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There are now ways to “deplasticize” nearly every aspect of your life, including the laborious drudgery of cleaning your home.
New startup Blueland gives you both a cleaner home and less landfill clutter. Its smart and economical system includes dissolvable cleaning tablets, reusable bottles and your sink.
During an appearance on “shark tank“, its creators convinced investors that their non-toxic tablets and sustainable packaging would change the way people clean. After trying it ourselves, we are also converted.
Blueland’s starter kit is called The Clean Essentials and costs $39. Blueland offers three sturdy acrylic bottles, 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 three cleaning tablets, one for each use. The tablets make 20 ounces of solution each while the soap bar makes 9 ounces of solution.
To prepare the cleaning solution, you fill the bottle with lukewarm water, then drop the corresponding tablet into the bottle. In seconds it is ready to use; no shaking or stirring needed.
You can visit The Clean Essentials product page for a detailed list of ingredients for each cleanser. All products are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. They also contain nothing on the Environmental Working Group Shortlist.
They are also free of traditional disinfectant ingredients such as bleach. All ingredients are natural or naturally derived, so the cleansers are hypoallergenic, pet-safe, and cruelty-free. However, this means that they will not disinfect surfaces by eliminating viruses and bacteria.
Buyers are demanding natural alternatives to many products, and co-founder Sarah Paiji Yoo had her own similar experience. As a young mother, she worried about microplastics in the water supply and air pollutants like VOCs. Blueland is the carefully formulated result of these concerns.
I tested the cleaners in my own home and found them to be effective and easy to use. Each is scented, except the glass and mirror cleaner. The scents aren’t the overpowering or harsh scents I expect from household cleaners.
My bathroom, in particular, is prone to dust and dirt buildup. But the Blueland Bathroom Cleaner ($16) quickly and effectively removed what I thought were stubborn stains in my tub and sink. Meanwhile, the hand soap ($16) lathered up nicely and left my hands feeling soft with every wash. Glass and Mirror Cleaner ($16) is probably the weakest of the four products — it left my mirror slightly streaked.
If you prefer to try a single product first before committing to the whole thing, you can get a Starter Set. It contains a tablet and a bottle for the cleaner of your choice (bathroom, soap or glass and mirror).
The most obvious way Blueland is more environmentally friendly is in the design of its cleaning products. Instead of throwing away a plastic bottle every time it’s empty, you refill your Blueland bottles again and again. This system also takes advantage of the water you already use in your home. Plus, 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 in every way. Tablet refills take up a fraction of the space in your traditional cleaning supplies cabinets, and they’re more affordable. Each refill costs just $2, while traditional competitors cost $3-$5 for the same amount of cleanser.
The bottom line
Blueland’s cleaning products are innovative, durable, effective and affordable. You may still want a disinfectant to clean certain areas of your home, especially during a pandemic. Yet all of these benefits make us wonder why not all household cleaners – and many other types of consumer products – are made this way.