Kitchen

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Fragrance-Free Dish Dish Detergent

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0% fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or triclosan

Seventh Generation makes eco-friendly cleaning products. I am on board with that, but I would prefer not to spend more money or lose some effectiveness. But their Free and Clear dishwashing liquid is both cheap and good.

Good (in rough order of importance):

— Cheap. A 25 oz. bottle costs about $3 at Walmart or your grocery store. For some reason, Amazon charges more. [Amazon sell a 6-pack for under $18, making it about the same price as Walmart).

— Effective. Wirecutter calls it a tie between it and Dawn Ultra. I have used both, and I think I might use a tad more of the Seventh Generation for the same jobs, but that might be because it is clear, and hard to see when I squeeze just a drop out (which is all I ever use at a time.)

— Fragrance-free. This is a big one, and why I stopped using Dawn. There is no strong cloying odor of watermelon, patchouli, mango, or whatever to mix, sickeningly, with the odors of stale food and grease on your pots and pans, and to cling to sponges, cutting boards and countertops. That might be a personal foible, but it isn’t unique to me. Dawn does not make a fragrance-free version, though it does make a dye-free version. (Seventh Generation also makes scented versions that use plant-based essential oils and extracts.)

— It does not contain phthalates, triclosan or phosphates. Phosphates are gradually going away. But phthalates are typically found (and not labeled as such) in the fragrance compounds in detergents. They are “estrogen-like,” so even minuscule amounts can have biological effects, both on you and fish, birds, etc. Triclosan is a pointless antibacterial that hurts fish, helps create invincible super-bacteria, etc. It has been banned in hand and body soaps, but not dish soaps. It also contains no dyes, but I am indifferent about that.

— It isn’t tested on animals. I personally can understand the logic or even the necessity sometimes of testing on animals, but I think it should be avoided when necessary. And here, it wasn’t necessary! It is cheap and works great.

Bad:

— Ummm… The stuff is crystal clear, so you might end up using a bit more on your sponge because it doesn’t stand out.

— I suppose I wish it didn’t come in a plastic bottle. But there might be no alternative.

Summary Seventh Generation Free and Clear dish liquid is cheap, effective, cruelty-free, benign to the environment, and comes in a fragrance-free version. Win/win/win/win.

-- Karl Chwe 04/18/18