Sustainable products tend to get a bad rap for being more expensive. Prices do tend to be a little higher when workers are paid fair wages and ethically-sourced ingredients are used. With that being said, affordable products that have the planet in mind exist—eco-friendly dishwasher detergent, included.
When you buy an eco-friendly dishwasher detergent, you most likely get a product that’s made with safe, natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients. These products are also generally free of chemicals like parabens that have been proven to negatively impact the planet—and sometimes human health.
While there are several great sustainable cleaning products out there, it can be tricky to decipher which ones allow you to get the most bang for your buck. Below, we compare eco-friendly dishwasher detergent pods and tablets from different eco-cleaning brands on cost per load, ingredients, and efficiency to help you find the perfect product for your home.
6 Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent Pods, Ranked by Cost
1. Dropps (180 pods)
Price: $50 for 180 detergent pods
Price Per Load: $0.28
Dropps uses ingredients that are plant or mineral-derived. The main cleaning agent the company uses in this product is sodium carbonate. Also known as washing soda, sodium carbonate is designated as safe by both the FDA and EPA.
Other ingredients included are trisodium citrate dihydrate and silicic acid (a sodium salt), which help remove potential metal ions from your dishes. Plus, these mineral-based ingredients are chlorine-, phthalate-, and phosphate-free.
Overall, these pods never fail to get the job done. Dropps allows consumers to skip the pre-wash. The pods are also cruelty-free and come in compostable packaging. Dropps is actually a fan favorite of our Scouts community: 5-star ratings all around.
2. Public Goods (24 pods)
Price: $6.95 for 24 detergent pods
Price Per Load: $0.29
If you preach minimalism, this product is for you. It’s comprised of three ingredients and is free of phosphates, chlorine, petroleum, dyes, parabens, phthalates, aluminum, animal by-products, and formaldehyde. The ingredients are as follows: sodium carbonate, sodium silicate, and enzymes. In cleaning products, enzymes are a necessity to kill bacteria, as they speed up chemical reactions and break down tough stains.
Our team found that Public Goods’ dishwasher detergent pods often didn’t fully dissolve in the dishwasher. Because the pods didn’t completely break down, they were given a 4-star rating as opposed to 5 stars. However, these pods are baby-safe, all-natural, and cost-effective.
3. Grove Collaborative (20 pods)
Price: $5.95 for 20 detergent pods
Price Per Load: $0.30
Grove Co.’s dishwasher tablets use 91% plant-derived ingredients. There are a total of 10 ingredients in the “free & clear” pack, and the three ingredients that aren’t plant-derived are sodium sulfate, sodium percarbonate, and sodium silicate.
The packs also have sodium carbonate and citric acid in them, ensuring a strong cleaning job. Scented pods also include essential oils and other plant-derived ingredients in the formulas.
Our team gave these packs a 4-star rating and rated them as the least favorite on this list. Despite this, the pods do remove tough stains, are certified cruelty-free, and help eliminate plastic waste. Plus, you can even find these pods at Target, making them an accessible choice.
4. Puracy (50 pods)
Price: $15.99 for 50 detergent pods
Price Per Load: $0.32
The ingredients in these pods are 99.5% natural. They contain nine ingredients, with one being polyvinyl alcohol (a biodegradable, water-soluble film around the pods). In addition to using sodium citrate, these pods use another plant-based softener called carboxymethyl inulin. After going through a series of toxicological studies, carboxymethyl inulin was deemed safe for humans.
This product is also fragrance-free and uses plant-based enzymes to break down tough foods. The pods are non-toxic and won’t leave any residue behind on dishes. The ingredient layout on the website is transparent, showing where ingredients are from and why they’re used.
Additionally, it’s certified cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, and biodegradable. Its stellar cleaning abilities have even earned it a 5-star rating from our team.
5. Blueland (40 pods)
Price: $18 for 40 detergent 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 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 because it helps remove water buildup and stains. Blueland even outlines every single ingredient used, 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 is Cradle to Cradle certified. The tablets even come in a reusable tin and are free of artificial fragrances and dyes, as well as triclosan. Overall, we give these dishwasher pods 5-stars.
6. Mrs. Meyer’s (20 pods)
Price: $8.99 for 20 detergent pods
Price Per Load: $0.45
Out of all the detergents mentioned, Mrs. Meyer’s is the one that contains the most ingredients. It’s made of 97% natural ingredients. Synthetic fragrance additives are important to note for those with fragrance allergies. Mrs. Meyer’s website even offers an ingredient glossary that outlines every single one of its ingredients and all the products in which they’re found, giving this company a high transparency score.
These pods are cruelty-free and formulated without phosphates or chlorine. They include essential oils for fragrance. While Mrs. Meyer’s products aren’t all perfect, we recognize that this dish detergent is available nationwide at many retailers, making it an accessible choice in terms of sustainability.
Although these products get the job done, some note the scent can be overpowering. As a result, our team gives Mrs. Meyer’s dishwasher detergent pods 4 stars.
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