In most homes today, people enjoy the convenience of a dishwasher. Rather than wash every pot, pan, fork and glass by hand, we just throw everything in the dishwasher, pour in detergent, turn it on, and walk away. Although this appliance is highly convenient, it may be endangering your health.
Dishwasher Detergent: Sickening Ingredients
It would be virtually pointless to load the dishwasher with dirty dishes and turn it on without adding detergent. Dishwasher detergent is one of the key ingredients in a functional dishwasher. Most people purchase detergent based on an advertisement seen on T.V, or after having spoken to someone who has found “the best” detergent. However, when purchasing dishwasher detergent, little attention is paid to what those detergents are actually made of.
Although many of the ingredients are not even listed on the dishwasher detergents’ label, those that are listed are extremely dangerous to one’s health. For instance, common detergents contain phosphates, bleach, alkaline ingredients, and naptha, to name a few. These sickening ingredients lead to health problems, skin irritations, and accidental poisonings on a daily basis.
How Ingredients Affect Your Health
Bleach, which is one of the most dangerous chemicals found in dishwasher detergents, is used in detergents as a disinfectant and brightening agent. When bleach is mixed with hot water, noxious fumes are produced and are released into the air in your home. These fumes, when breathed in, may cause headaches, fatigue, burning eyes, and respiratory irritation.
Alkaline properties of dishwasher detergent ingredients are abrasive which helps remove stuck on grime. In turn, alkali can scratch your dishes, cloud glassware, and in terms of your health, can burn your skin, mouth and eyes.
The final ingredient listed above, naptha, is a solvent found in common dishwasher detergents. Naptha has been linked to cancer, lung damage, inflammation and damage to mucous membranes, and damage to the central nervous system.
Is There A Safe Alternative?
The purpose of washing dishes in a dishwasher to have them come out clean. However, given the list of ingredients above and the potential negative effects they can have on one’s health, it might make a person wonder: Am I ingesting small amounts of these ingredients while I eat off of my plate, drink from my glass or put a fork into my mouth? This is a frightening thought, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the answer to the question was “yes”. If you consider the fact that most dishwashers are now deemed as “energy-efficient”, meaning they use less water and energy, our dishes are no longer being rinsed effectively, thus leaving a slight film of food particles, and detergent behind. This is not healthy, and there must be a safer alternative available.
Many people have decided to “go green” within the last decade. Organic dishwasher detergents are created using natural ingredients, but it is important to read the label, as some companies that claim to be “green” still use certain chemicals in their products.
It is important to be wise when purchasing dishwasher detergent. Rather than reaching for the latest and greatest dishwasher detergent that has been advertised on television, read the label carefully and consider switching to a safer, naturally derived dishwasher detergent.
Jennifer Dixon is a part time teacher and work at home mom. She has made it her mission to help people lead healthier, non-toxic lives. To learn more about Jennifer’s passion for helping people, click here
To learn more about safer dishwasher detergent, and other cleaning agents, go to Jennifer Dixon on Safer Cleaning
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