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Unscented Dish Detergents


scott123
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I am very sensitive to industrial perfumes, so I have to stay clear of most brands of dishwashing liquid. I've been spending big bucks on natural brands like Seventh Generation and Ecover and slightly less money on Trader Joes citrus dishwashing liquid, but the results have always been the same- a weak, watered down product that requires a LOT of it to get any suds.

Seventh Generation is definitely more concentrated than the Trader Joes, but it's just too expensive for me. Trader Joes is so watered down it's ridiculous.

Does anyone have a source for a decent bulk unscented dishwashing liquid?

Are the surfactants in liquid laundry detergent that different/toxic compared to dishwashing liquid? I can get relatively cheap unscented laundry liquid.

I'm guessing it's only a matter of months before the big dishwashing liquid manufacturers come out with fragrance free versions, but until then, I'd like to come up with something decent and affordable.

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How about Shaklee or maybe Meulalueca? My grandma used to sell Shaklee and I remember it as a concentrated detergents for various household uses...Basic I, Basic H etc that were clear and had little or now fragrence and were sold in various sized containers including large/bulk.

A island in a lake, on a island in a lake, is where my house would be if I won the lottery.

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There's a brand called Planet that most supermarkets place with the regular detergents. If I remember it's slightly cheaper than Seventh Generation and works loads better than the "detergent" that TJ's sells. And I do think that Dawn or one of those makes a fragrance-free detergent, but I can't be certain.

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I swear that I used to be able to find a major brand of dish soap that was 'free and clear' or 'crystal clear' or something, meaning it had no fragrance. I haven't been able to find it lately so I don't remember which brand.

It seems a huge oversight that fragrance-free dish soap is not readily available. I notice that the stocks of All's fragrance-free laundry soap (by no means natural, by the way) are always depleted when I go shopping which is at least some hint at it's poplularity.

Note that my issue with the fragrance is purely annoyance rather than allergy so I cannot claim that the fragrance-free dish soap I was using had any affect on allergic reaction.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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There's a brand called Planet that most supermarkets place with the regular detergents.  If I remember it's slightly cheaper than Seventh Generation and works loads better than the "detergent" that TJ's sells.  And I do think that Dawn or one of those makes a fragrance-free detergent, but I can't be certain.

I think Planet might be a regional thing. Nothing like that here. For a while we had a natural dish detergent called 'Sun & Earth' available in supermarkets, but then it disappeared and reappeared at Whole Foods (with a considerable markup, I might add). Sun & Earth is slightly more concentrated than TJ's but not much.

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have never seen Liqui-Nox here in Netherlands. i've been looking everywhere for odorless dishwashing tablets [actually everything odorless]. my allergies are always getting worse and am actually considering doing the dishes in the sink again....but where to find neutral liquid soap :)

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It's hard to get much better than Liqui-Nox...

Liqui-Nox

:laugh: Amen! Isn't that stuff great?

But a little goes a looooong way.

BonVivantNL, you'd need to look in the laboratory supply catalogs to find Liqui-Nox. I don't think it would be a cost-effective way to wash your dishes.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I use Dawn, they have one that is dye and fragrance-free.

They also now have one with bleach - and they have a super heavy-duty grease remover dish soap that comes in a large container at Smart & Final. I don't notice any fragrance except soap in it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I use Dawn, they have one that is dye and fragrance-free.

They also now have one with bleach - and they have a super heavy-duty grease remover dish soap that comes in a large container at Smart & Final.  I don't notice any fragrance except soap in it.

Are you sure about the dye and fragrance-free dawn? I scoured the website and found no mention of it.

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I use Dawn, they have one that is dye and fragrance-free.

They also now have one with bleach - and they have a super heavy-duty grease remover dish soap that comes in a large container at Smart & Final.  I don't notice any fragrance except soap in it.

Are you sure about the dye and fragrance-free dawn? I scoured the website and found no mention of it.

I can only assume it was discontinued. We had a bottle under the sink for awhile, it was the first colorless one that I had seen. My housekeeper preferred the dark blue/purple one that has also been discontinued but we still have a big container of that under the sink which is transferred to a pump-type bottle for use.

I think they have tried several types, some were not successful and are no longer on the shelf. There was also a pink one a couple of years ago.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Are the surfactants in liquid laundry detergent that different/toxic compared to dishwashing liquid? I can get relatively cheap unscented laundry liquid.

I'm pulling this bit out of your original question in hopes that the competent chemists among us will answer this question. I don't think toxicity is an issue with laundry detergent but there can be unpleasant side effects (as in a bad case of the trots unless you go very, very lightly). (I know this because my mother washed the dishes with Tide laundry detergent during one memorable camping trip.) Additionally, sudsing is an issue if you're using a dishwasher. Finally, I think the detergents themselves go after different compounds. Dish detergent is not a satisfactory laundry detergent. I am none too sure about using laundry detergent on dishes.

Jsolomon? Anyone else? Can you shed more light on the issue of dishwashing vs. laundry detergents, please?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This site household product chemicals

Has a lot of information on various toxicity levels.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 4 years later...

I'm reviving this ancient thread. The dish soaps I buy at the the supermarket are annoying, especially because their fruity scents linger in things like my coffee press and thermos.

Liqu-nox looks interesting but costs a lot and I don't know wher to buy locally.

What about commercial products from restaurant supply stores? Are there any unscented, no b.s. soaps that work well?

Notes from the underbelly

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Are you sure about the dye and fragrance-free dawn? I scoured the website and found no mention of it.

The product is called "Dawn Pure Essentials." It's clear, though not totally unscented. I think it's more like lightly scented with citrus. It's good stuff, though, and has the advantage of being available in normal stores.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Are you sure about the dye and fragrance-free dawn? I scoured the website and found no mention of it.

The product is called "Dawn Pure Essentials." It's clear, though not totally unscented. I think it's more like lightly scented with citrus. It's good stuff, though, and has the advantage of being available in normal stores.

Thanks, but I've smelled "Dawn Pure Essentials." It's better than most, but it's still way too chemical smelling for my schnoz. The really irritating thing is that the package and name both look like it's natural and/or fragrance free, and, unfortunately, it's neither. There are at least three other brands that are packaged in this same deceptive manner, and, collectively, they salt my unfulfilled fragrance free quest wound every time I happen by (which is often because I'm always looking).

Here we are, four years after I began this thread, and I can't walk into a supermarket and buy a fragrance free version of a major brand of dishwashing soap, while, at the same time, the number of fragrance free laundry soaps has continued to grow. It's difficult to find a liquid laundry soap that doesn't come in a fragrance free version.

Venting aside, Paul, if you're anywhere near a Pathmark, about a year back they started carrying a fragrance free brand called Greenway. Like all the natural dishwashing liquids, the sudsing power is abysmal, but it's a tiny bit better than Trader Joes and about half the price of Whole Paycheck. This is the second fragrance free brand that Pathmark has had in the last four years. The first one, I forget the name, was actually half decent, but I'm guessing demand wasn't strong enough and it was discontinued. I get the sinking feeling that Greenway doesn't have much of a following either, but hopefully they'll stand the test of time. If they don't, I'm really up the creek, because TJs has gone from bad to worse in recent years. I'm 99.9% certain they're playing the salt game. Salt will give you viscosity at minimal cost, but it won't create suds or really clean your dishes. It's classic cheap dishwashing liquid chicanery.

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I have been in my local hardware store and noticed they had a complete line of environmentally friendly (and non toxic) house cleaning products.

It seems to be a trend that the smalltown hardware stores are following yet the same old stuff is available at the grocery store. It might be worth checking out somewhere different than a grocery store for these kinds of products. I was pleasantly surprised with the selection of products but confess I did not look for dishwashing soap as I had purchased the gallon jug at a big box store and it seems to be the never ending bottle of soap. Mental note to myself - if the bottle does not look like it will fit in my ancient kitchen cupboards it ain't worth the deal!

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I'm not actually looking for "natural" ... assuming this means fat-based soap rather than detergent. I think detergents just work better, and there's no downside to them that I can see. I just find that the perfumes used are too tennacious. Coffee should not taste like synthetic grapefruit.

Notes from the underbelly

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Paul, when I say 'natural' I'm referring to 'natural fragrances.' The base detergent, is, as far as I know, pretty much the same for the natural stuff as it is for the major brands. It's just that the natural stuff tends to be a bit watered down. The natural fragrances are essential oils, and, because of their expense, usually appear in meager amounts. In other words, even though the dishwashing liquid may smell like real oranges, there's not enough scent to leave any residue on a rinsed dish.

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I also prefer the less scented products. Wash a towel and hang it on the line- nope - does not smell "Downey fresh"....we are SO inundated by artificial scents. The best tip I can offer is the one about diluting your dish soap. I use a clear product with either citrus or lavender (lavender was anti food in my opinion) but it is very light. (Bright Green brand distributed by Lucerne - so a Safeway family tree thing). Almost every home goods store, and even the $1 stores, sell clear glass bottles with siphon top stoppers. I use maybe 1/4 soap to water in the bottle. There is enough oomph to remove grease and I can put it directly on a few dishes for a quick clean or on my hands for a rinse.

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My mom, who was sensitive to both laundry and dish soap, used a product called NutriClean from the Nutrimetics company (used to be owned by Con-Stan, but is now part of Sara Lee, apparently). It was pure and natural before it was fashionable. Still available through home-based distributors and there is a website. NutriClean isn't cheap, but it can be used for cleaning anything except laundry ... there was a laundry product which was safe for septic ... we were on the farm. Somebody asked about products used by food industry ... there are lots that are "food-safe," but aren't necessarily easy on the hands or nose. I used President's Choice heavy-duty dish detergent in my bakery and where I'm working now uses the dark-green Palmolive.

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