Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Zero Waste Cleaning and Other Essentials

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We started this month with the Zero Waste Beginner's Guide and followed that up with the kitchen essentials and then the bathroom essentials, two of the biggest trash making rooms in a home.  Today, I'm finishing up zero waste month with some zero waste cleaning essentials and other little things I thought might be helpful to add.

Personally, I already mentioned how I clean my home in my spring cleaning post, but in case you missed that, essentially I just clean everything with vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and lemon.  Vinegar is the tough one, as it rarely comes in glass.  If you're lucky enough to live near a bulk store that also has liquids, that would be the perfect place to refill for your vinegar bottles.  As it stands, I just buy the largest vinegar I can find so I don't have to buy a ton of bottles, and I just recycle the giant plastic one.  I'm hoping to find something in glass soon.  The baking soda box is obviously compostable or recyclable.  The peels of a used lemon are compostable, after I soak them in vinegar to make a citrusy cleaning vinegar.  The rubbing alcohol does come in plastic, but I use very little and occasionally just use cheap vodka so I have yet to need to recycle this bottle.

Here are some other cleaning essentials and recipes for some other items you might want to have on hand:

Microfiber cloths.  I use these to clean just about everything, from walls to mirrors to toilets to counters.  They don't leave lint and wash out easily, plus they're inexpensive.  I've also heard good things about huck towels.

Dishwasher detergent.  We just use this recipe using the castille soap and find that it works really well when you add in the vinegar in the rinse aid compartment.  Seventh Generation also makes a good powder detergent that comes in a cardboard box.

Laundry detergent.  There are a lot of options for making your own, but I tend to be a little lazy about it.  I just order from the Simply Co. and call it a day.  It's zero waste and just a couple of ingredients.  Charlie's Soap is another good product, if you can find it in person without the plastic packaging.

Scrub brush.  Although you usually think of dishes, scrub brushes can be used for cleaning all over the home.  Just make sure you choose one without plastic bristles or a plastic handle.

Mop.  I use a microfiber mop because it works the best on our floors.  I just throw the mop heads in the wash when I'm done along with any of the towels I used.  The handle is plastic, but I haven't had any issue yet with it breaking so I'm not concerned.

Bucket.  They always seem to come in handy for some reason.  Metal is better than plastic.

Broom.  Like the scrub brush, make sure it has natural bristles without a plastic handle.

Any other cleaning essentials you're worried about in your home?  Let me know and I'll help you figure out a great zero waste option instead!

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