Through MyBlogSpark and Seventh Generation, I was given the opportunity to review their natural, plant-derived dish soaps. Included in the package were some plant-derived cleaning tools and a Le Creuset stoneware baking dish. I was asked to create a recipe based on the scents of the dish soaps in the baking dish and to clean it using the soaps. I'll talk about what I made in a moment, but first I'm going to review the benefits and potential drawbacks if the soaps.
(If you would like to skip to the giveaway information, scroll down to the bottom.)
So you want to help the environment in any way you can, right? You might spend a little more, but you walk away knowing that you aren't using petroleum-based dish soap. Everyone's happy and daisies bloom under the sunshine in lush fields of green grass where children happily trot barefoot.
But how well do these products really work when compared to their generic, oil-based counterpart? Throughout the week of washing dishes where I replaced my usual soap with 7th Gen, I fully expected the need to use more soap, but I surprisingly found that the suds lasted longer and the soap effectively cut through grease, especially on plastics. When I have a lot of greasy dishes to wash, I usually have to rewash a few dishes where grease remained, or refill the sink with more hot water and soap. I haven't had to do that yet. It also cuts through the stains on the stove vent hood, toaster oven, and other surfaces where grease stains tend to gather, so it's good for more than just dishes. As for it being cost-effective, starting at $3 and going up, a generic dish soap will probably save you more money in the long run, even if you have to use more of it. But given the envoronmental benefits, you might not mind.
The scent is great. I've been using the Fresh Citrus & Ginger, and it has the intoxicating effect of making you excited to wash dishes, so unless you're Anne of Green Gables, no one in their right mind looks forward to it, so the scent is another plus. The label says that their scents are derived from whole essential oils and botanical extracts. Seventh Generation is hosting a Nature Makes Perfect Sweepstakes, where you can enter for a chance to win a trip to visit France, Italy, or Vermont where they produce the ingredients for their scents.
Which made me think... Seventh Generation is made in the USA and manufactured in Vermont, but a few of their ingredients come from Italy and France? Are Sicilian lemons really better than Californian lemons? If, as they say on their bottles, "every household in the U.S. replaced just one 25 ounce bottle of petroleum-based dish liquid with a 25 ounce bottle of plant-derived dish liquid, we could save 127,000 barrels of oil", are we really just offsetting how much oil it takes to transport out-of-country ingredients to the manufacturing plant?
I then analyzed a few of the ingredients on their label more closely, which led my brother to point out that the two final ingredients, benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, are both synthetic preservatives commonly used in body care products, washing agents, and varnishes. Both are known to be irritants to skin, eyes, and possibly lungs, as well as being potentially toxic to the human immune system with continued exposure. I've also looked at a few other standard dish soap brands where these ingredients are not used. I'm not saying their synthetic ingredient lists are better over the long run, but they don't claim to be hypo-allergenic and toxic-free. I'm surprised that a company with that platform would use two synthetic preservatives that could be harmful to consumers, even if they use lower percentages of the preservatives.
As for the accompanying Twist dish tools, some are plant-derived and free from oil, others use 100% organic cotton and loofah material. So far, I've only used one of the cotton towels and the white scour pads. The scour pad doesn't seem like it's going to hold up as long as other scour pads I use. I like the cotton towel because it's bright, cheery, and works well on dishes that need a simple wipe off, or on hard surfaces.
Overall, I enjoyed the soaps and might buy them on my own, but had a few concerns about their claimed environmental benefits.
Click through for recipe info and giveaway details.
Now, on to dinner. I'm sure you're hungry by now if you've made it this far! Since I really enjoyed the fresh citrus and ginger scent, I incorporated those ingredients into dinner. Fresh green beans are roasted with fresh ginger and orange slices and served with blackened and seared tuna. The full recipe post will be up tomorrow since this post is wordy enough as it is. I'm excited about it because I used a tangerine rooibos tea from a local bistro in the tuna rub. Citrus and ginger are two ingredients that really liven up a meal, thanks to their vibrant flavor and aroma.
So, how can you cook up a meal in a 12x9-inch Le Creuset stoneware baking dish and clean up after dinner with Seventh Generation Dish Liquid and Twist dish tools? Here's how!
- Leave a comment on this post telling me which scent of dish soap you like the most
- "Like" Seventh Generation on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall with a link to this giveaway. Comment here to let me know you did it.
- Tweet about this giveaway using the following comment: I entered the Seventh Generation dish soaps and Le Creuset baking dish giveaway from @RunningFoodie!
Comment again to let me know.
Three chances to win! Please include your email address in the first comment if I won't be able to contact you myself. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen on Friday.