I am so excited to share my newest book, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home  with you.  Through the book I guide you through my findings about what is in our homes and our daily-use products. If you’ve followed along on Clean Mama you know that I am all about natural products that are truly safe for your family.

Along the way I have recommended products that I believed to be 100% safe that actually weren’t. I corrected those inconsistencies and started making my own DIY cleaners as a result. You can see my DIY cleaning recipes here on the blog. I wrote a whole book on DIY cleaners back in 2014 here and a book on my cleaning routine complete with simple and safe DIY recipes – Simply Clean, 2017. I’m really excited to share some Healthy Home Swaps with you. This is a series intended to test out known safe products and simply share my findings and opinions with you, hopefully making a swap a little bit easier. I’ll continue to test out products with the hope that you’ll consider swapping out your everyday product for a safe alternative.

Let’s look at dishwasher detergent, shall we? You’d think that dishwasher detergent is just safe across the board because we eat off and drink out of dishes that come in direct contact with this cleaner, right? But it’s not. Dishwasher detergent can contain bleach, artificial fragrance, dyes, and a whole host of chemicals with known adverse health affects. These effects can be respiratory issues, endocrine disruptors, and known carcinogens. You can see quite a few ratings on EWG here if you’re interested.

Why should you worry about what is in your cleaning products? There is little to no regulation on ingredients and what is considered safe so you need to do your research and decide what you are okay with. I’ll be sharing information with you in little doses here and there as I always have been but I hope you understand that you should be concerned. If you use dishwasher detergent, it’s worth a look into what is in it because it’s coming in contact with your food and it’s going into the ecosystem as well.


Dishwasher detergent is one of the most complicated products to effectively DIY and it’s also difficult to find one that works well in your home. Why? There are so many factors – your dishwasher, how hard or soft your water is, if you are on a well, have city water, etc. My hope with this post is to give you a couple detergents that are SAFE and work well. All of these products work in our dishwasher with our water. If you’re curious, we soften and filter our water. I know that that helps keep glasses clear and keeps a film or residue off dishes.

Here are a couple differences I noticed in my testing and use in my home

My first suggestion when looking at dishwasher detergents is to always choose one that is unscented. You don’t want your dishes to have a scent or taste and if you look at ratings, the fragranced ones always rank lower. I’m sharing my favorite types of each kind of dishwasher detergent – pods, powder, and gel.

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs

Easily accessible, you can find these at grocery stores, Target, Walmart, etc. This works well, is rated well and is typically the least expensive option.


Grab Green Dishwasher Pods

This is what I use most of the time. I’ve found that it does the best job with my dishwasher and water scenario.

Biokleen Automatic Dish Powder

This is a great option if you prefer powder – it comes with a scoop to ensure you get just the right amount dispensed.

Better Life Dishwasher Gel

Prefer a liquid or gel dishwasher formulation? This is the best one on the market in my opinion.

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs – free & clear / 45 uses / $9.99 / 28.5 oz ($.2/oz)

Biokleen Automatic Dish Powder – 64 uses / $11.89 / 32 oz ($.37/oz)

Grab Green Dishwasher Pods – fragrance free – 60 uses / $15.42 / 36 oz ($.43/oz)

Better Life Dishwasher Gel –  60 uses / $12.85 / 30 oz ($.43/oz)

Have you tried any of these dishwasher detergents? What are your thoughts?