Here at Brightly, we believe that sustainability should be accessible for all. We believe in safe, transparent ingredients that can be found in affordable products. That’s why we work to spread awareness about our favorite sustainable, affordable, and easily accessible brands like eco-cleaning brands.
Eco-cleaning products contain natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe ingredients. Also, they’re produced under ethical manufacturing practices. These products can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks from laundry to dishwashing.
Lucky for us, there’s a wealth of good eco-cleaning brands out there, but which among these is the best? In this article, we will be comparing dishwasher pods & tablets from different eco-cleaning brands on cost per load, ingredients, and efficiency in the hopes of finding the answer to this question. The efficiency level will be based on our team’s personal experiences with the products.
Dropps (180 pods)
Price Per Load: $0.19
Dropps uses ingredients that are 100% plant or mineral-derived. The main ingredient the company uses in this product as the cleaning agent is sodium carbonate. Sodium carbonate, also called washing soda, is designated as safe by both the FDA and EPA. Other ingredients included are trisodium citrate dihydrate and dilicic acid (a sodium salt), which act as chelating agents that remove potential metal ions from your dishes.
We love the minimalism of Dropps and how these pods never fail to get the job done. The company uses mineral-based ingredients and is chlorine, phthalate, and phosphate-free. Dropps allows consumers to skip the pre-wash. Plus, they’re cruelty-free and come in compostable packaging. Dropps is actually a fan favorite in our Scout community: 5-star ratings all around.
Blueland (40 pods)
Price Per Load: $0.45
Every ingredient Blueland uses in its dishwasher pods is natural. Similar to Dropps and many of the other brands on this list, Blueland also uses the mineral-based cleaner, sodium carbonate, as its primary ingredient. Another ingredient Blueland uses is citric acid. Citric acid is found in a variety of cleaners for its many uses. In fact, on its website, Blueland actually outlines every single ingredient it uses, how it’s derived, and what function it fulfills in the dishwasher detergent.
We adore the design concept and innovative tablets used for Blueland’s cleaning products. This is another one of our Scouts’ favorite cleaning products. This product is certified for platinum material health and Leaping Bunny certified. The tablets come in a reusable tin and are free of artificial fragrances or dyes, and triclosan. Once again, 5-stars all around.
Puracy (50 pods)
Price Per Load: $0.32
The ingredients in these pods are 99.5% natural. They contain ten ingredients, with one being polyvinyl alcohol (a biodegradable, water-soluble film around the pods). These pods are formulated with another plant-based softener in addition to sodium citrate, which both Dropps and Blueland also contain. The name of this added softener is carboxymethyl inulin. After being put through a series of toxicological studies, carboxymethyl inulin was deemed safe.
This product is 100% fragrance-free, natural, and its stellar cleaning abilities have also earned it a 5-star rating from our team. It is fully non-toxic and doesn’t leave any residue behind on dishes. The ingredient layout on their website is very transparent, showing not only where ingredients are from, but also why they are used. Additionally, it is certified cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and vegan.
Public Goods (24 pods)
Price Per Load: $0.29
If you preach minimalism, this product is for you. It is comprised of three ingredients and is free of phosphates, chlorine, petroleum, dyes, parabens, phthalates, aluminum, animal by-products, and anything related to formaldehyde. The ingredients are as follows: sodium carbonate, sodium silicate, and enzymes. In cleaning products, enzymes are a necessity, as they help kill bacteria. To learn more about the importance and benefits of enzymes in cleaning products, click here.
Our team found that Public Goods’ dishwasher detergent pods often didn’t fully dissolve in their dishwashers. However, they are baby safe and all-natural. They were deemed as deserving a 4-star rating as opposed to a 5-star one simply due to the fact that they did not completely break down completely.
Grove Collaborative (20 pods)
Price Per Load: $0.35
Grove Co.’s dishwasher tablets use 91% plant-derived ingredients. They do not have any synthetic colorants or fragrances. They contain a total of ten ingredients in their ‘free & clear’ pack, of which none are fragrant. The three ingredients that are not plant-derived are sodium sulfate, sodium percarbonate, and sodium silicate (which the Public Goods and Blueland pods also contain). The packs also have sodium carbonate and citric acid in them, ensuring a strong cleaning job. Other pod scents, however, also include essential oils and other plant-derived ingredients for scent in their formulas.
These packs were also given a 4-star rating by our team and rated as the least favorite for the perceived inconvenience of the Grove Co. subscription model. Despite this, the pods do remove tough stains and are Leaping Bunny certified. Plus, Grove Co. has a closed-loop recycling system in place, so once you finish your pods, you can send them back to be recycled through a pre-paid shipping label.
Mrs. Meyer’s (45 pods)
Price Per Load: $0.45
Out of all the detergents mentioned, Mrs. Meyer’s is the one that contains the most ingredients. It is made of 97% natural ingredients. The synthetic fragrance additives are important to note for those with fragrance allergies. Mrs. Meyer’s products do actually carry an ingredient glossary that outlines every single one of their ingredients and all of the products in which they are found.
These pods are cruelty-free and formulated without phosphates or chlorine. They include essential oils for fragrance. Yes, many of the products produced by Mrs. Meyer’s aren’t perfect, but we recognize that it’s available nationwide in many stores and is popular. Although these products typically get the cleaning job done, some complain that the scent is overpowering. As a result, our team gives Mrs. Meyer’s 4 stars.