The Product: Soap
The Sustainability Factor: Environmental
The Innovation: Packaging
How Does It Work?
This is my second time reviewing an Etee product and my second concentrate product. I am intrigued by products where the water is taken out, thereby reducing the shipping costs and packaging footprint. It seems like such a logical method to reduce environmental impacts, right? I’m not a chemist and I am sure it’s not as simple as just removing the water. But if consumers demand it, the smart people will figure it out. At least that’s what I hope! It’s not like concentrate is a new idea. But transferring that successful application to household goods is rather new. New to me at least. Etee has shown that they are committed to solving environmental problems through innovation in their household products. They introduce products slowly – my first review came in 2018, but I appreciate that they keep at it and they are not just banking on one product idea.
You break off the top, pour it in a container, add water and shake it up. After mixing it, you’re supposed to let it rest for about an hour before using it. The packaging itself is made out of some sort of wax and my box came with some leakage. But the good news with the wax packaging is that the top came off easily and you can compost it. So I did! Excellent.
It doesn’t get as lathery as we are used to. We normally use Dawn which is highly concentrated. You barely use any and it gets very sudsy. This had a much more watery consistency to it. When handwashing dishes I found myself often repumping for each dish. I had to make sure not to over wet my sponge or it would be too watery. In addition to using this for dishes, I used this on my hands and it worked almost instantly getting grease off like butter from my hands. It was kind of surprising because it’s not as soapy and I didn’t expect it to work so well. I started playing around with how little and how quickly I could rinse it to find out when it goes from being greasy to being not greasy. It worked amazingly well for that.
What are the Key Selling Points?
From the Etee website these are biodegradable, compostable, all natural and 100% plant-based. They make them all in Toronto and are working on trademarking these wax pod containers.
What are the Numbers?
I didn’t keep a tally of exactly how many pumps, ounces or other numeric forms when using this. But overall I think you get way more soapy-ness with a major soap brand than with the Etee soap. During Covid and being stuck at home we were washing a ton more dishes than normal. It was a pretty boring day when we’re only running our dishwasher once. At some point I’m pretty sure my dishwasher said to me, Seriously, how much are you eating!? I mean, what paradise did we live in where we got to spend all day loading and unloading both the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer? Am I right? But I digress. If there is one thing I will miss from Covid it will be all of the hilarious memes.
The Etee concentrate costs $19 for 3 pods, or about $6.50 each for a 13.5 oz bottle (BYOW). A 19 oz bottle of Dawn is $2.99 at our Target. Of course there are additional costs that are not calculated when using Dawn.
Ever notice the blue bottle with the cute little penguin on the front and the heart-warming marketing message that “Dawn Saves Wildlife”? A nice selling point if you’re trying to feel good about some of these household purchases. As you might suspect upon further research, it’s not as innocent as it claims. According to a Thought Co. article, they covered animals in a mixture of paint and corn syrup to simulate oil, and then washed them with dish soap to show how you could use Dawn to clean up from a disastrous oil spill. A very powerful visual and strong marketing campaign. It worked for me! And I’m sure there are not the only major soap manufacturer out there to abuse and mislead people’s trust with their marketing campaigns.
If you’re interested in other cruelty free dish soaps, Cruelty Free Mom has an article about which ones to consider.
Is that, in fact, the worst thing? Well, it’s horrible but to stay on target, my goal is to eliminate single-use plastics. And Dawn is definitely one product that wastes a lot of virgin plastics, energy, oil, resources and not to mention probably dumps chemicals that are avoidable into our waterways.
In summary, although I love Etee and their continued strive for innovation, this product did not hit the mark for me. I don’t see how this will be changing the marketplace and changing our use of single-use plastics in dish soap. At least until we are all shopping locally and not reliant on mass produced household goods. I am on board with the concentrates and plant-based product, but I think they need to keep re-working the packaging execution for now.