluation.
    Thank you

  20. Yunna Werner says

    Hi Maia, your website is what I got to before buying anything for the house! Thank you for your hard work: ) My baby is due in Nov and by then I want to replace all my cleaning supplies with non toxic stuff.
    I see you reccomended couple things from Better Life, are all their products safe?

  21. Bonnie Denham says

    I recently tried the Eco-Me Fragrance Free Auto Dish Soap. It didn’t work at all. Plates and silverware came out with a thin coating of gunk that didn’t get washed away. Yuck.

  22. Gloria says

    Hi – i see you once mentioned that Seventh Generation was a safe pick for dishwasher detergent- ( Do you still think so? i have recently started putting my 7 month old’s bottles and bowls in the dishwasher so want to make sure its safe. I did see some of your more recent picks but was still curious on your opion of this (

    Thanks for your help

  23. Beth says

    After taking a look at the EWG website, looks like Eco Me and Better Life are considered to have some cancer risk (having several ingredients scoring a C). When I checked their review of Fit Organic, it was much higher and given a safer rating. Would you mind checking it out and letting us know your thoughts?
    Thanks, Maia!

  24. Bella says

    Thanks for your recent guide, which has been a big help as we sort out dish soap options. I bought the Better Life Naturally Grease-Kicking Dish Soap Unscented and like it a lot (nice to see a safe product that also cleans the dishes!). Is the Lemon Mint scent also safe, or just the Unscented?

    I can’t see an EWG score for the Naturally Grease-Kicking Dish Soap Unscented — what score does EWG give it? They do rate Better Life Dish It Out Clary Sage & Citrus – one formulation gets an A and another formulation gets an F. I’m confused because on Better Life’s website it says if you are looking for “Dish it Out” it is now “Naturally Grease Kicking Dish Soap”…does that mean Dish It Out is therefore getting an F from EWG?

    Hoping you can help sort this out so I can be sure I’m buying a safe product. Thank you!!

  25. Olivia Hays says

    Have you looked at any of the Greenshield organic dish soap and dishwasher detergent? I know that you do recommend their laundry detergent.

  26. O. Gentry says

    I used Seventh Generation for years, but read somewhere on the internet that it contains formaldehyde activators, ie (sneakily) ingredients that when combined create formaldehyde. I haven’t checked their ingredient list to verify that statement. Two days ago I bought Ecos Dishmate Free & Clear and it’s ingredients are not a match to what you posted, although neither is the packaging a match to what I saw on EWG. Their current ingredients are listed as: sodium coco sulfate, cocomidopropylamine oxide, lauramine oxide, coco betaine, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerine, tetrasocium glutamate diacetate, citric acid. It is, sadly, a challenge to find safe cleaning products in the USA. I use tea tree oil (one – two drops of tincture per ounce of water) to clean most things, or the cheap white (wheat based) vinegar in water, but still use dish soap and laundry soap. It took me over two months of email exchanges to get Sun to disclose the ingredients on their Free and Clear laundry soap. Frustrating. Methylisothiazolinone is on the ingredient list as is Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, albeit at the bottom of their list.

  27. Analu says

    Hi Maia,

    Can you please checkout “dapple natural dishwasher pods” for cleaning baby bottles in the dishwasher and let me know if it is safe/good stuff? I am really in need of a safe dishwasher detergent for my baby’s bottles and this is the one I have been using lately. Hopefully it is not terrible, keeping my fingers crossed as I wait for your response! 🙂

  28. Analu says

    Hi Maia,

    What do you think specifically about “dapple natural dishwasher pods”? Is that product safe for washing my baby’s bottles and bottle parts in the dishwasher? I have been using those dishwasher pods for the past month and want to make sure they are safe/good stuff. I really need a safe dishwasher detergent solution as it is really the only way I am able to wash all the accumulated baby bottles. Please advise on dapple natural dishwasher pods.

    If they are not safe, what is your best choice for a dishwasher detergent specifically to wash my baby’s bottles, pacifiers, and bottle parts??

  29. Ana says

    Hi Maia,

    Can you please check out “dapple natural dishwasher pods” and advise if they are they safe/good stuff? I have been using these dishwasher pods for the past month to wash my baby’s bottles, pacifiers, and bottle parts in the dishwasher and wanted to know if it was actually safe/good stuff?

    If not, what dishwasher detergent do you recommend to wash specifically my baby’s bottles and all it’s parts? Using the diswasher is really the only way I am able to wash all of the accumulated baby bottles of the day, so a safe/good dishwasher detergent is a must for me. Please advise, thank you!

  30. Sarah says

    I’m curious what your thoughts are on organic veggie wash, if you use them, and if you recommend a certain brand? Thanks! 🙂

  31. Kandice says

    Hi Maia,

    What do you think about South of France liquid hand soap? I’m using the lavender fields currently, here are the ingredients….

    Filtered Water, Saponified Coconut and Olive Oil, Natural Vegetable Glycerin, Cellulose, Blends of Natural and Essential Oils and Fragrance, Citric Acid, Vitamin E, Aloe Leaf Extract


  32. MaryAnna Stover says

    Hi I have been using Doterra Onguard cleaner concentrate for my dishes. I love it! It has just 6 ingredients besides essential oils and water.
    I’m thinking about switching because it is so expensive! $14 12oz

    •is the doterra soap good?
    (water, polysorbate 20, decyl glucoside, disodium 2-sulfolaurate, sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate, cetyl betaine, tetrasodium glutamate diacatate, wild orange eo, clove eo, Cinnamon leaf eo, Cinnamon bark eo, eucalyptus leaf eo, rosemary leafed eo)

    Is there a different brand that is as good or better expecially if it costs less.

  33. DNagle says

    You stated that Mrs. Meyers doesn’t contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate(SLS). this is incorrect. I have looked at the ingredient list on the Target website as well as their own company website and in both cases it lists water as the first ingredient and SLS as the second. I know you did not reccommend this product–a good choice–but I just thought the folks should have accurate information. Also I wanted to thank you for this article. It provides some good information.

  34. Beth Wiener says

    I’m still trying to learn what is good and what is not. Is The Simply Co good stuff? It seems like it to me but was wondering if you could give me your opinion.

    Also, Common Good Dish Soap

    The reason I am looking at these products is because they come in glass jars, and not plastic. I am trying to reduce exposure both in my home and on the Earth, to plastics (as much as possible). I look for Earth Friendly products that come in glass because I think what ever is better for us and our pets is obviously also going to be better for the environment as well.

    Do you know of any products that are free from harmful chemicals that do not come in plastic containers of some type and instead, come in glass?

    Thank you!


  35. Kate says

    I see the recipe that you included at the bottom includes essential oils. I’d be really interested in you guys doing research on essential oils. My friends and co workers like to claim that certain brands are better than others and that most of what you find on the market is inferior or dangerous! I feel like essential oils are a great way to get toxic chemicals out of your home, but I don’t know what companies to trust. I think Young living and doTERRA are the big 2 that people fight about, but I purchased some from Rocky mountain oils after reading about it on a blog. I still just feel so confused with it all.

  36. Purnima says

    Hi Maia,

    Thank you so much for this valuable article. you stated Tandis naturals solid dish soap is 100% natural, but it is not listed at EWG database. Is it mean they dont have any certification for their organic dish soap produce and The ingredients are disclosed 100% truely? Will you recomnend this dish soap if i would like to buy for baby’s dishes.

    • Maia James says

      Hi there-
      Tandi’s dish soap is indeed 100% natural–it’s just a very small company that makes handmade products and likely isn’t on EWG’s radar.

  37. Marta Paiva says

    Hi Maia,

    In a world of exploding access to information it is so difficult to find answers. I am trying to find a good baby bottle and dishwash product and am not sure wheather to go for attitude or babyganics. Babyganics claim they are formulated having babies needs in mind, but from your review attitude seams better? Also, are these brand’s products ‘nicer’ on the environment?


  38. NickiB says

    Hi there!
    Trying to switch to all non-detergent items in our home due to eczema on my youngest and my husband is sensitive to a lot as well. Thankfully, we switched years ago to good laundry soaps, but dishes are the one thing that are tripping me up!
    Does Better Life have any detergents in it? I love how it performs and smells, and I can see the ingredients used, but I have no clue if any of them are considered a detergent!
    I am using Dr Bronner’s, but I feel like I am smearing grease around and it leaves a residue, even with me adding some vinegar to the rinse water like their website recommends. Forget about it in the dishwasher, too! Horribly filmy and cloudy dishes even though I followed instructions to the ‘T.’ I am sure I am having tons of trouble due to our hard water. But we are in a rental, and I am not putting in water softeners in a rental!
    Can you help? I just want clean, non-filmy/greasy/cloudy dishes that are safe!!

  39. Andy says

    Nice list of natural alternative to the big chemical brands you find in most grocery stores. I like the manufacturers that use essential oils because some of them are excellent at preventing bacteria growth and the resulting odor in your dish sponge. For many other reasons, natural dish soap is definitely a much safe choice especially for families with small children.

  40. Hannah says

    We’re are in a season where everyone is catching so my biggest question is does the natural stuff for dish soap and dishwasher detergent truly have you covered?

    I read somewhere that Palmolive Ultra Original Dish Liquid wasn’t all that bad and just with a little gets dishes really clean! It costs far less than the others too. Please advise guys!

  41. Melissa says

    Hi Maia,
    I have two things to ask.
    (1) In your opinion, you stated that Ecover liquid dish soap is Okay stuff. What are your thoughts about Ecover Naturally Derived Automatic Dishwashing Tablets? I would like to try the Better Life Dishwashing Gel but worried it may leave suds so I am looking at the Ecover Tablets instead.

    (2) I am interested with the Better Life products. I am reading about Better Life all purpose cleaner and saw that one ingredient they listed is Methylisothiazolinone. You stated above that it is a bad stuff. Is it okay though in a cleaning product?

    Looking forward for your reply. =) Thank you very much!

  42. Jackie says

    I noticed you have written a reply to another person about ECOS dish liquid being sneaky stuff. I checked the ewg website and they gave it an A. I made sure the ingredients matched the bottle as well. Your thoughts?

  43. Vanessa says

    Hi Maia,
    Just wondering if you thought the ingredients in this rinse aid by eco max looked ok?
    Water, Food Grade Citric Acid, Plant-Based Alkyl Polyglycosides and Food Grade Sodium Citrate.

  44. Karen says

    Do you still recommend Eco Me dish soap? Also, thoughts on there laundry soap? fragrance free versions


  45. Lana says

    Hi, Do you think Dr. Bronner’s (peppermint) soap would be safe to use for baby bottle/ pump parts ? Should I get the “baby mild” version specifically?

  46. Alyssa B says

    Hi there! I love reading about all of this stuff! Is there an overall specific dish soap you would choose for baby bottles and dishes? I know Better Life is your top pick but I wasn’t sure if there was a specific targeted “baby bottle/dish soap” out their that would be as good as the above Good Stuff items listed? I don’t see the Pure Baby one you talked about available on Amazon now. Thanks!

  47. Laura Townsley says

    As far as puracy goes from what i’ve read it has an “A” rating with EWG for their dish soap. you might want to update

  48. Obi says


    This is a great collection of information. What is your opinion about aloe extract in some of these dishwashing liquids such as Betterlife. Some links aloe extract to cancer (Ex: Prop 65).



    • Taylor says

      Kathy – Dr Bronners can double as both! I hate how it isn’t great at lathering but a way to combat that is to use a foaming pump! I usually do 1/3 Dr. Bronner’s, some EO drops, and the rest water. If you’re using it specifically for hands you can add in a carrier oil to moisturize.

    • Suzanne Weaver-Goss says

      We always recommend asking your pediatrician. However, it is a very safe soap so as long as you rinse them well. Any safe dish soap is also fine.

  49. Irene says

    Hello! In the interest of supporting more environmentally friendly products (less packaging, on top of non-toxic), what are your thoughts about BLUELAND products? There isn’t much on EWG that I can find. My main concern would be that everything is powder and can be toxic to the eyes and lungs. Thank you!

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