I have been trying different dishsoaps to find one that has all natural ingredients without phosphates or any other harsh cleaners. Seventh Generation was the easiest one for me to find. It is non-toxic and biodegradable, hypo-allergenic, free of phosphates, not tested on animals, safe for septic systems, Kosher-certified, and the bottle contains 90% post-consumer recycled plastic. They promise to list all of their chmicals as well as explain them.
The ingredients for the Lavender Floral & Mint are: Aqua (water), sodium lauryl sulfate, lauramine oxide, decyl glucoside and lauryl polyglucose (plant-derived cleaning agents), 1,3 –propanediol (plant-derived foam stabilizer), citric acid (cornstarch-derived water softener), sodium chloride (thickener), magnesium chloride (cleaning enhancer), essential oils and botanical extracts (citrus aurantifolia (lime), lavedula angustifolia (lavender), menthe spicata (spearmint), metha piperita (peppermint), canaga odorata (ylang ylang)), 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one & 1,2-Benzisothiazolin-3-one (MIT/BIT) (preservatives).
Whew. My fingers are cramping from typing all of that. For being non-toxic I certainly can’t pronounce or recognize most of the ingredients. We actually use the free & clear version mostly. The lavender mint is an odd smell so I prefer the unscented. The biggest change I noticed from conventional dish liquid is that it doesn’t always “cut” through the grease, which may be a good thing I guess. I like that it’s not petroleum based or phosphate containing (shown to be harmful and cause reproductive disorders in wildlife in streams). However, sometimes dishes still feel slightly oily or slick. There usually isn’t any food residue or smell, but the soap doesn’t always leave the dishes squeaky. I also don’t like that it contains SLS. I have one other brand that I am going to try that I have heard good things about. Ironically, we recently got a deal on Seventh Generation for $0.50!! Let’s say that it works well enough to use it up for that price!
Efficiency: 7—Sometimes a thin layer of oil stays on the dishes. Most noticeable on plastics. They are not greasy but just a little slippery.
Cost: 9—Not much difference in price compared to old Palmolive. Seventh Generation is good about providing coupons and sales are common.
Green factor: 6—Strange ingredients and Seventh Generation feels the need to explain them. SLS is a known ingredient to avoid if possible. Contains preservatives. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Database ranks most of the ingredients between 3-5.
Overall: 7—Works good enough for now but I would like to find a product that doesn’t leave a film on certain dishes.