What’s the largest component of liquid cleaning products, both by weight and by volume? Water. Plain, unadulterated water — the same as comes straight out of the tap in your home.
Knowing this, it’s hard not to look at store shelves loaded with liquid cleaner and wonder — what’s the cost?
What’s the cost of buying pre-diluted solution?
What’s the cost of shipping water all over the country?
What’s the cost of endlessly producing brand new plastic sprayer bottles to hold all that water?
The unfortunate answer is that the costs are high. Both literally (it’s not cheap to ship heavy things!) and figuratively. The cost to the environment can be exceptionally severe.
The good news? There are easy, better solutions readily available. And they come in the convenient form of tablets!
Stop paying more for pre-diluted
The creation of pre-diluted, sprayable liquids was all about convenience. Marketers argued that users’ lives would be made easier by having the solution ready to spray, right off the shelf.
While it’s a good tagline, it doesn’t actually mesh with how cleaning tends to work.
For most of us, we’re not grabbing and spraying at the drop of a hat. We’ll take a minute to collect our materials, assess the mess we need to address, and then we start spraying everything down. That natural process leaves plenty of time for dissolving a tablet in water without interrupting workflow.
And while it may have seemed more convenient, the pre-dilution solution introduced a whole new problem — exceptionally high costs. Per bottle, you may not notice this much. But over time, those costs keep rising as you repeatedly replace the entire bottle, sprayer and solution every time you run out.
With tablet-based cleaners, one tablet creates up to 32 ounces of solution. A pack of six tablets, meaning six bottles of solution, costs around $12 USD. That all comes out to less than $0.13 per ounce.
On the other hand, in 2022, a pre-diluted 32-oz bottle of cleaning solution will generally run you between $10.00 and $15.00 USD. That comes out to between $0.31 and $0.48 per ounce.
Put another way, you can end up paying 6 times more for pre-diluted solution.
Stop shipping water
As anyone who’s tried to ship anything through the mail before knows, costs are often tied to the weight of the item. When you’re shipping water, you’re shipping an exceptionally heavy substance. Those costs are a big part of what makes a supposedly ‘more convenient’ pre-diluted solution so many times more expensive.
But there are costs beyond the dollars and cents. In particular, the CO2 emissions associated with shipping.
One U.S. fluid ounce of water weighs approximately 0.065 pounds. That means a 32-ounce bottle of mostly water weighs right around two pounds.
On the other hand, a single cleaning tablet weighs less than .02 pounds.
This chart shows the difference in approximate carbon emissions for 1 tablet vs. 1 32 oz bottle transported 100 miles*.
|Semi-Truck||16.18 grams of CO2||.08 grams of CO2|
|Plane||205 grams of CO2||1.03 grams of CO2|
|Rail||2.29 grams of CO2||.01 grams of CO2|
*Calculated with methods used here.
Put another way, across all transportation methods, carbon emissions for a tablet are around 200 times less than for a bottle or pre-diluted solution.
Stop wasting plastic
Finally, when you’re buying pre-diluted solution, you also need to buy a new bottle every time. Plastic bottles have been the undisputed standard in cleaning supplies distribution for decades. This is largely because the material is inexpensive to produce and durable.
While many consumers diligently recycle these excess bottles, it turns out that actually does little to reduce overall plastic waste. The EPA reports that the only 29.1% of PET plastic bottles were actually recycled in the U.S. in 2018. And this problem can’t just be fixed by more recycling — many plastic recyclables that get sent for recycling are ultimately impossible for our infrastructure to process.
Choosing eco-friendly packaging is hands down the best way to make a difference in the amount of plastic waste entering the environment. And replacing pre-diluted solutions with tablet cleaners is an easy step to take.
In 2019, the average person in the U.S. spent $185.30 per year on cleaning supplies. Even if just 1/3 of this amount was spent on bottles of cleaning solution, that’s roughly 4-6 32 oz. bottles per person based on the average cost per bottle.
Now imagine everyone only ever needed one bottle. That single bottle gets refilled with water from the tap and a single tablet whenever more cleaning solution is needed. Across the U.S., this would amount to several billion plastic bottles each year never needing to be manufactured in the first place.
So, why tablets?
The pre-diluted solution was introduced on the principal of convenience. But is it really convenient? We’ve established that:
- Most cleaning routines already have time built in to allow a few minutes to create your own solution.
- Pre-diluted solution costs up to 4 times more than tablets.
- The carbon footprint of transporting pre-diluted solution is up to 20 times greater than tablets.
- Switching from pre-diluted solution to tablets stops 6-12 bottles from potentially entering the landfill per person per year.
With so many concrete benefits, both for you and the world you live in, the question becomes — why not tablets? Why not save money and live more sustainably, while still getting truly sparkling results?
Nature Lake tablets get your surfaces clean, every time, for less. And that’s a good calculation no matter what way you break down. To switch to tablet cleaners and start saving today, simply head on over to our store page.