The Bottom LineSeventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid is an effective dishwashing liquid that cuts through grease and leaves dishes without any residue, but it contains some synthetic ingredients that raise potential health concerns.
- Free of dyes and fragrances
- Made with plant-derived cleaning agents and water softeners
- Bottles are made of 96% post-consumer recycled plastic
- Made without petroleum-based ingredients
- Not tested on animals
- Made in the USA
- Contains synthetic ingredients with potentially harmful health effects
- Made with plant-derived cleaning agents to cut through grease and clean your dishes
- Contains a plant-derived water softener that removes water hardness and helps to maintain a proper pH balance
- Includes mineral viscosity modifiers that control the viscosity of the liquid to ensure it dispenses properly
- Seventh Generation says its unique ingredient formulation is non-toxic, hypoallergenic and biodegradable
Guide Review - Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Dish Liquid
I first stumbled across Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Dish Liquid while searching for household products that wouldn't irritate my son's eczema. I wanted an eco-friendly dishwashing liquid that was free of fragrances and dyes, and Seventh Generation's Free & Clear formulation seemed to fit the bill.
Seventh Generation boasts that this non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner is made with plant-derived cleaners and is free of phosphates.
It also doesn't contain any petrochemicals. Seventh Generation claims that if every U.S. household replaced one 25-ounce bottle of petroleum-based dish liquid with their plant-based cleaner, it would save 127,000 barrels of oil -- enough to heat and cool 7,300 U.S. homes for one year. Put another way, that's 5.2 million gallons of oil, the equivalent of taking 11,000 cars off the road for a year.
In my experience, this dishwashing liquid cuts through tough grease without leaving any residue or streaks on my dishes and glasses. It produces a good amount of suds and doesn't dry out my hands.
I was completely satisfied with this product, until I took a closer look at the ingredient label. The first ingredient that popped out to me was sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is a skin irritant. I try to avoid all SLS-containing products because of my son's sensitive skin.
This dish liquid also contains two synthetic preservatives that raise potential health concerns: Methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone. Methylisothiazolinone is a widely used preservative that is a known toxin to the human immune system and may be a neurotoxin as well, according to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database. The database also lists benzisothiazolinone as a skin irritant that may be toxic to the immune and organ systems, as well as wildlife.
In an emailed response to my questions concerning the use of these ingredients, a Seventh Generation representative noted that the dish liquid has been tested to ensure that it is mild to the skin, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. The representative said Seventh Generation uses synthetic preservatives because they have not identified a plant-derived ingredient that effectively preserves their products, and these preservatives meet their rigorous human health and environmental safety criteria.
Additionally, although 80% of SLS is petroleum-derived, Seventh Generation requires that the SLS used in its formulations be made from plants. Seventh Generation said that SLS by itself can be a skin irritant, but when formulated with other ingredients, the formulation can be quite gentle on the skin.
I have not found that the Seventh Generation dish soap irritates my skin personally, but every person is different. If you've tried their dish soap, let us know what you think.
- Aqua (water)
- Sodium lauryl sulfate and caprylyl/myristyl glucoside (plant-derived cleaning agents)
- Lauramine oxide (plant-based cleaning agent)
- Glycerin (plant-derived foam stabilizer)
- Citric acid (plant-derived water softener)
- Magnesium chloride and sodium chloride (mineral viscosity modifiers)
- Methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone (synthetic preservatives)