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8 Best Plastic Free Dishwasher Detergent Without Plastic

I have a vast experience in finding zero-waste solutions online but finding a plastic free dishwasher detergent was challenging even for me. However, I managed to compile a list of the least wasteful dishwasher detergents, they’re not all 100% plastic-free but expect to find the most environmental solutions currently available on the market.

My favorite plastic free dishwasher detergents from the list is IF YOU CARE's automatic dishwasher tablets. It comes in a cardboard box and the tablets are wrapped by a natural material. So its 100% plastic free and also cleans the dishes very well.

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plastic free dishwasher detergent

Why are Plastic free Dishwasher Detergents so Hard to Find?

Plastic is broadly used in the manufacturing of not just dishwasher detergents but almost all other cleaning supplies. Because it’s very comfortable and efficient to use, and most people don’t really mind it, manufacturers often disregard the problems that it presents to the environment and to our health.

Eco-friendly packaging products like metal or glass are more heavy to ship and easy to break, while natural, bio-degradable packaging materials have a short life span and usually can’t hold a chemical liquid for long without dissolving.

Slowly, the world is looking towards reducing the use of plastic and switching to more eco-friendly materials and solutions. When it happens, this list will update accordingly.

Below are our 5 top picks for plastic free dishwasher detergent. Keep in mind that it’s fairly hard to find a dishwasher detergent without plastic. 

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IF YOU CARE Automatic...
Ecover Automatic...
Dropps Dishwasher...
Nellie's Dishwasher...
Seventh Generation...
Plastic-free packaging?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Plastic-free tablets/powder wrap?
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Natural (bio-based) detergent?
100%
100%
100%
100%
78%
Phosphate-free?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
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IF YOU CARE Automatic...
Plastic-free packaging?
Yes
Plastic-free tablets/powder wrap?
Yes
Natural (bio-based) detergent?
100%
Phosphate-free?
Yes
Price
Buy Now Button
Thumbnail
Ecover Automatic...
Plastic-free packaging?
Yes
Plastic-free tablets/powder wrap?
No
Natural (bio-based) detergent?
100%
Phosphate-free?
Yes
Price
Buy Now Button
Thumbnail
Dropps Dishwasher...
Plastic-free packaging?
Yes
Plastic-free tablets/powder wrap?
Yes
Natural (bio-based) detergent?
100%
Phosphate-free?
Yes
Price
Buy Now Button
Thumbnail
Nellie's Dishwasher...
Plastic-free packaging?
Yes
Plastic-free tablets/powder wrap?
No
Natural (bio-based) detergent?
100%
Phosphate-free?
Yes
Price
Buy Now Button
Thumbnail
Seventh Generation...
Plastic-free packaging?
No
Plastic-free tablets/powder wrap?
Yes
Natural (bio-based) detergent?
78%
Phosphate-free?
Yes
Price
Buy Now Button

8 Best Plastic free Dishwasher Detergent

For a wider variety, here are 10 of the best plastic-free dishwasher detergents. These eco-friendly products are not in any specific order.

1. Dropps Dishwasher Detergent

  • 100% bio-based detergent
  • Unscented
  • Cardboard packaging
  • Almost plastic-free

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Dropps is a brand with an environmental cause, they are doing their best to fight single-use plastic. Supporting them in that cause is what I believe green consumers should do, even if thire products are not perfected yet.

Dropps Dishwasher Detergent are almost plastic free. The eco-friendly dishwasher detergent pods arrive in a cardboard box but inside a plastic tub or Ziploc bag. The box contain 25, 120, or even 804 pods.

The detergent itself is biodegradable; truly a sustainable dishwasher detergent. It’s a natural, vegan detergent with no phosphates or chlorine included. They are probably one of the most environmental dishwasher detergent options we have here.

As comfortable to use as it is, the plain cardboard box may make it a less attractive option for some. Another aspect that may drive people away is its somewhat high price.

On the other hand, some reviewers negatively commented on the durability of the pods packaging and that the pods break down during delivery. Read more reviews.

2. IF YOU CARE Automatic plastic free dishwasher detergent

  • 100% plastic-free
  • Formulated with no chlorine or phosphates.
  • Biodegradable formula.
  • Tab’s wrapper is made of water-soluble material

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IF YOU CARE Automatic Dishwasher Tablets is the most plastic-free dishwasher detergent we have on our list. It’s actually 100% plastic-free It comes in a cardboard box and the tabs are individually wrapped by a cellulose like material. This, combined with the fact that it’s not made with chlorine and phosphates, makes it my choice for best plastic-free dishwasher detergents

One package includes 40 tabs that come in a cardboard box. The tablets are rather smaller than usual but it’s only because they are highly concentrated. The formula for IF YOU CARE Automatic Dishwasher Tablets is natural, vegan, and cruelty-free certified. Also, it’s very comfortable to use, you don’t need to unwrap the tabs

IF YOU CARE is a well-known green-brand that produces great quality products, you can count on it to clean your dishes well

Reviews

Reviewers recommend it to people with sensitivity towards fragrances or harsh chemicals. Some said this product is great as it doesn’t upset irritate skin or cause headaches. Read more reviews.

3. Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent

  • 78% bio-based detergent
  • No phosphates, dyes, or chlorine bleaches
  • Fragrance-free
  • It contains 45 pods

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Seventh Generation is another brand with the intention of minimizing its environmental impact to the bare minimum while still manufacturing high quality products

Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent pods come in a recyclable plastic pouch and the pods them self’s are individually wrapped in a thin layer, which is not plastic, but a synthetic material called polyvinyl alcohol. The pods are 78% Bio-based. Each bag contains 45 pods, and that’s the only available size.

The tablets are made of a bio-based formula containing enzymes that’ll break down the left overs easily. So, if you tend to cook greasy food this is a great choice

Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent resalable plastic bag makes it easy to use and store the pods efficiently without damaging them. This detergent will work just fine with hard water because it contains no phosphates or chlorine. This non-toxic dishwasher detergent is easy to use, just place the pod and it’ll dissolve on its own.

Reviews

Several of the reviewers weren’t happy with how the pods left a white film on the dishes and glasses. Other than that it’s a rather sustainable product that has been highly recommended because of bio-based it is. Read more reviews.

4. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dishwasher Detergent

  • Several plant-derived refreshing scents
  • Suitable to use with all machines
  • Not tested on animals
  • Formulated with non-toxic ingredients

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Mrs. Meyer’s detergent is a natural product, yet it isn’t organic (the difference). This green dishwasher comes in packets of 3, each of them containing 20 pods, which makes it a bit expensive. These dishwasher detergent pods are vegan and cruelty-free

Mrs. Meyer’s detergent pods are also non-toxic. It was formulated without phosphates nor chlorine. Hence, it may not work well with persistent grease and stains. Too bad, it’s packed in a plastic bag, and not in another sustainable packaging.

Reviews

Several of the reviewers weren’t happy with how the pods left a white film on the dishes and Most reviews mentioned how amazing they thought the smell of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is. They strongly recommended trying all the scents this product has to offer. Read more reviews.

5. Beyond Natural Dishwasher Detergent

  • 75% bio-based
  • Doesn’t contain dyes, fragrances, or chlorine
  • Budget-friendly
  • Tablet isn’t wrapped in plastic and easily dissolves in water
  • Cruelty-free

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Beyond natural dishwasher detergent ingredients are all plant-based, which means that it’s vegan and sustainable. It contains no harsh chemicals like chlorine or phosphates. The tabs are extremely easy to use as the wrappers around them dissolve on their own. On top of all that, it’s budget-friendly.

The natural formula makes this tablets effective even in hard water if you’re facing problem with tablets not dissolving due to the hard water in your area. Many have recommended this product as a good solution.

The Beyond natural detergent has 32 plastic-free dishwasher tablets that come in a cardboard box with wrappers that are made from biodegradable materials. Unfortunately, there are no other sizes. The packaging may not be aesthetically but it’s 100% plastic recycled cardboard.

Reviews

More than one reviewer have mentioned that sometimes the tabs didn’t dissolve like they’re supposed to. Some reviewers said that the tablets are individually wrapped in plastic but the company representative claims the material is not plastic. Read more reviews.

6. Nellie’s Dishwasher Powder

  • Tin metal packaging
  • Phosphate-free
  • Safe for all septic systems
  • Biodegradable properties
  • Hard water doesn’t hinder its performance

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Nellie's Dishwasher Powder is almost plastic-free. It comes as loose powder inside a single size tin (metal) can which is a great solution for plastic packaging. But inside the metal package the powder is packed in a plastic bag. It’s still less plastic than other detergents on the list.

Though, it’s a Cruelty, chlorine, and phosphate-free, natural product. Using this product may not be as convenient as other products because you need to scoop the powder and not just throw in a.

Nellie's Dishwasher Powder is especially helpful in areas with hard water, compared to other products.

Reviews

More than one reviewer have mentioned that sometimes the tabs didn’t dissolve like they’re Customers recommend it for people who are looking for a sustainable dishwasher detergent that’ll clean their dishes well. Read more reviews.

7. Puracy Natural Dishwasher Detergent

  • Biodegradable formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • The formula contains plant-derived enzymes
  • Doesn’t contain harsh chemical, dyes, or fragrances

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Puracy natural dishwasher detergent is a no chlorine, no phosphates, vegan, and natural ingredients formula. On top of that, it’s never been tested on animals. It also works great with hard water.

The bag contains 50 dissolvable packs with a very thin plastic wrapping for comfortable usage.
It comes in a plastic, resalable bag. Unfortunately Not the most eco-friendly packaging out there

Reviews

More than one reviewer have mentioned that sometimes the tabs didn’t dissolve like they’re It’s not overpriced and pretty effective in cleaning the dishes. On the downside, some people say that it suds to the point of leaking. Read more reviews.

8. Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets

  • Free of phosphates and other harsh chemicals
  • Biodegradable formula
  • Removes stubborn stains and stuck-on food
  • Made with minerals and plant-derived ingredients
  • Budget-friendly

Shop now at Amazon.com

Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets come in a cardboard box but are individually packed in plastic that needs unwrapping. On the plus side, the pod itself doesn’t contain plastic, chlorine, or phosphates. Its ingredients are all-natural and vegan. Read more reviews.

The Effects of Detergents on The Environment

plastic free dishwasher detergent

Most detergents contain compounds as nitrogen and phosphate. These minerals encourage the growth of plants. When introduced to a body of water, both the underwater plants and the algae on the surface of the water grow out of proportion.

When the algae blocks cover the water’s surface, the plants at the bottom will struggle to survive without sunlight. This leads to eutrophication, in which simply, the plants die from lack of sunlight and attract bacteria.

The bacteria fill the water in large amounts to decompose the plants and simultaneously use up the oxygen in the water to respire. With no supply of oxygen, marine life and bacteria will compete for the oxygen and eventually suffocate to death.

Read more about the environmental-effect of detergents here

Which Plastic free Dishwasher Detergent To Choose?

plastic free dishwasher detergent

If you want the most zero-waste and eco-friendly detergent, then you should go for IF YOU CARE Automatic Dishwasher Tablets or Dropps Dishwasher Detergent. Both of these environmental dishwasher detergents contain no plastic in their formulas or packaging. They’re plastic-free packaging dish soaps.

If you’re looking for a main stream brand that isn’t chemically formulated and that is environmentally friendly, then Mrs. Meyers clean day dishwasher detergent is an excellent choice. It comes in different plant-driven scents like Lavender, Basil, Lemon Verbena, Geranium, and Honeysuckle.

Another budget-friendly alternative that is almost plastic free would be Nellie's Dishwasher Powder. It comes in a small plastic bag inside the tin box but it provides great value for the money and it’s eco-friendly. 

  • By the way, if from time to time you’re doing your dishes by hand consider getting a biodegradable dish sponge. These sustainable sponges are not only better for your personal health (avoid microplastics) but are also much better for the environment.

My Favorite Plastic free Dishwasher Detergent

It took a while to come up with this list. Even though not all dishwasher detergents here are plastic free, they are the best eco-friendly solutions for the time being. If I had to recommend one product it would definitely be IF YOU CARE Automatic Dishwasher Tablets. Not only it’s a reliable green brand, but the packaging also is 100% plastic-free and the reviews it got were very positive.

Last update on 2020-07-11

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