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Dog Friendly Dish Washing

Dog Friendly Dish Washing

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The say cleanliness is next to dogliness.

Or something like that. I could have that quote wrong. Here at Casa de Kolchak, we really love to have a fresh clean house that doesn’t look like a pack of wild canines live inside. Just because we want the house clean, doesn’t mean we’re willing to compromise on safety though. A few years ago, I never would have thought something as important as dish washing could be bad?!

Felix changed all that.

I swear, if that boy was a car, he’d be a lemon. I love his fluffy butt to death, but he’s allergic to everything. The slightest interference from household chemicals left him itchy and covered in hot spots. Sure, he’s an extreme example, but in my quest to find products that would work for him, I happened to learn a thing or two about dish soap that left me wanting a more natural approach for our whole family.


Turns out, for a product designed to make things cleaner, there’s a whole lot of junk is dish soap.

Forget the nasty dyes they use to make it pretty, there are additives in dish soap that are linked to heart disease and heart failure. Others are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Other ingredients can irritate the skin and eyes and aren’t meant for consumption. One particularly worrisome chemical in antibacterial dish soap can mix with chlorinated water to make chloroform. What the woof is all that doing in soap? Still, dishes need to get clean.

Here’s what we do to make sure our dishes are sparkling clean without all the chemicals:

  • Wash dishes with liquid Castile Soap and vinegar. Castile soap is a natural product made with vegetable oils. When used with regular white vinegar, it can leave your dishes sparkling and naturally clean. Wash dishes in a sink full of hot water with the liquid castile soap, then rinse in a vinegar & water bath. (Want that lemon fresh smell? Add a few drops of lemon oil into the wash water.)
  • Disinfect gross surfaces with 3% Hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar. We’re raw feeders, so making sure our dog dishes are clean and disinfected is very important to us. Hydrogen Peroxide and vinegar gets the job done. Simply fill two spray bottles, one with each liquid, then spray surfaces with one, then the other. In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.
  • Scrub stubborn food mess with baking soda. Sure, you can buy all sorts of natural scrub sponges made from corn husk or coconut fiber, but to be honest? Sponges gross me out. I imagine them like crack dens of gross bacteria. That’s why I use plain baking soda to scrub stubborn food mess off my pots and pans. For stubborn roast on foods, I’ll liberally sprinkle the pan with baking soda, then cover with vinegar and water. Works like a charm.
  • Dishwasher obsessed? We use ours mostly to heat treat our dishes on the “disinfect” cycle, but if you’re a dishwasher fiend, try this dishwasher soap recipe. A friend swear by it.

At the end of the day, I want clean dishes that are safe for me and more importantly, safe for the dogs. It might be a little more work, but I think they’re worth it.

How do you make dish washing more pet friendly?

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Anyone Got a Bubble? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

Tuesday 1st of April 2014

[…] little blog, done by a lady whose dog is allergic to like everything, about what she cleans with. Dog Friendly Dish Washing | Kol's NotesKol's Notes __________________ ~Doberman Rescue Minnesota~ ~Dog Food Advisor - Food research […]


Saturday 10th of August 2013

Mom is dishwasher obsessed because washing by hand ruins her nail polish...please! Our bowls are stainless the rubber died ages ago so they go in the dishwasher. We might just try that soap recipe, why not? Thanks for sharing!


Saturday 10th of August 2013

LOL, Mama feels the same way. She repaints CONSTANTLY. It seems so...pointless?

Pup Fan

Sunday 4th of August 2013

Thanks for these tips!

14 | Pearltrees

Saturday 3rd of August 2013

[...] Dog Friendly Dish Washing | Kol's Notes [...]

Jay of The Depp Effect

Thursday 1st of August 2013

I heard a long, long time ago that mice provided with dilute dishwashing liquid in their water bottles developed a lot of cancers.

Now, I know they breed mice to be susceptible to cancers so they can study them (can we say 'lowlifes'?) and we can't necessarily extrapolate results from mice into human models, but at that point, despite the 'waste' of hot water, I began washing my dishes as usual, but then rinsing them thoroughly under a running tap before drying them or leaving them to drain.

I do the same with the dog dishes, except that for them I buy unscented dishwashing liquid because I imagine that for an animal with a very sensitive sense of smell the residue of the perfumed ones must be quite gross.


Saturday 10th of August 2013

Even with the mice predisposed to cancer, we tend to look at these things as the "canary in the mine", so to speak. If there's even a's not worth it for me - especially when the natural alternatives are cheaper and just as (or more effective). I bet your pets appreciate the unscented though! I've always been very conscious of the fact that if I find something too strong, it must be very bad for the dogs!

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