COVID-19 is driving demand for personal hygiene products, many of which come in single use plastic packaging. Blueland hand soap provides a waste- and hassle-free road to cleanliness.
I ordered a starter pack to see 1) if it works and 2) what makes Blueland hand soap eco-friendly.
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Blueland also has waste-free glass and surface cleaners, but I haven’t tried those yet. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly surface disinfectant spray, look no further than Force of Nature.
Quick note: Cleaners remove germs from surfaces, but don’t kill them. Disinfectants kill germs, but don’t remove them from surfaces. The CDC recommends using disinfectants to kill germs after using a cleaner to clean the surface.
Check out our list of eco-friendly surface cleaners and disinfectants.
How Does Blueland Hand Soap Work?
A $16 Blueland hand soap starter set consists of one sturdy reusable glass bottle with pump and three dissolvable soap tablets. The three scents in the starter pack are Iris Agave, Perrine Lemon and Lavender Eucalyptus. My “highly evolved” man-nose can hardly distinguish a difference between the three, but I can tell you they all smell fresh, soapy and delightful.
How it works:
- Fill the bottle with warm or hot water to the fill line.
- Drop in a tablet (I went with Lavender Eucalyptus for the test run).
- Wait for the tablet to dissolve.
- Wash your filthy hands.
I will say, I was sort of expecting the tablet to burst into a flurry of multi-colored bubbles and good smells and dissolve in a minute or two. But in my experience it just kind of sat there burping and coughing for an hour or so. Perhaps hotter water speeds up the reaction, but either way I’m not holding it against Blueland.
(Pro tip: Whatever you do, do NOT shake the bottle.)
As far as hand washing goes, it works just like any other foam soap and smells great. I found that three pumps is the magic number to get a good lather that lasts two rounds of off-key ‘Happy Birthday.’
The soap not only washed away dirt and grime, it theoretically rid my hands of bacteria and viruses, as we’ll discuss below.
What’s in Blueland hand soap?
The key ingredient in Blueland hand soap is Sodium Coco-Sulfate. This surfactant is plant-based instead of petroleum based, but it’s still a synthetically made detergent.
With that said, according to a Blueland spokesperson, surfactants “reduce surface tension to effectively lift up bacteria and viruses from surfaces to easily wash and wipe them away.”
Although I wouldn’t call this a “natural” product — and Blueland doesn’t either — there seems to be a significant effort to use ingredients that are safer for humans and the environment. And there’s no doubt it has the necessary cleaning power, especially for this moment.
Plant-based and non-toxic ingredients
The other ingredients in this soap are a mix of naturally derived, synthetic and petroleum based substances that serve various purposes. Blueland carries the following certifications:
- EPA Safer Choice – products deemed “safer for you, your family and the environment” by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Cradle to Cradle – products that contribute to a circular economy, water stewardship, social fairness and material health.
- Leaping Bunny – Contains no ingredients derived from or tested on animals.
- USDA BioBased – “The biobased contents of these products/packages have been third-party tested at independent laboratories. These products/packages have earned USDA certification and the approval to display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label.”
Is Blueland Hand Soap Eco Friendly?
(Nearly) plastic-free packaging
This company was born to combat the plastic crisis. On its mission page, Blueland cites that “90% of the water we drink and 33% of the fish we eat contains microplastic.”
That’s just freakin’ gross.
There are plenty of other eye-opening statistics about the plastic crisis, but the bottom line is that the world is quite literally drowning in plastic and part of that is due to single-use soap dispensers and cleaning spray bottles. Blueland eliminates the need for both.
Reduced shipping emissions
According to its product page, the average household uses 25 single-use plastic bottles of hand soap each year. Every single one of those is now completely unnecessary.
Further, its direct-to-consumer model cuts carbon emissions from shipping water all over the place. If you’ve ever gone for a hike, you understand that water is incredibly heavy to carry around. The same principle is true for trucks full of water-based products like soaps and cleaners — and it’s just a waste!
Why are we shipping water back and forth when we can easily add it ourselves?
Just think of how much fresh water is just sitting idle in plastic-packaged products. Couldn’t that be left in the biosphere, or used for farming and drinking?
Lastly, all of Blueland’s packaging is recyclable and it’s individual tablet wrappers are compostable. I wouldn’t mind seeing a push toward entirely compostable packaging, but for now Blueland is in a good place.
The Bottom Line:
Blueland hand soap is made just for this moment. It’s got the cleaning power to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and it can be acquired without leaving home.
It has the potential to take a bite out of plastic pollution, unnecessary shipping emissions and water waste! Plus, Blueland is making a measurable effort to opt for natural ingredients and avoid harmful ones.
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All photos copyright Emeraldology 2020.