Eco-Friendly Dishwashing Tips

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Wash your dishes better without ruining the world.

Dish Soap
Use a gentle on the Earth dish soap that doesn’t ruin the world. You know, the dish soaps that don’t contain palm oil. My old favourite is Method even though it still contains SLS and may contain palm oil. Luckily, I’ve – finally – found dish soap that works wonderfully and is completely plastic-free AND is Canadian. Method, though, is a great alternative when I forget to order more dish soap and need to buy some at the store, quickly.

The reason I keep repeating Method even though it has a couple of small strikes against it (now owned by SC Johnson and still contains SLS) is because A LOT of people like it. It’s a good first step in changing habits, and in my opinion, better than using Palmolive (my go-to for years and years) because of the palm oil it contains. It’s the same as Lush. Many people don’t agree with their use of SLS or that they seem to be more focused on capitalism instead of the greater good (psst, you can be focused on both), but tons of people love Lush, allowing people to cut down on waste and still get a superior product.

What I absolutely love and do not feel the need to switch from: Etee concentrated dish soap. Open up the beeswax pod, pour into a dish soap dispenser, add water and away you go! It may be not as bubbly as a lot of other dish soaps out there, but once you get used to the fact that you don’t need bubbles to wash dishes, you’ll be doing just fine. It cuts through grease, and is comparable to my old tried-and-true Palmolive and Method. Just without the palm oil and the plastic!

Solid Dish Soap Bars
How could I make an eco-friendly dishwashing post without mentioning solid dish soap bars? I love these things and gleefully bought one in France a few months back, excited to do away with all of the plastic bottles my dish soap comes in.

Except, they’re sometimes a pain in the ass. I do enjoy them for a quick set of dishes and they work really well for spot-cleaning big pans and the like, but when it becomes really greasy, then I switch to Method. I’m still going to try the NoTox Life dishwashing bars, just in case the one I got isn’t heavy enough for dishes.

If you don’t have a lot of dishes and mainly use dish soap to wash cups and a couple of plates (perfect for the office!), then try a dish soap bar. If you have tons of dishes to do by hand, I’d suggest staying with the liquid dish soap until you feel like an experiment and trying it out. I always tell people to keep the original (like plastic wrap) until you’ve totally changed your habits, else you’ll most likely end up reverting back to your old ways.

Stop Running the Water
I never understood people who run the water when washing dishes. You’re just wasting water for no good reason. Shut the tap off in between rinsing dishes, or fill the second sink (if you have one) with water to rinse your dishes in. We all need to be a little better in wasting less water.

Use the Damn Dishwasher
Years ago, my parents splurged and got a dishwasher. My mom hates it and says that she can do the dishes faster herself, so she does. I try to explain every single time that you don’t have to do anything when it’s in the dishwasher and it doesn’t matter that it takes a few hours…we don’t need the plates until the next day, but it just falls on deaf ears.

While their dishwasher is an older model, it may still be cleaning the dishes in a better-for-the-environment fashion than by hand-washing them. I know mine does because it’s newer and much quieter and is better designed to fit more dishes. Using the dishwasher, depending on its age and energy-efficiency, can cut down on the amount of water used even if you do dishes by hand. Which means you can get even more eco-friendly and switch to bar dishsoaps if you’re only washing a cup here and there.

Use Better Dishwasher Soap
Stop buying those damn pods that are covered in plastic film…whatever went wrong with regular dishwashing soap? You know, the powdered stuff? That’s what we use and it works perfectly. Eco dishwasher tabs are available if you’re weirdly into tabs for some reason. Else, buy the detergent that comes in a box, not a plastic jug. I started with moving towards the powder from Cascades and now am in love with Nellie’s dishwashing powder (Canadian website and American website). It works really well, and even though it isn’t plastic-free, I e-mailed and they assured me that they’re working on ridding themselves of plastic. If you live in Vancouver, apparently, there are refillable shops that carry Nellie’s cleaning products!

Swedish Dishcloths
These bad boys are amazing. They’re perfect for cleaning up spills as they’re super absorbent and are excellent when washing dishes. When you’re done with them, you can just throw them in the compost. Plus, you can get super cute ones from Anthropologie.

Reuseable Scrubbies
These guys are game-changers, everyone. I used to buy tons of plastic scrubbies for my dishes and then was gifted a reusable dish scrubbie for my wedding shower. It’s amazing. Once it becomes a little too gross, just pop it in the wash and you’re ready to go for more cleaning! You can make your own or buy incredibly cute 2-in-1 scrubbies.

Wash your dishes better with these eco-friendly tips for dishwashing | Luxuriously Thrifty

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