Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The dish soap that didn't pan out


When I ran out of dish soap last month, I decided to branch out and try a brand offered at my health food store.  The Earth Friendly Products Ultra Dishmate was at least $1 more than I usually spend, but I thought that might be because it lasts longer, like other green things I have tried.  No such luck.  In fact the Ultra Dishmate did the exact opposite.  I had to use approximately 2 spoonfuls every time just to get enough suds to cover my dishes.  The entire 25 oz. bottle lasted me 3 weeks, compared to about 2 months for the less expensive and more readily available Method brand.   And to add insult to injury, it smelled nothing like pears, nothing like anything really.

So I am switching back to that and thinking twice before I try anything more expensive again.

Does anyone still hand-wash dishes like us?  What earth-friendly soaps have you used and loved?  What would you warn us against?  And if anyone has a "green" dishwasher soap recommendation, I know fellow-reader Debbie is looking for one.  Any suggestions?

13 comments:

annie kelleher said...

seventh generation is a line of products that are earth friendly, and seem to work as well as others. i like their dish soap.

Tina said...

I still hand wash! Thanks for the suggestion on Method. I am going to try to find it around here.

denise said...

We love Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap. It is super concentrated, and we use it for everything from making toilet cleaner, washing counters, mopping floors, you name it. Washes dishes well too. And at our local coop we can refill our container from a large bulk pump, eliminating the need to have new plastic each time. My favorite scent is peppermint hemp, but there are tons of great fragrances. And it is all organic. It looks a bit more expensive, but it is indeed very super concentrated...

Lisa Sharp said...

I use Method. I have used the Dishmate as well, I love the almond smell but I think the big problem is it doesn't bubble well making us think we need more than we do.

I have heard good things about Seventh Gen as well. I use their automatic dish soap.

I only hand wash dishes that can't go in the dishwasher both because we have a dishwasher and because it uses less water than hand washing. (it's a newish one, really old ones this is not always true)

What A Card said...

Love the idea of this site! I'm popping over from SITS. I've been pleased in general with method and seventh gen products...

Eva said...

we don't do it by hand a lot, but i have a mixture of dissolved soap made from vegetable oils, lemon juice and soda at hand.

Condo Blues said...

My dishwasher has a clog that baking soda and vinegar won't fix. So until I buy a new tool to fix it we're handwashing dishes.

I won some concentrated Shaklee dishwashing soap in a contest. I really like it. Since it's concentrated it took me a while to get used to using less of if than my normal dishwashing soap but it cleans very well.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

I love Method! Any and all of their products including their dishwasher pellets (I think reviewed them on my blog). I have yet to meet a Method product that didn't work for me. I am just hoping that they truly are a green company and I don't find out later that they really aren't all they pretend to be.

Gray Matters said...

I still hand wash most of the kids dishes and sippy cups. I normally use the Trader Joe's brand, but my husband went to the grocery store last and bought Palmolive's pure & clear . . . . I think he may have been a green washed . . . it has a list of all the wonderful qualities a "greenie" would want to hear, but there are NO ingredients listed. It just tells me there are "no unnecessary chemicals" so I'm sure there's stuff in there I wouldn't be too thrilled with if they listed it.

Christi said...

We love this brand! But I don't fill the sink to wash dishes or judge a soap on it's bubbliness. :)

Willo said...

Annie-thanks! I have used other seventh generation, but no dish soap yet.

Tina-YAY! I am not the only hand-washer!

Denise-I haven't tried Dr. Bronner's but I want to. It sounds great. And I would kill (ok, not really) for a place to fill up like that. Unfortunately out here in this village, I don't think it's going to happen.

Lisa-I am passing on the Method dishwasher soap recommendation.

What a Card-Thanks! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you will come back!

Eva-That sounds so interesting! Will you share the recipe?

Condo blues-Can you use a snake on a dishwasher clog? The snake has become my best friend. Hope you will come back.

Gray matters-I saw that Palmolive in the store this week and steered clear for that exact same reason!

Renee said...

I make my own Dishwasher detergent. 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of Borax. I use vinegar where the "Jet Dry" goes. Dishes come out perfectly clean.

Eva said...

here's how i do it... i measure it by the eye, though, but approximately that's it:

2 bars of soap (big bars)

250 ml (i think that makes about one cup) baking soda

60 ml (1/4 cup, i think) washing soda... it's hard to find here, so i just use more baking soda, but it its much stronger

60 ml lemon juice

use a large pot because there will be a bubbly reaction when you add the soda and dissolve shredded soap in water. how much water? i don't really know, but you can always add a little more if you think it's getting too thick. then take off the stove and mix in everything else. of course you can add some lovely smells, but some soaps come already scented, and there's the lemon juice that adds a bit of scent, so be careful what you choose, some scents just don't work well together.

i find i need to shake the containers before use sometimes.

the problem here might be that here i can find a different variety of soap or soda than what is available where you live so our results may differ.