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Over the past few years, my ever-growing eco-anxiety has pushed me to make a number of sustainable lifestyle changes. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve done a pretty good job: I drive an electric car, thrift whenever possible, and use reusable bottles, bags, and containers over their single-use counterparts. But no matter how hard I tried, I was always doomed with a larger-than-desired carbon footprint due to a few household items I just couldn’t shake: my dog’s kibble bags, Yerba Mate bottles, and dozens of different household cleaners.
Quarantine has released a lot of beasts in me (binge-watcher, excessive baker, sweatpant enthusiast), but perhaps the most productive is my newfound obsession with cleaning. There’s just something about never ever leaving your apartment that makes you want to never ever see a speck of dust in it. Pre-Blueland, my love of cleaning came at the expense of my love of the planet, creating an intense dissonance in me. When even the most “eco-friendly” dish soap options come in single-use plastic bottles, these two stamps of my identity could never live in harmony, right? Wrong.
Enter: Blueland. On a mission to revolutionize the cleaning industry, the woman and POC-owned brand has innovatively eliminated the need for single-use plastics in home cleaning products. With third-party-tested cleaning products ranging from Cleaning Sprays to Foaming Hand Soap, they make it incredibly easy to clean your home and do the right thing, all at once.
We all grew up learning that we should “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” The list is in descending order of importance, so why is the mainstream sustainability movement only concerned with recycling? The sad truth is that the U.S. (and many countries around the globe) simply don’t have the infrastructure to recycle the mass amounts of plastic that we consume. The majority of what we put in our recycling bins is actually sent to landfills, rendering recycling useless. The best thing you can do for our planet is to reduce consumption, but for things you absolutely need (ahem, cleaning products), the best you can do is reuse. Or in the case of Blueland, refill.
Blueland started with four bottles and one simple idea: Alka-Seltzer-esque dissolving tablets. Blueland sends you a Forever Bottle (their very chic, color-coded spray bottles or soap bottles) that’s yours to keep, well...,forever, as well as one small, nickel-sized tablet. Fill your bottle with warm to hot water, plop in a tablet, and voila—you’ve cleaned your apartment and eliminated one of the 100 billion plastic cleaning bottles the rest of the world is throwing away. And just like that, Blueland cleaned my conscience (and my hands, countertops and mirrors...).
The Ones That Started It All
The first thing I ever bought from Blueland was their Clean Essentials. As seen on Shark Tank, the kit contains four color-coded reusable cleaning bottles with four corresponding dissolvable tablets—white for hand soap, pink for the bathroom, blue for glass and mirrors, and yellow for all purpose. With an almost entirely naturally-derived ingredient list, I was concerned that Blueland’s products might not work. So I put them to the test.
The hero product of this kit is definitely the Multi-Surface cleaner. I was biased from the start, seeing as yellow is my favorite color, but that’s not the only reason I ran out of this baby first. The Multi-Surface cleaner works on counters, tile, stone, and wood, making it the perfect cleaner for almost every single thing in my apartment. Its fresh, lemon scent wafting through my apartment with every breeze is the closest I’ll get to the French countryside for the next few years (at least).
I’m ashamed to say that even with my recent uptick in cleaning escapades, I never tended to my mirrors. Thanks to quarantine, I spend most of my time makeup-less and with sweatpants on, so I didn’t really feel the need for a crystal-clear reflection. Flash forward to Blueland arriving, and I knew I had to clean them once and for all. Let’s just say that the Glass & Mirror cleaner worked so well that I almost never want to do it again (it’s like upgrading your iPhone and regretting it once you see how clear the selfie camera has become).
While I can appreciate the scentlessness of a Glass/Mirror cleaner, I want my Bathroom Cleaner to be smell-y as can be. Bathrooms are indisputably the grossest place in any household, and as someone who grew up with the very potent Tide, good, strong smells signal clean spaces to me. The most fragrant of the bunch, Blueland’s Bathroom Cleaner boasts a perfectly-balanced Eucalyptus Mint scent that I wouldn’t mind smelling all day. The cleaner easily worked through tough bathtub and shower stains, too. All in all, a 10/10.
Foamy, Frothy Goodness: The Hand Soap
While I’m not much of a foam soap gal, I’m incredibly smitten with the Forever Bottle on Blueland’s Foaming Hand Soap. Made of glass, it elevated my kitchen countertop just as much the Le Creuset I stole from my mom’s house. And though I prefer liquid soaps, I could definitely get used to Blueland’s soap tablets. Available in Lavender Eucalyptus, Iris Agave, and Perrine Lemon scents, they’re versatile and effective enough to keep in any room of the house (I personally like Eucalyptus for the bathroom and Lemon for the kitchen, but do you). Triclosan, paraben, and phthalate-free, it’s a super-safe option for your kids, your pets, and our planet.
The Dishwashing Duo
The best thing to happen to me in 2020 was getting an apartment with a dishwasher. A game-changer for dinner parties that I have yet to experience (thank you COVID), they’re also much better for the environment (if used to their full potential—filling your dishwasher up all the way is like a real-life game of Tetris; it takes practice). Like most, I opted for dishwasher pacs instead of liquid dishwashing soap, which frankly feels ancient. Turns out I’m likely going to hell for that—wrapped with a petroleum-based plastic that dissolves in water, but doesn’t actually disappear, they likely don’t fully biodegrade in water and are potentially released into our oceans and waterways. But have no fear—Blueland to the rescue. Their dishwashing tablets are designed to be as easy to use as dishwashing pacs, but without the plastics. Plus, they come in a very cute and very reusable pastel blue tin.
And while I love my dishwasher, I have quite a few kitchen items that require an old-fashioned touch. That said, Blueland’s Dish Soap is far from old-fashioned. Coming in a reusable silicone “shaker,” you’re meant to sprinkle the powdered dish soap onto your sponge (or straight onto the wet dish) until it develops into a nice foam. While this is arguably Blueland’s most innovative product yet, I was skeptical as to whether powder could really compare to the suds of a liquid soap. I was quickly proven wrong—my dishes were so shiny, it almost made me want to ditch my dishwasher altogether. Ok no, not really, but the Dish Soap has officially taken the first place spot of my favorite Blueland products.
The Little Laundress That Could
What 2020 brought me in dishwashers, it sadly did not in washing machines. My Sundays are spent lugging laundry bags over to my mom’s house. So while I’ve investigated the pastel tin can and ran a thorough sniff test of the dissolvable tablets (can confirm they’re scent-free!), I can’t attest to how well these babies work just yet. But according to the hundreds of 5-star reviews on Blueland’s website, I have a feeling I’m in for a treat. The dissolving tablets promise to eliminate even the toughest stains, but with none of the plastic (according to Blueland’s website, the average household uses 275 of traditional plastic-wrapped pacs a year—we suck). Plus, my mom’s already sold: “that’s just the cutest laundry detergent I’ve ever seen!”
I’ll Come Clean…
I’m an official Blueland addict. Their colorful bottles and dissolvable tablets have turned me into Snow White—I’ve never been so happy to scrub sinks, and wouldn’t be surprised if I start singing with the neighborhood birds soon too. The stuff makes me so happy that I honsetly think they’d make great holiday gifts (and I’m not the only one—Vogue and The New York Times said it first).
While the sustainable option can often be the “less convenient” option, Blueland refuses to make that tradeoff–their products are designed to save time just as much as the planet. With easy instructions and seamless subscription services, they’re all about good, clean fun.
5 More Reasons to Love Blueland:
- They don’t just help you save the planet, they do it, too! As of this year, Blueland is 100% carbon-neutral—a huge feat for a manufacturer of its size, and one that's aided by Blueland's intelligent business model, which allows the brand to ship small tablets without water.
- While they aim to minimize their impact on our environment, they go all out when it comes to social impact. As a thanks to our healthcare heroes, Blueland donated free hand soap to a number of doctors’ offices across the U.S.
- They’ve got a great sense of humor. Blueland’s IG feed quells your eco-anxiety with hilarious memes and other found content—go check them out @blueland.
- Their subscription services make it even easier to go green—with customizable frequency and an associated 10% discount, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
- We said it once, we’ll say it again—Blueland is WOC-owned, and we’re here for it.