Blueland is an innovative new brand that makes plastic-free personal care products, like soaps and detergents. The brand’s core value is it’s eco-friendliness, because most personal care products contain significant amounts of plastic between the products and the packaging.
Blueland also brands themselves as a healthier option. In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Blueland to determine whether the brand is a safer and less toxic alternative to commercial personal care products, and if their environmental claims are legitimate.
Blueland Hand Soap Review
Blueland’s hand soap starter set comes with a reusable plastic bottle and their soap tablets, which are mixed with water to create the soap. We find it strange that a company with such a strong push for environmentalism is making plastic soap bottles.
It’s true that it’s better for the environment to use a reusable plastic soap bottle than the single-use bottles available from most major brands, but there are also plenty of soap brands which use no plastic and are superior options in regards to waste.
Dr. Bronner’s sells bar soaps packed in paper.
The soap formulations themselves are decent in our opinion, and certainly healthier than many commercial soap brands, but they do contain fragrance which we recommend avoiding, because this ingredient has been shown in medical research to be potentially harmful to human health, as well as potentially skin sensitizing.
If a brand were to list the actual chemicals used to create the fragrance we may approve the formulation, because certain compounds like essential oils are nontoxic at the appropriate dose in cosmetics. But the generic “fragrance” could include a host of different chemicals, and without knowing which were used we believe it’s safest for consumers to avoid the product.
The rest of the ingredients in Blueland soap are relatively safe and non-toxic, so we hope they offer fragrance-free versions in the future.
Blueland soap also contains the preservative sodium benzoate, which while being one of the most non-toxic preservatives does appear to induce skin allergy in around 2% of patients based on medical research.
Since there exist soaps without this preservative, such as Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, we see no reason for using a product containing it.
Overall, while we wouldn’t recommend Blueland soap products, we do believe they’re a better option than most drugstore soaps. As a quick example, Irish Spring bar soap found on the CVS website contains not only fragrance but also artificial dye (D&C Green No.8, FD&C Green No.3) and titanium dioxide, both ingredient categories we generally recommend avoiding due to health concerns.
Blueland Laundry Review
Blueland’s laundry offerings are where they really shine in terms of improved health and reduced waste over their competitors.
Medical research has shown that commercial detergents negatively affect natural ecosystems and wastewater treatment processes due to the toxic chemicals often included.
Blueland has the best laundry product formulation we’ve reviewed, with entirely non-toxic and effective ingredients. The brand utilizes sodium carbonate as a natural cleaning agent.
The enzyme subtilisin was highlighted in a medical research review of enzymes with potential for the laundry industry, and it’s included in Blueland to help break down protein stains.
The detergent tablet contains another interesting and novel ingredient called amylase, which is an enzyme effective for catalyzing (breaking down) starch, and was shown to be a detergent-compatible bacterial amylase in a recent research review.
The laundry starter set comes with a tin (rather than plastic), and refill tablets are packaged in paper pouches, so this is the most environmentally-friendly laundry product that we’ve reviewed.
Blueland also sells 100% wool dryer balls, which are much more environmentally friendly than dryer sheets which are typically made from plastic, and are single-use.
We would strongly recommend this product line not only for its safety and efficacy but also for its eco-friendliness.
To prove the superiority of Blueland’s laundry product in terms of health, consider Tide Original detergent’s formulation. It includes fragrance, and we detailed in the previous section why we recommend avoiding this ingredient.
Tide Original also contains ethanolamine, an ingredient shown in medical data to have the ability to cause severe skin irritation at low concentrations.
The popular detergent also contains the colorant polyoxyalkylene substituted chromophore (violet). While we couldn’t find research proving the safety of this ingredient, we recommend avoiding all artificial colorants in cosmetic and consumer products due to documented toxicity concerns of artificial colorants generally.
There are several other ingredients in the Tide product that concern us from a health perspective, but we’ll end the comparison here to not belabor the point. It’s clear to us that Blueland has a safer, non-toxic formulation in comparison.
Blueland Dish Soap Review
Blueland also sells dish soap products, and these are better-formulated from a health perspective than their hand soap.
The dish soap contains similar active ingredients to the hand soap, but has no added fragrance.
Blueland dish soap ingredients are all non-toxic and naturally derived.
Another benefit of their dish soap is the container is silicone, rather than plastic, which is a much better environmental choice.
We would recommend Blueland dish soap, and find it to be a much safer and healthier option than commercial dish soap like Dawn.
Blueland Home Cleaners Review
There are three categories of home cleaners sold by Blueland: multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and glass + mirror cleaner.
Unfortunately, all three formulations contain fragrance and synthetic colorants, so we can’t recommend them. We find it strange that Blueland has such a discrepancy in formulations between their product lines.
All three home cleaners also contain the preservative sodium benzoate that we highlighted in the hand soap section as an ingredient to avoid out of an abundance of caution.
All of Blueland’s home cleaners come with a plastic bottle, so again not as eco-friendly as their dish soap and laundry offerings.
We find Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner to be a superior option from a health perspective as a multi-purpose natural home cleaning product. It contains natural non-toxic oils (Siberian Fir Needle Oil, Spruce Leaf Oil) for fragrance, no sodium benzoate, and similar active ingredients to Blueland’s home cleaners.
Again it’s worth noting that for consumers who really want to try Blueland, we do find their home cleaner offerings to be healthier than most commercial products.