I have seen a dishwashing bar commercial in which the actor says that I don’t eat bar because the cleaned dishes has a layer of bar chemical and then he advertise about the dishwashing liquid of some brand. He must have forgotten that even a liquid can leave many elements on the cleaned dishes which are invisible to the naked eyes but can harm you as much as the chemicals of dishwashing bar. There are many toxic chemical present in the dishwashing liquid or bar that are making you sick little by little every day.
What does the dishwashing products do?
Dishwashing products are available in various forms such as liquids, gels, powders and solids and they clean the dishes in different ways such as:
- Hand dishwashing detergents remove food particles and hold these particles in the suspension while automatic dishwasher also emulsify grease and oil, reduce foam generated by protein soil and help in removing the water layer from the dish surface besides removing the food particles and holding them in suspension. They produce negligible amount of suds which could interfere in the washing mechanism of the dishwasher.
- Rinse agents which are used in dishwasher detergent to reduce the surface tension to improve the draining of water from dishes. Better draining increases the drying of dishes and reduces any spotting and filming on the surface of dishes and utensils.
- Film remover, the agents which removes the hard water film and cloudiness from the dishes and interior of the dishwasher are used in a separate cycle or along with the dishwashing detergent.
- Lime and rust removers are used to remove the deposits of lime or rust from the interior of the dishwasher when there are no dishes or dishwasher products present in the dishwasher.
What components of dishwashing liquid or bar can make you sick?
- Sodium borate and Cocamide dea are two F – rated ingredients by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Although, sodium borate is a natural mineral but it can interfere with the human endocrine system and causes developmental, reproductive and endocrine disruption in the body. Cocamide dea is a synthetic form of coconut oil used to produce foam during dishwashing. It is found to have carcinogenic properties.
- The dishwashing liquid such as lime green color derives its color from one or more synthetic colors which are found to be possible carcinogens by the EWG. Even the fragrance present in your dishwashing product is also comes from non specified ingredients. Besides these chemicals, other components such as formaldehyde, methanol and traces of other chemicals are also found in the dishwashing liquid and bar which can be harmful for your health and environment.
- If you use film removers to remove the heavily crusty and burnt utensils then you are exposing yourself to harmful chemicals like glycol ethers and diethanolamine. Glycol ether is a grease cutting compound and can harm your developmental and reproductive system while the latter ingredient (diethanolamine) is a possible carcinogen and can negatively affect your kidneys. Therefore these ingredients have got F rating from the EWG.
- Some dishwashing detergents contains chlorine bleach or silicate salts and comes with a warning that the product should not come in contact with eyes, mouth and skin. Then how could it be used to wash dishes??? These products have also earned F rating from the EWG for containing harmful chemicals.
- Some dishwashing soap includes an ingredient FD&C Red 40 which is a synthetic color. It can cause damage to your DNA and is a possible carcinogen. The unspecified fragrances and other chemicals can cause respiratory and skin irritation.
- Other toxic chemicals present in the dishwashing products are methylisothiazolinone, phosphate, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, dea-dodecylbenzenesulfonate, tetrasodium edta, sodium laureth sulfate and benzisothiazolinone. The harmful effects ranges from cancer to nervous system damage to ecotoxicity which means these chemicals are harmful for human as well as environment. It is better to switch to organic dishwashing methods rather than chemical ones to save ourselves and our planet.