What is the Composition of your favourite Dishwash Gel, Vim?

Posted by Agrima Gulati on

We’re all abuzz about sulphate-free and ammonia-free and no-SLS when it comes to our beauty products but what about our home cleaning products? Given how much time we spend at home and the fact that we cut vegetables on kitchen counters, our pets and kids are on the floor for playtime, we eat food from dishes cleaned by chemical products, it’s about time we asked ourselves - what is in our favourite cleaning products?

Vim Gel & its popularity

When we’re in the store looking for our monthly list of groceries and supplies, we automatically pick the yellow bottle of Vim Dishwashing Gel and put it in our cart. Vim is a staple part of the lives of us Indians, it’s been in the market for quite a while. A product that is a renowned household name, but what really goes in?

About Vim

According to Hindustan Unilever, Vim was launched in 1993. It was the original hand dishwashing brand that created the category and is the market leader in the dishwashing segment. Vim was the first brand to introduce Dishwash gel in India in 2005 and has been the leader in the segment. Vim products claim to have the “power of 100 lemons”, which apparently, gives you complete cleaning without leaving any residue.

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Does it really have the power of 100 lemons?

Vim is known for its tagline of carrying the power of 100 lemons. However, after going through the back label and their website, there is no mention of 100 lemons in their dishwashing liquid ingredients but there is a mention of concentrated lime juice which we found on their website. You will find a small text written at the back of the product: “Power refers to the cleaning benefits of lemons as per independent lab study”.  


Ingredients of Vim Dishwashing Liquid

Most home care products do not need to list their ingredients and if you go looking at the Vim bar or Vim Dishwash Gel or liquid you are most likely to not find anything. However, the website of Hindustan Unilever does a great job in outlining the ingredients in the dishwashing detergent:

  • Sodium LAS
  • Disodium EDTA
  • SLES
  • Concentrated Lime Juice
  • CI 19140 (Tartrazine)
  • CI 42051 (Cosmetic Colourant)

That’s a lot of scientific names and if you’re rushing to Google what these mean, we’ve got you covered.

Composition of Vim Dishwashing Liquid

Sodium linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) is an anionic surfactant. It is widely used as

consumer products contained in laundry detergents and kitchen detergents. If used in significant quantity, it can cause serious eye damage. It is also very damaging to the environment. LAS can cause toxicity for the aquatic organisms and harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.

chemicals, chemicals in vim, vim gel ingredients

Disodium EDTA is in many products as a preservative, to stabilise it, or to enhance the foaming action. Although it doesn’t absorb particularly well into the skin, it disrupts the surface of skin cells so that other chemicals can get in more easily. EDTA inhibits the ability of metal ions, especially Mn2+, from catalysing the disproportionation of hydrogen peroxide, which is used in chlorine-free bleaching. In a similar manner, EDTA is added to some foods as a preservative. Oral exposures to the same have been noted to cause reproductive and developmental effects. 

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, etc.) and for industrial uses. SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. Like many other detergents, SLES is an irritant. It has also been shown that SLES causes eye or skin irritation in experiments conducted. SLES may also be contaminated with a substance called 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals. 

  • Concentrated Lime Juice

Lime Juice contains citric acid, which helps in cleaning your utensils and it’s strong smell also helps in making sure there is no odour left behind. 

Tartrazine is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye primarily used as a food colouring. Tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly among asthmatics and those with an aspirin intolerance. A 2015 study found that Yellow 5 caused damage to white blood cells, which may make the development of tumours and diseases such as cancer more likely. 

 C.I. 42051, is a sky blue synthetic triphenylmethane dye used as a food colouring. The colour of the dye is pH-dependent. In aqueous solution, its colour will vary from a deep blue in alkaline or weakly acidic medium to a yellow–orange in stronger acidic conditions. Patent Blue V is banned as a food dye in Australia and US, because health officials in these countries suspect that it may cause allergic reactions, with symptoms ranging from itching and nettle rash to nausea, hypotension, and in rare cases anaphylactic shock. 

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Alternative to Vim Dishwashing Gel

All this seems overwhelming, am I right? You could look at alternatives that are safer for you especially if you hand wash dishes as there is a risk that some residue may be left on your dishes post wash. You should look for dishwashing gels that are gentle on your skin as well as on your dishes. Over the course of time, the chemicals present form a layer over your utensils that you ingest in your system 3 times a day! Look for organic and environmental-friendly dishwashing liquid. 


Might we suggest Koparo’s Dishwashing Liquid? It is made with plant-based ingredients and will not do you harm. The formulation is completely baby-safe and gentle for your skin type too!

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