Finding the Best Vegan Washing Up Liquid (2023)

5 litre plastic bottle of Faith in Nature Vegan washing up liquid sitting on a statue of Buddha

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Not all vegan washing up liquid is created equal, and being vegan doesn’t automatically mean that it is eco-friendly either. So finding the best vegan washing up liquid isn’t always easy.

I have found in my research that there are some excellent brands available, some not so good, and some that may not be quite as ‘clean’ as you’d like your vegan washing up liquid to be.

So, if that’s got you in a bit of a lather about the best way to wash up that bowl of dirty dishes, read on…

Factors to consider when finding the best vegan washing up liquid

The following are factors that I have considered when compiling this list of the best vegan washing up liquids. I have highlighted in the guide where I believe a brand hasn’t fulfilled all the criteria appropriately.

  • Vegan and cruelty-free accreditation
  • Effectiveness
  • Packaging that is recycled and recyclable
  • How and where ingredients are sourced
  • Country of manufacture
  • Availability of refills and refilling stations
  • Use and nature of more eco-friendly, biodegradable chemicals

Here is my guide to the best vegan washing up liquid

Pros

Cons

Faith in Nature Vegan Washing Up Liquid

Editor's rating: 4.8
4.8/5

I am very impressed with this 5 litre bottle. It foams well, cuts through grease and will tackle a dinner’s worth of plates and pans in one bowlful. Everything comes out clean and smear-free, and it smells good too.

Made in the UK, there are plenty of refill stations where you can top up your bottle and this product is good value for money – it seems more expensive, but that’s because it is very concentrated.

It does come in plastic and it’s a lot of volume to be transporting, but at least they do now sell aluminium refill bottles which you can refill at one of their ‘filling stations’.

Read my Faith in Nature Review to find out why I really like this ethical company, but if you’re already convinced, click below to make a purchase.

Bottle of Bio D washing up liquid with a bamboo washing up brush on a mid blue background

Pros

Cons

Bio-D Washing Up Liquid

Editor's rating: 4.7/5
4.7/5

This is another good, ethical product from a UK based company that sells a broad range of environmentally friendly household products.

The washing up liquid is effective, smells great and is good value for money. 

I do think Bio-D’s own website could be more intuitive to help you find out more information, particularly about refill stations. Apparently they do support them, but I can’t find the info on their website.

This is a plastic bottle, but like others, largely made from recycled and recyclable material.

You can also buy 5 litre refill bottles which is great.

I would recommend this excellent product – I find it does the tedious job of washing up very well. Even better when someone else is doing it!

Bottle of Delphis eco washing up liquid

Pros

Cons

Delphis Eco Washing Up Liquid

Editor's rating: 4/5
4/5

Another good quality, British made product. They are B Corp accredited, vegan and cruelty free as you’d expect.

Again, lots of plastic packaging but largely recycled and recyclable. I found this washing up liquid doesn’t foam as well as the others and isn’t quite as effective on grease, hence the slightly lower rating. 

However, I live in probably the hardest water area in Britain, so if you have softer water, you may find this product more effective.

In terms of cost, this is at the pricier end of the scale.

Pros

Cons

Wilton Washing Up Liquid

Editor's rating: 3.8/5
3.8/5

UK based, like other washing up liquids in this list, this really helps with its carbon footprint because it is not being transported halfway around the world for you to buy it.

Vegan, cruelty free and a B Corp, the packaging, whilst plastic, is largely recycled and recyclable. Sadly, there don’t seem to be any larger, refill bottles available and this is definitely pricey, hence the rating.

However, you can buy 3 x 500ml bottles that make this more affordable – see the link to Amazon below.

Like the Delphis, this Wilton washing up liquid may work better in soft water areas. In my hard water area, it doesn’t foam as well and you need to use a lot to cut through greasy dishes.

950ml plastic bottle of Ecover lemon and aloe vera washing up liquid

Pros

Cons

Ecover Washing Up Liquid

Editor's rating: 3.5/5
3.5/5

This product works well, even in hard water areas. It lathers well and cuts through grease.

I also have no reason to believe that it is not environmentally friendly, with biodegradable ingredients.

Ecover is  accredited by Leaping Bunny as cruelty-free, and the brand reassures us that their products are all vegan-friendly too (although with no Vegan Society approval applied for).

At this point, it’s important to know though that Ecover is from the same stable as Method below, its parent company being S.C. Johnson. See Method’s entry below for more info.

The Ecover brand was also caught out a few years ago. Whilst claiming to be vegan, they were found to be testing their ingredients on water fleas. It really called their ethics into question.

That said, I want to give this brand the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are now doing things right. But all of the above is enough to keep sowing that little seed of doubt, hence the lower rating.

Plastic Bottle of Method Blue washing up liquid

Pros

Cons

Method Washing Up Liquid

Editor's rating: 2.5/5
2.5/5

This product works pretty well, although may perform better in soft water areas.

Method is Leaping Bunny certified as cruelty-free, and the brand states that their products are vegan-friendly too. 

I believe this to be true, but why don’t they have accreditation from the Vegan Society? It maybe to do with their parent company, S.C. Johnson, although I don’t have that confirmed.

S.C. Johnson is an American multinational, manufacturing consumer household goods and chemicals. You will recognise many of their other brands – too many to mention here. Their reputation on animal testing is poor and is condemned by the Ethical Consumer

The product is just fine, ticks some of the other boxes and fulfils its job, but the ethics of its parent company may be something that is important to you which is why I’m pointing it out, and why it has a couple of stars knocked off my rating of it.

I think you also pay more for the branding – it looks lovely, but it only has to do the washing up…

FAQs

I hope this guide to the best vegan washing up liquid has been helpful. Below I have answered some of the more commonly asked questions about cruelty-free, vegan washing up liquid.

Whilst there may not be anything that looks even vaguely animal-like in that bottle of viscous gloop, there can be all sorts of nasties lurking behind those chemical names.

Some of these can be derived either from animals or from plants, so unless it categorically states that it is 100% plant-based, you can’t be sure.

That 100% is important too. I found a ‘plant-based’ dog food recently which also contains egg whites. Not a plant I’m familiar with…

Therefore, if you want to be absolutely certain that you are buying the best vegan washing up liquid, I’d strongly recommend going for those products that are approved by the Vegan Society and that have their logo which you can see on the Vegan Society Website Trademark page.

Examples of chemicals to look out for that might be sourced from either animals or plants are included in the following list. For example, glycerol will generally state if it is of vegetable origin. It’s not an exhaustive list – there are plenty more:

Hmmm, this can be difficult to measure. There are many things to take into account, including:

  • The ingredient supply chain
  • Where it is manufactured
  • What it’s packaged in – is it recycled and recyclable? 
  •  Whether refills or ‘filling stations’ are available
  • The source of ingredients like surfactants

Surfactants help to suspend the ‘dirt’ from your dishes in the water. They are a key ingredient in your washing up liquid and are commonly a by-product of the petroleum industry. However, there are now lots of plant-based alternatives.

4 other chemicals are on my virtual ‘naughty step’ for not being environmentally-friendly:

  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Phthalates
  • Polymers

I’m not going to bore you with details about all of these rather shady ingredients. If you’re feeling nerdy, there is a huge amount of information out there that you can look at, starting with Wikipedia.

If you’re not feeling nerdy, and think I’m the kinda person you can trust, then be assured that I have taken all of the above into account when scoring the best vegan washing up liquid entries in my list.

Where I have found any dubious information that might suggest a bit of greenwashing, or worse, I have not included the brand’s washing-up liquid in my ‘recommended’ list.

You would hope so wouldn’t you? In general, yes, the best vegan washing up liquid is also going to be cruelty-free. But again, if you want to be absolutely confident, look for the Leaping Bunny logo.

Sometimes, whilst a brand may bear the Leaping Bunny logo, its parent company may not share the same ethical intent. This is the case with Ecover and Method’s owners, S C Johnson for example. Just something to bear in mind.

Yes, there are and it’s fair to say that they cut single use plastic down drastically, with most packaged in cardboard.

However, I have tried 2 different ones and have given up using them for the moment for the following reasons:

  • They don’t have the convenience factor of a liquid. For example, I clean roasting trays with burnt on bits of food by squirting in some washing up liquid, adding some hot water and putting in a low temperature oven for 5-10 minutes (often you can use the residual heat in the oven from your cooking and don’t actually need it on). This isn’t really possible with solid washing up soap bars
  • They tend to get messy and you really need a washing up brush to use it
  • I don’t find them very effective and 2 that I have used leave a strange residue on the dishes

A solid vegan washing up soap bar that does seem quite popular is LoofCo from Abel & Cole

I know some people like the Ocean Saver washing up soap bar but personally, I try to avoid things that are needlessly shipped round the world, with this particular brand manufactured in China. It is also certified only as vegetarian, not vegan.

I don’t believe that this is a vegan washing up liquid and think that this Proctor and Gamble product may contain animal based ingredients. They certainly don’t promote it as a vegan, or even vegan-friendly product.

The problem is that it is so difficult to find the exact ingredients – why are they so cagey? There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors with P&G, so I tend to avoid buying their products wherever possible.

Again, this is a personal opinion, but that’s why it doesn’t make it to my list of recommended products.

I bought the Homethings vegan washing up liquid bottle with its tablet that you add to it with water.

I really, really wanted this to work because it is just the best idea environmentally, but it didn’t and I therefore can’t recommend it. 

Maybe it was a result of the hard water in our area, but this product really didn’t work for me. It was like water, didn’t foam and didn’t clean the dishes. I hope they can improve it because if they do, I will buy it.

I hope this review of vegan washing up liquid has been helpful. If you have found an additional product that you think is worthy of inclusion, please let me know.

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