The Sustainable Dishwasher Detergent That’s Good To The Earth & Your Budget

I love my dishwasher. It makes washing dishes such a breeze! But there’s one problem: I hate the scent of most dishwasher detergent. The chemicals in those products are bad for you and the environment, and they don’t get your dishes clean—which is why I recommend trying some sustainable dishwasher detergent options instead. 

Ten Effective Natural Detergents For Your Dishwasher

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be a great alternative to harsh chemicals. It acts as both a natural and non-toxic cleaner, which makes it ideal for cleaning your dishes and dishwasher.

This is how to use apple cider vinegar in your dishwasher:

  • Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar along with the detergent in the soap dispenser compartment of your dishwasher. Run it on an empty cycle once, then run it on another cycle with some plates or bowls in there to get rid of any residual vinegar smell and taste that may remain after washing them by hand (and skipping this step would result in some pretty nasty-tasting dishes).


Borax is a natural mineral that can be used as an alternative to chlorine bleach. Borax is safe for the environment and it will not harm your dishwasher or other household items.

Here are some ways you can use borax:

  • To clean dishes, clothes, floors, etc.
  • In place of detergent in your dishwasher

Washing soda

This chemical is a combination of sodium carbonate and water. It can be used as a natural alternative to laundry detergent as well as dishwasher soap. Washing soda is also sometimes called sal soda, or washing powder in Europe, where it is often used in place of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

Washing soda has many benefits that make it an ideal substance for helping your dishes shine after cleaning. First off, washing soda has powerful cleaning properties that are perfect for removing dirt and grime from dishes before you run them through the dishwasher cycle. It’s also known to soften hard water deposits in your appliance so they won’t clog it up over time—meaning you may have better results with less frequent cleaning if you use this option!

Baking soda

Baking soda is an alkaline cleaner that can be used to clean your dishwasher. It also helps remove stains from dishes and glassware.

Baking soda is a safe and natural detergent for your kitchen and bathroom since it’s non-toxic, biodegradable, inexpensive, and can be used as a cleaning agent without any side effects. Baking soda is also a natural deodorizer that inhibits the growth of mold or mildew in moist areas such as your refrigerator.

Lemons and citrus zest

Lemon juice and citrus zest, which are natural antibacterial agents, can be used to clean the dishwasher’s filter. Simply use a scrubbing sponge and pour some lemon juice or citrus zest on it. Scrub away at the filter until it is clean and free of debris.

Castile soap

Castile Soap is a good option if you’re looking for an all-natural detergent that can be used in your dishwasher. The soap is made using vegetable oils, making it biodegradable and safe for people with sensitive skin. However, castile soap gets mixed reviews from consumers on Amazon because some say it leaves residue on dishes and others say it doesn’t clean well enough.

In general, Castile is recommended for those who prefer to avoid synthetic ingredients like fragrance and preservatives—and if you’re not one of those people, take our advice: skip this one altogether.

Sal suds

Sal suds is a great natural detergent that can be used to clean dishes and sinks in your home. If you are not familiar with sal suds, it is made with white vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap. The combination of these ingredients will create a foaming action that will help remove dirt from the dishes and make them squeaky clean.

To use sal suds:

  • Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 4 tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl
  • Add 2 tablespoons of castile soap (or other plant-based liquid soap) to the mixture as well as 1 gallon of warm water (enough water to fill up your sink)

White vinegar

White vinegar will help to remove hard water stains, and it’s also a good deodorizer. To use white vinegar in your dishwasher, run a cycle with 1 cup of white vinegar in the pre-wash and another cycle with 1 cup of white vinegar in each of the following stages: main wash, rinse, and final rinse.

If you’re concerned about smelling like salad dressing after washing dishes (or if you just don’t want to smell like salad dressing), this is an effective way to get clean dishes without worrying about fragrant additives. The only downside is that your hands might smell like salad dressing for a while afterward—but at least there won’t be any mold on them!


Salt is a common ingredient in homemade cleaners, as it acts as a natural abrasive, but it can also be used to help clean your dishwasher and remove stubborn stains. You can add a tablespoon of salt at the bottom of your dishwasher before running it through its cycle, or you can put down some rags on the bottom rack and sprinkle salt over them before washing. This will essentially give you a DIY scouring pad that removes tough baked-on dirt from dishes and silverware!

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleach. We’ve all heard that bleach is bad for the environment, but hydrogen peroxide is an exception to this rule. It’s biodegradable and non-toxic, so it’s safe to use in your dishwasher.

The best way to disinfect your dishwasher with hydrogen peroxide is by using it as a rinse aid after every load of dishes. You can also add some drops into the detergent dispenser to keep it fresh and clean while keeping germs out!

To use hydrogen peroxide in your dishwasher: simply put 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide on top of your rinsing agent (like Cascade Complete) at each load cycle until you’ve used up all of the H2O2 solutions.

9 Sustainable Dishwasher Detergent To Buy


ADUSTMAN Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent is a brand that you may not have heard of before, but it’s one to watch. The company got its start when a mother of three saw the need for natural dishwasher detergent and decided to create her own. As she looked at ingredients, she found that many brands were using ingredients that should never be put into contact with food or drink—like phosphates and chlorine bleach—and her resolve was set.

This detergent does have some downsides: it doesn’t contain any fragrances (which some people prefer), and it isn’t as concentrated as some other options on this list; however, both of these are easily remedied by adding 2 tablespoons per load instead of 1 tablespoon. Additionally, ADUSTMAN dishwasher detergents do leave behind a light scent after they’re done their job—a clean citrus smell is what we noticed most often in our testing. All in all though? This product is worth trying out if you want something safe for your family while staying environmentally friendly!

ADUSTMAN Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.


BEE Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Tablets are the most natural dishwasher tablets you can buy. They’re biodegradable and contain no chlorine, phosphates, dyes, or fragrances. These tablets are also free of optical brighteners and animal testing. It’s great to see a company thinking outside the box here—it’s a very eco-friendly product!

BEE Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Tablets
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.


Cleancult’s Dishwasher Pods are made up of 100% recyclable materials, are phosphate and chlorine free, biodegradable and free of dyes and fragrances. Each box contains 12 packs with 3 pods per pack. Each pack can be used for 8 loads of dishes (or 80 oz), which means that each box has enough to last you 12 weeks: 40 loads in total!

If you’re looking to buy a sustainable dishwasher detergent option that will get your dishes clean while also being good for the environment, this is one product worth checking out.

Cleancult's Dishwasher Pods
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.

Grab Green

If you’re looking to get your dishes clean in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, Grab Green Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods are for you. These pods are made with plant-based ingredients and are free of chlorine, phosphates, and dyes. They also don’t contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), animal byproducts, or artificial preservatives. With no fragrances added to the formula, these pods will leave your dishes squeaky clean without any unwanted scents lingering on them after they dry.

These dishwasher detergent pods come in two packs so they can be used every time you wash your dishes without having to worry about running out mid-wash cycle like most single-serving products require you do (which becomes an issue if only one pod is left behind).

Grab Green Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.

Love Home and Planet

Love Home and Planet is a biodegradable and phosphate-free dishwasher detergent that’s all-natural, free of dyes and fragrances, made in the USA, and safe for septic systems.

It’s powerful enough to cut through the toughest grease and baked-on food without harming your dishwasher or leaving behind a film. The formula is also safe for use with stainless steel appliances, which means you can clean all of your kitchenware without worrying about any harmful chemicals getting into your food.

Love Home and Planet
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.

Mrs. Meyer’s

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Automatic Dishwasher Pods are an all-natural alternative to other brands. They’re made with plant-based ingredients and have no harsh chemicals, which is why they get the “green” stamp of approval from the Environmental Working Group. The pods also come in a variety of scents (including Meyer Lemon). The only downside? The packaging isn’t biodegradable, so if you’re into recycling there may be better options out there for you!

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Automatic Dishwasher Pods
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.


If you’re looking for a detergent that works as well as traditional dishwasher detergents but is better for the environment and your family, look no further than Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel. This gel contains plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your dishes and the environment.

Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.

Planet Automatic

If you’re looking for a natural and environmentally friendly option, this brand is your best bet. It’s free of chlorine and dyes, as well as phosphates, fragrances, and animal testing. The ingredients are plant-based and also 100% biodegradable. They’re also safe for the environment, which is great when you consider all the chemicals that most conventional detergents contain.

This product comes in two varieties: Free & Clear (which still smells good), or Plant-Based Fresh Scent (which has an appealing lemon scent). Both versions get excellent reviews on Amazon with 4 out of 5 stars from over 700 customers. One reviewer said it “works just as well as any other brand” while another said her dishes had no spots or streaks left behind after using these pacs!

Planet Automatic Free Clear Dishwasher Pacs
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation Natural Dishwasher Detergent Packs are made from plant-based ingredients and clean dishes without leaving any residue behind. They also leave your hands clean when you’re finished using them, so there’s no need to worry about what kind of chemicals you might be touching after the wash cycle is over. These dishwasher detergents dissolve quickly and rinse easily, making them a great choice for all kinds of dishwashers (including those with low water levels).

They’re also completely free of phosphates, bleach, enzymes, or optical brighteners which means they won’t harm your septic system or leave behind unsightly streaks on your dishes like other brands sometimes do.

Seventh Generation Natural Dishwasher Detergent Packs
Buy this sustainable dishwasher detergent here.


We hope this article has helped you discover some of the best sustainable dishwasher detergents out there. We know that sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you have so many options to choose from, but we’ve done our best to make things easier by narrowing down the list to only 9 brands that we think are worth considering. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and what works best for your needs!

If you don’t have a dishwasher machine at home, don’t worry about your dirty dishes. We’ve curated a list of the best sustainable dish soaps if you prefer to handwash your dishes!

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