It’s clean!

The space beneath my sink used to look like probably the majority of households in North America: dishwasher tabs, a cleaner for stoves, a cleaner for the floor, a cleaner to polish, a cleaner for glass, disinfectant wipes, sprays, bottles, tabs, blah blah blah… Basically, I had the whole cleaner aisle chillin’ out beneath my sink.

Before zero-waste crept into my life, I was unaware that basically all of my cleaning supplies already exist in my household, in a product that I am already using for something else.  Multi-purpose-what?!  There are still many things I want to try, like making my own dish soap, but so far here are a few items that are chillin’ out in my kitchen anyway and now help me clean my house.  Also, I use one item for multiple rooms in the house; even though I strongly dislike cleaning, this has simplified the process immensely.

Baking Soda
What a fun little white powder!  This baby helps me scrub everything from pots to the bathtub.  I powder some in the sink, tub, or whatever needs scrubbing, and then use a washable cloth to scrub it clean.

Vinegar
A non-toxic disinfectant?!  Firstly, I’m not all for this sterile environment that the commercials let us believe we need: sanitize, sanitize, and if you don’t, you’ll just be bacteria-ridden and fall horribly ill.  Sure, sanitizing is a good thing, like when cooking with chicken, or if someone has had the flu, but wiping down every surface every day is overkill; literally, it also kills the good bacteria that we need to build up our bodies to fight infection naturally.

Vinegar has the same effect of disinfectant wipes/sprays.  I mix vinegar with water and some tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic) into a spray bottle and call it a day.

Lemon juice
I haven’t used lemon juice yet, but this handy juice has all sorts of uses from disinfecting to polishing.  Check out a list here.

Laundry
I have very sensitive skin, so my first attempt at making my own detergent was unsuccessful.  It was a mix of grated unscented soap, borax, and washing soda.  I’m sure it works for a lot of people, but my skin didn’t like it.  Any suggestions?  As for my dryer, I hang my clothes on a rack, or use wool dryer balls for big items.

Mirrors
I found a handy washable cloth that cleans mirrors without streaking the glass.  I just have to put a little water on it and it cleans them lovely each time.  I’m not sure what type of fabric it is, but it certainly does the trick.

Other household items you can clean with that I haven’t tried:
hydrogen peroxide, other essential oils (i.e. lemongrass, lavender), borax, castile soap, rubbing alcohol, etc.

What are some of your go-to zero-waste cleaners?

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7 thoughts on “It’s clean!

    • I haven’t made that discovery yet if it stains or scratches; I’d imagine because you dilute the vinegar it isn’t that strong, or at least not strong enough to stain? I’m not sure. I only use vinegar for surfaces like countertops, etc. I think you’re right about the microfiber!

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  1. Cleaning products are next on my zero waste to-do list, so this is giving me a great place to start, thank you.
    I have one of those microfibre glass cloths. It’s great and it’s the only thing that cleans our windows of child and cat related smears and streaks.

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  2. Hi, I loved this post! I’ve just bought vinegar in bulk to clean smoke stains off the wall from my old housemate (YUCK). With regards to your laundry, I’ve just started using soap nuts for mine, seems to be working really well! They are naturally hypoallergenic, odorless and do no damage to surfaces or fabrics. They are super affordable and sustainable. Here’s more detailed info on it if you’re interested: http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/soap-nuts.html

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  3. Pingback: Life as a Luminous Lemon | The Zero Journey

  4. Pingback: How to become a treehugger| | The Zero Journey

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