Every single day all around the world—and especially here in the United States—people are inadvertently poisoning themselves while engaging in seemingly harmless tasks such as washing their dishes. Before embarking on our journey to cleaner living, my own family bought the giant sized Dawn dish soap from Costco. It was relatively cheap and familiar, so we bought it. We simply didn’t know any better, and we never gave a second thought to it not being healthy for us because why would it be on the shelf if it was so dangerous? However, after we switched to organic food and started researching related topics, our eyes were opened to the fact that many of our everyday products are chock full of harmful chemicals, and in our country it’s perfectly legal.
According to the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, Dawn dish soap gets a big fat D. It contains ingredients known to cause respiratory issues and asthma, skin allergies and irritation, harm to the environment, and—worst of all—cancer. You will notice that if you flip your bottle of Dawn dish soap over, you will not see a list of ingredients, because they don’t want you to know what they’re hiding in there, but by looking at it you can see that it has bright blue dye in it, and you can probably smell that is contains fragrance. If you want the full list of ingredients you have to visit their web site and really dig around.
Most dish soaps on the market are made up of surfactants, preservatives, fragrance, color and other active and nonactive ingredients. Here is a basic list of common dish soap ingredients that should be absolutely avoided:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This is an emulsifier and foaming agent, and the ingredient that makes your soap have bubbles. SLS, a surfactant, is linked to Nitrosamines, a potent carcinogen that causes your body to absorb nitrates, another known carcinogen. Over 40,000 studies in the PubMed science library include information on the toxicity of this chemical.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): According to Mercola.com, SLES, another surfactant, is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process that is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It may also cause negative effects in the kidneys, liver and central nervous system according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Propylene Glycol: This ingredient is widely found in soaps, baby shampoos, cosmetics etc, despite the fact that the MSDS sheets warn users to avoid skin contact. It is linked to liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
- Methylisothiazolinone: According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep site, this widely used preservative is associated with allergic reactions. Additionally, lab studies on brain cells of mammals suggest that it may also be neurotoxic (poison to your brain.) Methylisothiazolinone can also be very irritating to the skin, and it goes through your skin into the blood stream and into your brain while you scrub away at your dishes.
- Fragrance: Artificial “fragrance” can contain hundreds, even thousands of different chemicals, including phthalates, manmade chemicals that can negatively affect estrogen and testosterone levels in humans. According to the EWG’s Skin Deep app: The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
- Triclosan: This was first developed and registered as a pesticide in 1969 to kill microorganisms, but since then many studies have shown it to be a potent endocrine disruptor (harming endocrine system/thyroid function) and harmful to the reproductive system. It has also been linked to cancer, asthma, allergies in children and eczema. Unfortunately, it accumulates in your fat for long periods of time and can be found in most peoples’ blood, urine and breast milk samples. Additionally, it lingers for 12 hours after use, so even after you’ve washed your dishes and rinsed them well, this poison remains and you are likely ingesting it, as your kids. When it enters your system, it can cause bacterial resistance, much like what happens when you over-use anti-biotics.
Chances are you are currently using a dish soap that contains one or all of the above ingredients, and every time you go to wash your dished your are saturating your hands in these chemicals and they are going into your body. And even though you’ve rinsed thoroughly—more than once—you are still ingesting trace amounts of these chemicals and your are breathing them in. By the way, even many of the supposed “natural” brands at the health food store contain many of the above ingredients, or slightly altered versions of them with slightly different names but the exact same effects.
I personally am not ok with poisoning myself and my family for the sake of clean dishes. When we first went on our journey to rid our home of toxic chemicals, I was making my own dish soap, and it was ok but not very convenient. Fortunately for me, I found Thieves dish soap and that’s what we use now. It takes getting used to at first because it does not bubble up—but remember, this is a good thing as the chemicals that cause dish soap to foam up are very, very bad for your health. Our dishes are still getting clean and a little Thieves dish soap goes a long way because it’s super concentrated.
Thieves dish soap gets my family’s dishes squeaky clean without the use of chemicals, dyes or synthetics of any kind. It uses the power of seven different essential oils (bergamot, jade lemon, clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary) from the best essential oils company on Earth, Young Living. Young Living essential oils is a referral based company, meaning you can’t just go buy it in the stores; you must become a member or customer by being introduced by a current Young Living member. You do this by visiting YoungLiving.com and inputting the member number of the person who introduced you as your enroller and sponsor. If you don’t have a person, I’d love to welcome you to our Joyful Oiler family! My member number is 3471989. If you have any questions regarding Young Living, or Thieves dish soap or anything else, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, have fun exploring the blog. Thank you so much for reading! I hope you throw out that toxic dish soap and replace it with Thieves dish soap now. Bye for now…