How To Clean Your Home With Plastic Free And Eco Friendly Cleaning Products
So we know eco friendly cleaning products can help us to live greener and more environmentally-friendly lives. However, the chances are, your kitchen cupboards are jam-packed with harmful chemicals and toxic cleaning products. These are not only bad for your health but the health of the planet too. And with so many packaged in single-use plastic, they unnecessarily pollute the environment and devastate our oceans.
Indeed, cleaning your home may appear to be safe and ‘green’ on the outside, but the truth is that cleaning products contain many toxic chemicals that are bad for our health, leading to skin irritation and other problems. What’s more, if you’re an avid fan of carpet cleaners and air fresheners, chemicals can build up in your home over time, increasing your risk of obstructive pulmonary disease, with conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema common.
According to Tree Hugger, there are more than 17,000 chemicals sold for use in homes, but only 30 percent of them have been tested for exposure to human health and the planet, so switching to eco-friendly cleaning products makes sense. Whilst becoming a green clean fanatic will take time and require you to make some compromises, it’s easier than you might think. Below, we’ve rounded up just some of the ways you can clean your home with plastic free and eco-friendly cleaning products to improve your health and keep our planet happy…
Review Your Current Products
Before you do anything else, take a good look through your current cleaning supplies to work out what you need to remove or replace. We recommend working your way through old products to avoid waste, and carefully recycling bottles, cans, and boxes, bearing in mind that some cannot be recycled. You may want to keep hold of bottles and tubs so you can reuse them when making your own products, or when switching to plastic-free alternatives.
If you want to make a clean break and switch to eco-friendly cleaning products immediately, dispose of your supplies, or donate to a community centre or charity so they can be used up.
The most obvious way to reduce the environmental impact of your cleaning regime is to switch to totally natural products such as bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Sprinkle pots and pans with baking soda and leave to soak for fifteen minutes, and they’ll be as good as new. If you want to give your dishwasher a freshen up, run some baking soda and vinegar through an empty cycle, and in the bathroom, use vinegar and soda to remove limescale from taps. Add a few drops of essential oil to your homemade cleaning products for a fresh fragrance to hide the smell of vinegar (even though the smell of vinegar doesn’t linger around for too long!)
Lemons can be used to clean cookware; just squeeze a lemon and mix it with coarse salt to create a paste, and use it on stained trays, coffee mugs, and cutting boards to remove dirt. Combine vinegar with essential oils to create your own wood furniture polish. It’s simple!
If you’re not comfortable taking it back to the raw ingredients or you’re too busy to make your own pastes and potions, fear not: we outline some of the best eco-friendly cleaning products below, which offer you the convenience of off-the-shelf products without the harmful toxins!
Find New Eco Friendly Cleaning Products
Replacing washing-up liquids and fabric softeners with plastic free cleaning products can be hard work. If you do most of your shopping at a supermarket, you will have to look elsewhere to stock up your supplies. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a zero waste store, then that’s a dream for most of us reading this! At Friendly Turtle, for example, we offer plastic-free cleaning refill sachets that can be dropped into a reusable spray bottle filled with lukewarm water. Simply shake to for a few seconds and you’re good to go, completely eliminating the need for single-use bottles.
You can find products for your floors, kitchen, and bathroom that deliver the same sparkling finish you’d get from traditional cleaning supplies, without the unnecessary plastic waste or the harsh chemicals that can sometimes get on your chest.
Plus, with more and more plastic free and zero waste shops popping up across the country, you can even refill you washing up liquid, dishwasher detergent, washing machine detergent etc in your own containers- just turn up with your own container and refill. And if you’re looking for a zero waste shop in London, check out our recent blog on our top 8 zero waste and plastic free shops in London. Sometimes we just need to get a little creative and think away from supermarkets…they could soon be an endangered species if they’re unable to change with the times and look at ways to reduce their plastic waste. There is a genuine movement of people moving towards plastic free cleaning products and other goodies around the home as we boycott the plastics and get creative!
Replace Cleaning Equipment
Replacing equipment with eco-friendly alternatives helps you to remove even more plastic from your home. Most cleaning sponges and dish brushes, for example, are made from plastic and aren’t biodegradable. This means they’ll be sitting in a landfill for 500+ years before the plastics break down, outliving you, me and many more generations to come! Switching to an organic cotton washcloth, sustainable cleaning brush or an upcycled cotton sponge will allow you to clean in those hard-to-reach places, without using high street cleaning products. What’s more, eco cleaning products are non-toxic, hygienic, and longer-lasting than standard cleaning utensils. So, whilst they may be more expensive, they still provide better value for money.
Clean the air naturally
If you want to freshen the air in your home, you might buy a plug-in air freshener or spray a can of Febreze. Don’t forget to open your windows from time to time which will keep the fresh air in and toxins flowing out. If you want to find a replacement for air fresheners, boil cinnamon or cloves or bake fresh chocolate chip cookies – any excuse! Finally, don’t underestimate the power of house plants – they not only look great, but many are good at filtering air, such as English ivy, the snake plant, the spider plant, or aloe vera. Head to your local garden centre and stock up! Or if candles are more your thing, pick up a cotton wick soya candle, which can smell great when burned. Make sure they’re non-toxic and all-natural, like our range of sustainable candles from The Abstract Bee
Ready to go plastic-free? Check out our range of plastic free cleaning products UK made on our website, with free UK delivery on all orders over £50. Any questions about our products? Just get in touch – we’d love to talk to you about our ethical and eco-conscious cleaning range.