19 Amazing Trader Joe's Products That Aren't Food

Turns out it's not just for groceries.

January 16, 2019

Trader Joe's plays a special role in our lives here at Food52. Not just because we love the prices, the wines, and of course all of the snacks. (Actually, we love the snacks so much that our editor keeps a bag of them under her desk for meetings and birthday celebrations.)

But like any good grocery store, Trader Joe's is also a one-stop shop for the other useful things we need at home and in our lives, like soaps and shampoos and flowers. (Is there anything better than being greeted at the front by all those flowers?) I asked the team for their personal non-food favorites and, as expected, got a slew of passionate responses.

Here's what they had to say:

"I love the French Liquid Soap. It smells amazing without being a gazillion dollars." —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor

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Top Comment:
“I also use the French hand soap, the grapefruit hand soap, and I have about 6 more tubes of the ginger ultra hand cream (they were supposed to be gifts but, well....). I also like the felted dryer balls and the lavender dryer bags. I use them to keep moths out of clothes and pantry. I bought several of the olive wood boards that they had over the holidays--they are great looking, useful and the prices were good.”
— creamtea

"Their cut flowers are always at great prices! I try to buy some eucalyptus and greenery to liven up my apartment every few weeks." —Annalee Leggett, strategy and finance manager

"I swear by their Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil. It works wonders and is still very gentle. One more for you: the Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm! Awesome for hands, lips, even taming wild hat hair!" —Nicole Murray, customer care

Photo by Trader Joe's

"I use their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo—was recommended by my dermatologist!" —Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO

"+1 for Tea Tree Oil Shampoo! I also picked up their Blueberry and Acai facial scrub recently. It's exfoliating but still pretty smooth and smells great!" —Grace Montgomery, director of brand strategy

"Greeting cards. They're so affordable and cute for every occasion. I almost always grab a card when I'm in line then I have a nice stockpile to chose from when something comes up!" —Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinator

"Their candles! Super cheap way to treat yourself, and they smell great but don't make you feel like you're in a Yankee Candle." —Maggie Rouen, customer care

"They're ahead of the game on Dr. Bronner's." —Peter Romero, senior account executive

"I really like their Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash, too. Oh, and all of their paper products: TP, table napkins, and paper towels are so cheap, but thankfully don’t feel like sand paper." —Megan Güntaş, digital designer

"I'm all about the vegetable based pop-up sponges (they come in a pack of 12 and as sponges go, are really lovely). Also their toothbrushes come in cute colors (my only stipulation for good dental care)." —Maggie Slover, copywriter

Photo by Trader Joe's

"I love their Lavender Salt Scrub. It's perfect for dry elbows and heels, and makes my shower smell like a garden (but like, not in a bad way)." —Emma Laperruque, food writer and recipe developer

"It's that time of year where I basically turn into a prune, so I've been stocking up on their Ultra Moisturizing Hand Creams for handy hydration. Bonus, the seasonal ginger scent makes me feel relaxed, too." —Katie Macdonald, assistant editor

What's your favorite non-food product at Trader Joe's? Let us know in the comments below.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Eric Kim is a Senior Editor at Food52, where his solo dining column, Table for One, runs Friday mornings. Formerly the Digital Manager at Food Network, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.


Roger D. March 29, 2019
I work at TJ's. I discovered an UNBELIEVABLE hand lotion just after I started there. To my EVERLASTING dismay, it's only available around the holidays. It's called "White Pine" and, to me, it's better than "Working Hands".....I stocked up when it went on hiatus but am running low :(
Christine January 31, 2019
I love TJ’s Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm. You can use it anywhere and everywhere. It smells great, is extremely emollient, lasts a long time, and is incredibly inexpensive.
Jaye B. January 31, 2019
Oh dear, now I will be in TJ's twice as long as usual. I've bought the dryer balls, lavender dryer bags, and body butter but haven't spent too much time examining other non-foods. Thanks everyone! :)
Rae K. January 29, 2019
Don’t get me Started on trader Joe’s water ! Do you not buy water anywhere else
Francine January 30, 2019
I buy the 1.5 liter bottles of spring water by the case!
Jean L. January 28, 2019
Microfiber cleaning cloths! We use them to clean our bodies and (other colors) our kitchen/baths as well. Priced well, and very long lasting.
Hannah211 January 27, 2019
Their honey oatmeal soap bars that are under $2 for a pack of 3. They are moisturizing, too-great for the sink or the shower. I really like the dish towels they have, too-they are very durable and the three I have bought have lasted over a year so far. Plan to get a few more colors.
Andrea B. January 27, 2019
The Essential Oil Wool Ball set! Such a great gift and a steal for $11
Monte M. January 27, 2019
The Lemon Verbena Soap is wonderful. Great fragrance and long lasting bar.
Pam January 27, 2019
The Argan Oil is a well-priced all-purpose emollient for replenishing face and hands.
Lilliana January 27, 2019
It’s time that TJ open store in Merritt Island, FL. Driving to Orlando is way to fahr.
Nance January 27, 2019
The Trader Joe's website has a section where you can request that a store be opened in your area. It's worth a try.
Lilliana January 27, 2019
Thanks Nance, will search for that.
Diane R. January 27, 2019
I love their Body Butter! Very moisturizing for my elbows, arms etc!
They change fragrance with the seasons!! Love the Coconut!! Cannot beat the price compared to Bath& Body Works, etc.
Ellen S. January 27, 2019
I love the Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum. Better than many I've tried for 3x the cost.
Becky A. January 30, 2019
The Trader Joe's Nourish Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum is great as well. Light, non greasy, and a little goes a long way.
Robin January 27, 2019
I love the cards as well. I am a bit of a crafter so I often spruce them up with a bit of glitter or trim...and I also have often loved some enough that I picked up a clear envelope type magnetic frame at the craft store and will slip a card in and post it on my office door.
Jill January 27, 2019
While I am a TJ’s fan, I would like to see them move away from selling so much plastic.
Anastasia January 27, 2019
TJ's 2-pack bar soaps (Tea Tree, Oatmeal) are a deal and the least expensive I have found that don't contain sulfates, etc. Also, I rarely find a better price on Tom's of Maine toothpaste, and appreciate their stores carry the whitening version without fluoride.
Marguerite January 27, 2019
Top of the list is French Liquid Soap, and also healthy Doggy Treats that have ONLY salmon and sweet potato in them.
Anastasia January 27, 2019
My picky dog also loves the dog treats! I buy the box with a variety of flavors of biscuits.
Hannah211 January 27, 2019
How could I forget my pup?? She's head over heels for the beef sticks, and I mean, when I pull that specific bag out she jumps, turns around, and gives me a hungry snort. Anything else she'll just sit down for like a polite dinner guest.
mountain January 27, 2019
There are so many things I love at TJ's. Topping the list is probably the lavender dryer bags others have mentioned. I haven't seen them anywhere else and I was upset when they, at one point, discontinued them (lots of others were also upset because they obviously brought them back!). Another favorite is an item I only see around Christmas: the 3 pack of moisturizing hand creams in little metal tubes. I swear they're made by a company based in Provence, France that has stores in the mall and sells similar tubes of lotion for 3X what you pay at TJ's.
Barbara M. January 27, 2019
The Shea Butter and Coconut Oil hair mask. My seven-year-old uses it to de-tangle her own hair. We love it!
Anastasia January 27, 2019
Thank you. I haven't noticed this product, I'm going to look for it!
Bran<3 January 27, 2019
Oh, I love this too! I have really dry hair and only wash 2x a week. I use it as a conditioner. I buy two or three tubes at a time. If they ever discontinue it, I'm rioting.
JaniceB January 27, 2019
Virtuoso lip balm!!! Comes in a 3 pack so I always have smooth minty relief for my lips. And the Spa nourishing conditioner—better than Pantene for my thick frizz probe hair. And the packaging is minimal so it looks nice in my shower.
Beth T. January 27, 2019
I like the lavender soap. It makes the entire bathroom smell good.