For the past few months I’ve been tackling my weekly cleaning every Monday. I have a pretty standard list of things like cleaning my stove, bathrooms, and floors that I try to get done during the day on Mondays. I’ve gotten my cleaning routine to be pretty zero waste. I do still buy cleaning products in recyclable plastic containers, but I do have three very zero waste accessories to those products that I want to share with you today.
The first is an alternative to the ever so convenient Clorox wipe. I cut a bunch of squares of fabric, put them in a container with some concentrated all purpose cleaner and water, and they’re good to go. I clean my counters, spills on the floor, dining room table, cabinets, stove, microwave, refrigerator, bathroom counters and sinks, outside of the toilets, and anything else you might use a clorox wipe on with these things. Then they get thrown in the laundry, and used again and again! You can make your own, it’s super easy.
The other reusable cleaning product that I use constantly are unpaper towels. These are larger rectangles of flannel that are serged around the edges. They are super absorbent and durable – way more than any paper towel I’ve ever used. We use these for cleaning, as napkins, to wipe the baby’s drool away, and more. They are also super easy to make, or there’s some cute ones on etsy! I roll them around an old paper towel tube and put them on our paper towel holder, but they can also just be folded and put in a drawer or container on the counter. We do still have some paper towels for situations that we really want something disposable for (think dog poop in the house kind of situations), but we almost never use them. (I know that paper towels aren’t plastic – they do come wrapped in plastic though.)
Lastly is the sponge. I was a die hard blue wavy edged sponge with the scrubby and soft sides user. I changed my sponge out at least once a month. It was made of plastic – a material that lasts literally forever, and I was throwing away at least a dozen each year. They would fall apart, or get gross, so out they went. Weirdly, I was kind of attached to those sponges though, switching to something different was really hard for me. I found some super cute animal shaped crochet cotton sponges at my favorite kitchen store. Since they are 100% cotton, they are compostable. So once they start to fall apart, I just drop them in my kitchen compost and start using a new one. They are also machine washable, so if I feel like they get something super gross on them I can stick them in my washing machine. I have since replaced the animal shaped ones with some that I crocheted myself. They are easy to make if you know how to crochet, or you can buy some! You can also find wooden and natural fiber dish brushes easily, or use a loofah (did you know loofahs are plant-based?).
We aren’t just creating a lot less waste with all of these alternatives, we are also saving a lot of money! Have you tried any of these alternatives? What other plastic free cleaning supplies do you use?