DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean
Jenny McGrath/Digital Trends

A successful Indiegogo project from last June is now looking to clean up. DS3 Clean products are travel-friendly squares containing soap, shampoo, and other cleansers that could have a dramatic impact on how such supplies get shipped. The flat, square swatches fit easily in the palm of your hand and foam when placed under water.

Procter & Gamble had the squares on display at CES 2019. in Las Vegas earlier this month There are currently eight types of cleaning products: Hand soap, face wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, surface cleaner, and toilet cleanser. By removing all the water from these cleaners, P&G figured out how to eliminate 80 percent of the weight of these products. That means you can toss a two-inch square — which looks a bit like a shrunken drink coaster — into your washing machine, where you’re adding water anyway. It’s a bit like a detergent pod, without the candy-like appearance that seems to tempt toddlers. (Though the company does urge caution when kids are using any of the DS3 Clean products.)

Not only will you not have to lug an entire bottle of detergent down to the laundry room, these DS3 products have the potential to completely change how cleaning products are shipped. A 30 pack of the detergent comes in a small box, not a big plastic bottle or container. DS3’s packaging is biodegradable, as well, and takes up 70 percent less space, according to P&G. The new manufacturing process also allows the company to remove the usual stabilizers and preservatives. The company also thinks that with more efficient shipping, it can significantly reduce emissions — up to 75 percent based on an estimate of how many trucks carry cleaning products around North America. 

The main drawback at this point is the cost of the products. Thirty body wash swatches cost $19, while the same amountcosts $29 for shampoo and laundry detergent. (For comparison, we found an 81-pack of Tide pods for $19.) However, P&G did meet its funding goal for its Indiegogo campaign, what it called a Transactional Learning Experiment. The products are still available for pre-order, and the next shipment is due at the end of March.

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