A Cleaner Alternative To Tide Pods

 This review was written by one of our staff writers. It contains the author’s personal experience and is not sponsored, however, if you decide to purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a commission. Learn more here. The Good Trade purchased product for this review.

A few years ago, I started using natural laundry detergent while dealing with bad acne. According to my naturopathic acne clinic, the fragrance, dyes, sulfates, and parabens found in most commercial laundry detergents were possibly triggering my acne breakouts. Once I made the switch, I noticed a huge difference in my skin. I’ve continued using natural detergents since and love knowing I’m not adding harmful chemicals to the fabrics that often touch my body.

Recently though, I’ve been on the hunt for a natural laundry detergent that reduces single-use plastic. Almost all detergents come in plastic bottles (even Puracy, the one I love). They have bulk refillable pouches that help, but there’s still more waste than I’d prefer.

“The [Dropps] formula is free of artificial fragrances, dyes, enzymes, phosphates, phthalates, parabens, optical brighteners—and never tested on animals!”

Then I found out about Dropps, a brand dedicated to creating low-waste cleaning products, as well as laundry detergent. Dropps was founded by Jonathan Propper and his mother, Lenore Propper Schwart, in the ‘80s. The family had their own cotton mill and saw firsthand the effects of chemical-rich laundry detergent on natural fibers. To protect their fabrics, they created a more gentle and natural detergent. Later, Dropps’ cruelty-free pods made from natural ingredients for both laundry and dishwashing were born.

For my own Dropps journey, I opted for the Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent (since our little one is on the way!). The formula is free of artificial fragrances, dyes, enzymes, phosphates, phthalates, parabens, optical brighteners—and never tested on animals!

I also wanted to try Dropps’ color-safe bleach alternative, Oxi Booster. The plant-based formula claims to remove stains and brighten whites without the harmful chemicals found in bleach.

When my Dropps shipment arrived, I was first impressed by how minimal the packaging was. My order came in compostable boxes with messages about sustainability and earth consciousness. Inside, the 64 pods (one pod = one load) sat alone without any other packaging. The shipment was 100 percent carbon-neutral, too.

Right away, I felt inspired and excited to do laundry (really!). I took the pods out of the boxes and placed them into mason jars for optimal storage and easy access. I love the way they look in our laundry room above our washer and dryer.

I started with a load of colors and baby clothes using the Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent. By simply dropping a Dropp into the detergent cartridge in my washer, I was on my way to a natural clean.

Here’s how Dropps work: The casing around the Dropps is a water-soluble substance made from polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). When it comes into contact with water, the casing dissolves. While there has been some concern about microplastics, studies have found “no association of PVOH film from detergent capsules with environmental microplastic.”

“When my laundry was done, my clothes felt clean and soft.”

After the pod dissolves, the soap from inside the capsule and the gentle surfactants (molecules) then attract the dirt and stains on the clothing, and the water washes away any unwanted substance.

When my laundry was done, my clothes felt clean and soft. Next, it was time to try the Oxi Booster with a load of whites and some stained garments.

To use the Oxi Booster pod, you add a detergent pod along with it. I was a little disappointed by the results, unfortunately. Although the whites did look brighter, a few of the heavier stains didn’t come out. I also noticed a starchy feeling when touching the clothes. While this may just take getting used to, I’ve never used this type of product on my clothes before, and I didn’t love the result. I may try the Stain & Odor Detergent instead next time.

Overall, I’ve loved using Dropps. The process is easy, and it feels great knowing I’m not contributing to single-use plastic or putting harmful chemicals on my skin (I’ve had no acne breakouts since using this product). For $24, you get 64 pods (equivalent to 64 loads). You can also subscribe and save 25 percent, which is nice on your wallet and means you’ll never find yourself without detergent.

“While pricier than commercial detergents that come in plastic jugs, I love that this is a low-waste alternative to laundry.”

In recent years, Dropps was even awarded the Safer Choice Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This award speaks to the brand’s commitment to protecting humans and the environment and also celebrates the company’s innovative and earth-friendly process.

I will definitely continue to buy Dropps. While pricier than commercial detergents that come in plastic jugs, I love that this is a low-waste alternative to laundry. Plus, companies like Dropps are changing how we think about the products in our homes we use most often. The brand helps us to be more mindful of our health and also the planet. And I’m all for supporting that.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dropps are easy to use, sensitive skin-safe, carbon neutral, and the pods do not contribute to microplastic pollution.

  • The Oxi Booster pod didn’t remove some heavier stains, although the whites did look brighter. There was also a starchy feeling left on the clothes—although the baby detergent left clothes soft and clean.

  • There’s a 25 percent discount on recurring subscriptions, making them a little more affordable per load.


Courtney Jay is a writer at The Good Trade. She is also a yoga instructor, health enthusiast, and sustainable fashion advocate. She believes the most powerful way to nurture the planet is to nurture ourselves. You can find more of her writing and take one of her online yoga classes on her website Coincide.