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If you’re on the fence about ordering from the new eco-friendly cleaning company EC30, check out this EC30 review for a complete rundown of these plastic-free cleaners!
A few weeks ago, I saw an influencer post about a new brand in plastic-free cleaning: EC30. As someone who loves trying zero-waste cleaning products, I knew I wanted to order a set to review.
There are a few things I was skeptical about immediately:
- The products include fragrance
- EC30 is owned by Proctor & Gamble, a company with a history of lawsuits and class action suits due to product safety concerns
Why I wanted to write this review
I decided that if I had these hesitations, other consumers would too. But, maybe there’s a chance that these products are worth the money, right?
These are the questions that guided my review:
Quick Summary: Although the cleaning products are convenient, the personal care products are impractical. More importantly, these products are rated poorly by the EWG and are overpriced compared to popular low waste products on the market.
What is EC30?
EC30 is a new company that makes zero-waste personal care products and cleaning supplies. They are owned by Proctor & Gamble and appear to sell plastic-free, water-free versions of conventional cleaning products.
Most of their items are made from dissolvable polyvinyl alcohols, so it will look like you have a piece of fabric in your hands, but it will quickly dissolve into hand soap when exposed to water.
EC30 makes a variety of home care products including:
- Toilet cleaner
- Laundry detergent
- Body wash
- Hand wash
They pride themselves on offering carbon-neutral cleaning supplies that have fewer ingredients (reducing the supply chain), no water, no plastic bottles, and are made in the US with renewable energy.
Most of their products are made for a single dose. For example, you would use a new hand wash swatch anytime you want to wash your hands. Every item is sized for use to prevent waste.
EC30 also partners with the Arbor Day Foundation to redirect a portion of its profits into sustainable causes.
What I Purchased
To complete this review, I ordered the Trial Kit for $35 plus tax. It includes 5 products, so I did not try the conditioner. I paid for this out of pocket – it was not gifted for review. The trial kit is only available in the “Blue Mist” scent, although EC30 notes they are “open to” the idea of a fragrance-free trial kit.
EC30 Review Criteria
This EC30 review will focus on these traits:
- Product safety (EWG rating)
- Financial value
Unboxing EC30: First Impressions
I didn’t quite recognize the package right away because the packaging was very discrete and the label didn’t indicate where it came from. The outer envelope appeared to be made from compostable paper.
Plastic-free packaging & materials
Inside the sleeve, there was another paper pouch full of individual trial packages. I really appreciated that the packaging was incredibly lightweight and entirely biodegradable, yet there were over 50 samples.
Plus, every sample pack was made from a cardboard and paper package. I could easily pop these materials into my compost bin and have them break down naturally.
As someone very sensitive to fragrance, the scent was pretty overwhelming right away. I’ve had to stop using products before because of fragrance, so I wasn’t sure how this would play out.
Many companies are choosing to scent with essential oils or non-toxic fragrances, so I was hopeful EC30 would follow this trend. EC30 does list the individual fragrance compounds in their products, but it’s hard to know which of these are safe and which aren’t.
Single dose sizes
Although it made sense to see toilet bowl cleaner in a single size, it made less sense for the other items. How would you display individual little hand soap dissolvable sheets? How would you keep them from getting wet?
EC30 Toilet Bowl Cleaner Review
I’ll be honest – this was the main product I wanted to try. I make my own toilet cleaner and wanted to see how these dissolvable pouches compared to my recipe.
Plus, I figured this product could be scented without causing me too much of a problem. The scent would stay in the bathroom and not touch my body, so maybe it would be okay?
I tested this product on the dirtiest toilet in our house. It hadn’t been cleaned in a couple of weeks and had a line of mineral deposits. The pouch dissolved quickly, bubbled up, and removed the grime (including most of the hard-to-remove mineral deposit). These products definitely work very well.
The individual pouches make it easy to add just enough cleaner to your toilet at any time, so it’s very convenient.
15 for $29 ($1.93 each)
My homemade toilet cleaner costs approximately 60 cents per serving, so this product doesn’t compare with the value of homemade cleaning products. It shouldn’t cost $2 any time you want to clean a toilet in your house. Since many of us have multiple toilets, that’d be $4-8! Cheap conventional toilet cleaners cost $2-3 per bottle, so this price is really high.
If you’re into low waste alternatives to conventional cleaning products, don’t miss my Force of Nature cleaner review!
EC30 Hand Wash Review
This was the first product I tried and unfortunately, I wish I hadn’t. Although the little sheet dissolved very easily, the fragrance was incredibly strong. I even scrubbed my hands with regular soap several times after and the scent would not go away. This started to give me a headache very quickly and it was easy to tell this product was not safe for me to use.
This product dissolves quickly and suds up well.
I’m not entirely sure how practical it is to have a jar of quickly dissolving tabs next to the sink. It feels really impractical and I could never figure out how to display these products without accidentally getting them wet.
Although the hand soap has not been rated by the EWG yet, I can tell that the fragrance is not suitable for people with sensitivities. It does have a very short ingredient list (5) and the cleaner, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, is considered a safe surfactant. Without the fragrance, this product would likely be considered safe.
60 for $19 ($0.32/per clean)
Although this is a lot cheaper than some of their other products, it’s still not a good value. If you wash your hands after cooking and going to the bathroom, you probably wash them at least 4 to maybe even 10 times a day. If you were to use this soap for each wash, you would spend at least $1.28 per day on just your hands.
I like to add liquid castile soap and water to a foaming hand soap container, which is approximately $1 per refill and each refill lasts about a month.
I see no practical situation when this product makes sense except maybe for hiking. Even then, this product isn’t rated highly enough by the EWG for me to be willing to use it in nature.
EC30 Laundry Detergent Review
I was really nervous about this one because scented laundry detergents usually make me feel very itchy and give me a headache all the time. They’re also hard to remove so the scent will last despite washing and washing.
After having such a negative experience with the fragrance in the other products, I knew I couldn’t take a risk using this product on any fabrics in my house. There is an unscented version which I would try, but I could not take a risk with the scented version.
Apparently, they were rated as the best overall laundry sheet from Good Housekeeping Magazine. Based on my experience with the other products, I’m sure these actually work and likely work well.
I was not able to test these due to the strong fragrance.
The individual swatches are easy to use. If you already use pods or strips, it’s just as convenient.
30 for $29 ($0.97/each)
Compared to some of their other options, this felt closer to a good value. It is still significantly overpriced based on comparable products.
I’ve used powdered Biokleen laundry detergent for years, which is enough for 150 washes for $26. At $0.17 per wash, that price really can’t be beaten. It does contain some plastic, so it’s not entirely zero waste. I decided to compare this price with some other sheets and pods, since that’s a better reflection of the current market.
- Dropps: The 64-count pack of Dropps stain & odor laundry detergent is $0.40/each at the highest price (the subscriptions and larger sizes are cheaper).
- TrueEarth sheets: The 32 load pack of TrueEarth platinum is $0.68/each.
- EarthBreeze sheets: The 60 load set at full price is $0.33/sheet and their subscription cuts the cost almost in half.
Clearly, the EC30 laundry detergent costs significantly more than comparable ecofriendly detergents.
EC30 Body Wash Review
Okay as someone who only uses bar soap or castile soap for body wash, I’m definitely not the ideal client. I can only use fragrance-free body wash otherwise I end up itchy all day.
Due to my reaction to the hand soap, I knew this wouldn’t be a product I could use on my body.
I decided to test how well this product dissolved in a glass of water.
This product disintegrates quickly, making it easy to use. Any residue from the swatch will run down the drain quickly and leave just the soap behind.
Although this product works, it’s hard to store a dry product near a wet place. Since it begins to dissolve in 3 seconds, you have to hold it in your hand or some other sort of container until you’re ready.
Although this product has not been reviewed by the EWG yet, the main ingredient, sodium laureth sulfate, is rated a C. Since this product includes fragrance, it would likely be rated at a C or a D.
30 for $19 ($0.63/shower)
Although this price is more reasonable per use, there are much more affordable options on the market.
Assuming you shower every other day, this pack would last 2 months. That’s $9.50 per month.
My husband and I share one $12 bottle of castile soap for usually 9-12 months, which also includes refilling hand soap bottles, bathing the dog, and more.
Consider regular bar soap. There are great castile soap bars available for $2-5 each and they’ll easily last a month.
My husband offered to try out this shampoo, but we were both really struggling with the fragrance. We decided not to bother using this product in the shower.
It did dissolve just fine in water so like their other products, they do actually work.
The swatches dissolve quickly in water and are enough for a good lather.
Again, it’s weird storing dry products near the shower. You have to either store them in your shower (plastic? glass?), bring them with you to the shower (and somehow not set them somewhere that could get wet), or use these right away. I find this product to be really impractical.
Just like the body wash above, this product would likely be rated a C or a D due to the sodium laureth sulfate and fragrance.
30 for $30 ($1 per use)
This one is a little harder to compare because shampoo prices can really vary between bars and refillable bottles. See my calculations below for related products.
My favorite shampoo bar, which is $22, lasts for up to 75 washes and costs $0.29 per wash. That’s clearly less than a third of the cost of the EC30 shampoo and it’s made to much higher standards.
Less expensive options like Hi Bar are even lower per wash.
Since most shampoos require approximately .33 oz per wash, here is the price per use for several popular eco-friendly liquid shampoos:
Unless your shampoo costs $3 per ounce ($48 per 16 oz), it’s cheaper than EC30.
Overall EC30 Review
After reviewing all of these products, I honestly wish I hadn’t bothered. The fragrance was so strong and gave me a sore throat and headache for the entire next day after opening it.
The products are:
- Not safe for people or the environment (based on EWG ratings)
Since they are made by Proctor & Gamble, a company that has faced lawsuit after lawsuit for safety concerns and has dozens or poorly rated products according to the EWG, why would we expect them to make safe, eco-friendly products?
- 17 lawsuits regarding benzene in aerosol deodorants
- Shop Ethical’s company assessment of P&G
- See the EWG ratings for P&G’s most popular products
Is EC30 greenwashing?
It’s such a fine line. We’re so quick to label things as good or bad and it’s important to think things through carefully.
- Do these products come shipping without plastic? Yes
- Does this make them zero waste? Technically
- Are EC30 products good for the environment? Not according to the EWG
- Are they non-toxic or “clean?” The hand soap is the safest but is still heavily fragranced. The unscented laundry detergent might not trigger fragrance issues, but the poor product safety rating from the EWG is still a problem.
It’s pretty apparent that this product wasn’t made with real integrity. Sure, they fit the “plastic-free” standard, but they aren’t really better for you or the environment. You could spend so much less on higher quality, safe products made by ethical companies.
Going fragrance-free would be a start, but the product formulations just don’t reach the safety level your family deserves.
EC30 is the equivalent of conventional cleaning products just without plastic. If that’s all you’re looking for, they’ll work. If you’re looking to really vote with your dollars, I’d recommend voting elsewhere.
Would we buy these products again?
Even if the company made these products entirely fragrance-free, I still would not want to use a product with such poor EWG ratings. Plus, they just are not cost-effective compared to the other products we use and love.
We will not be finishing these products and will be posting them in our local Buy Nothing Group to get them out of our house immediately.
- Set Up a Zero Waste Bathroom
- Zero Waste Toilet Cleaning 101
- Sal Suds Review
- Why I Refuse to Buy Costco Toilet Paper
- The Best Zero Waste Tooth Paste
- A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Real Food Zero Waste Kitchen
- Find the Best Zero Waste Dish Soap for Your Cleaning Style
Was this EC30 review helpful for you? Did you have a different experience? Share your thoughts below.