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  • Jenica Barrett

How to Wash the Dishes without all the Plastic Bottles

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Just about everything comes in plastic these days. Kitchens are spotted with bottles of hand soap, dish soap, counter cleaner, hand lotion, and dishwasher detergent in plastic. Don't even get me started on all the food items wrapped in disposable packaging! All of this plastic waste really adds up throughout the years and we don't have reliable systems to deal with it. Only 9% of the plastic produced since the 1950's has been recycled, which means our recycling system is failing us.

When it comes to cleaning up after meals though, we don't need to rely on these wasteful products. There are plenty of solutions to maintaining a clean kitchen without adding to the plastic piling up in our backyards, streets, and oceans. With a few switches, you can create a relatively plastic free and waste free kitchen set-up. Today, let's talk about washing those dishes!

Zero Waste Kitchen

This post was sponsored by Well Earth Goods. Every product I review is chosen carefully and all opinions expressed in this article are my own.

The Cost of Liquid Soap

Liquid soap comes in plastic bottles, which as we have discussed, cannot be recycled in all communities. If you're lucky, you can recycle the bottle and it will be downgraded into something like a park bench. If you're not so lucky, that bottle will be sent to the landfill and add to the 5 pounds of waste each person in the U.S. makes each day!

Liquid soap is also very wasteful in and of itself! For example, when we wash our hands with liquid soap, we use 7 times more soap than we would if using bar soap. Seven times! Because of the added weight from the water in liquid soap, the bottles also tend to be heavy. The heavier something is, the bigger its carbon footprint when shipping it long distances. Liquid soap definitely isn't a winner when it comes to the environment.

Liquid soap also costs a lot more money than solid soap. Liquid soap on average costs around 20% more than the same amount in bar soap. That may be because consumers are paying for all the water already added to the bottle and getting less true soap overall! When you factor in that we also use more liquid soap to clean, that price difference only grows!

My solution? The Dish Washing Block!

Instead of buying liquid soap, I use a block of dish soap. It looks very similar to a bar of hand soap, only much bigger. When I get my dish soap block, it comes without a single bit of plastic which means I don't have to worry about how I am going to recycle a container. The only packaging is a single piece of paper wrapped around the bar (which can be recycled with paper).

Dish Soap Block

How do I wash my dishes then?

Using a dish washing block is very simple. When you wash your hands with a traditional soap bar, you rub it between your fingers to get them soapy and then rinse them off. A dish washing block functions similarly. Take a sponge, scrubbie, or wood brush and rub it on the top of the block. This transfer the soap onto the surface and begins to create suds. Now wash your dishes with your sponge like normal!

The Dish Washing Block produces suds and soapy bubbles just like any other soap, so you'll know if you've run out on your sponge.

It lasts FOREVER!

Unlike liquid dish soap that is easy to over pour and over-use, having a solid dish soap block limits waste. My block has lasted me over three months so far and isn't even half way used up! This is going to save you in so many ways like:

  • Requiring less trips to the store to buy more liquid soap!

  • Spending less money overall on soap refills!

  • Less likelihood that you'll accidentally run out!

  • And best of all, less WASTE!

As a bonus, the Dish Washing Block is also made in the U.S. (Los Angeles) and is totally vegan, sulfate free, paraben free, and palm oil free.

So to summarize: I waste less soap, waste less money, avoid plastic, and cut down the times I need to visit the store or ship something to my house all by using a Dish Washing Block!

Looking for more earth friendly, zero waste cleaning products? Check out my essential list of cleaning supplies!

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