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Ethical washing up liquid

Eco Washing Up Liquid

See our Ethical Washing Up Liquid Ratings Table to compare brands

Why is it important to buy eco washing up liquid?

Unless you are one of the lucky ones and have a dishwasher at home, you’re likely to be using a lot of washing up liquid. In 2020, an estimated 4.15 million people in Britain used washing up liquid at least four times a day. So we are certainly getting through the stuff! But did you know that choosing an unethical or unsustainable washing up liquid can come with a big environmental cost? From toxic chemicals to animal-derived ingredients, this article explores the ethical issues behind washing up liquids and the brands that produce them. In this article, you will also find out how to buy the best eco washing up liquid out there.

Are there toxic chemicals in washing up liquid?

One of the main environmental issues with washing up liquid is toxic chemicals. Some washing up liquids contain toxic chemicals, such as triclosan, formaldehyde and phthalates. Many washing up liquid formulas also contain petrochemical surface-active agents or surfactants. Petrochemical agents are often derived from crude-oil, a finite resource. Whilst petrochemical agents and other petroleum derivatives are not necessarily toxic for humans, there are concerns about our over-dependence on this finite resource. Petroleum-derived chemicals can also be found in the plastic packaging of washing up liquid. Buy from refill shops or from brands who use recycled packaging to cut down on plastic waste.

Though most cleaning brands should have policies in place against the use of triclosan, formaldehyde and phthalates, you should always check our Ethical Washing Up Liquid Ratings Table to make sure. Some brands do not have Toxic Chemical Policies. Toxic chemicals such as triclosan, formaldehyde, phthalates can cause skin irritation, rashes and can even damage our organs. 

Not only can toxic chemicals harm our bodies directly, we should also consider where washing up liquid ultimately ends up. Any guesses? Yep. You got it. Domestic waste water is known as greywater, and this eventually runs down the drain, making its way into our sewage systems and waterways. This could pollute the marine environment or aquatic ecosystems. 

Our research findings: The use of toxic chemicals

The Good Shopping Guide’s latest research into the washing up liquid sector has revealed the unethical practices that several leading brands are involved in. This research will help you to be aware of which brands to avoid in your search for eco washing up liquid.

Firstly, some brands are still using toxic chemicals within their products, despite the known environmental risks. Our Toxic Chemicals Policy criterion marks companies down for the use of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, triclosan, parabens, and phthalates. 

Unfortunately, only 50% of brands received a top ethical rating for their Toxic Chemicals Policy, whilst the rest are either using toxic chemicals or are not being transparent about what ingredients are present in their products. Some examples of brands that received the worst rating for their use of toxic chemicals include Fairy, Seventh Generation and Morning Fresh. If you want to buy eco washing up liquid, you should avoid products by these brands.

Additionally, you may want to stay away from brands that are owned by large conglomerates, as these companies are typically involved in many unethical practices, from child labour to animal testing, to poor environmental practices. 

For instance, Fairy is a subsidiary of The Procter & Gamble Company, which has been criticised for its entrenched unethical activities, including the use of toxic chemicals. Similarly, Seventh Generation is owned by Unilever, another unethical conglomerate involved in controversial issues, such as animal testing and human rights abuses. Why not instead give your money to smaller, more sustainable, brands that sell eco washing up liquid? By going to local markets or refill shops, you can often stumble across independent washing up liquid brands.


Ethical washing up liquid, toxic chemicals

Is washing up liquid cruelty-free and vegan?

Animal Welfare is another critical problem within the washing up liquid sector. Many brands continue to test their products on animals, despite humane alternatives being readily available. PETA UK estimates that over 2 million procedures on animals occurred in British laboratories in 2020 alone. Look out for cruelty-free washing up liquid brands in our brand rankings.

Additionally, lots of supposedly eco washing up liquid products are made with animal-derived ingredients. This makes them unsuitable for vegans. Even brands such as Method and Ecover are not vegan. As there are many vegan washing up liquid products on the market, there is no need to purchase washing up liquid containing animal products. If you want to buy vegan washing up liquid, look for products that are certified as vegan by either The Vegetarian Society, The Vegan Society, or V-Label

Buying eco washing up liquid can seem like a minefield. Greenwashing is everywhere! However, our Ethical Washing Up Liquid Ratings Table shows you the best sustainable brands to choose from, so you can avoid issues such as animal testing and toxic chemicals for your next purchase. You can find the most ethical brands in the green section of the table, which offer a range of sustainable products such as vegan washing up liquid, eco washing up liquid, and washing up liquid free of toxic chemicals.

Our advice: The best brands for eco washing up liquid and vegan washing up liquid

Although there are many unethical washing up liquid brands, there is no need to panic. There are also plenty of eco-friendly and sustainable brands to choose from, with most of them offering options for eco washing up liquid, vegan washing up liquid, and non-toxic washing up liquid.

If you want to buy an eco washing up liquid from a sustainable brand, GBPro may be a good choice for you. Green Bear, the company behind GBPro, offers eco washing up liquid products that are free from toxic chemicals. Their products are also vegan-friendly, though they are not yet certified. 

There are also other options for vegan washing up liquid within our ethical comparison ratings table. To find vegan washing up liquid, simply look for brands that have received a top ethical rating under our Vegetarian/Vegan category and find their vegan products online. You can also find vegan washing up liquid that is free from toxic chemicals, so you do not need to choose between the two!

Finally, have you considered purchasing a dishwasher? This is not an affordable option for everyone, or for those who live in rented properties. However, as Which? states, dishwashers are 4 times more water-efficient than doing the dishes by hand, so this may be something to consider if you are financially able. (And who likes doing the dishes anyway!)

See our Ethical Washing Up Liquid Ratings Table to compare brands

The research team at The Good Shopping Guide have created individual brand write-ups for every single company represented on our Ethical Ratings Tables. Click on any brand name listed below to read more about ethics and sustainability policies, and how brands are considering the Environment, Animals and People in their business practice.

Bio D, ECOS, Ecozone, Greenscents, Colt & Willow, Eco-Max, Faith in Nature, Wilton London, Homethings, LoofCo, Ecoleaf (Suma), OceanSaver, Surcare, Morning Fresh, Ecover, Method, Mrs Meyers, Fairy and Seventh Generation.