When it comes to dishwasher detergent there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, but ditching the excessive plastic wrapping would be nice. Dropps dish pods are effective, easy-to-use and plastic-free.

Did you know that by 2077 there will be enough plastic in the oceans to build 859 million life-size sculptures of Bill Murray practicing his golf swing with a garden rake?

Ok… I totally made that up. But the plastic crisis is out of control and individually wrapping dishwasher detergent pods with plastic is only making it worse. After ignoring countless ads on social media, I finally tested Dropps dishwasher detergent pods to see if they could make a worthwhile replacement for the big-brand dish detergent I’m using now.

At Emeraldology, we ask two questions when we review products: 1) Does it work? and 2) What makes it eco-friendly? Let’s get after it.

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Do Dropps dish pods work?

Dropps lemon scented dishwasher detergent pods cost $25 for 64 loads (40 cents per load) with free shipping. The cost per load decreases if you buy in bigger bulk or sign up for subscription service. For example, a one-time purchase of 180 loads costs $50 (28 cents per load). That drops to 20 cents per pod if you set up a reoccurring order.

The dish pods ship directly to your home and are super easy to use. Just place the entire pod (wrapper and all) in your dishwasher’s detergent bunker, button the hatch, and let ‘er rip. Dropps warns against handling the pods with wet hands or cutting them open. Eating them is also a no-no. (That should go without saying, but welcome to 2020.)

But do they work?

There’s really only one way to find out, right? Following the instructions, I put one lemon scented Dropps dish detergent pod up against a full load of my notoriously under-rinsed dishes. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is two thousands words worth of pictures (the yellow circles are free):

Dishes before:

dropps dish

Dishes after:

dropps dish

As you can see, the gunks, goops and flecks have been replaced with a nice shine. Can’t ask for much more than that, in terms of cleaning power.

And for the real test: My wife couldn’t tell that I used an eco-friendly detergent instead of a big brand. She sniffs out under-performing eco-friendly products like a bloodhound, but Dropps dish pods flew under the radar. That’s the highest compliment a company like Dropps can receive in my household.

Dropps has two types of dish pods: “lightly scented” lemon and unscented. I chose lemon and, honestly, if there was a scent it was pretty forgettable. But that’s not a make-or-break feature for me.

Ready to give Dropps a shot? Use discount code emerald15 for 15% off all Dropps products!

What makes Dropps dish pods eco-friendly?

Dropps advertises its products as “powerful, green cleaning solutions.” So far, I agree with the powerful part, but what makes this product green or eco-friendly?


Those are the magic words, people. Born of fossil fuels and destined to become microplastic, plastic packaging is basically the evil lovechild of Voldemort, Darth Vader and Sauron. Beyond worrying about our carbon footprints, we should be pushing companies to avoid plastic by rewarding the ones that already do… like Dropps!

Dropps avoids plastic and excess materials by packaging and shipping the pods in the same Forest Steward Council certified compostable/recyclable cardboard box. They also use compostable/recyclable paper tape and shipping labels to hold it all together.

Sustainable shipping

Dropps ships no-rush via the US Postal Service, which is about as low impact as shipping gets since USPS trucks are usually full and headed to your house anyway. (Psst: We do the same for our orders in the Emeraldology Shop.)

They also purchase carbon offsets through 3Degrees that help fund a gas collection and combustion protocol project at the Clinton Landfill near Chicago.

Dropps dish pod ingredients

Dropps dish pods are made mostly with plant-based ingredients, which the company provides plenty of information about. The company earned the EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year award in 2017.

The lemon dishwasher pods earned a C rating from the Environmental Working Group (Dropps’ laundry pods performed much better) with moderate health and environmental concerns for a few of its ingredients. In fairness, comparable big brand lemon scented dish pods scored an F with high environmental and health concerns.

In fact, 46.5% of the dishwasher detergents on EWG were given a D or F and just 10.6% earned an A. So Dropps’ C isn’t looking so bad…

If you’re looking for completely natural dish detergent check out our review of Salt & Light Natural.

Bottom line: Dishes Awesome!

Aside from some concerns over the ingredients, Dropps dish pods check nearly all of our eco-friendly boxes. This product is proof that dishes can get just as clean without individually-wrapped detergent pods, or any plastic packaging for that matter. Dropps adheres to a low-carbon shipping model and partners with Oceana to spread awareness about the plastic crisis.

Best of all, this product is just as affordable and accessible (more so) than big brand dish detergents. So, there, you have no excuse but to give them a shot!

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Feature photo by the author.