The Benefits of Plant-Based Dish Soap

Written by Salif Thomas — April 17, 2023

The Benefits of Plant-Based Dish Soap

If you're looking to make your home more eco-friendly, switching to plant-based dish soap is a great place to start. Not only is it better for the environment, but it's also better for your health. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using safe dish soap, several safe and all-natural ingredients to look for, and how to choose the best eco-friendly dish soap for your home.


gentle dish soap benefits

Benefits of Plant-Based Dish Soap

Environmental Benefits

One of the biggest advantages of using natural dish soap is its positive impact on the environment. Traditional dish soaps often contain harmful chemicals that can harm aquatic life and contribute to water pollution. Switching to an eco-friendly dish soap can reduce your carbon footprint and decrease plastic waste since many plant-based dish soaps come in biodegradable packaging. Moreover, these are free from toxins, petrochemicals, and other byproducts of oil refining.

Soothes Sensitive Skin

Plant-based dish soap are exceptionally beneficial for those with sensitive skin. These products are specifically formulated with natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin, reducing the risk of irritation and allergic reactions. Key ingredients such as aloe vera work to soothe and heal the skin, while coconut oil provides deep moisturization, enhancing the skin's barrier function. Additionally, essential oils not only impart a pleasant aroma but also possess anti-inflammatory properties that help calm skin flare-ups. Regular use of these soaps can leave your skin feeling significantly softer and smoother.


The non-toxic nature of plant-based dish soaps makes them a safer option for households, especially those with young children and pets. Traditional cleaning products often contain a cocktail of chemicals that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. In contrast, natural dish soaps eliminate these dangers, as they are free from harsh substances that could contribute to chronic health issues. This means you can use them without the fear of toxic residues contaminating your dishes or affecting the air quality in your home. The safety factor is a significant benefit, ensuring that your cleaning routine promotes a healthy environment conducive to the well-being of all household members.

Reduces Risk of Respiratory Problems

Using natural dish soaps can lead to a decrease in respiratory problems that are often exacerbated by conventional dish soaps. Traditional products can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harsh chemicals that may trigger asthma attacks or worsen existing respiratory conditions such as allergies. By switching to plant-based alternatives, you minimize your exposure to these harmful emissions. Natural dish soaps do not contain the aggressive chemicals known for their potential to irritate the respiratory tract or contribute to chronic respiratory issues. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals with asthma, or allergies, or anyone looking to maintain optimal respiratory health in a cleaner, more natural living environment.


Some people might be hesitant to switch to plant-based dish soap because they're unsure of its effectiveness. However, rest assured that eco-friendly dish soap is just as effective as traditional dish soap. All-natural dish soap still breaks down grease and food residue, leaving dishes clean. In addition, it doesn't leave behind any leftover residue, which can be a common issue with traditional dish soap.

Key Ingredients

When looking for the best one, it's important to know which ingredients to look for. Some of the most effective and safe dish soap ingredients are:
  1. Coconut oil: This is a remarkably effective natural cleaner, especially well-suited for cutting through grease and removing food residues from dishes. It serves as a gentle yet powerful component in homemade cleaning solutions, leveraging its natural properties to deliver a clean and safe dishwashing experience.
  2. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is renowned for its soothing and hydrating properties, making it an ideal addition to dishwashing liquids intended for those with sensitive skin. By incorporating aloe vera, the formula not only cleans dishes but also prevents the drying and irritation often caused by conventional dish soaps. Its natural vitamins and minerals help to nourish the skin, while its gentle, soothing effects keep hands soft and hydrated during and after washing dishes.
  3. Citric Acid: Citric acid, derived naturally from citrus fruits, is a potent cleaning agent that excels at breaking down stains, food particles, and grime on dishes. Its acidic nature helps remove hard water stains and limescale buildup, leaving dishes not only clean but also with a sparkling finish. Citric acid is environmentally friendly and safe for use around food, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a natural and effective cleaning solution.
  4. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is highly valued for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a powerful addition to natural dishwashing solutions. This essential oil helps eliminate germs and bacteria from dishes and cutlery, ensuring they are not only visually clean but hygienically safe as well. Its natural disinfectant properties are particularly beneficial in households with young children or those looking to reduce their exposure to synthetic chemicals.
  5. Essential Oils:
    • Lavender: Lavender oil is not only beloved for its calming and relaxing scent but also for its ability to assist in grease removal. Its natural antiseptic properties enhance the cleaning power of dish soaps, ensuring that dishes are not only clean but also free from harmful bacteria.
    • Lemon: Lemon essential oil is a favorite in kitchen cleaning due to its fresh, invigorating scent and its strong degreasing capabilities. The natural acids in lemon oil help to break down the grease and food residues, leaving dishes sparkling clean and smelling fresh.
    • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil brings a crisp, clean aroma to dishwashing liquids and is excellent for cutting through grease and grime. Its antimicrobial properties also help sanitize dishes, making it a great addition for an all-around clean that also leaves the air smelling refreshed.
Integrating these natural ingredients into your dishwashing routine can transform an ordinary chore into a more pleasant, effective, and eco-friendly task. By using products that are derived from nature, you can achieve a clean that benefits both your home and the environment.
gentle dish soap benefits

How to Choose the Best Plant-Based Dish Soap

Check the Ingredients

When considering the purchase of plant-based dish soaps, it's vital to focus on the safety of the ingredients used. A significant factor in this evaluation involves steering clear of harmful chemicals. These substances, commonly found in many cleaning products, can pose serious health and environmental risks. Here is a detailed breakdown of the key chemicals to avoid:
  • Parabens: Parabens are a group of synthetic compounds widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. While effective in preventing the growth of mold and bacteria, parabens can mimic estrogen in the body, potentially leading to hormonal imbalances and fertility issues. Studies have linked long-term paraben exposure to various health problems, including hormonal cancers, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity. Because of these risks, choosing dish soaps free of parabens is a prudent decision for those looking to maintain a healthy home environment.
  • Sulfates: Commonly referred to as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), sulfates are detergents known for their robust cleaning power and ability to create lather. However, their harsh nature can strip the skin of natural oils, leading to irritation, dryness, and dermatitis. Beyond personal health, sulfates are also concerning for the environment. They are difficult to biodegrade, accumulating in our waterways where they can harm aquatic life. Opting for sulfate-free dish soaps can reduce these negative impacts, supporting both personal health and environmental sustainability.
  • Phthalates: Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are often found in a wide range of products, including household cleaners, where they are used as solvents and fragrance carriers. The health concerns associated with phthalates are significant; they have been linked to asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues, and reproductive malformations. By avoiding dish soaps containing phthalates, consumers can protect themselves from these potential health risks, contributing to a safer, toxin-free home environment.
Choosing the right dish soap involves more than just evaluating its cleaning effectiveness; it also requires careful consideration of its impact on health and the planet. By selecting products free from these harmful chemicals, individuals can ensure a safer, healthier lifestyle while also contributing to the broader goal of environmental conservation.

Look for Eco-Friendly Packaging

Selecting a plant-based dish soap in eco-friendly packaging is vital for reducing your environmental footprint. Opt for soaps that come in recyclable or biodegradable containers to minimize plastic waste and environmental impact. This approach not only helps in conserving natural resources but also promotes a cycle of sustainability. Companies that invest in eco-friendly packaging are often committed to overall environmental welfare, which might also be reflected in their production and sourcing methods. By choosing these products, consumers support businesses that prioritize ecological responsibility, leading to broader positive impacts on environmental preservation efforts.

Consider the Price

While plant-based dish soaps generally come with a higher price tag compared to conventional soaps, it's important to consider this investment in the context of the broader benefits. These soaps are often made with superior-quality ingredients that are better for your health and the planet.
As discussed previously, the production process for these eco-friendly soaps usually avoids the exploitation of natural resources and promotes a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, using such products can prevent skin irritations and allergies associated with harsh chemicals. When budgeting for household items, consider the long-term savings on health costs and the contribution to a sustainable future that these products offer.

Check for Certifications

When shopping for plant-based dish soaps, checking for certifications can guide you to more reliable choices. Certifications like USDA organic or Non-GMO Project verified indicate that the soap meets rigorous standards for ingredient quality and production methods. These labels assure consumers that the products they purchase do not contain genetically modified organisms and are produced using methods that foster resource cycling, ecological balance, and biodiversity conservation. Choosing products with these certifications not only supports ethical practices in agriculture and manufacturing but also ensures that you are using a genuinely natural and safe product at home.

Read Reviews

Before finalizing your purchase of a natural dish soap, reading customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the product's performance and reliability. Reviews often highlight the effectiveness of the soap against tough grease and food remnants, any skin reactions, and the scent and texture of the soap. They can also shed light on the company's customer service and product consistency. Gathering this firsthand information helps in making an informed decision and can steer you away from products that may not meet your expectations. Thus, spending time on this step is crucial for finding a dish soap that aligns with both your personal needs and ethical standards.

Check for Cruelty-Free and Vegan Certifications

For those committed to animal welfare, choosing plant-based dish soaps with cruelty-free and vegan certifications is important. These certifications ensure that the products have not been tested on animals and contain no animal-derived ingredients.
Supporting companies that hold these certifications promotes ethical manufacturing practices and reduces the demand for animal testing in the industry. By opting for such products, you make a compassionate choice that aligns with a cruelty-free lifestyle while also encouraging more companies to adopt humane practices.


dish washing liquid


How to Use Plant-Based Dish Soap

To get the most out of your eco-friendly dish soap, it's important to use it correctly. When washing dishes, make sure to use hot water and a small amount of soap - a little goes a long way with plant-based dish soap. Scrub dishes thoroughly and rinse with hot water. When storing your dish soap, make sure to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent it from spoiling.
Switching to plant-based dish soap is a small change that can have a big impact on the environment and your health. Not only is it better for the planet, but it's also safe for you and your family. When choosing the best dish soap, look for safe dish soap ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable home.