Have you ever finished an epic cleaning spree only to be left with a trash can full of paper towels, dirty sponges, and plastic containers? Doesn’t feel very “clean” does it? Especially when 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. If you’d prefer not to contribute to that daunting statistic, keep reading on. I’ve rounded up seven eco-friendly cleaning products that are good for you, your home, and the planet.
(And if you’re on a real cleaning streak, check out this beginner’s guide to sustainably decluttering your home!)
Blueland offers eco-friendly alternatives to some of your most used cleaning products including glass cleaner, bathroom and my favorite—the multi-purpose (great for kitchens, tabletops, dusting, you name it). Just fill up one of their BPA-free bottles with water, drop in the toxin-free tablet and watch your green cleaner form in front of you. Their bottles are designed to last forever so you’ll only have to replenish the tablets, which are just two dollars and come in compostable packaging.
For everyone’s favorite, bathroom cleaning (*eye roll*), I recommend using a tough scouring pad like this Walnut Scrubber from Public Goods. You’ll be able to cut through relentless soap scum guilt-free because it’s made of 100 percent natural vegetable cellulose.
As far as dishwashing goes, a compostable scrubber is a great alternative to your bacteria-laden dish sponge (which also contains pesky microplastics). This one from Zefiro is made from bamboo and when it’s on its last scrub just remove the head and toss it in the compost bin. Then lock in a new one and get to washing (or ditch the dishes, have a glass of wine and clean tomorrow, I won’t judge).
To go along with your sustainable scrubber, you’ll probably want to replace your standard dish soap with an eco-friendly cleaning product as well. Lather your brush with this zero-waste dish washing bar and get to work on that caked-on food. It’s handmade in San Francisco, CA, is free of plastic packaging and according to reviews, cuts through stubborn grease without leaving any residue. Bonus, it can be used to take stains out of laundry, tiles, and tubs too.
Laundry Detergent Sheets
Say goodbye to messy liquid detergent and wasteful plastic containers. Detergent sheets like these from Kind Laundry, pack all the laundering power you need into what appears to be a notecard-sized piece of paper. These small but mighty sheets come in recyclable and compostable packaging. Plus, adjusting the amount of detergent you need is easy. Just tear in half, or throw in two sheets at a time depending on the size of your load. (A little money-saving tip: unless I’m doing a massive load I usually only use half of a sheet, and it gets the job done).
Spill-prone eco-enthusiasts rejoice! The Laundress offers a powerful stain remover and bleach alternative that are free of toxins, allergens, phthalates, petroleum and artificial color. Reviews claim the solutions effectively remove various stains including those of the pit variety, from makeup, or even marinara sauce. Bonus, it’s a women-owned company so the eco and woman warrior in you will approve.
Even if you’re not ready to give up your standard cleaning products, there is still a way to make your wipe down more eco-friendly: ditch the paper towels. You can either DIY your own reusable rags by cutting up old clothing or sheets. If you’re looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing, I’d recommend Dream Cloths from Who Gives a Crap. Just one cloth can hold 13 times its weight in water making them great for cleaning up all types of messes. I keep three in my kitchen, and three in my bathroom. Once they’re soiled, I just toss them in the dishwasher or washing machine and then they’re ready to be used again!
*For a nice finishing touch, light a planet-friendly candle, sit back, relax and enjoy your clean (and green) home!