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Why Soap Refill Tablets Are Better

A hand placing a solid soap tablet in an open container.

Refilling your liquid soap and home cleaners is a great way to reduce waste compared to continually buying new bottles. When it comes to refills, soap tablets have numerous advantages over other types of refills like liquid and sheets.

Soap tablets vs liquid soap

Soap tablets are an ultra-concentrated, shelf-stable form of soap formulated to dissolve in water to create cleaning solutions. Think of tablets as liquid soap with the water taken out, making it easier to package, ship, and use around the house.

Soap tablets vs soap sheets and pods

While sheets and pods are also dry, lightweight alternatives to liquid detergent that can be packaged in cardboard, these products are made with plastic polyvinyl alcohol (commonly called PVA or PVOH). Research has shown that PVA does not readily break down in our wastewater systems and contributes dissolved plastic to our waterways.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of soap tablets:

Soap tablets do not require plastic packaging or ingredients

Soap tablets help eliminate single-use plastic and reduce plastic usage overall. 

Unlike liquid soap, solid soap tablets do not need to be wrapped in plastic to protect their shape or effectiveness. Instead, they can be packed inside paperboard or cardboard, which are highly recyclable and compostable materials.

Pods, sheets, and strips can also be packaged in paper and cardboard and may appear to be another alternative to plastic. They may even advertise their “plastic-free packaging.” However, these products are made with polyvinyl alcohol (also known as PVA or PVOH), a type of dissolvable plastic film used to hold the other ingredients together. Manufacturers of these products have moved the plastic from the packaging to the ingredients. 

Plastic in a different, dissolvable form is still plastic. Moreover, PVA is single-use plastic that is designed to be put directly into the water system. Research suggests that most PVA used in the United States is not filtered out by the majority of wastewater treatment processes and is eventually released into the environment.

Our All-Purpose Home Cleaner Refill Tablets and Foaming Hand Soap Refill Tablets are single-use plastic-free soap tablet options for home cleaning and personal care.

Soap tablets do not require preservatives

Because bacteria and mold depend on water to grow, liquid soaps and cleaners require preservatives to prevent microbial growth. Many preservatives commonly used in liquid soap and cleaners, such as isothiazolinone preservatives, are known irritants and allergens. Some products use formaldehyde (a known human carcinogen) as a preservative or contain other preservatives that release formaldehyde.

The combination of a high pH (9–10) and lack of excess water makes solid soaps inhospitable for microbial growth. As a result, soap tablets do not require preservatives.

Our All-Purpose Home Cleaner Refill Tablets and Foaming Hand Soap Refill Tablets are preservative-free soap tablet options for home cleaning and personal care. Use any solutions you make within 6 months of mixing to avoid bacterial growth.

Soap tablets may have lower shipping weights and smaller containers

Soap tablets are made with ultra-concentrated soap that’s specifically formulated to create a larger volume of liquid solution. They are extremely light and compact compared to their liquid counterparts. For example:

  • A 3-pack of All-Purpose Home Cleaner Refill Tablets comes in a 1.75” x 3” x 0.87” box that weighs only 0.7 oz. (20 g). The tablets make about 48 oz. of liquid cleaner. For comparison, a conventional liquid cleaner refill* comes in a 3.17” by 4.6” x 10.38” bottle weighing 48 oz. (1360 g).
  • A 6-pack of Foaming Hand Soap Refill Tablets is packaged in a 1.25” x 1.6” x 3.25” box that weighs 3.0 oz. (85 g). The tablets make a total of 54 oz. of liquid hand soap. For comparison, a competing liquid hand soap refill** containing 28 oz. of liquid soap (about half as much) comes in a 2.57” x 5” x 7.5” bottle that weighs about 28 oz. (794 g).

The compact weight and size of soap tablets reduce the energy used for shipping and the amount of packaging and shipping materials needed. Tablets are also easier to store in our supply closet, in a cabinet, or under the sink.

*Lysol Multi-Surface Cleaner, 48 oz.

**Method Foaming Hand Wash Refill, 28 oz.

Soap tablets are just as effective as other types of refills

You don’t need plastic, preservatives, or packaged water to clean your home or wash your hands. Our plastic-free, concentrated solid soap tablets are naturally shelf-stable, dissolve readily in water, and come in paper boxes you can recycle or compost at home. What’s not to love?

By stripping out everything you don’t need, we’re able to make our refill tablets super affordable. Our All-Purpose Home Cleaner Refill Tablets cost only $1.83 per 16 oz. bottle, which comes to $0.11 per oz. Our Foaming Hand Soap Refill Tablets cost $1.83 per 9 oz. bottle, or $0.18 per oz. After all, it shouldn’t cost more to clean better.