Among the worst products for the environment are unsustainable dishwashing detergents and soaps (source: National Library of Medicine).
Luckily, you can kiss those products goodbye and switch to plastic-free alternatives. Yes, you read that right: There are dishwasher detergents that are free of plastic, and can still make your dishes sparkle like new after you’re through with them.
Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets are the best plastic-free dishwasher detergent. Beyond Natural features a 100% plastic-free and animal cruelty-free formula and comes in biodegradable packaging, making it the best all-rounder, plastic-free dishwasher detergent option.
Whether you want to know more about Beyond Natural or are looking for something different, I’ll let you in on the five best plastic-free dishwasher detergents in this article.
I’ll list my favorite first, but if you’d rather use something else, that’s okay: I’ve listed four other options you’ll want to consider depending on what you’re looking for in your eco-friendly detergent.
The All-Around Best
Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets
The Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets are shipped in completely biodegradable, 0% plastic waste packaging. The tablets are coated in an entirely hydro-dissolvable film, eliminating waste that usually comes with dishwasher tablets.
They also make washing convenient, as you don’t have to unwrap the tablets to use them.
The best part about this product is the mineral-based formula. It has a built-in rinse-aid and is specially designed for short, eco-friendly wash cycles (source: Beyond Clean). That means you can save plenty of water and avoid unnecessary plastic waste at the same time.
Beyond Natural is 75% bio-based material, so it’s kind to the environment in more ways than one. I, for one, am delighted to use a product focused on sustainable use.
The only downsides with this product are its high-end price and limited availability. If you can’t find Beyond Natural or the price is too much for you, that’s okay. There are plenty of other options you can consider, which I’ve outlined in the succeeding sections.
In the meantime, here’s a summary of the pros and cons of Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets:
- Hydro-dissolvable film
- Built-in rinse aid
- Can work with short wash cycles, meaning water is saved
- High price
- May not be easily available at your local store
The All-Around Easiest
Ecover Natural All-in-One Zero
Ecover Natural All-in-One is, in my opinion, the most user-friendly alternative to Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets, while ensuring a high-quality clean. Like the other products I’ll list in this article, this features biodegradable packaging and a sustainable formula.
What makes Ecover stand out, however, is the fact that it eliminates the need for you to use additives for an effective wash.
Ecover uses a purely natural and clean formula, meaning you don’t have to deal with toxic chemicals that can harm both you and the environment. You don’t have to deal with allergies and other medical conditions from exposure to artificial ingredients.
Because of how it’s made, you don’t have to use rinse-aid or salts when you clean. Ecover Natural is a decent option if you want a hassle-free wash. (source: Designer Appliances).
The only con for this product is its packaging (which is ironic, considering that it’s supposed to be biodegradable). The film can leave a nasty smell or taste on dishes and sometimes doesn’t dissolve properly during a cycle.
To wit, here are the pros and cons of Ecover Natural All-in-One Zero:
- All-in-one formula eliminates additional steps when washing
- Natural and clean formula
- Stress-free wash
- Packaging can leave smelly residue on newly washed dishes
The Most Powerful
Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods
To date, Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods are the most powerful and efficient plastic-free dishwasher detergent you’ll find on places like Amazon. The pods, which have a zesty lemon scent or no scent at all, are encased in eco-friendly cardboard, compostable packaging.
These pods, in turn, are wrapped in a dissolvable case you can simply drop into your wash.
Dropps uses a triple-action mineral-based formula to guarantee a solid deep clean (source: Dropps). This negates the need to pre-wash your dishes. That means you’ll save water, time, and the planet by using this fantastic product.
The formula also utilizes oxygen-based agents to gently and safely wash dishes, meaning your dishes will come out treated naturally and sparkling clean (source: AOCS.org). Compared to other alternatives, this is a relatively inexpensive option.
I should also note that this product is made in the USA, so if you buy it, you’ll support domestic industries. It’s also not tested on animals, so if you have pets, you can rest easy knowing you’re not contributing to animal cruelty.
- Covered by two layers of eco-friendly packaging
- Triple-action mineral-based formula for a thorough clean
- Uses oxygen-based agents to treat your dishes naturally
- Relatively budget-friendly
- The ones purchased from Amazon sometimes come broken
Best Alternative to Pods
Adustman Dishwasher Detergent Sheets
If you’re after a quality dishwasher detergent alternative to the traditional pods and tablet options, I recommend Adustman’s Dishwasher Detergent sheets. Being one of the top sheet-detergent choices on Amazon, it deserves a place on this list.
This product contains some of the safest and cleanest ingredients. It’s entirely plastic-free and biodegradable, meaning you don’t have to deal with the potential risks of waste that can otherwise arise from using tablets or pods.
For example, Adustman’s detergent sheets have little mess (if any), and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up adhesive and other extra bits. I mean, if you have to clean up after using a cleaning product, that sort of defeats the point, doesn’t it?
Also, Adustman’s sheets are incredibly ergonomic, having a lightweight and compact design that’s simple and easy to use. All you have to do is put the sheets in water, mix until the water gets foamy, and wash your dishes in the soap-water mixture.
For your convenience, here’s a short pros and cons summary:
- Ergonomic and simple design
- Waste-free and eco-friendly
- Light and compact packaging for easy organization and storage
- Quality of cleaning can be inconsistent, though you can minimize this if you follow the instructions carefully
The Most Eco-Friendly Option
If You Care Dishwasher Tablets
Finally, I recommend If You Care Dishwasher Tablets as the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable option. These tablets are highly dissolvable and concentrated cleaning products specifically designed to be eco-friendly and plastic-free.
The tablets are non-toxic and include zero chlorine or phosphate-based ingredients.
If you think that takes away from their cleaning ability in any way, think again: Since they have a highly concentrated mineral and plant-based formula, they can still freshen up your dishes and utensils without you worrying about sending harmful chemicals (literally) down the drain.
Plus, this product is easy to use and offers good value for money.
One notable ingredient is polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Several studies suggest that PVA doesn’t have a significant adverse impact on the environment, particularly in areas with water treatment facilities. (source: Michigan State University – Center for Research on Ingredient Safety)
The fact that they’re relatively small is also a pro. They’re about half the size of their competitors, meaning you can minimize any waste from using them. Basically, everything about them is designed to be as gentle on Mother Nature as possible.
In short, here are the main pros and cons of If You Care Dishwasher Tablets:
- Decent cleaning ability
- Eco-friendly and safe
- High-quality and compact design
- Can sometimes leave residue and clean poorly
- Needs to be dissolved completely in water
When it comes to plastic-free dishwasher detergents, Beyond Natural’s Dishwasher tablets are the all-around best. That said, it has many alternatives to suit your needs.