Dish it Out! I Can Take It!

When Tim and Kevin met with Whole Foods Market, they were asked if it's true that the only way to make an effective dish detergent was to use SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and/or DEA (diethanolamine). Even the most natural major brands on the market have SLS in their dish detergent. Kevin said he could make one without either chemicals and that it would meet the high standard of effectiveness that Better Life is known for. Whole Foods said, if you can make it, we want it. And out of that partnership came a natural, chemical-free dish soap, Dish It Out.

Kevin Tibbs, co-founder and the formulation chemist, had thought through everything when developing this formula. He wanted the pH of the dish soap to be milder than some major castile soap products on the market today. Kevin also had a growing concern over the use of DEA in so many detergents. (DEA is listed by NIH as a "known human carcinogen" and is still used in tons of personal care and cleaning products.) Kevin takes formulating seriously and clearly loves what he does.

So, if Dish It Out doesn't have SLS or DEA, what does it have? In addition to the usual plant based surfactants Better Life uses, the major player in Dish It Out is the olive oil based, ancient cleaning agent, castile soap. What I love most about the ingredient list on this bottle, are all of the zeros. It reads like this:

Cleaning Agents

Plant-Based                                      100%

Castile Soap                                         47%

Plant Surfactants                                  53%

Petroleum Derived                                0%

Ethoxylates                                            0%

Cocobetaine                                          0%

SLS or SLES                                          0%


fragrance/perfume                                 0%

Dyes/Color                                              0%

Parabens                                                 0%

Preservative                              under 0.01%

Essential Oils                                     0.30%

Ok super! It's safe for people and pets, and safe for the planet. Soooooo...does it work?

As one of our bloggers, Kate Frowzy, puts it, "The sink fills with suds, which is a big thing for me, and the scent is delightful." It's the same clary sage as in what-EVER!, but with added citrus (there is also an unscented version of Dish It Out).

"The big thing that you'll notice when you use it, is how clean the dishes are. I know that sounds stupid, but I'm serious. Mr. Frowzy talked about how you don't feel like the dishes are going to slip out of your hands as you're rinsing them. And that's exactly it. There's no slippery feeling because there is no residue. I've used Dish It Out to wash dishes for a few days now and I'm still surprised, each time, at how clean they are," Kate Frowzy.

Ok super! Where can I get some?!

Whole Foods Market, several of our national retailers and right here at Buy it individually or in one of our kits

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The original product (back in 2011) contained a small amount of preservative (approx. 4ppm of MIT). We were able to adjust the formula and testing showed that we no longer needed a preservative for this product. As of May 2012, the Dish It Out products do not contain any preservative and this is reflected on the current labels.

Kevin Tibbs

The ingredient list given in this posting includes “Preservative under 0.01%”, but the current label for Dish It Out does not list any preservative… Does this product currently contain preservative (Methylisothiazolinone), or has the formula been changed since this 2011 blog posting?

Marguerite O'Dell

shhhh! Stay tuned!


there should be a scratch and smell on here! so excited about the new product!


Is there anything the Better Life dudes CAN’T do? I’m a super fan.
Now how about some yummy smelling laundry detergent??

Molly Rockamann

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