blog easy swap-ahts in the kitchen

essential dish scrubbing tools, minus the plastic

September 24, 2019

Finding a good zero waste — or even all-natural — dish soap felt impossible.

I tried the “tried and true” Dr. Bronner’s diluted recipe and it just didn’t work well. Yes, I even tried adding baking soda and all that, but it just didn’t cut the grease well enough, and it left a residue on my dishes. No thanks!

Honestly, I continued using traditional, store bought dish soap, like Dawn, for almost a full year into my zero waste journey.

I tried Young Living’s concentrated Thieves dish soap and really liked it! Only bummer — plastic packaging. Not ideal.

Young Living’s dish soap is concentrated, meaning you can make two or three bottles worth of dish soap from buying one bottle. It’s a pretty good deal, but I still wanted to find something plastic-free.

While scrolling through Instagram, I saw loads of zero wasters using a dish washing block, but thought it was a trendy plastic-free option that just looked cute and added to the “zero waste aesthetic,” but doesn’t actually work.

But then I read reviews. I’m a big believers in reviews! The reviews were overwhelming positive.

So I thought I’d give it a go. And let me tell you what, I’m a dish washing block fanatic.

Vegan dish washing block

I purchased my dish washing block from No Tox Life.

Here’s the deal with this block…

PRICE: $11.98 for 7.8 ounces; $27.98 for 22.5 ounces

I haven’t been using it long enough to say how long it’ll last, but from the website it says, “Each 7.5 oz bar will last a LONG time. It can last a single person who hand-washes all dishes (no dishwasher) approximately 6 months. If the person only uses the bar for pots and pans, it will last even longer. Each block can replace up to 3 bottles of typical liquid dish soap. (based on real customer feedback).”


  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (plant derived)
  • Decyl Glucoside (plant derived)
  • Sodium Cocoate (plant derived)
  • Quillaja Saponaria (from the South American soap bark tree — organic)
  • Glycerin (plant derived)
  • Aloe Vera Leaf (organic)
  • Purified Water
  • Sodium Carbonate (mineral derived)

The soap is vegan, phosphate-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free. It’s also septic safe, greywater safe, biodegradable and it’s made without palm oil.

Not to mention, every ingredient in this soap bar has between a 1-3 grade, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

SCENT: Since it’s fragrance-free, there isn’t really a noticeable scent. It’s super mild!

QUALITY: I love it. It’s super easy to use (easier than liquid soap, in my opinion) and it cuts through grease excellently!

ABOUT THE BRAND: No Tox Life is founded by a mother and daughter who love creating truly non-toxic products for themselves and others. No Tox Life is a small, woman-owned company that priorities good quality ingredients and sustainability over just about everything else. They’re an awesome brand!

How do you use it?

Wet your brush or sponge, rub it on the soap, and get to washing! It’s really that simple.

It’s convenient to just rub your brush on the block as needed, rather than squirting soap in your sink or on your brush.

It lathers up really well too! I love seeing suds when I’m washing my dishes, and it does the job well!


I bought my scrub brushes from the Wild Minimalist. I’d highly recommend both!

They’re compostable and sturdy. The smaller one has a replaceable head (that is also compostable!) and the larger one is perfect for bottles and containers with a smaller neck.

I also use straw brushes (they typically come with your stainless steel straws) to clean our my reusable straws.

If you’re currently using a sponge or plastic scrub brush, continue using it! Don’t pitch perfectly good products just to turn to a zero waste alternative. That’s the opposite of being zero waste :]

Instead, when you need to replace your old items, consider replacing them with plastic-free and sustainable alternatives! Support small businesses when you can, and only buy what you need.

What products do you use to wash your dishes?