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Essentials Crate Subscription Box Review – February 2021

Essentials Crate is a monthly subscription featuring healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle items for day to day life. This includes 4-5 full-size home, personal care, beauty, and/or wellness products from local artisans, small businesses, and bigger household brands.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About Essentials Crate

The Subscription Box: Essentials Crate

The Cost: $44 per month. Save with longer subscription commitments.

COUPON: Use code MSA15 to get 15% off your first order!

The Products: 4-5 full-size home, personal care, beauty, and/or wellness items focused on eco-friendliness and health.

Ships to: The U.S. for free.

Essentials Crate February 2021 Review

Essentials Crate sends out an email with all of the product info instead of a physical booklet. I added it here above so you could check it out too.


Bamboo Dish Brush and Replacement Head – Listed Value $18.00

I am totally one of those people who “soaks” dishes that I would rather not scrub. I just hate getting my hands wet with an especially messy dish! I used to have a long-handled scrubber similar to this and I loved it, and then I had to toss it out and I guess I just never replaced it. That long handle means I can scrub away at problematic dishes without ruining my manicure or getting my hands soaked. The head is covered in pretty aggressive bristles which makes scrubbing a snap, and it even arrived with an extra replacement head.


Bottle Brush Scrubber – Listed value $10.00

I officially turned into a water bottle person in 2020 and my favorite had a slightly narrow opening, which means I usually fill it with hot water and soap and shake it aggressively, hoping that is enough to really clean it. Even though I usually only put water in it, I still think an actual scrubbing is way overdue. This narrow bristles brush is small enough to fit into my favorite bottle and clean it thoroughly. And it reminds me of my cat’s cute tail which somehow makes it even more charming.


Sisal Fiber Cellulose Sponges, 3 count – Listed Value $5.00

We made the switch to natural sponges back in 2019 and though it is a small change in terms of cutting down on the plastic we use each day, I truly believe little changes like this add up. I also have found that these work just as well as the more colorful ones I used to use and somehow seem to get less gross over time. Sponges might not feel super exciting in a box, but we will 100000% use these and it saves me from picking up more at the store for a few months.


Art Soap Life Dish Bar, 125 g – Retail Value $10.00

One product that we haven’t given up (YET) is our liquid dish soap. It isn’t the best for the environment and it comes in big plastic bottles, so it for sure is another small step we could take in terms of good swaps in and around our sink. I liked this soap and found that it was great for cleaning, but if I could change one thing, I would have picked this brand’s scented option. I still associate clean scents with “clean” (I know it is all in my head) and I find that a good fragrance makes dishes a little more bearable. Next time, I will order the option with the rosemary and orange scent!


Whispering Willow Cedar Soap Dish – Retail Value $7.00

This cedar dish is the perfect complement to our soap. The bar above should last a really long time IF I can keep it dry between uses, and this ridged dish is perfect for keeping it out of any remaining water. I like the simple and natural style of this design too!


Paperless Bamboo Towels, set of 8 – Listed Value $20.00

Will is a paper towel addict. It actually drives me crazy because they are expensive and our cat often steals the rolls and unfurls them all over the living room. It was cute the first time, but now… not so much. I would LOVE to never buy paper towels again, but this is one of those things that feels really hard because tearing one or two off, using them, then tossing them is just too easy. With reusable ones, you have to keep track of them and wash them, but honestly, I think we could make this switch with time. This set of 8 is a good start and I found them to be soft but also super absorbent due to the waffle texture.


Avry Beauty Shea Butter Hand Creme, 45 mL – Retail Value $3.00

This little tube of hand creme fits the overall theme of the box quite well and felt great on my hands. I was less crazy about the scent (it was a little too sweet for me) but pleased that this formula was cruelty-free and vegan.


Avry Beauty Shea Butter Gloves – Retail Value $1.25

My final item was a pack of shea hand gloves. Again, I wasn’t into the scent per se, but it left my hands feeling so soft. My trick with these is to wear them and place a heating pad on top of my hands. It really helps the serum absorb and soften my skin.

The Verdict: Essentials Crate is really nailing their themes each month and sending very high-quality and practical items in reserved colors that look great in anyone’s space. This is one of the most polished boxes I get to review! As someone who really doesn’t get excited about cleaning products, I find myself looking forward to any that happen to arrive in this box because I know they will be thoughtful when it comes to materials, style, and sustainability. Everything this month ended up at my sink and used almost immediately. I do think the creme and gloves felt a little bit like add-ons, but, hey, I am not complaining.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, your first box will be the March box.

COUPON: Use code MSA15 to get 15% off your first order!

Value Breakdown: This box costs $44, including free shipping which means each of the 8 items costs an average of $5.50.

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Megan


I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Posted in Eco-Friendly Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: essentials-crate | 18 comments

Comments (18)

  1. This seems like a great box for people who want to be more eco-conscientious, but don’t really know where to start. Could even be a good housewarming gift.

    I bet that cedar block made the box smell nice to open.

  2. Great review, Megan. I have so much anxiety about the environment…. mainly the plethora of garbage each one of puts out on a daily basis. I agree, small steps are necessary. At the very least, it shows that a person cares about our world and is trying. Nothing worse than seeing a self righteous pig throw his (or her) food wrappers and trash out the window while driving.

    I really like the aim of this box (especially this month,) and the education it provides by showing what is available as alternatives. Really glad you are reviewing this box, Megan. Always a fun and educational read.

    • Proofread first, then hit submit!

      *Plethora of garbage each one of US puts out

  3. I didn’t even know they made a bar soap for dishes too! (Obviously I’m a newbie at this lol) but they should offer these at a lot more stores.

    • Laundry and dish soaps (real soap, not detergent, which is what this is) fell out of fashion in the mid 20th century when detergents were introduced, since detergents can do a better job of cleaning and rinse off much more easily.
      I make soap myself, and use my own homemade soap as shampoo, and a different recipe soap as laundry detergent. Even I havent started using my own soap as dish detergent, though! If I do (and I’d recommend you do this too if you switch) i would give everything a rinse in a vinegar water solution to get rid of soap residue.

      Also, never use a hand soap or shampoo bar or whatever for dishes or laundry! Those are made with extra oils and butters to make them moisturizing and gentle on skin. Those extra oils will mess up your plumbing if used for kitchen and laundry room tasks.

  4. I wasn’t interested much at all in the Dec or Jan boxes, but I like this one. Do you know if it’s still available?

  5. This comment is in no way meant to be snarky, it is a legitimate question I promise. What makes the “paperless” bamboo towels a replacement for paper towels in any discernible way from just using dish cloths instead of paper towels? Do they snap together on a roll or have a special container they can be easily pulled from or anything like that? I know I’ve seen some that have those features. Otherwise isn’t this just an 8 pack of bamboo dish cloths? I mean I know it sounds like I’m being snotty but I’m truly just curious because I’ve been thinking about trying to ditch paper towels and I’m just checking out my options. Thanks!

    • The ones I’ve used are a little more abrasive than dish towels, so they’re sort of like a combination of a dish towel and a sponge. I wet them and use them to scrape dried up food off the floor, for example, which I wouldn’t do with a dish towel.

    • The bamboo dish cloth is tough enough to scrape off things that a paper towel can’t, but still gentle enough not to scratch your surfaces. It’s great for when you need to clean surfaces that require something tougher than a paper towel, but not as abrasive as a scrubbing pad.

  6. I think the moisture items make sense! If you are washing, the water dried your hands out. The lotion and gloves out it back. The gloves I don’t consider I one use no recycle item a green choice though.

  7. A bit off topic but a month or so ago MSA listed a bunch of boxes and asked us to comment on which ones we would like a review on. I was wondering if you girls are going to review the Natural Glow Box. It has little info and unboxings online but it looks fabulous. Would love to see it reviewed.

    • How does it look fabulous, you can’t see anything? There’s barely any info on their webpage and no pics of previous boxes so potential customers can look at and no social media accounts of these boxes.

      When I sub to a new box, I want to see a few months of previous months to get a feel whether it’s a right fit or not.

      • Hence why I asked MSA if they are going to review it.

      • Out of the 500+ beauty boxes on CJ, why would MSA pick a box that has little info and no pics? Probably because it’s not good or else they would have posted pics. Better choice to find boxes we’d actually buy since this is how they make money.

      • Excellent question, I didn’t know about this box until MSA posted on it back in January asking us if we want them to review their box along with several other boxes listed. Several of us chimed in stating we would like to see this box and others reviewed. I’m just asking if and when they plan on doing it.

      • Lisa, you asked a very legitimate question. I’d like to see a review, too.

        Stephanie, why would MSA pick a box that has little info and no pics? Because that’s precisely why most of us come to MSA: to get more details on new boxes; information that we can’t easily find elsewhere. After all, they say right there on their About page that they are the subscription box experts. Also: “We are dedicated to discovering new, incredible products and subscriptions to share with you.”
        MSA’s niche is that it reviews a lot of lesser-known/less-often-reviewed/at-times-obscure boxes.
        Furthermore, they don’t pay for many of the subscription boxes they receive to review anyway. There have been reviews in the past for new-new boxes with nary a subscriber, so why shouldn’t a reader put in a suggestion or ask for follow-ups, especially *after* the the site itself mentioned that brand?

    • Hi Lisa! Thanks for asking. We are reviewing new brands and should have some new ones popping up later this spring. This one is on our radar! 🙂

      • Thank you Simran xoxo

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