10 Zero Waste Cleaning Essentials - Zero Waste Outlet

10 Zero Waste Cleaning Essentials

Posted by Zero Waste Dad on

Us humans can be awfully wasteful when it comes to just about every room in our home. But what about the tools that we use to clean those rooms? There’s no better feeling than walking into a spotless bathroom or a dish-free kitchen sink, we all know this much! With that being said, there are a few ways that we can improve so that we can continue the same cleaning rituals, but this time, make it eco-friendly!


Plastic-Free Sponges 


Starting with the basics, it’s time to switch to a plastic-free sponge. Use a biodegradable alternative and get a sponge is made out of plant cellulose. Just like any cleaning sponge, you can use it to remove everything from the bacteria in your bathtub to your kitchen counters. 

Beyond that, these sponges are able to absorb 10x their own weight and are designed to be washed and reused! You can ditch the other cleaning sponges that take hundreds of years to decompose; there’s simply no need for them once you switch to using plastic-free cellulose sponges!


Biodegradable Loofah Pads


Another option for washing your dishes or your body is to use a REAL loofah! We’re not talking about your typical nylon (yuck) loofahs from the shower, but instead, a 100% biodegradable one that will return to the Earth! 

These loofah pads are made from plant materials but don’t be fooled; they certainly do their job and clean better than a plastic sponge! By taking care of your loofahs like allowing them to drain and dry properly, each one can last you several months before it’s time to bury them in the ground or toss into your compost bin. For reference, some people replace their synthetic dish sponges almost every week because of how easily they tear. Use in the shower or the sink for the ultimate zero-waste cleaning pad. 


Zero Waste Sink ToolsZero Waste Cleaning Tools


We all have different preferences for washing our dishes. Some of us like sponges, loofahs, brushes with handles, palm scrub brushes, and the list goes on! Maybe you even prefer to keep a few of these on deck for different purposes. 

There are tons of eco-friendly alternatives to our favorite sink tools. Instead of using plastic materials, these sink tools are made from all-natural resources like our Coconut Fiber Scrub Brush or our Sisal and Bamboo Palm Scrubber. There’s always an eco-friendly option, no matter what your preference is!


Soap Dishes


Keeping the planet in mind means thinking of all areas of your life that you typically would use plastic. Once you make the conscious decision to switch to a bar of soap instead of a plastic container, it might feel inconvenient to use if you don’t have a proper dish to place it in.  

It’s easy to go out and find any soap container, but most likely, that means you’re buying more plastic. Opt for one of these natural wooden soap dishes designed to prolong your soap bars’ life by keeping them off your kitchen counter or shower surface.


Glass Spray Bottles

Glass Spray Bottles


Since you’re on a mission to quit plastic, that means it’s time to divorce your long-loved cleaning products. But don’t worry; glass spray bottles are an eco-friendly alternative that saves you money, time, and keeps you safe from breathing in toxic chemicals! 

Generic cleaning brands like Clorox and Windex might get the job done, but are also responsible for major environmental damage due to their heavy usage of chemicals and plastic packaging. Start making your own solution and use glass spray bottles to store your formula and make it easy to continue refilling.


DIY All-Purpose Cleaning SolutionDIY ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER


Now that you know what to replace those plastic bottles with, let’s go over an all-purpose cleaning solution you can make at home. As you start your zero-waste journey, don’t let the term “DIY” intimidate you! It’s not as messy or time-consuming despite common belief.  

Making your cleaning solution can be done just as quickly as it would be to run to the store and grab your next bottle of Clorox. In fact, it’s probably even faster than that! 


  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • few drops of Plant Therapy tea tree oil
  • few drops of Plant Therapy lemongrass essential oil
  • optional: fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon rinds

Add all the ingredients to your spray bottle and give it a good shake! Just like that, you now have your homemade all-purpose cleaner that can be used to disinfect the bathroom sink, bathtub, floors, kitchen counters, and more! Read more




Eco-Friendly Laundry DetergentZero Waste Laundry Detergent in mason jar


Moving on to your laundry room, take a look at your detergent. If you randomly picked one up at the grocery store, it’s most likely not the best option for your skin or the earth. Typical detergents contain tons of chemicals that make their way into our oceans and rivers, which end up destroying wildlife habitats. 

We have two earth-friendly options when it comes to your new laundry routine; detergent paste or detergent strips. What’s the difference?  

The detergent paste comes in bar form and dissolves in water. The great thing about this method is that you can make as much or as little as you want! Simply cut the soap into small pieces and pop the pieces into a mason jar filled with water. We recommend using a standard mouth mason jar with this lid, specifically designed to keep your detergent from leaking and doubles as your measuring cup. 

Laundry detergent strips are another great option to cut down on plastic packaging. This method requires zero measuring, zero messes, and zero waste! All you need to do is tear off a strip and throw it into a full laundry load. That’s it. Yes, earth-friendly laundry really is that simple!


Laundry Dryer Balls


Finish off your laundry routine with swapping the dryer sheets for dryer balls. If you’ve never heard of these before, they may sound strange at first, but we assure you that they have forever changed the laundry game.  

Everyone loves a good dryer sheet for static-free clothes, but they’re terrible for the planet. Not only do they contain harsh chemicals that trigger allergies, but they also aren’t able to biodegrade. 

On the other hand, these dryer balls are meant to be used over and over again and will return to the earth once they’ve done their job. Made with 100% organic wool, they remove static and wrinkles from your clothes without threatening your skin with toxic chemicals. Since they don’t contain any fragrance, you can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scented load of laundry!


Foaming Hand Soap RefillsFoaming hand soap refills for zero-waste cleaning


Did you know you can make your own foaming hand soap at home? And nope, it doesn’t take much time or effort! We make it pretty easy.

To activate this foaming hand soap refill, use a butter knife to cut up small chunks and place the pieces into your refillable soap dispenser. Just add water and perhaps a few drops of essential oil, and you’re done! New methods like this are saving thousands of plastic bottles from entering our landfills and polluting our earth!


Doggy BagsDoggy Bags


As much as we adore all furry friends, they can produce quite a bit of waste. Yes, we mean literal waste, but also the single-use doggy bags that we use to clean up after them! Traditional doggy bags are really just tiny plastic bags. Just because they’re small in size, it doesn’t make them any less harmful to our planet.  

Opt for biodegradable or compostable doggy bags to be a responsible dog owner! Be careful to avoid greenwashing brands that use terms like “biodegradable” as a false claim on their packaging. Research is still being conducted to test most brands who are making these claims, but BioBag Pet Waste Bags have been tested and approved to meet the ATSM standards as a fully biodegradable bag!

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