plastic-free dishwasher detergent

Plastic-Free Dishwasher Detergent

plastic-free dishwasher detergent

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Hello!  In an ongoing quest to try and reduce my plastic usage let’s talk plastic-free dishwasher detergent.

In Fresh Clean Home I show you how I make 95% of my own cleaning products.  This saves on so much plastic.  The other 5%?  Dishwasher detergent and washing up liquid.  Both have eluded me.  Dishwasher detergent in particular.

After trying countless formulations and re-formulations, nothing cut the mustard.  Everything I tried either left a white film on all of our dishes, or a greasy film.  Sometimes, it even left the double-whammy – a white greasy film.  The worst.  The homemade dishwasher powder experimentation era in our house was a grim time.

I sat down and did some extensive research to see where I was going wrong and discovered that pretty much all commercial dishwasher tablets and powders, even eco-friendly brands, contain an ingredient called sodium silicate powder.  Sodium silicate rinses away food and soap deposits and is completely soluble in water.  As a result, dishes always come out clean and streak-free. 

Great, you’re thinking, just add sodium silicate powder to the ingredients of your homemade powder.   It’s not that simple I’m afraid.  Sodium silicate powder is only available commercially.  Its sale is very heavily restricted.  One supplier of sodium silicate powder says “we have a duty to control the supply of these chemicals and any private individual attempting to purchase these chemicals may have their details passed to the police in their area“.  Eco-friendlier shop-bought dishwasher detergent/tablets it is then.  The pursuit of homemade dishwasher powder is simply not worth the very real threat of getting listed as a suspected terrorist!

Eco-friendly dishwasher detergents/tablets are one or two a penny, but eco-friendly and plastic-free dishwasher detergent has proved to be a trickier thing to source.  Even Ecover tablets are wrapped in polypropylene plastic.  Here’s what I’ve found (that won’t get you in trouble with the law):

Plastic Free Dishwasher Detergent

plastic free dishwasher detergent UK

Ecoleaf Dishwasher Tablets (£12.85 for 70*; or £4.99 for 25*) are the only eco-friendlier AND plastic-free dishwasher detergent/tablet I’ve come across.  Made from plant-derived ingredients, the dishwasher tablets are free of phosphates, SLS, SLES, parabens, triclosan and synthetic fragrances.  They are also certified cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.  The one downside is that they do contain palm oil, but as in all aspects of ethical living, it is practically impossible to find a product that is 100% perfect in every way.

Each tablet is wrapped in a water soluble wrapper, that dissolves as your dishwasher starts running.  I initially worried that this wrapper might break down into something bad for the environment, or contribute towards microplastic, but Grist says no – it breaks down to carbon dioxide and water.

The dishwasher tablets are designed to leave your dishes sparkling clean, with a built-in rinse-aid, degreasing agents and powerful cleaning action.  I’ve been using them in our soft water area and I concur – I have found that they perform great on our dirty dishes and glassware, and I’ve had no issues with their cleaning ability.

Other Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Solutions

If Ecoleaf isn’t for you then the only other option I can find is by Faith in Nature.  Here you can purchase a 5-litre pack of dishwasher gel for £38*.  Although in a plastic carton, this is enough for up to 300 washes, which is an eco-friendlier low plastic option if you can afford to shop in bulk like this.  It is worth noting that this dishwasher gel also contains palm oil.

While searching for plastic-free dishwasher detergent I also came across Ecover Dishwasher Powder on Amazon, which is sold in a plastic-free recycled cardboard box.  It’s currently unavailable in the UK but is seemingly widely available in the United States.  When I checked on Ecover’s UK website it wasn’t listed as an available product.  Hence I did the decent thing and dropped Ecover an email enquiring if this was available to purchase anywhere in the UK.

Ecover responded with “At present, we do not have the dish-powder available to purchase in the UK.  I believe the reason is due to popularity.  We do collate customers interest in our products so I’ll certainly pass this on.  Hopefully, the more people who become interested in this product the more widely available it will be.   Thank you for taking an interest in our products.  Best Regards, Kay“.

Here’s Ecover’s Twitter handle – @ecoverUK – and here’s their email address – – so, if this is something you would like to purchase in the UK then you know what to do!

Have you found any other plastic-free dishwasher detergents?  Or have you been able to make your own dishwasher detergent successfully, without the horrible white and/or greasy films?  If so, you have my eternal respect!  Let me know in the comments below!

lemon tea

Ten Things


This week has been a fast one and I’m struggling to get my head around how quickly this week has gone.

I spent most of Thursday doing some admin to make Moral Fibres compliant with the new GDPR laws which come in to force in May, which are all about data protection.

From now on in, when you want to leave a blog post comment on Moral Fibres you will need to tick a little consent box to say that you are happy for me to securely store your data.

No changes have been made to the site – the new GDPR laws mean that website owners (including bloggers) have to be more explicit on what they do with your data.  I’ve written a whole privacy policy on what Moral Fibres does with your data if you are interested (spoiler: not a lot other than storing it securely and not allowing third parties to access it, ever, and if you ever want me to delete your comment you can email me).

Anyway, enough of the legal chatter, on to the week’s links!

1.  What a week it has been for environmental news!  The huge news, in case you missed it, is that Iceland (everyone’s new favourite supermarket!) is ditching palm oil from all it’s own brand products by the end of this year, saying, quite rightly so, that there’s no such thing as sustainable palm oil.  This is in combination with it also ditching plastic from its own brand products.

2.  Waitrose is also doing away with disposable cups in all of their stores, by autumn.  I find it a bit incredulous that Iceland can do away with palm oil by the end of the year, but Waitrose need until the autumn just to ditch disposable cups, but hey, it’s another small step forward.

Waitrose has also announced the plan to stop all black plastic in their packaging imminently.  Black plastic is notoriously difficult to recycle, so it’s another step in the right direction.

3.  What the ‘Made In Italy’ label on your handbag might be hiding.

4.  2018’s dirty dozen is here.  Strawberries, always the pesky strawberries.

5.  What happens when you leave excess plastic packaging at the till?

I wonder if people will be as understanding on a busy Friday night in Lidl.  As I start stripping off the packaging (at lightning speed – I was feeling the pressure), I can feel the eyes of the checkout assistant burning into me.  Then a disgruntled ‘cough‘ comes somewhere from the queue (the ultimate British sign of disapproval).  But nobody actually says anything and when I say that I’d like the store to dispose of the waste for me, she politely nods and takes it.

Do you do this?

6.  Move over Nespresso, plastic-free eco-friendly coffee pods that can be composted at home or in your food waste bin are here.   They are sold out on the link provided in the article, but I’ve tracked them down on Amazon* and the Fresh Coffee Ltd eBay store*.

7.  I love this illustration I found on Instagram:

8.  What microplastics look like under a microscope.

9.  An interesting take on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal: you should be paid for your Facebook data.

For Facebook users furious about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, there are currently two options to protest and protect your data: stay and have little control over your data privacy, or leave and forfeit the convenience and connectivity social media brings.

But what if there was a third option? What if the companies profiting from user-generated data had to pay you for it? What if each user got to decide whom to sell their data to, and at what price?

10.  Finally, I made this vegan macaro-no-cheese for dinner last night and it was so good.  Very highly recommended:

vegan macaroni cheese

Enjoy your Sunday!