Horrifying facts about dishwash liquid

Washing Dishes

An insignificant activity like submerging your hands in dishwash liquid on a daily basis could prove fatal!

Ignorance about cleaning products in our homes, especially frequently used dishwash liquid can cause serious health problems that are difficult to trace to its origin.

Do you suffer from any of these symptoms?

  • Skin irritations
  • Dermatitis
  • Allergies
  • Excessively tired; or even worse, have you been
  • Diagnosed with cancer?

Then you might be interested to learn more about the ingredients found in many dishwash liquids, maybe yours too:


Possible health problems


Can irritate the skin, eyes, and the respiratory tract. Repeated contact on the skin could cause dermatitis


Can irritate the skin and eyes. When swallowed it can cause nausea; and vomiting. Other concerns include:

  1. Can cause acute or systemic toxic effects when in contact with damaged skin, especially for children
  2. Adverse effects of topically applied ethanol may include skin irritations or allergic contact dermatitis
  3. Ethanol is a potential carcinogen
  4. It improves permeation which could increase absorption of other dangerous substances

(Lachenmeie, 2008)

Ethylenediaminete-traacetic acid (EDTA) Can cause abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, low blood pressure, skin problems, and fever.

More than 3 grams used per day becomes dangerous and can cause kidney damage, dangerously low calcium levels, and even result in death

Citric acid Could cause exfoliative dermatitis, eye, and skin irritation
Preservatives Often not listed in product ingredients – could the manufacturers be hiding something?
Colourants Colour pigments are mostly made from coal tars which are generally carcinogenic. Many of these pigments cause skin sensitivity and irritation, or even oxygen depletion in the blood stream
Fragrance Fragrance compositions are often undisclosed. Most fragrances are ‘synthetic’, thus being carcinogenic or toxic. ‘Fragrance’ was voted Allergen of the Year in 2007 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society
Anionic surfactants (LAS and SLES)
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid (LAS): Dissolves the layers in tissue and produce local irritation and injury
Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES): Causes eye or skin irritation. SLES/SLS is contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which is toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. Even more alarming is that 1,4 dioxane does not appear on ingredient labels as they are not technically product ingredients

Be especially cautious when the label gives a broad description like: “Amongst other things, anionic detergents, solubilisers, colourants, or perfume” – it could indicate that something is hidden.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2008 states that all product labelling and product descriptions must be displayed and may not mislead consumers in terms of its contents.

We trust this information will help you to make an informed decision when you buy your next dishwash liquid.