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Dropps Review After 1 Year: What Works And What Doesn’t

We’ve been using Dropps laundry detergent pods, oxi-booster pods, fabric softener pods, and dishwashing detergent pods for over a year now. It’s been the most hassle free safe swap in our home, and I want to share my review of Dropps Pods if you are thinking of making the switch!

You should know I am a fan of most but not all of their products, and that I switched when trying to find safer products for my family.

Please note, I have ordered and reordered these pods and this post is not sponsored.

While I would never do a sponsored post for products I dislike, I wanted the freedom to show you the good and the bad and compare to other brands. Sponsored posts don’t usually allow mentioning other competitive brands. So enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Why I started using Dropps pods for laundry and dishes

Little by little I’ve been switching the products I use to clean our home. Since skin can absorb harmful chemicals, laundry detergent seemed like an important safer swap since it touches my family’s skin every day.

In addition to Dropps, we also now use Branch Basics concentrate for all our cleaning sprays, and I am soon to try out a few Norwex cloths as well.

It’s a change in the way I think about chemicals being absorbed through the skin.

I love that Dropps pods have no dyes and have a few unscented options. My family doesn’t seem to be bothered by scents on the skin, so I opted to buy the scented versions, which are 100% scented using essential oils.

I feel better knowing what’s on my skin is less toxic, and that there’s zero plastic involved.

What I used before switching to Dropps

Prior to Dropps, I used All Free & Clear pods for the laundry with Oxi Clean powder on occasion, and Cascade pods for our dishwasher.

Honestly, they worked great, and we had no skin reactions. I was simply looking for safer products with less chemical toxins.

We don’t have skin allergies in our home, but I’ve always preferred unscented laundry detergent as I’m skeptical about added fragrance chemicals.

They don’t need to be disclosed in the US and therefor can’t be studied or tested for safety.

Dropps actually use essential oils as fragrance in their scented varieties, so there’s no mystery item there.

Dropps laundry and dish pods stored inside plastic containers from the dollar store.

More posts you may love:

Save 15% off your Dropps order with the code DROPPS15

Reasons why I’m a Dropps laundry detergent convert

I found a Groupon for $100 worth of Dropps pods for $45, so it was the perfect time to give them a try! So glad I did. I was on the fence about them and getting a discount helped me to give them a try.

If you’re thinking, “get me some pods already!” click here to get 15% off your order (on top of 25% off a subscription). Just type in DROPPS15 in the coupon code area at checkout.

Why I’m still using Dropps over 2 years later:

  • They work! Dropps clean my clothes & dishes.
  • Compostable cardboard packaging
  • Reduces single use plastic
  • Safer Ingredients/Better EWG rating
  • Inexpensive (save 25% with subscribe and save, plus choose from 3 sizes of each product. The bigger the box, the less you pay per pod)
  • Gentle on the skin, and they even have options for sensitive skin and babies.

Why I was skeptical to use Dropps pods

There are a few reasons I was skeptical of Dropps.

First off, marketing is not everything. Ya, it’s great that these waste less plastic by shipping the pods in a cardboard box, but did they actually clean clothes and dishes?

Secondly, would these stick together and be a waste of money? They are not in an airtight container and I live in the south where it gets humid.

Thirdly, Dropps pods are way smaller than my old Cascade dishwashing pods, and Dropps launry detergent pods are smaller than my old All Free & Clear pods.

O, and the oxi boost pod is smaller than the huge scoop of Oxi Clean I used to put in. So, would they have the same cleaning power or would I need to always double up on Dropps, doubling the cost?

Ok…so I’ll get to all that. But first…here’s why I’ve switched to Dropps and haven’t looked back.

Dropps pods laundry detergent review
This is the family size unscented Dropps box.

Yes, Dropps pods clean my clothes really well

You may be wondering how could the same amount of detergent in a pod be fine for all sized loads? Especially if you’re used to filling a cup to line 1, 2, or 3…a pod seems a little imperfect.

Here’s how Dropps deals with that: I have an upright washing machine, and follow their advice to use:

  • 2 pods if I’m doing an XL load
  • 1 pod for large, medium or small loads
  • 1 mini pod for small loads.

I pretty much never do a small load with 3 kids and a husband, so skipped trying the mini pods. You’d probably be fine to just use the regular pod for small dirty loads anyway.

The Dropps dish pods are *Just OK*

Dropps dish pod next to a Cascade dish pod.
Dropps dishwasher pod size (smaller) vs Cascade (larger)

So I have a love hate relationship with these. I like them enough to have reordered them several times, but they don’t work as well as my old Cascade pods. I truly don’t understand why there are thousands of raving 5 star reviews on their website.

And, you can’t even smell the tiniest bit of lemon scent from them (which is fine but I’d love it if you could!)

Other’s say they work as well as Cascade, but I disagree. I’m hoping there will be an improved formula.

Glass doesn’t get sparkly…but it could also be my dishwasher

My disapproval with these is that is that they don’t clean my clear glasses as well as my old Cascade pods. Even with two dish pods. They just don’t.

I definitely have a LOUD and OLD dishwasher in our rental home. The kind you have to scrape plates and cups before washing and let the dishwasher do the “cleaning”. But it didn’t use to matter with Cascade.

My white dishes and silverware look great, but my clear glass isn’t “sparkly” anymore. It’s noticeable, and sometimes they look smeary and I rewash them.

Below is an example of “washed” glassware that I had to hand wash to remove the spots. This is fairly common with my clear glass, more than I’d like.

Glasses showing smudges after using Dropps dishwasher lemon scented pods.

If I could find a better eco friendly pod I’d switch. But so far I haven’t and I’d rather not use the harsh chemicals in Cascade either. I’ll update this post if I find something better!

Why I’m sticking with Dropps dish pods even though they don’t work as well as Cascade

  • I love that here’s no overpowering chemically smell oozing from my dishwasher while it washes, dries, and is opened like when I used Cascade, or the Aldi brand dish pods. It was strong!
  • I like using less plastic.
  • I feel safer using this with my family than Cascade.

Updated review on Dropps Dish Pods (2021)

I wanted to follow up on my negative Dropps dishwashing pods review above.

I did switch over for a while to try out these eco friendly Ecover dishwashing pods (thanks to a reader’s recommendation in the comments).

The Ecover pods work really well if you’re looking for a Dropps alternative. Only downside is that they come individually wrapped in plastic that you have to toss…which is not obvious when you are ordering.

However, my Landlord replaced our old, loud, dishwasher with a new very basic model you’d expect in a rental. I decided to give Dropps pods another go to see if the dishwasher may have been the culprit?

Anyways, I’ve switched back to Dropps because they are cheaper than Ecover pods and seem to work just fine in my new dishwasher. I don’t ever rewash my glass, and they don’t seem to have the nasty water spots on them anymore.

Two things that still confuse me:

  1. If it’s the dishwasher that was the problem, why did Cascade clean my glass so well with the old dishwasher and Dropps didn’t?
  2. Was there an updated formula for Dropps lemon pods?…because my new lemon dish pods look different. Check it out for yourself below.

The upper left lemon dish pod has tiny speckles…and the lower right one looks completely white without speckles. I need to contact them to ask if there was a formula change at all and I’ll update that here.

You may also like: Earth Breeze Power Pebbles Dishwasher Tablets Review and Laundry Sheet Review

dropps dishwasher lemon scented pods

Click here to try out the Dropps Dish Pods, and use code DROPPS15 for 15% off.

Dropps reduces single use plastic with compostable cardboard packaging

Dropps claims that 68% of laundry detergent plastic containers go to landfills.

First off, you actually can recycle plastic laundry detergent jugs in most areas! You don’t even need to rinse them out.

But here’s the thing…most people just toss them, and I’ve done that plenty of times. To me, pods are a great way to skip plastic altogether.

As for the cardboard box it comes in…you can recycle that or burn it or compost it.

And as for the pod membrane, it’s made up of a water soluble film made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). This dissolves in the water and is able to be broken down by microorganisms at water treatment plants and turned back into water and CO2.

Dropps vs Tide: How they compare based on EWG rating

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) does a pretty great job of helping the average Joe person to recognize toxins in products and make safer swaps.

Their easy A to F scoring covers thousands of products, rating ingredients they’ve researched.

They rate a product’s safety for the categories: asthma/respiratory, skin allergies, reproductive toxicity, cancer, and the environment.

Dropps come in with a B & C rating, depending on the product you use. See this example of the scent booster/fabric softener pod I bought.

Here’s Tide Original’s rating (F), as are all of Tide’s varieties.

Happy to say goodbye, although my hubs did sneak a bottle home as I think it reminds him of his childhood?! Or just smells lovely I guess. All Free & Clear (which was my go to) also scored an F.

EWG rating on Tide is an “F”. Bye bye Tide.

How to save money on Dropps pods

Save 15% off your Dropps order with the code DROPPS15

Dropps are between 26-30 cents per pod depending on the size box you order. That’s with 25% off applied through subscribe and save, but with no addition discounts like the 15% off you’d get ordering using code DROPPS15 through my link. I did find a Groupon though so it was half that! My old All Free and Clear pods were less by a few cents. Here’s how I saved a lot of money on my Dropps:

Check Groupon first!! I began my dive into Dropps pods with a $100 voucher on Groupon that I bought for $45. Yessss. These come and go, so just check first.

Get Rakuten first, even before buying a Groupon! This is an easy cash back app I’ve been using for years now. I click one button on my computer that says “Activate cash back”, and then buy as usual.

With Rakuten I earned 3.5% cash back off at Dropps, and 5% off my Groupon purchase by activating my Rakuten button. In total, I’ll get about $4.50 or so back via Paypal…by clicking a button.

Then, I saved 25% by choosing the subscription option at Dropps. (Psss. This is in addition to the 15% off code using DROPPS15!)

On top of that, you can get a larger sized box to save more per pod. For example, 64 pods cost $19.5, 128 pods cost $37, and the 192 pod option cost $52.65 (which is about 26 cents/load).

Screenshot of the Dropps stain and odor detergent pods pricing for the 64 count, 128 count, and 192 count boxes.

Save money and wash your clothes in cold water

Did you know that washing your clothes in cold water decreases the energy it cost to do a load of laundry by 65-90%?! Not to mention hot water can actually set certain stains into the clothes like blood.

AND, Dropps say their products work best in cold water.

Of course there are times you’ll want to use hot water (like to sanitize those puking germs or if certain fabrics recommend warmer water on the label).

Do Dropps pods dissolve all the way or leave residue on your clothes?

Dropps pods are made to dissolve and activate in cold water.

So far, I’ve had no issues finding any part of a leftover pod in my laundry because I bought their $5 laundry pod pouch which comes with 2 pouches.

Don’t skimp on these because it will make sure you never get any residue on your clothes.

Anything that doesn’t dissolve all the way stays in the pouch, although that’s uncommon for me. After using Dropps for a year this has happened maybe 5-10 times ever.

I put the pouch containing my pods into the drum first, let the water bubble a bit, and then put clothes on top.

Update 2022: If ever you can’t find your pod pouch, I’ve found it works really well to put your pods in the drum with the water first before clothes. (Only works with a top loading washer). This dissolves the pod really well.

Dropps are gentle on the skin & have several unscented options

Just because clothes smells like perfume doesn’t mean they’re clean! I’ve always associated “clean” laundry with a scent, but that’s just not true.

And just because it’s unscented doesn’t mean it’s dirty.

My husband is a dermatologist and while he loves himself some good ‘ol’ scented laundry detergent from his childhood…(Ahem Tide which I gave away), he actually recommends unscented to his patients.

He says he likes the Dropps scents I’ve purchased, so I’m thankful for a safe way to have clothes smell fresh and amazing!

My all time favorite scent so far is the Orange Blossom. I buy unscented laundry pods and the orange blossom fabric softener. It’s light, not too strong at all, but noticeable.

If you use Dropps scented fabric softener, should you buy the unscented detergent pods?

One thing I wanted to know was which detergent pods I should order with the scented fabric softener pods. Would it twice the smell to get them both in a matching scent? I didn’t know till I tried.

I’ve done both unscented detergent pod + scented fabric softener pod, as well as scented detergent pod with matching scent of the fabric softener.

My preference? I prefer a more gentle scent by using unscented detergent pod with the scented fabric softener. The scent was MUCH more noticeable for me if both pods were scented (but I’m sensitive to scents in general).

If you like to really notice the scent, then by all means double up with scent in both types of pods!

How well do the Dropps Oxi pods work?

My husband makes fun of me for using my “non Oxi-Clean” brand oxi pods by Dropps. (He loves name brand original stuff that he knows works).

But Dropps work too!

If you have whites that need to be whiter, you can soak them with a few oxi pods before a laundry load and it brightens them up. I do this on occasion with my white cloth shower curtain.

The thing I do miss is being able to make a “paste” with Oxi clean powder and water to put a concentrated amount on a stain…but you can also get creative and break open a pod if you want to do that.

We also whiten shoes by putting about 5 oxi pods in a plastic storage bin, fill it with water, and soak shoes in it that used to be white, like our Nike running shoes. We then wash in the washing machine and they come out really clean.

I also toss an oxi pod in with a lot of my laundry loads in addition to the detergent pod. Not totally sure I can say I “notice” a difference in color or cleanliness when I do this…but I like to think it’s adding some kind of extra cleaning power.

How I store my Dropps pods so they are easy to grab and don’t stick together

Child safety locks on Dropps pods boxes make it extra hard for little kids to get inside.
Child safety tab helps keep out toddler hands, but I prefer to use containers to make it easier. I also don’t like that the cardboard sides rub up against the pods each time I close both layers of the box. I feel like I could pop pods this way.

The cardboard box design comes with an extra-hard-to-get-into box supposedly to help keep toddlers safer. Since I have a toddler, I love this effort!

However, I would go nuts trying to open three of these each time I do laundry. (I use a detergent pod, oxi pod, and fabric softener pod each time).

Easy solution is to get some jars and label them!

You could also reuse large nut containers (like the ones from Costco).

Dropps pods stored in 3 separate clear containers from the dollar store. One is labeled unscented, one is labeled oxi-booster, and one is labeled scented fabric softener.

Do Dropps pods stick together?

Dropps scented fabric softener pods sticking together in a cluster from moisture.

Most of my pods came how you’d expect…separate. However, just the fabric softener box had quite a few “bunches”. I would have emailed the company about it except I was able to pull them apart gently without any ripping of the casing.

Update: My second and third box of fabric softener pods had zero stuck together.

But be sure to never handle when wet, and keep them in a sealed jar or out of the garage unless it’s humidity and temperature controlled.

How many years can I store Dropps pods? Do they expire?

Dropps website states you can store them for 2 years. I’m not sure if that means they haven’t tested them farther out than that, or if the ingredients no longer work as well?

Anyways, if you order a small enough box, you won’t have this issue.

Do Dropps work for hard water?

Yes, Dropps claims they work well in both hard and soft water.

Where are Dropps made and do they ship to Canada?

Dropps are made in Chicago, Illinois. I love the idea of buying products made in the US, so that’s just another reason I’m happy supporting this company!

I’m sad to say as of January 2020 Dropps stopped shipping to Canada. I’ll update this if I’m aware of that changing.

What is the Dropps refund policy if I order and don’t like them?

Dropps website states that within 30 days if you are unhappy with the product, they will refund you.

However, they will deduct the original cost to ship it to you. (It’s free shipping always on their site…so not sure how much they paid to send me a 14 lb box of pods…it might deduct a lot of $$$)

They also do not require you send back the product, but ask that instead of tossing it that you would gift to someone or donate to a family in need or a shelter. That’s pretty cool to me!

Is the 25% off Dropps subscription worth it?

I personally think the Dropps subscription is the only way to go because it’s such a huge discount! Plus, the 15% off code using DROPPS15 works on top of that.

You can also easily cancel any subscription online, which I do on occasion. You can also just keep the subscription and push the next ship date 4 months back as many times as you need.

How is Dropps customers service?

One time I got an email that my subscription charged to my card and I wasn’t anywhere near ready for more, so I emailed the customer service right away and within the hour they cancelled it and refunded my card.

Great customer service because I responded before it was packed and shipped.

Save 15% off your Dropps order with the code DROPPS15

Dropps offers wool dryer balls too

We also own and love the Dropps XL wool dryer balls set of 4. They cut my dryer time down by a noticeable amount, replace dryer sheets, and last for over 10,000 loads. Which is A LOT!

Check out my full review of the wool dryer balls here.

Share this Dropps laundry detergent review!

Do you have a friend that is looking to make some safer swaps for their home? Or maybe just looking to use a little less plastic in their lifetime? I’d be so thankful it if you would pin this post or share it to your socials!

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments. We’ve been using these for over a year because they work and are a safe swap.

And yes, you can use this on top of the 25% off subscription discount if you go that route!

Be sure to check out my Branch Basics review after this! They are a slammin’ duo if you are trying to have less toxic products in your home.

White text on blue background that says, "Click here to try dropps"

Mary

Sunday 6th of November 2022

Our washer doesn’t allow you to add the water 1st with the pod. As it balances the load 1st with the clothes before to determine amount of water added. I’m concerned the pod will not work as well putting it into the drum, top loading washer, first with the clothes.

Liz

Sunday 6th of November 2022

Mary, I *think* that will be ok. There are times when I've added the pod on top of the load of clothes and it seems to do just fine because with all the sloshing it dissolves and sudses. Probably what's more important is knowing that you have the right size pod (either 1 pod for a full load, 2 pods for super extra full load, or the "mini pod" for a small load). Let us know here how it goes if you remember!

Joanne

Sunday 9th of October 2022

Awesome post! I’ve been using dropps for a year now and have loved the laundry detergent pods.

I saw you mention the pod pouch to catch any leftovers that don’t fully dissolve. I never bought theirs but I had a small laundry delicates bag that I’ve been using - a great alternative if you have a bunch of delicates bags and don’t want to buy the dropps version just for pods. I’ve only ever found leftover pod in it a handful of times though, so I wouldn’t say it’s terribly necessary!

Liz

Sunday 9th of October 2022

Great idea for an alternative pouch! And I agree with you...I've lost my pouches since we moved and have had zero issues in the laundry. I do try to let the pouches soak a bit in the water before adding all the clothes (top loading washer) so maybe that helps too.

Claudia K Alongi

Tuesday 4th of October 2022

How do I cancel my membership? I ALWAYS have this problem with “clubs’ and automatic membership. We are a family of 2 and live in CA.

Liz

Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Dropps emails you 3 days before shipment so you'll be reminded to cancel if you need to. Login to your account, go to your subscriptions, and click edit. You can cancel any time, easy peasy. You can also set how often to have it shipped, and even your next ship date. I set mine for every 6 months but you can set it even further out! Email the company if you have any troubles and they'll do it for you.

G

Saturday 16th of July 2022

Because in the year(s) you continued to use dropps over cascade, the dishwasher continued to get older and older, and sprayers clogged, etc. it wasn’t getting any younger!

Lori

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Oh I'm surprised. I came here for the dishwasher pods review hoping they'd be better than the laundry detergent. The detergent always gave us issues. I ordered in bulk so we have a ton to go through. If we don't dissolve them in hot water first, we find an article or two of clothing with a clear gummy mess. Gonna try out Happi Earth liquid detergent next. May just keep looking for another clean dishwasher detergent. Thanks for the review.

Liz

Saturday 12th of June 2021

Hey Lori, hope you find a dish pod you like. You may want to give Dropps pods a try too, mainly because when I got a new dishwasher (basic non fancy model in a rental) the pods worked so much better and I haven't had smudging. For the laundry pods that have been sticking to a piece of clothing, have you tried ordering a few of the small white zipper pod holders from Dropps? I have about 3 (because sometimes they end up getting taken upstairs with the dry laundry on accident) and I never get sticky or gooey casing pieces on my clothes. On occasion I'll find some of that in the zipper bag, but that keeps it from getting on the clothes really well! Good luck!