Blueland is a new household cleaning startup that helps you reduce single-use plastic consumption — here’s how the products perform
There are ways to eliminate single-use plastics from nearly every aspect of your life, including the way you clean your home.
Blueland is a new startup that makes reusable cleaning products so you never have to throw a plastic household cleaner in the trash can again.
The Clean Essentials kit ($39) contains sturdy reusable bottles and dissolvable tablets for multi-surface, glass and mirror, and bathroom cleaners and hand soap. All you need to do is add water and a tablet to the bottle. Since tablet refills are small and cost only $2 each, this system also saves you money and space on cleaning products in the long run. See more: The best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances; The best bathroom cleaning products
It's becoming easier to eliminate single-use plastic. When you go grocery shopping, use a nylon tote bag. Instead of buying plastic water bottles, use water filters at home and carry a reusable water bottle when you go out. To wash your hair and brush your teeth, use shampoo bars and mouthwash tablets. If you look hard enough, there are now ways to "de-plasticize" nearly every aspect of your life, including the laborious, expensive, and wasteful chore of cleaning your home. New startup Blueland is giving you both a cleaner home and a cleaner planet through a clever and cost-efficient system that involves dissolvable cleaning tablets, reusable bottles, and your own sink. In the opening episode of the newest season of "Shark Tank," it successfully convinced investors how and why its non-toxic cleaning tablets and sustainable packaging would change the way people clean — and after trying it ourselves, we're converts, too.
Here's how Blueland works Blueland's starter kit is called The Clean Essentials and costs $39. Blueland provides three sturdy bottles made from acrylic and all labeled for different uses: multi-surface, glass and mirror, and bathroom. It also includes a soap dispenser constructed with the same acrylic material. Then you have the tablets. There's one tablet for each purpose. The cleaning tablets make 20 ounces of solution each, while the soap tablet makes 9 ounces of solution. To make the cleaning solution, you fill the bottle up to the designated line with warm water, then drop the corresponding tablet in the bottle. Within seconds, it's ready to use, no shaking or stirring necessary.
The ingredients in each Blueland cleaner and how they perform You can visit The Clean Essentials product page for a detailed ingredient list for each cleaner. The key highlights are that all the products are free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), known particularly to harm pregnant or nursing women and children, and anything on the Environmental Working Group's restricted list. They're also free from traditional disinfecting ingredients such as chlorine bleach. All the ingredients are natural or naturally derived, so the cleaners are hypoallergenic, and they're pet-safe and cruelty-free. Such stringent requirements are a product partly of the times, as more shoppers demand cleaner labels, and partly of cofounder Sarah Paiji Yoo's personal stake in the game. As a new mother, she became hyper-aware of all the products that came in contact with her baby, from microplastics contaminating water supplies to chemical-laden air pollutants like VOCs. Blueland is the carefully formulated result of such concerns.
I tested the cleaners in my own home and found them to be effective and easy to use. Each one except for the glass and mirror cleaner is scented, but with none of the overpowering or harsh scents I've come to expect from household cleaners. My bathroom, in particular, is prone to dust and grime buildup, but the Blueland Bathroom Cleaner ($12) quickly and effectively removed stubborn (or what I thought were stubborn) stains in my tub and sink. Meanwhile, the Hand Soap ($12) foamed up well and made my hands feel soft with each wash. The Glass and Mirror Cleaner ($12) is probably the weakest product of the four products in the set — it left my mirror slightly streaky. How Blueland reduces waste and saves you money and space The most obvious way Blueland is more environmentally friendly is the design of its cleaning products. Instead of throwing out a plastic bottle every time you're done with the cleaner, you can use your Blueland bottles over and over again. This system also takes advantage of the water you're already using in your home. In addition, every part of its packaging is recyclable, and the tablet wrappers are compostable and biodegradable. Ultimately, cleaning with Blueland saves more than the planet, making it a superior product all around. The tablet refills take up a fraction of the space in your cabinets of traditional cleaning products, and they're more affordable. Each refill costs only $2, while traditional competitors cost $3 to $5 for the same amount of cleaner. The bottom line Blueland's cleaning products are innovative, sustainable, effective, and affordable. All these benefits make us question why all household cleaners — and many other types of consumer products — aren't made this way. You have little to sacrifice by trying Blueland, but much to gain.
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Dropps makes eco-friendly laundry and household cleaning pods — they cost the same as traditional detergents and perform just as well
Dropps makes eco-friendly laundry products like biodegradable detergent pods in compostable cardboard boxes, wool dryer...Dropps makes eco-friendly laundry products like biodegradable detergent pods in compostable cardboard boxes, wool dryer balls that are good for up to 1,000 loads, and more. Formulas are plant-based and free of dyes, fillers, and colorants, while some are scented with natural essential oils. We tested Dropps for weeks, and they performed like traditional options with the added benefit of not cutting corners on safe ingredients or eco-conscious design hacks. Read more: The best laundry detergent Ideally, the household laundry detergent is a renaissance man. It's tasked with effectively cleaning clothes and removing stains while preserving the integrity of fabrics and leaving behind no residue. On top of that, it should smell great. Dropps delivers on these needs with eco-friendly laundry detergent pods, dryer balls, mesh bags, and more. Plus, it exists in the sweet spot between sustainability, convenience, and cost. Dropps makes eco-friendly laundry products, like detergent pods and dryer balls Its best-selling detergent pods dissolve in water within seconds, releasing plant-based micro-organisms and safe synthetic ingredients that clean clothes efficiently. Dropps offers laundry detergent pods in pretty much every variety: scented or unscented, heavy-duty versions for large loads, ones for sensitive skin — the list goes on. Dropps also sells scent boosters and fabric softener pods, booster pods, bestseller bundles, dish detergent pods, laundry bags, and dryer balls. There's no use of dye or colorants ever and items are not tested on animals. Products will also be delivered in recyclable, repulpable, compostable cardboard packaging. You can find them on Dropps, or shop the Dropps Amazon store directly for all the perks of an Amazon membership. Prices range from $15 (50-count) to about $30 (160-count) depending on the formula and how many washes it covers. For reference, Amazon's Choice for Tide Pods is about the same at $0.25 per load. If you shop on Dropps, you can also save up to 20% by subscribing and get free shipping. Dropps products meet the EPA's Safer Choice standards, which are designed to enforce stringent human and environmental health criteria. When designing new products, the company uses the program as its gold standard. According to Dropps, 68% of traditional liquid laundry detergent bottles are not recycled and contribute to approximately 606 billion pounds of plastic that end up in our oceans annually. By using a biodegradable pod and zero plastic, the company aims to reduce plastic consumption by not encouraging any to begin with. Though Dropps' eco-friendly ethos and descriptions like "eco-responsible laundry detergent" have the ring of a 21st-century startup, the company has been around in some form for decades. Seven years before the introduction of Tide Pods, Dropps pods were released as a more eco-friendly alternative. In 2017, they were awarded the EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year title for outstanding achievement in the formulation and product manufacturing. What we tested and how they performed Several of us at Insider Reviews tested Dropps and its various laundry products. "I tested these with 15 loads of laundry and was pleasantly surprised. My clothes came out clean, smelled fresh, and felt soft to the touch. Dropps performed well on food stains, daily grime, and dirt, and on a variety of materials: denim, cotton, flannel, and nylon among them. The clean scent wasn't overwhelming, but it did linger after the wash. If you don't want to smell fragrance after washing, you should buy the unscented version. In terms of dirt and stain removal, Dropps performs as well as traditional options, though marginally less than the strongest on the market, according to Wirecutter. For the perks of a safe, relatively eco-responsible product, though, I didn't have to compromise on performance." — Mara Leighton, senior reporter "I tested these unscented pods because my skin is sensitive and I don't like overpowering scents. I know it's silly to say, but these pods are just so cute. I love the convenience of having a box of pods and the simplicity of needing one pod per load. There's no need to carry a heavy detergent bottle down to the laundry room in my apartment. — Isabel Thottam, freelance reporter "For $25, you can get a trio of three wool dryer balls in three colors to match your laundry load and prevent staining: cream (for light-colored loads), charcoal (for a mix of colors), and black (for darker items). I always hated using dryer sheets because they have to be thrown out after one use. The dryer balls are reusable — Dropps says you can use their wool balls for over 1,000 loads — plus, they're chemical-free with no fillers or synthetic ingredients." — Isabel Thottam, freelance reporter "My clothes get tangled together or stuck at the bottom of the washer drum all the time, so they're prone to stretching or ripping. This mesh washing bag protects them from tearing or stretching and keeps intimates together too. I also use my mesh washing bag to wash two stuffed animals and it worked out great. The toys fit perfectly in the bag and were safe and clean after being washed. And when I used the bag for actual clothes, it was such a relief to not have any of my intimates twisted up or to find my sports bras stretched out. I have some bulkier wool sweaters that couldn't fit in the large 11-inch x 13-inch size bag, so it would be better if there were bigger sizes. If you have any intimates or delicate clothes, I would suggest getting at least one of these because you'll end up using them every time you do your laundry." — Isabel Thottam, freelance reporter "Even though I'm not a huge fan of scented products, I gave these a try. The scent was still strong to me, so I'll try the unscented one next time. The good thing is that it's made with natural essential oils and botanical extracts, not a bunch of chemicals. I live in an older apartment building, so I have tile in my kitchen and on my bathroom floor. I wanted to give my bathroom floor and kitchen counter a good deep clean, so I used the booster pods to clean my tile and grout. It worked like a charm and was so easy to use. These pods seem small, but they're powerful. All you have to do is dissolve one pod in a gallon of water, then use a towel or sponge to apply the solution to the stain or surface area. Since I was cleaning my tile and grout, Dropps recommended using less water, which helped form more of a concentrated paste that worked really well. I waited a few minutes, rinsed the area with some clean cold water, and my tile was clean. The pods can also be used for cleaning fabric, carpet, rugs, upholstery, and clothes, which makes them super versatile." — Isabel Thottam, freelance reporter The bottom line Dropps has managed to create powerful laundry detergents that are convenient and cost-effective. For consumers concerned about planet earth and with a budget, it's a win-win-win. If you're looking for a guilt-free option that performs like the standard stuff you've been using, this is a good option. Shop Dropps directly on Dropps or Amazon Join the conversation about this story »
Next time you stock up on cleaning supplies, consider these sustainably-made, natural, green cleaning alternatives.
Schools and businesses across the US have closed for deep cleanings to mitigate possible spread of...Schools and businesses across the US have closed for deep cleanings to mitigate possible spread of the novel coronavirus. The CDC suggests you clean and disinfect all "high-touch areas" in your home, from doorknobs to smartphones. Use a combination of household cleaners and disinfectants. Wear gloves and throw them out after you clean. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, more and more people are looking for ways to disinfect their living spaces. It's always a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid close contact with people who have the disease, but there are other thing you can do to deep-clean your home. The coronavirus is transmitted via respiratory droplets, and the CDC says that current evidence suggests it "may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials." There's already been an increase in demand for cleaning services all around the world, and numerous schools and businesses have closed for deep cleanings. Here's how the CDC suggests you do a deep-clean. Remember to clean first, disinfect later Cleaning refers to the removal of germs from surfaces. Disinfecting refers to the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Both can lower the risk of infection spread, but you should clean first, disinfect after. Don't forget to read the label on your disinfectants. Some need to remain wet for anywhere from two to ten minutes. Use household cleaners and disinfectants on frequently touched surfaces Look at tables, doorknobs, light switches and toilets as places to start. Before you disinfect dirty surfaces, clean them with detergent or soap and water. For disinfecting, you can use alcohol solutions that contains at least 70% alcohol, household disinfectants registered with the EPA, or diluted household bleach solutions. Don't use expired products, and don't mix bleach with any other cleaners. Common household disinfectant brands on the EPA list include Lysol and Clorox. The CDC recommends people create their own bleach solutions by mixing 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Wear gloves and make sure you have good ventilation while you clean Wear disposable gloves and throw them out after you're done using them, according to the CDC. If you're using reusable gloves, don't use them for other purposes, and clean your hands immediately after the gloves are removed. Peel the gloves away from your body, pulling them inside out, and try not to let the outside of the glove touch your skin. Wash dirty laundry on the warmest setting possible There is no need to shake dirty laundry, as that can spread viruses through the air. Use the warmest appropriate water setting for washing the items and let them dry completely afterward. If you're not using gloves when washing dirty laundry, make sure to wash your hands afterwards. Also, consider washing the laundry bag that holds your clothes, as that surface can also collect germs and viruses. Clean your electronics Phones and tablets are what the CDC calls "high touch" surfaces, so you're going to want to clean them. You should avoid using rubbing alcohol, disinfectants, or similar sprays, Business Insider previously reported, in part because using them can damage the protective coating on your phone's screen. Instead, turn off your device, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with soap and water, and scrub the screen. You can also use a UV sanitation device, which beams UV-C rays at your phone in order to kill germs. Read more: Photos capture how the US is reacting to the coronavirus outbreak, from stocking up on supplies to deep cleaning mass transit and schools Coronavirus live updates: Nearly 97,000 people have been infected and more than 3,300 have died. The US has reported 11 deaths. Here's everything we know. Experts urge anyone who thinks they're sick with the coronavirus to call before going to a US hospital. Here's the process for potential patients. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 3 dietitians debunk 18 weight loss myths, from cutting carbs to fad diets