As a sensitive gal with a finicky epidermis, I've learned that less is more. Fewer, gentler ingredients (and often skipping fragrances altogether) are the key to keeping my skin happy. And I'm not alone: In recent years, there has been an exodus away from conventional cleaning and beauty products towards more plant-based, eco-friendly ingredients. There are a few reasons for that: Many of us are more aware of what products trigger reactions. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is even a trend of "increasing sensitization to fragrances worldwide." Other people may be simply looking for products with less of an environmental impact when it comes to packaging and ingredients. And yet, while all of those concerns are noble, we still want good-smelling clothes. This is where eco-friendly and innovative female-founded cleaning brand Blueland comes to the rescue with the Laundry Essentials Kit ($42).
Just yesterday, the retailer added two new products to its laundry range, Clear Skies Oxi Booster Powders and New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls, joining the rave-reviewed scent-free laundry tabs. As with the detergent, the Oxi Booster is sold with one "forever tin" and the option to buy refill packets in compostable paper packaging to cut down on waste. The dryer balls, meanwhile, can be used again and again; Blueland says they're good for up to 1,000 dryer cycles. (Compare that to single-use dryer sheets which are — surprise! — made of plastic.) And although it DOES contain fragrance, the stain-lifting Oxi Booster was made without any concerning Prop 65 ingredients or common allergens for the sake of people prone to itchy, inflamed skin. Now with the new Laundry Essentials Kit, we can sprinkle a dash of this crisp-linen smelling powder with our soap tablets into the wash, quickly throw in a reusable wool ball into our dryers, and have sweet-scented laundry for days (sans irritation).
Blueland generously gifted me, the proud owner of too many rash creams, its newly launched Laundry Essentials Kit. Read on to find out what transpired after I did a load of sheets with it — and, more importantly, to decide for yourself if Blueland's earth-friendly detergent is worth adding to your cart.
The entire $42 set includes one Forever Laundry Tablet Tin + 40 Laundry Detergent Tablets, one Forever Tin + 500g (25 standard loads) of Clear Skies Oxi Booster Powder that brights and lift stains, and three New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls. Unlike many common detergents, this kit is made without chlorine bleach, artificial dyes, parabens, phthalates, or ammonia. It's also Leaping Bunny (cruelty-free).
Upon first look, I thought the pastel pink and periwinkle tins were the most aesthetically pleasing laundry containers I've ever seen. And, while the Oxi Booster Powder smelled exactly like freshly washed linens billowing in the wind, the fragrance-free tablets had an off-putting scent that made me a tiny bit wary. Meanwhile, the three dryer balls did not give off any sort of aroma other than classic wool — and they felt sturdy like they would be as reusable (as promised!).
My skepticism remained as I plopped one tablet and the right amount of powder into my front-loading washer only to circle back 15 minutes later and find the tablet stuck on the glass, completely undissolved. When I opened the washer door to manually break it up on the clothes, the load smelled...odd. I completely gave up hope until an hour later, when the cycle finished and my sheets, socks, and towels smelled like fresh laundry heaven. My stuff didn't emit that unnaturally good chemical smell from more commercial detergents; instead, it smelled how newly washed clothes are supposed to. Just fresh! It was lovely. The Dryer Balls did not add or remove any smells from the wet clothes, either. They simply eliminated static and left my materials as soft as ever. Plus, my sheets were a nice bright white.
I slept on my extra clean sheets for two nights and no bumps, rashes, or dry itchiness occurred in their usual spots — AND they still smelled fresh from the dryer. Although I'm not sure I'd purchase the original Laundry Starter Set alone, the new Laundry Essential Set's tablets, Oxi Booster powder, and Dryer Balls make a formidable combo that I will definitely use (and my sensitive skin will thank me for) from here on out.
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