In casa VanSell, we try to generate less waste where we can, the battle though is trying to find earth-friendly products that work and won’t make our wallets cry. Anyone in my family can tell you that I have a high standard of clean and tidy. Despite living in places like Saudi Arabia and Texas as well as frequenting the Philippines, I still have trouble fighting my archnemesis: sweat.
My whole husband.
It’s a lot of nasty clothes and lots of deodorant stains. Laundry keeps going, and going, and going. With it, synthetic dyes and fragrances and fillers that aren’t safe for waterways and reefs, clunky plastic tubs and jugs, boxes upon boxes of dryer sheets, all the while your clothes are STILL NOT CLEAN. Laundry sucks, but I feel like it doesn’t have to suck THAT much and I am pretty sure that people out there felt the same way. With that, my journey for a plant-based laundry detergent that thoroughly cleans and is in an earth-friendly container begins.
$9 Dryer Balls & Essential Oils – A Must-Have
A very early favorite was switching from dryer sheets to wool dryer balls. I bought a set of 3 from Target for $9 and loved how quickly my clothes dried and how soft they were. I missed the smell-goods that traditional dryer sheets had so I added a drop of lavender essential oil to each dryer ball and my clothes smelled even better than when I used dryer sheets. Goodbye dryer sheets, forever!
Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent – Container Issue Unresolved
My next early favorite was Seventh Generation’s Lavender liquid laundry detergent because it smells amazing. However, it does not clean well unless I add extra detergent to get all the deodorant off the inside of my clothes.
This detergent also doesn’t pass the earth-friendly container requirement either. Seventh Generation sells the liquid detergent in post-consumer and recyclable plastic jugs while selling their pods in post-consumer recyclable plastic Ziplocs. Recycled plastic ‘closes’ the cycle of plastic consumption as long as you are able to properly recycle that container again, so this sounds pretty good, right?
Now here is why SG didn’t quite make the cut: not all residential areas offer recycling for plastic, if they do, it’s only certain types of plastics. Additionally, the process of recycling plastic is usually inefficient and wasteful; the process requires a lot of energy and water to breakdown and recreate plastic which introduces microplastics into waterways. With that, I let SG go from my zero-waste laundry journey and resumed my search for the perfect laundry detergent.
Dropps – The Ultimate Household Gamechanger
Like a blessing (a.k.a. Instagram’s targeted ads), the solution to my laundry troubles appeared before my eyes: Dropps!
Looking at their Instagram and website, Dropps is a super concentrated plant-based laundry detergent contained in compostable boxes and is sent to your door plastic wrap free! What made me a little hesitant was the price, it seemed expensive more expensive per load without the subscription. I didn’t want to commit to trying a new product through a subscription but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how they broke it down.
With a subscription sent every four months, Dropps bases the price of your subscription on your household size:
- Single (56 loads, 2-4 loads per week)
- Couple (140 loads, 7-9 loads per week)
- Family (210 loads, 11-13 loads per week)
On top of that, you save 25% when you subscribe and you can cancel anytime. To make sure I got the most bang of my buck, I compared Dropps’ prices per load to various Tide tubs and Seventh Generation tubs to see if I would be saving a significant amount of money. I found that the prices per load were similar to Tide but much cheaper than SG, I also remembered that I did have to buy A LOT of pod tubs within four months. No ugly plastic jugs for comparable pricing? Let’s give it a go.
Putting it to the Test
I ordered the single household subscription of the Lavender Eucalyptus scent in January 2020 while Jarrod was working in the UAE. When my first order came in the mail, I loved the teeny compostable cardboard boxes but I couldn’t believe there were 54 pods in them?! Sure enough, 54 wonderful smelling pods to try. The results in the first few washes weren’t hugely different until I noticed the deodorant stains were GONE. After a few more washes, my clothes were so much fresher. A few more washes after that, they smelled amazing long after they were put away in my closet.
It is now September 2020 and I have not walked down the laundry aisle in the grocery store to restock. Better yet, I have not sent any plastic jugs to landfills and I am damn proud of myself.
* Tragic infomercial music * Does your laundry detergent make your clothes smell like it’s been given a wet-wipe shower? Does your laundry room overrun with bulky plastic jugs? Does laundry just suck?
* Upbeat and triumphant bop * Use my referral link for $10 off of your first order!
Got questions? Laundry woes you want to share? Loving Dropps too? Let us know in the comments below! We wish you less sucky laundry time.