I was challenged the other day about how eco-conscious dishwashers are. There is significant research that corroborates that dishwashers use 1/3 of the amount of water and almost 40% of the energy used during manual handwashing. To geek up on the latest thinking, take a look at this report published earlier this year https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7620/ab716b. Dishwashers can work effectively at much lower temperatures and with less water than their predecessors. But and this is a big BUT. They are only as ‘green’ as that which you put in the machine.
Conventional dishwashing detergents come packed full of chemicals, often encased in plastic wrappers or pods and then also often packaged in plastic bags or boxes. Have you ever stopped to think “Why does my Finish Powerball need to come in a toddler-enticing brightly coloured gel parcel ? ” The answer is, it doesn’t. Dishwasher detergent was traditionally made in the form of powder. It’s why all dishwashers across the globe have those little hidey-holes inside the door. You pour the powder in, snap the lid down, close the door and off we go. But the big GSK’s of this world can’t build their empires with us happily using the same product day in day out. So they introduced product innovation to encourage us consumers to upgrade our detergent for more whizz bang varieties. This led us from the humble powder, to liquid, to gels, to tablets, to pods and now ‘Willy-Wonka-inspired-everlasting-gobstopper-style’ detergent parcels.
In combination with these product releases, we were instructed that we needed to also use copious amounts of rinse aid. It seems to me that that we need more aid with every newly featured detergent. Is this yet another example of how to make us part with our cash and improve profit margins for the big corporations ?
These conventional detergents release harmful chemicals into our water systems and add to the mountains of packaging waste. So what is the alternative? I switched to Ecover some years ago and naively thought it answered my search for environmentally sound dishwashing. Unfortunately, digging beneath the surface revealed that this was not the green solution for which I was hoping. Ecover (along with Method), is owned by SC Johnson which has a terrible track record for testing on animals and is a big customer for unethical Palm Oil supplies. Ecover recently announced, to great fanfare, that they now offer a fully recycled and recyclable washing up liquid bottle for the first time in 2020 – but only their washing up bottle not any other item in their vast product range. Their dishwasher tablets feature fatty alcohol alkoxylate which is commonly derived from palm oil. Furthermore, the tablets are individually wrapped in non recyclable plastic. Perhaps not so ‘ecofriendly’ after all!
With no ‘holier than thou' alternatives, I sought out a natural dishwashing recipe and was delighted to find Zuzanna who has created the recipe for our bide dishwashing detergent. We have gone to back to basics and devised fully biodegradable, natural, vegan dishwasher powder. bide dishwasher powder is fragranced with essential peppermint oil and contains a simple list of plant derived ingredients:
Zuzanna could well be the Josephine of our time; our dishwashing powder performs as well as its chemically derived peers and leaves the dishwasher smelling delightful. Here’s hoping that yet another pioneering female will help us achieve a more eco-conscious lifestyle.
bide dishwasher powder can be found in our eco-cleaning box; a month’s supply of eco conscious, vegan, ethical cleaning products to keep your home sparkling clean.