One of the biggest sources of plastic waste has to be those large plastic laundry detergent bottles that line the shelves at grocery and department stores. Even laundry pods come in thick plastic buckets that are hard to recycle and reuse. I have spent a lot of time trying to find a lower waste option that was also worth the money.
Like me, you have probably gotten ads for some sustainable brands like Dropps and TruEarth. Dropps is a sustainable take on Tide Pods that come in cardboard and completely dissolve in your water while using natural ingredients, and TruEarth is a newer product that concentrates laundry soap into strips that dissolve in the wash. I was thinking about trying both of these brands, but the fact of the matter was that the cost per load with these laundry alternatives was pretty high. I am all about saving the planet, but I also want to save money as a college student with no real steady stream of income.
While researching a better alternative after I had finally finished my humongous bottle of detergent (the first step is using what you already have!), I finally found a product that enticed me. The EcoEgg is a plastic cage-like contraption that holds concentrated laundry soap pellets. Over time, the pellets dissolve, you buy refill packs, and continue to use the EcoEgg. Three packs of pellets is meant to last you around 72 washes and the egg is safe to be used in HE and non-HE washers. The starting packs that you can buy with the EcoEgg and pellets together come in a range of sizes. The two most common I found was the 210 loads box (one year) or the 720 load box (three years).
I went to YouTube to try and find anyone reviewing the product to get an idea of how it worked for them. The EcoEgg is made and sold primarily in the UK, so many of the people reviewing were British and lovely to listen to. After getting several opinions, almost all good, I finally got up the courage to buy the thing.
I decided that since I wasn’t sure how my skin would react to the EcoEgg detergent to go with the smaller 210 load box (one year) for just under $20. I chose to buy the fresh linen scent (it also comes in spring blossom and unscented) since I had a faint idea of what that could smell like. I was a little bummed because at one point in my research I found out that they once had an orange/citrusy scent, which I am a total sucker for.
My EcoEgg came in the mail and I automatically opened it and read the directions. The egg was simple enough to open and the pellets came in little thin plastic bags, which isn’t ideal, but if you think about in the grand scheme of things, it is much better to buy a small amount of plastic everytime you need more laundry detergent than to buy that huge bottle. There were five packages of the white detergent pellets, and a package of black ceramic pellets that are reusable and help break down the white pellets. The instructions told me to put in the black pellets and three packages of white pellets, which filled the larger part of the egg, and then I twisted it shut and it was ready to go.
You basically use the egg like a reusable Tide Pod. Just drop it on top of your laundry and remove it when you’re down. They suggest that you take the egg out and let it dry in between uses, but I know from some of the YouTube reviews I saw that a lot of people just leave it in their washer. I would probably opt for that except for the fact that I share the washer and dryer with my mom and she is still all for liquid detergent, so I just take it out and set it on in the cupboard above the machine. My mom was actually interested in the egg when she saw me take it out of the wash. My sister Harley was also interested in it when she visited us for a weekend. I told her that she should try mine out before buying one, since she has sensitive skin and can break out if she uses a harsh detergent. EcoEgg claims to be safe for all skin types, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
Overall, the egg doesn’t give off much scent after your clothes are dry, which I don’t have a problem with since I’m not one to smell my clothes all the time. EcoEgg also has a line of dryer eggs with scent sticks that are supposed to boost scent, but I would honestly probably just opt for some regular wool dryer balls instead. I don’t even really use dryer sheets to begin with, so I think I could even do without that.
I’m curious to test out the 72 wash lifecycle that the EcoEgg claims to have. From what I can tell, the pellets still seem the same size as they were before and I am about 12 washes in. I’ve also found that I do much more laundry now that I am home and working then when I am at college, so going back in the fall might affect those numbers. You have to probably take into consideration how much laundry you do per week to assess whether the “one year of laundry” claim is true for you.
I’m surprised by how well the EcoEgg works, but I’m so glad that it does. I could see this easily being adopted into the mainstream by people due to how popular Tide Pods became in a short amount of time after their launch. I also think that the affordability makes this product super attainable for the average person. Whether or not I buy refills for my egg is still up in the air, but at this point in time, I would say that there is a good chance.