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Home, Home and Garden

The Best Plastic-Free Dishwasher Detergent and Tablets in 2021

plastic-free dishwasher detergent

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

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 and tablets 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.  What I discovered was 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. 

Dishwashing & The Law

Great, you’re thinking.  Just add sodium silicate powder to the ingredients of your homemade plastic-free dishwasher powder or tablets.  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!

The Best Plastic-Free Dishwasher Tablets

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

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

Ecoleaf Dishwasher Tablets

plastic free dishwasher detergent UK

Ecoleaf Dishwasher Tablets (£13.49 for 70*; or £5.45 for 25*) are a great eco-friendlier AND plastic-free dishwasher detergent/tablet.  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.  However, 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.  The good news is Grist says no.  It breaks down to carbon dioxide and water.

The dishwasher tablets are designed to leave your dishes sparkling clean. They have 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.  I’ve also had no issues with their cleaning ability.

Smol Dishwasher Tablets

Want plastic-free dishwasher tablets without the fuss? With Smol, you can set up a subscription whereby a box of dishwasher tablets will arrive at your home at a frequency that suits you.

Try Smol out for free* (just pay £1 postage) and then 30 tablets cost £4.60.

Smol dishwasher tablets come packaged in a cardboard box that fits through your letterbox. As Smol’s pink and white tablets look like sweets, Smol have considerately made their cardboard box childproof. This means, if your child gets to the post first, they can’t get into the box, which is great. The only problem I’ve found is that as well as being childproof, the box is also adult-proof too. Between us, my partner and I have three university and college degrees, and we have been completely unable to open the box beyond tearing it to shreds. If you have mobility problems you may well struggle with Smol.

Smol’s dishwasher tablets are cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny approved, and 100% free of any animal-derived ingredients. In terms of what they are made of, it’s a bit opaque. Beyond that, Smol doesn’t tout their tablets as being chemically environmentally friendly. All that Smol says is that “using Smol technology we have found a way to use lower levels of added chemicals per wash when compared to the other tablets brands“.  So although they use fewer harsh chemicals this means their ingredients don’t have particular sustainability or eco-friendly credentials. I’d really like to see Smol move towards more ecologically sound ingredients.

Ecozone

Looking for a plastic-free dishwasher detergent that’s allergy-friendly? Ecozone dishwasher tablets* (£5.29 for 25) are both plastic-free and carry proof of Allergy UK certification. This ensures that these tablets won’t cause any adverse allergic reactions. What’s more, their tablets are cruelty-free and suitable for vegans.

Ecozone’s mission is to ‘make your home an Ecozone’ to reduce the number of toxic chemicals in your home. They believe that homes should be safe and clean environments for all families and that the fight to keep germs at bay should come without compromise or toxicity. I have to agree with this – I’ve not had any problem cleaning my dishes with Ecozone.

Fill Dishwasher Powder

fill dishwasher powder refillable plastic-free

Fill dishwasher powder* (£7.36 for 500g) comes in a recyclable glass jar with a metal lid. Produced in Northamptonshire, Fill is made with natural and biodegradable ingredients which are also vegan and cruelty-free. What’s more, once you have finished with the 500g jar you can purchase a 10kg bulk refill bag* (£33) to reduce waste.  This comes in a plastic-free cotton stitched brown paper bag, so there’s no sneaky plastic in your dishwasher detergent here either.

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!

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

The Best Zero-Waste & Plastic-Free Makeup Brands To Know

plastic-free makeup uk

Looking for the best zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands? Right this way – I’ve got nine brands for you to know about.

A couple of beloved makeup items of mine have just run out.  A lovely peachy cream blush, and some black eyeshadow that I use to line my eyes. 

As much as I have loved these products, they are plastic-based, so rather than do the easy thing and replace like for like, I’ve been in prime research mode for the last little while.  This has seen me searching out zero-waste and plastic-free makeup options, to see what’s out there before I make any purchases.

The Guardian reports that cosmetic packaging is the hardest to recycle due to the mixed materials used in every product. From compacts to lipsticks, and more. As such, I’ve been down all sorts of internet rabbit holes, and come up with what I believe are nine zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands.  I’ve concentrated primarily on what’s available in the UK because that’s where I live.  However, I have included two US options for international readers. 

Here’s what I found!

The Best Zero Waste and Plastic-Free Makeup Brands

For this guide, I’ve focused on the plastic-free makeup brands that cater to a wide range of skin tones, from pale to dark skin.  It’s 2021, and no-one should be left out from the make-up discussion.

Please note, to support the running costs of the site, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *.

Antonym

plastic free makeup uk

image via Antonym’s Facebook page

Antonym* sells a beautiful range of cruelty-free and ECOCERT certified organic makeup.  Packaged in bamboo and paper, the range is free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, preservatives, and other nasties.  All products are vegan, with the exception of their lipsticks.  However not all products are plastic-free, so do check before you purchase.

Antonym is difficult to find in the UK.  I’ve tracked down a limited range on Naturisimo.  Here the foundation caters to 5 skin tones – fair, light, nude, medium-beige, and medium-dark. 

Axiology Plastic-Free Makeup

Axiology* makes plastic-free and zero-waste multipurpose crayons, that deliver beautiful colour for your lids, lips, and cheeks. Wrapped in paper, and packaged in a recyclable cardboard carrying case, these palm oil-free and cruelty-free crayons deliver a sheer colour, that’s easy to apply and blend and are suitable for all skin types.

Prices start from £12.

Clean-Faced Cosmetics

Clean Faced Cosmetics* are a US-based zero-waste and plastic-free makeup range.  It’s all vegan, organic, and cruelty-free too, and made in small batches by hand.  In terms of inclusivity, their foundation caters to light, medium, and dark skin tones. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere and don’t mind paying for the shipping, then this shop may be the one to visit.

Fat & The Moon

zero waste make up

image via The Future Kept

Fat & The Moon is a US brand that is sold in the UK via the lovely online store The Future Kept.  The makeup range is limited – an eye coal, a lip tint, and a cheek tint.  However, all are completely plastic-free and made from 100% natural ingredients.

Vegans note that these products contain beeswax so are not vegan-friendly.

Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis*, which is available in the UK via Content Beauty, sells certified organic natural makeup in beautiful refillable metal compacts.  Even the lipsticks and mascaras are refillable.  What’s more, their foundation caters to 8 different skin tones.  

Kjaer Weis is at the pricier end of the plastic-free makeup spectrum but gets rave reviews from all around the internet. And they are truly beautiful items that you will want to cherish forever.  The initial price shock is overcome when you realise that once you’ve bought a cream blush in its beautiful compact, for example, the refills are then £17 cheaper.  You can find out more about the refill system here.  I truly love this refill concept.  One day, when I’m a rich fancy lady, this is what I’m going to splurge on!

Something that is handy to know is that Content Beauty offers a 10% discount on your first purchase when you sign up to their mailing list.  

Luna Beauty UK

Oxford-based Luna Beauty* sells, via Amazon, a small range of zero-waste, plastic-free, and cruelty-free vegan beauty products.  Here you’ll find blusher, bronzer, and mascara.  

Lush

Lush sells a range of plastic-free or packaging-free cosmetics.  From unpackaged lipstick to unpackaged foundation, there are a host of products to explore.  Their foundation alone comes in 40 different shades, making it the most inclusive range I’ve found.  With Lush, I personally find it easier to browse in-store than on their website, although you do run the gauntlet of their over-zealous sales staff.  Just me?

RMS Plastic-Free Makeup

plastic free cosmetics

RMS Beauty*, available in the UK via Content Beauty, sells a beautiful range of plastic-free makeup products, packaged in only metal and/or glass (with the exception of the mascara).  They get rave reviews, and they have many celebrity endorsements, including Meghan Markle.  

What’s more, RMS prides itself on using only natural and organic ingredients, sourced from sustainable sources, that soothe and soften skin.  As much, many of their products are vegan friendly too.  And in terms of inclusivity, their foundation comes in 16 shades. 

Sign up for Content’s newsletter, and get 10% off your first order.  

Zao

Zao* sells a wide range of certified cruelty-free beauty products in refillable bamboo boxes, all available in the UK through Ethical Superstore.  What’s more, all products are 100% natural, vegan, and certified organic by Ecocert ZAO.  Their foundation is available in seven inclusive shades.

A couple of points to note.  Currently, Zao says all products can be refilled, with the exception of mascara and lipgloss.  Zao also states that some of the refills are housed in recyclable plastic.  As such, you may want to check this before purchasing.

Your Plastic-Free Makeup Recommendations?

Have you tried any of these brands?  What did you think?  Or do you have any other plastic-free or zero waste makeup recommendations?  I would love to hear!

And if you liked this post then I have some more that you might like.  Firstly, if you looking for a zero-waste, plastic-free makeup removal option then do try this handy reusable cotton wool pad tutorial

I also have some other useful posts, including plastic-free makeup remover tips, and a natural makeup brush cleaner recipe. And finally, this post on the ingredients to avoid in your makeup is an eye-opener.

plastic free makeup guide