Do you like to shop?
Are you allergic to fragrance?
Does your maid clean your home?
Are you a ‘I’ll make it myself’ kinda person?
Do you love your space to smell like summer rain or a country meadow?
It is easy to see how there is not one, or even two, products that meet the needs of all people. The best cleaning product for you is most likely not the best for someone else.
Let’s take the statement of best zero waste cleaning products a little broad and look at what is best for us all. Most agree that it is a product to efficiently handle the cleaning task and leave no trace after the job is complete.
To efficiently handle the cleaning job, the ingredients must work well. Time tested ingredients with a great track record of cleaning and sanitizing are best to look at for solutions. For generations, cleaning has been and is still done effectively with a handful of ingredients, many found in your kitchen pantry.
The list is short and simple:
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice is especially helpful in fighting bacteria. Use diluted lemon juice or soak used lemon peels in vinegar to make a powerful cleaner. Use it as a spray for your countertops and cutting boards, plus it leaves a wonderful lemon scent.
Look no further than your liquor cabinet for a fantastic, effective disinfectant. Yes,100-proof alcohol will give you clean, streak-free windows and mirrors, remove ink stains, simple surface disinfectant from counters to phones, cleaning makeup brushes, sparkling stainless steel and even remove hairspray from mirrors! If you don’t want to use the good stuff in your liquor cabinet, buy an affordable bottle of rubbing or isopropyl alcohol available in most grocery and drug stores. However, the isopropyl alcohol comes in a plastic bottle, so if you can afford to buy some cheap vodka, many brands come in a glass bottle. Alcohol is a common and surprisingly versatile, yet underused household cleaner.
Scent can easily be added to any DIY cleaning product by adding a few drops of essential oil. Be sure to buy only pure essential oil and not a fragrance oil, especially when cleaning surfaces that come in contact with food.
Not looking to make your own cleaning products?
There are companies using natural ingredients too.
You’d think it would be as easy as reading the ingredient label, but unfortunately, still no federal regulations exist to enforce manufacturers to disclose their ingredients on their products. Doing your own due diligence will be important to make sure you are not a victim of greenwashing.
Finding an eco-warrior living the green lifestyle is worth the effort.
That person can be a super helpful resource for you. Follow them on social media, get on their newsletter, listen to their podcasts….stay in touch on whatever platform you like to use. Most are only a DM or email away.
Since most cleaning products come in a plastic bottle, you might need to deepen your search to find brands offering better packaging options. If you must choose one in plastic, choose a concentrate! Dr. Bronners makes a wonderful, all-around Sal Suds soap that can be diluted and used for so many cleaning jobs from many applications.
Some ready-to-use household cleaning products found in plastic-free containers are:
Bon Ami Powder Cleanser
Tangie Dish Washing Bar
Meliora Cleaning Products Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub
There might be a refill store in your town.
Refill stores and delivery services are popping up all over the world.
If you don’t live near a refill or zero-waste store, check at your local health food store. They might be able to order a particular product for you.
Can’t find a cleaning product you are looking for in the store. Shop online on eco-inspired websites like…
Don’t forget to buy plastic-free tools for cleaning.
Many functional plus beautiful tools for cleaning can be found at LifeWithoutPlastic.com. Try to skip the standard dish sponge, it is made from plastic and can not be recycled. There are new options available, like scrubbers made from coconut coir, a waste product of coconut harvesting.
Dish scrubbers with replaceable, compostable dish heads. The industry is quickly evolving to be green.
If you haven’t searched plastic-free cleaning tools in the past few years, do yourself a favor and check out the latest and greatest from many forward thinking companies.
Remember, many products (or single ingredients) can be used for multiple types of cleaning. The marketing companies are the ones telling us we need specific cleaners for different jobs. Don’t be fooled by creative advertising!