Are Finish Dishwasher Tablets Toxic? | Explore the Truth

Ever wondered what’s really inside those shiny little Finish Dishwasher Tablets that make your dishes sparkle?

Concerns about the potential toxicity of dishwasher tablets, particularly the Finish brand, have been a growing issue among health-conscious. Are you the same?

While Finish Dishwasher Tablets contain chemicals, they are not considered toxic when used as intended, but caution is advised to prevent accidental ingestion or contact with eyes and skin.

After you go through this article, you will understand the toxicity of Finish Dishwasher Tablets and other products, their potential effects, and safety measures to ensure a healthier home.

Are Dishwasher Tablets Toxic?

Dishwasher tablets contain enzymes, biological protein compounds designed to speed up chemical reactions. However, the biological ingredients do not always equal eco-friendly. Despite the environmental benefits of enzymes, some ingredients in dishwasher tablets are toxic to humans. Weigh the risks of using them to make an informed decision.

Plastic is a problem when it comes to a product like dishwasher tablets. The plastic used to wrap the product is from crude oil. The manufacturing process is heavy and causes greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. 

While some synthetic chemicals come from natural sources, many of these chemicals contained in these products still end up in water systems. Water treatment facilities are needed to remove these chemicals from the water. To avoid this situation, use an eco-friendly dishwasher tablet.

Enzyme-based cleaning agents are found in dishwasher tablets. The chemical ingredients in the detergents break down food particles and add shine. Enzymes are protein-based and contain amylase and protease enzymes. 

Is Finish Dishwasher Detergent Toxic?

If you’re wondering, “Is finish dishwasher detergent toxic?” you’re not alone. Some companies have mistakenly used ingredients that aren’t safe for you or your family. Read the label to find out which ingredients are best avoided.

Yes, Finish Dishwasher Tablets can be considered toxic due to the presence of certain chemicals. They contain ingredients such as sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and zinc sulfate (ZnSO4), which have been flagged for acute aquatic toxicity. These highly alkaline tablets can cause chemical burns if ingested, left on the skin, or if they come into contact with the eyes.

They can irritate the mouth, throat, and stomach if swallowed, leading to discomfort or nausea. They also contain chemicals like sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and potassium (K), which can be toxic even at low concentrations. Moreover, these tablets are not eco-friendly as they contain chemicals harmful to the environment when they enter the water system.

Despite these risks, they are generally safe when used correctly for dishwashing and kept out of reach of children and pets.

Is Dishwasher Detergent Residue Harmful?

Yes, dishwasher detergent residue can potentially be harmful. Dishwasher detergent and dish soaps are notorious for leaving chemical residue on your dishes and clothes. While a standard dishwashing detergent like Dawn is less acidic than most others, it still contains a few ingredients that are harmful to your health. 

Research has raised questions about the safety of certain chemicals used in dishwashing detergents, as high doses have shown adverse effects on intestinal cell models. Traces of dishwashing detergents left on dishes after washing can enter your body with your next meal, potentially impacting your gut health. Furthermore, soap residue on dishes can mix with food and be consumed, which can be harmful.

One such ingredient is 1,4-dioxane, which the EPA has classified as a Group B probable human carcinogen. The EPA recommends storing dishwasher detergent in a locked, dry place, far away from children.

The ingredients in dishwasher detergents end up in waterways because consumers do not mix them. Most of these detergents are in plastic bottles that cannot be reused or recycled. The bottles are discarded when they are empty. 

However, if you have hard water, you can opt for environmentally friendly options such as dishwasher detergent pods or tablets. These products are biodegradable but still contain plastic packaging. In the case of liquids, the National Institutes of Health advise against using them.

To avoid excessive detergent buildup, do not overload your dishwasher with dishes. When you overload the dishwasher, the spray arm cannot reach the upper dishes, resulting in a messy set. 

If this happens, leftover food will spray on the dishes and cause them to hit each other, so it’s better to leave some breathing space. You should also use less detergent than you’re currently using, as too much can damage the dishwasher.

Can Dishwasher Detergent Residue Make You Sick?

Many dishwashing detergents contain chemicals that are toxic even at low concentrations. These chemicals include sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. Ingestion of these chemicals can lead to severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including painful tongue, lips, and mouth burning. 

In addition, they can damage the lining of the esophagus and abdomen. It is necessary to wash your dishes regularly and avoid ingestion of dish detergent residue.

In 2016, US poison control centers received over 18,000 calls about ADDs. Most cases were from curious toddlers exploring their surroundings. 

Automatic dishwashing detergents contain various ingredients such as enzymes, corrosion inhibitors, perfumes, and foam suppressors. Many of these chemicals have been linked to adverse health effects. If you’re concerned about potential exposure to these chemicals, consider purchasing a different detergent.

Dishwasher detergents can cause health issues because they clean many dishes at once. They also leave behind a large amount of soap residue. About six out of ten dishwashers are believed to contain an alarming amount of mold and tiny fungi, which feed on food particles.

What Should I Do If My Child Bites a Dishwasher Tablet?

Dishwasher tablets are highly alkaline. If a child ingests one, the resulting burn can cause significant damage to the skin. 

They can also burn the esophagus and airway, making the child unable to breathe. Dishwasher tablets come in a child-safe box, but it is necessary to keep them locked away and out of reach of children. Here’s what to do if your child bites a dishwasher tablet.

  • If you suspect your child has swallowed a dishwasher tablet, don’t hesitate to call a poison helpline immediately. It may be necessary to call an ambulance if the poisoning is not apparent. In the meantime, keep a bottle of the poison in a handy place. 
  •  If your child accidentally swallows it, they’ll react by coughing or even gagging. If your child has swallowed one, remove it from their mouth and immediately wash exposed skin with soap and water. 
  • Don’t try to induce vomiting. Instead, try calming the child down and ensuring they drink plenty of water.

What Happens If a Child Eats a Dishwasher Pod?

Many children look at dishwasher detergent pods as lollies and mistake them for edible treats. But these little packets can be highly toxic. In one study, two-year-olds were more than four times as likely to end up in the hospital when they ate the detergent pods than those who didn’t.

In addition to the toxicity of the liquid detergent, a child’s ingestion of the pods can result in respiratory distress and metabolic acidosis.

Note that Dishwasher tablets are highly alkaline and can burn the skin if swallowed. If they enter a child’s esophagus or airway, the resulting burn will render them unable to breathe. Although dishwasher tablets are in child-safe containers, parents should keep the container closed and never leave it within a child’s reach.

If your child accidentally ingests a dishwasher pod, the next step is to call your local Poison Control Center. They will thoroughly review your home to determine whether your child has been exposed to the detergent. 


If you have a dishwasher and want to save money, you can make your dishwasher detergent tablets. You can use ice cube trays or silicone candy molds to make your detergent.

Once made, remove them from their molds and store them in an airtight container. These dishwasher detergent tablets work well in hard water and clean dishware without leaving streaks. You can even make your own rinse aid by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with water.

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