Over the past few years, I’ve made small steps to clean up my act (literally). Instead of using parchment paper when I bake my favorite gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, I use a silicone baking mat. And when I have leftovers to put in the fridge or freezer, I use reusable Stasher bags instead of Ziplocs. However, my favorite eco-friendly upgrade by far has been my Blueland cleaning products: The bottles are aesthetically pleasing, the products smell fresh but not overwhelming and, best of all, everything works exceedingly well.
When the world essentially shut down in March 2020, I — like many other people — found myself relying on delivery apps and e-tailers more than ever. But between all my grocery orders, dinner deliveries and Zara clothing hauls, I was caught in an endless cycle of multiplying empty boxes and the process of recycling them. My carbon footprint was increasing, and I wanted to do something about it. So, when my husband and I bought a condo about a year ago, I figured that we could use a clean slate in every sense of the word. And after seeing countless ads and rave influencer reviews for Blueland’s Shark Tank-famous cleaning products, I decided to finally invest in them and make our new home a little bit more eco-friendly.
Blueland The Clean Essentials Kit
The first Blueland product I bought was the Clean Essentials Kit, which includes three acrylic reusable bottles for the brand’s Multi-Surface Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner and Glass + Mirror Cleaner and a reusable glass bottle for the Foaming Hand Soap. As we reported in our guide to eco-friendly cleaning products, Blueland’s cleaning sprays are Safer Choice-certified, which means that their ingredients meet the environmental and human health and safe criteria set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to Blueland, the cleaners are free of parabens, ammonia, phthalates, chlorine bleach, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
In order to be as eco-friendly as possible, Blueland designed its cleaners as tablets that dissolve in hot water. These tablets are packaged in compostable paper, and they’re easy to store in a jar or container to keep on hand for whenever you run out. (I keep mine in a Bodum storage jar.) All of the products and packaging are certified by Cradle to Cradle, which means they have been shown to have a positive impact on the planet, according to the nonprofit.
One thing I’ve found especially useful with Blueland is the Subscribe & Save option: Instead of having to remember to buy new tablets, I am set up to receive them in the mail every two months. You can customize this to get new tablets every month, every two months, every three months or every four months, and you can cancel or pause any time.
Though I was naturally a bit skeptical about how effective an eco-friendly cleaning product could be — especially one that came as a tablet — Blueland’s cleaners immediately impressed me. My husband and I easily spend most of our time in the kitchen, and the Multi-Surface Cleaner has worked well on our marble countertops and stove top. We also have a glass coffee table that’s used often, and the Glass + Mirror Cleaner easily wipes away any coffee rings without leaving noticeable streaks.
I was just as pleasantly surprised by the Foaming Hand Soap. This is the product I was most worried about originally: If the chalky tablet didn’t dissolve properly, it would be all too noticeable when I went to use the soap on my hands. However, the soap tablets fully dissolve in about 15 minutes and produce a frothy consistency every time.
I only have a few gripes with Blueland's cleaning products, and they have nothing to do with the cleaning solutions themselves. My qualm with the Hand Soap tablets is that you really do need to use them with Blueland’s bottle — I tried using a tablet in my own soap dispenser and it ended up spewing out some sad combination of water and chalk. I’ve also had issues with the reusable bottles: I had to replace two of mine — the Foaming Hand Soap dispenser and the Multi-Surface Cleaner bottle — because both of them had issues dispensing product.
Blueland Toilet Cleaner Starter Set
I recently expanded my Blueland collection and invested in the Toilet Cleaner Starter Set, and I’m just as happy with the Toilet Cleaner Tablets so far. The foaming tablets make the whole bathroom smell like Lemon Cedar, and once they’ve worked their magic, all I need to do is give the toilet a quick scrub with the toilet bowl cleaner. It really does make a quick job of cleaning the toilet.
Blueland Body Wash
Blueland recently expanded into the personal care category with the introduction of a refillable body wash. The body wash comes as a powder, and when combined with water, it turns into a gel that resembles most others. Ahead of the launch, Blueland sent me the new body wash to try out, and it's quickly become my new favorite. The mixture feels light and sudsy on my skin, and I feel fresh every time I walk out of the shower — I personally am not a fan of thicker body washes that feel more like a lotion and less like a cleanser.
Blueland says the body wash is made with ingredients like oat, coconut acid, kaolin clay and vitamins E and B. It's available in three scents: Raspberry Hibiscus, Waterlily Dew and Sandalwood Sage.
Blueland The Dish Duo
A few months ago, Blueland sent me its Powder Dish Soap and Dishwasher Tablets to try out. Blueland's dish soap is unlike most others on the market — like its name suggests, the soap is a powder instead of a liquid, and using it for the first time was both jarring and intriguing. When the powder absorbs into my wet sponge, it produces the same soapy suds as any liquid soap would — and it cleans my dishes just as well. I've had no issues scrubbing away caked-on egg yolk or unyielding tomato sauce, even when the dishes have been sitting in the sink for a few days. (I promise this doesn't happen often, but it does happen.)
The Dishwasher Tablets, however, are another story. As much as I want to love them like I love my other Blueland products, they haven't performed for me as well as my Cascade Dishwasher Pods. Blueland says to use one tablet to clean your dishes. But I've tried at least a dozen times with both one tablet and two tablets, and only about 90% of what's inside my dishwasher ended up totally clean — there were almost always a few dishes, spatulas and silverware that need to be washed again in the sink.
The biggest issue for me is with coffee and tea stains, which seems to be in line with the research Blueland did on the efficacy of its Dishwasher Tablets compared to major brands. The test found that compared to the three other products tested, Blueland's tablets were the least effective at removing tea stains. A representative for Blueland told me it's possible that the type of water my dishwasher uses might not be compatible with the tablets — seeing as they have a 4.9-star average rating from more than 2,400 reviews on Blueland's site, it could be worth trying the tablets yourself.
Other eco-friendly cleaning products to consider
If you want to compare Blueland’s offerings to other eco-friendly products on the market and explore some other options, we rounded up some other top-rated eco-friendly cleaning products worth considering.
Branch Basics Premium Starter Kit
Like Blueland, Branch Basics offers reusable bottles — however, instead of tablets, the company delivers liquid called The Concentrate for every single product it sells. The Concentrate is billed as a multi-purpose, fragrance-free cleaner, and it’s plant- and mineral-based, according to the brand. Included in the Premium Starter Kit is a 33.8-ounce bottle of The Concentrate, five reusable plastic bottles and the brand’s Oxygen Boost, which is designed for laundry.
Cleancult Complete Home Bundle
Cleancult’s products use a coconut oil base that is both environmentally friendly and safe for the skin, according to the brand. Like Blueland, Cleancult sells refillable bottles and dispensers — the refills come in recyclable milk cartons, and you can schedule them to ship every month, every two months, every three months or every four months. When you purchase the starter pack, you can choose from three color options for the reusable bottles and from two scents for the cleaner refills.
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