• Valinda

16+ Best Zero Waste Dish Soap

Updated: Nov 17

Jump to the 16+ best zero waste dish soaps

Whether you are at the very beginning of creating a zero-waste kitchen, or you have been living sustainably for a while now, switching to a zero-waste dish soap is an easy thing to do.

Not many of us like to like to do our dishes, but this does not mean we should not pay attention to the products we use to clean our pots and pans. Many dish soaps are not very eco-friendly and contain lots of harsh surfactants that are not only very drying for your skin but also harmful to our environment. Luckily, manufacturers are becoming more aware that we as the consumer want to reduce the impact we make on our planet and we want to use products that support this goal. Below you find 16+ best zero waste dish soaps for sparkly clean dishes.

 
 

What is the most eco-friendly way to wash dishes?

There has always been an ongoing debate about whether or not it is more eco-friendly to do the dishes by hand or by using a dishwasher. Generally speaking, a dishwasher is more water-efficient compared to washing your dishes by hand when you have a full load. However, if you only have a few plates or you're in a small household where it's not practical to wait until the dishwasher's full, you're probably better off washing them by hand. How much more water-efficient a dishwasher depends on the type of dishwasher and the mode that you use to run your dishwasher. It also depends on how much water you use when you do the dishes by hand but overall, a dishwasher is more water efficient when you run a full load.


How to do dishes eco-friendly by hand

The most important thing is to clean your plates, pots, and pans as soon as possible to prevent food from drying onto your plates and needing a pre-soak. Soaking your dishes results in you needing more water.

Also, the sponge/brush you use to clean your dishes has many eco-friendly alternatives. Many of the brushes and sponges available in regular supermarkets are made out of plastic that slowly releases microplastic into your dishwater when you use them. In this post, you can find several eco-friendly sponge options to do zero-waste dishes.

 
 

Is regular dish soap biodegradable?

This depends entirely on the ingredients used in the dish soap but in most cases, this is no. Many dish soaps contain surfactants (the active ingredient to clean) that are not biodegradable. However, more and more surfactants are developed that can biodegrade. An example of this is alkyl glycosides. This means that these surfactants readily dissolve in water and can be broken down by living organisms into non-toxic products. This ensures that when the surfactants enter water treatment plants, they are broken down and do not enter the ecosystem when wastewater is returned to the land.

So, when purchasing dish soap for a supermarket and read the labels carefully to see if the dish soap you choose is biodegradable. If not, choose one of the dish soaps below so you are sure you have biodegradable dish soap.


zero waste dish soap


No Tox Life

Packaging: -

How many per pack: 1

Form: Solid

Palm oil: No

Essential Oils: No

Vegan: Yes

Made in: USA

This award-winning dish soap will transform your kitchen. Cleansing bars have officially taken over in our bathroom and now it is time for the kitchen to join. This soap is made with sustainable soap bark and coconut-based cleansing agents so you can easily tackle the greasiest dishes, pots, pans, and glasses without destroying your hands or affecting our planet. It is so versatile, you can even use it beyond your kitchen. You can use this soap to wipe down countertops and tables, spot clean stained carpet and clothing, and even remove adhesive labels off glass jars. You can use this amazing bar anytime you have a dirty deed that needs tending.

zero waste dish soap - no tox life


Etee bar

  • Packaging: Cardboard with soy ink

  • How many per pack: 3

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: Canada

This plant-based zero-waste dish soap is highly concentrated meaning this 6oz bar will last you a long time. Etee is a Canadian-based company and its goal is to clean dishes without adding extra plastic waste to our environment. Using organic ingredients whenever possible this bar is very easy to use. Just wet your sponge, brush, or dishcloth and rub the bar to create a good lather, and you can clean your dishes. Their coconut and lemon scents make doing the dishes an amazing experience. Make sure you let your bar dry in between uses so you are sure it will last the longest.

zero waste dish soap - etee


Etee Liquid

  • Packaging: Pods

  • How many per pack: 3

  • Form: Liquid Concentrate

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: No (they use beeswax for the packaging)

  • Made in: Canada

If a soap bar is not for you, dissolvable dish soap is another great option. In this case, you simply empty the pod in 400ML of water creating a rather large amount of detergent that will last you a while. This zero-waste dish soap is completely plant-based and when you have diluted the contents of the pod you can use it like you would any other liquid dish soap. The pod is compostable even though it looks like plastic. Responsibly sourced beeswax is used to create these plastic-free pods. This small packaging reduces a lot of CO2 emissions as many liquid dish soaps are up to 90% water which is eliminated when you choose these pods and use tap water.

zero waste dish soap -  etee

Arencia Organic

  • Packaging: Cardboard

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Bar

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

These handmade soaps have locally sourced ingredients only and are 100% vegan with only natural ingredients. They make only small batches to ensure you always receive fresh soap when you order one. As some dish soaps can be quite harsh on your skin, this soap only has natural ingredients and they have added a decent dose of glycerine to the formula. Glycerine is known to be an ingredient that is very hydrating for the skin. However, don’t let its small size fool you, this dish soap bar is capable of cutting through the most stubborn grease and grime without leaving residue on the dishes after they are washed. This means you can safely use this zero-waste dish soap around your family.

zero waste dish soap - arencia

Dropps

  • Packaging: Glass

  • How many per pack: 1 Bottle good for 6 refills

  • Form: Liquid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: No (unscented)

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

The refillable dish spray from Dropps contains plant-based ingredients that cut through stuck-on food and grease to make sparkling clean dishes. This not only saves you tonnes of time while doing the dishes, but you also save lots of water because this zero-waste dish soap is so efficient at cleaning your pots and pans. The starter kit for this dish soap includes a refillable spray bottle but if you already have a spray bottle available, opt to go for the concentrated dish soap only. Just fill a spray bottle with water, add the concentrate, and shake it gently to combine and your dish soap is good to go.

Note that the unscented ones do not contain essential oils while the scented ones do. Whichever one you decide to go for, all are cruelty-free and biodegradable.

zero waste dish soap - dropps


Cleancult Liquid Dish Soap

  • Packaging: Carton

  • How many per pack: 3

  • Form: Liquid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

Don’t let the shape of this container fool you, it may look like a carton of milk or juice but it is dishwashing soap. These recyclable cartons contain similar liquid dish soap as those plastic disposable bottles however, this one is much gentler on the skin with only biodegradable ingredients and a subtle scent. Just fill up your soap dispenser and use this zero-waste dish soap like you would any other dish soap. When the carton is empty, give it a quick rinse before you put it in the recycling bin. If your local recycling facility doesn’t accept these, they also have a take-back program for used containers. The cap to reseal the carton may look like plastic but it is also plant-based.

zero waste dish soap - clean cult


Mamaforest Natural Dish Bar

  • Packaging: Paper

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: South Korea

Safely wash your fruits, veggies, and even baby bottles with MamaForest Natural Dish bar. Lab-tested to be safe for skin and has proven to remove bacteria like E.coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Mamaforest' is a small zero-waste brand based in South Korea that uses natural ingredients only. This means that they don’t use surfactants but only choose ingredients that have proven to not leave residues on your pots and pans. This eco-friendly dish soap has a hint of a scent and quickly lathers up where it thoroughly and quickly cleans.

zero waste dish soap -  mama forest


Butter me up Organics

  • Packaging: Craft paper

  • How many per pack: 1 lb

  • Form: Powder

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: No

  • Vegan: No

  • Made in: USA

This dish soap powder is only 4 ingredients. For the most part is washing soda with a little kosher salt, non-GMO citric acid, and sodium borate. Just add one teaspoon to your dishwater and wash your dishes like you normally would. All ingredients used are 100% cruelty-free and free of synthetics, and no palm oil is used. Most of Butter Me Up Organics’ products are vegan except for a few lotions and bath products. For their packaging, they only use glass, tin, or paper-making your product as zero waste as possible. In the case of this zero-waste dish soap, craft paper is used which is completely compostable.

zero waste dish soap - butter me up organics


Meliora

  • Packaging: Cardboard

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

This zero-waste dish soap is great for people with dry or sensitive skin, as this non-irritant soap is made with all-natural ingredients like coconut oil and sunflower seed oil. This means you can safely wash the dishes with your bare hands. Next to natural ingredients, this dish soap bar is also vegan, dye-free, preservative-free, and synthetic fragrance-free.

To use the bar, wet a sponge or brush, rub it over the soap to create a lather, and wash your dishes like regular. This bar includes a dish to store your bar on. This makes sure it can dry properly after use and it will last you the longest.

zero waste dish soap - meliora


Savonnerie Des Diligences

  • Packaging: Tin

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: yes

  • Made in: Canada

Enjoy the efficiency of this solid, long-lasting, and easy-to-use cleaning product! Simply rub a sponge, a dishcloth, or even a dish brush on the zero-waste dish soap until you create a lather, then wash your dishes as usual. The product is so concentrated, you'll only need a bit of it and it will last you a long time. Even though it has only 3 ingredients, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium coco sulfate, and vinegar, it’s strong enough to also clean ovens and even stained Pyrex. These ingredients may sound daunting but if you check the ingredients on your shampoo bar, you will see lots of similarities. This soap-making company has the goal to become a completely zero-waste brand. Many of their products come in compostable cardboard or reusable glass or tins. When you return a package to this amazing company, you get a discount on your next purchase. They also offer discounts for returned packaging.

zero waste dish soap - savonerie diligences


rE:

  • Packaging: Cardboard

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes (optional)

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

This zero-waste solid dish soap is completely plant-based and 100% biodegradable. No artificial dyes or fragrances are used only essential oils for a slight scent on your bar. Strong enough to clean dirty dishes while being gentle on your hands. A small loofah sponge is included with your purchase. This can be used to clean dishes but it can also be used to store your dish soap bar. This allows for proper drying of the bar making it last as long as possible. This loofah is compostable meaning when you can no longer use it, toss it into your garden where it will slowly break down into the soil.

zero waste dish soap - rE:


Cassia Organics

  • Packaging: Paper

  • How many per pack: 4

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

This amazing-smelling soap do wonders for your dishes. These soaps are minimally packed with mostly compostable recycled paper and a heavier-duty craft paper label. This pack includes 4 different scents: cactus flower, cucumber mint, rosemary, and thyme, and clean and fresh. Unlike most soaps, this soap is hot processed (most are cold processed) without the use of phthalates, petroleum, dyes, SLS, or other toxic chemicals while boasting both antibacterial and stain dissolving properties, they’re not only great for cleaning the kitchen but great for spot cleaning stained laundry. In addition to soaps, they hand-make deodorants, ointments, and a few other beauty products in small batches.


zero waste dish soap - cassia organics



The Unscented Company

  • Packaging: Cardboard and Plastic

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Liquid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: No

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: Canada

This zero-waste dish soap is a great option if you prefer liquid dish soap but you have no option to buy it in bulk. This 130 fl/oz 4-liter box will last you a while. This certified B Corp makes dish soap that is free from fragrances, dyes, and phosphates that is strong enough to cut through grease while being gentle on your hands. This easy-to-store 4L Refill Box not only represents a significant reduction of plastic use, but it also substitutes 5 disposable bottles from entering landfills. Simply refill your soap dispenser and use this dish soap like normal.

zero waste dish soap - unscented company


Zero Waste MVMT

  • Packaging: Cardboard

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

This solid dish soap is made with VegeCert Certified plant-based ingredients that were never tested on animals. They only use 4 simple, natural ingredients to make a simple yet very effective zero-waste dish soap. Their waterless, ultra-concentrated dish soap bars are formulated to cut through grease and grime all while keeping plastic bottles out of your kitchen. These soaps are handmade in small batches by a family-run business so you are sure to always receive a fresh soap when you place an order. Packed in recycled kraft paper boxes, each bar can replace up to 2-3 bottles of liquid dish soap and will last 3-5 months depending on the intensity of use.

zero waste dish soap - zero waste nvmt

Savon de Marseille Cube

  • Packaging: -

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: No

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: France

This soap bar is made with 72% olive oil using traditional methods that have been passed along throughout generations. This soap is very versatile. It is not only great for dishes but also gentle enough to wash your hands making it great to use in the shower as well. Like many solid zero-waste dish soaps, simply use a wet sponge or brush to create a lather and use it like you usually would clean dishes. As only natural ingredients are used, this dish soap is completely biodegradable making it safe for both the planet and your skin.

zero waste dish soap - savon olive de marseille


Chloemasonsoaps

  • Packaging: -

  • How many per pack: 1

  • Form: Solid

  • Palm oil: No

  • Essential Oils: Yes

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Made in: USA

This 100% all-natural kitchen soap cube is made with plant-based oils. Next to organic coconut oil, organic ground coffee, and essential oils, organic starch is used to absorb grease from all your dirty pots and pans. There are no additional chemicals, no dyes, or other funny business used in this soap. Coffee may seem like an odd ingredient here but it is great to deodorize kitchen smells off your hands, such as fish, meat, garlic, or onion. This zero-waste dish soap is great for both dishes but can also be used for spot-treating lines.

zero waste dish soap - chloemansonsoaps


DIY Dish Soap

DIYing soap may sound scary but not as hard as you may initially think. In this post I have may a very clear beginner-friendly tutorial (with video) where I show you how you can make your dish washing soap.


More Zero Waste Kitchen Products