How to find and use zero waste cleaning products to clean in and around your home.
Zero waste cleaning products clean well and are a natural way to keep your home clean and healthy. It is better to use zero waste cleaning products for your family and the environment.
If you want to DIY some of these cleaning products, you can purchase the ingredients in large batches and then refill spray bottles as needed. This can help cut down on the amount of packaging in your home.
If you’re not a DIY kind of person, then you will enjoy my list of zero waste products that can be purchased online and delivered right to your door in waste-free packaging.
It is easy to transition to eco friendly, green cleaning products and it can even make the task of cleaning seem kind of fun. I’m not crazy, it’s true!
If you want to go full on zero waste lifestyle then you’re going to need to go zero waste in the cleaning department as well. You can start with eco friendly cleaning products which are not zero waste and slowly transition to zero waste cleaning, or jump right into zero waste cleaning from the start.
The planet will thank you if you switch to green cleaning products, whether you make them yourself or purchase them.
*This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Zero Waste Cleaning Products
- Well Earth Goods
Well Earth Goods
Not Found On Amazon
Well Earth Goods has their own online store which you can purchase zero waste cleaning products from. They have zero waste plastic free laundry detergent strips and plastic free stain removers and more. Everything they have is plastic free, comes in compostable packaging and is biodegradable.
They have a great selection of wooden brushes, scourers and scrapers as well as not paper towels made with flannel and coconut-based scour pads. They have a cast iron conditioner that comes in a glass container and their laundry detergent is made from strips that are not a liquid and do not require a container at all.
Well Earth Goods is a family run company that creates products made from sustainable resources. All their products have paper shipping material and are all zero waste.
Ethique is known for their beauty products but they do have a cleaning line as well. They do have laundry bars and stain removers to choose from which are zero waste and sustainable.
They have non-toxic, vegan and palm oil-free products in their shop to help us keep our bodies and homes free of toxins and chemicals, and waste.
Ethique likes to keep things in bar form, it’s kind of their thing. They come from Christchurch, New Zealand (I’ve visited when I was a teenager!) and their products are ever-popular around the world.
Keeping everything in bar form is Ethique’s eco-friendly forte. They hail from the small New Zealand city of Christchurch, but their plastic-free cleaning (and other) products are popular around the globe. They are certified B-Corp and donate 20% of their annual profits to charity. They even ship their products plastic-free using cardboard which is certified home compostable.
EcoRoots create zero waste and low waste products from many smaller brands and they have many bath and beauty products among their cleaning items. They have options for stains, spills and dirty coffee mugs.
The home and kitchen products are a great place to get started with your zero waste cleaning. They have a wide range of vegan soaps, reusable cloths and compostable scrubbers and more.
Many of their shampoo bars are even package free and they are using recyclable materials for shipping.
Meloria is well known for their zero waste laundry strips which are vegan and plastic free. They also have a great dish soap and gentle home cleaing scrubs which are antibacterial with tea tree oils and are sold in reusable sustainable tins.
Theyr unscented all purpose cleaner comes in a glass bottle. They also have solid cleaning tabs which dossolve in water. They also have their cleaning products in neat little bundles so you can make a switch to zero waste cleaning products in one fell swoop.
Meliora cleaning products are certified B-Corp which means they make and sell products that are good for the earth. All their products are free from palm oil and are all non-tox and vegan too.
Blueland Cleaning Supplies
Blueland cleaning supplies are the future of clean. Their revolutionary cleaning kits have effective cleaning power, use clean ingredients, have earth friendly packaging and affordable refills.
The cleaners from blueland cleaning are all in tablet form. simply drop the table into a bottle with water and mix your cleaning solution. This is a great way to save money on shipping, and use less packaging overall. The dish soap is actually a powder and all you do is shake some onto a sponge and add water.
Basically is 20oz of powerful cleaners in a tablet the size of a Nickel. The bottles they designed are also not meant for the landfills, but are made to be refilled over and over and over again.
All products are made without any triclosan, parabens, phosphates, ammonia, VOCs, chlorine bleach, phthalates. Certified Platinum Material Health by Cradle to Cradle, Leaping Bunny (cruelty free).
Zero Waste Cleaning Accessories
Zero waste cleaning isn’t just about purchasing cleaning products which are compostable and biodegradable, you should be using zero waste cleaning accessories also.
Plastic has a lot of negative impacts on our bodies and the oceans and many brands are making sustainable living a more realistic choice.
The tools we use to clean our homes are just as important as the cleaning products themselves. The one-time-use washcloths and plastic scrub brushes can be replaced with long-lasting biodegradable options.
Reusable Trash Can Liners:
Many households, especially those with children and larger families, use up to one garbage bag a day. That means there are a lot of plastic garbage bags in our landfills and oceans.
Reusable trash can liners can be machine washed between uses and compostable food waste bags can be tossed into the compost bin for a mess-free composting solution. If you have the newspaper delivered to your home, you can line your trash bins with it too.
Un Paper Towels:
To wipe up spills and messes, paper towels have always been a convenient choice. You can replace paper towels with unpaper towels, cotton dish cloths or sisal washcloths.
You’ll probably need something to wipe up spills with or use with your all-purpose cleaning spray. If you don’t have any old t-shirts or rags on hand, take a look at Earth Hero’s selection of UNPAPER® Towels, organic cotton dishcloths, and sisal washcloths. I really like bamboo unpaper towels or another good brand is the Marleys Monsters Unpaper Towels.
We all need a scrub brush at home and you can purchase a biodegradable scrub brush for all sorts of cleaning in your home. Look for tampico fiber bristles and beachwood handles. Most of these scrub briushes do offer replaceable heads and the handles last a long time.
You may need a few brushes in your home for dishes, bathrooms and bottles.
You can purchase a loofah that isn’t made of plastic like the ones you’ll find in most grocery stores. Sustainable loofas are effective at cleaning your body.
Reusable Spray Bottle
Reusable spray bottles are easy to source, in fact, you can purchase 4 on Amazon for just $16. If you are going to make your own cleaning solution or shop on refill cleaning solutions from the vendors mentioned above, then you should have a stash of glass spray bottles on hand. You might already have some!
If you have any plastic spray bottles from old cleaning solutions, you can reuse them as well. Keeping them out of the landfill is the goal after all.
DIY Zero Waste Cleaning Tools
Tools and Ingredients
To diy zero waste cleaning products there are some simple cleaning tools you can use.
- Glass Spray Bottles
- Microfiber Cloths or Cotton Cloths
- Toilet Brush
- Scrub Brush (Zero Waste Compostable)
Those are all the tools you need to make your own cleaning products at home. Here are the ingredients you need to make your own cleaning products at home, Most of these can be purchased in bulk, and you might already have many of these at home.
- Baking Soda
- Dish Soap (Blue Dawn is the best)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Essential Oils (Optional)((Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus)
DIY Zero Waste Kitchen Cleaners
Here are all the kitchen cleaners you can make with the ingredients and tools I listed above.
All Purpose Cleaner
All-purpose cleaners are great for many things, especially quick dusting, a swipe of the countertops in the kitchen and a great solution for washing down the dining table after dinner. It works on many surfaces, but it’s not always the best option for all surfaces.
Ingredients: Dish soap, water, essential oils (optional)
Mix 1tsp of dish soap and 2cups of water into a glass spray bottle. Add 5-10 drops of essential oils to make your solution smell nice. Eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender have antibacterial properties in them as well.
To clean tiles on your backsplash or the floor you can use this tile cleaner.
Ingredients: Vinegar, filtered water, essential oils (optional). Eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender have antibacterial properties in them a well.
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup of filtered water and add 5-10 drop of essential oils to a spray bottle.
Spray, let sit for 10 seconds and wipe up with a microfiber or cotton cloth.
Granite Countertop Cleaner
In my guide of what not to clean with vinegar, granite is one of the top things on the list. Acid can weaken the surface of any stone which is why lemon juices and vinegars should be avoided on granite countertops.
Ingredients: Dish soap, rubbing alcohol, water, essential oils (optional). Eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender have antibacterial properties in them as well.
Mix 1 tsp of dish soap with 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 cup of water into a spray bottle. Add 5-10 drops of essential oils. Spray liberally and wipe with a microfiber or cotton cloth.
Stainless Steel Sink
You should be cleaning your stainless steel sink after every dinner and large kitchen clean.
Ingredients: Baking Soda, Dish Soap, Water.
Sprinkle baking soda liberally in the sink. Add a few drops of dish soap. Scrub with a gentle scrub brush or a sponge. Rinse away the dirt and cleaners.
You’ll need lemons and water to clean the microwave.
Fill a microwave-safe bowl ( I like Pyrex) with water and lemon slices and turn the microwave on for 5 minutes. Let the bowl sit inside the microwave until it cools a little bit. The steam should loosen the grime and you should be able to wipe the microwave clean.
Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel appliances are pretty, but they sure do get grimy fast! Use this simple cleaning solution to keep it shiny and clean.
Ingredients: Vinegar, Water, Mineral Oil.
Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of water in a spray bottle and use a microfiber or cotton cloth to wipe down your appliance. Polish the appliance with mineral oil and a microfiber cloth. You can also use olive oil if you don’t have mineral oil.
To clean a wood table you can use the all purpose spray followed by a polish with mineral or olive oil.
Ingredients: Vinegar, Water, Olive Oil (or mineral oil)
Mix 2 tbsp vinegar and 4 cups of water in a spray bottle. Clean your table with the spray solution and wipe clean with a cloth. Wipe the table down with mineral oil to make it shine.
DIY Zero Waste Bathroom Cleaners
You can use the all purpose spray to clean your bathroom counters if you like, but here are some diy zero waste bathroom cleaners for the rest of the bathroom.
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
You should be wiping your toilet down daily, but to do a deep clean you can use this toilet bowl cleaner recipe.
Ingredients: Baking soda, vinegar, essential oils.
First, you’re going to want to give the toilet a fresh flush and sprinkle baking soda along the walls. Wait for 5 minutes and then scrub the toilet with a toilet brush. Rinse off the toilet bowl with vinegar and continue brushing off any harsh stains. Flush away the solution and dry off your toilet brush by resting it on the toilet for a few minutes.
To clean your bathroom mirrors you can use the all purpose cleaner as well!
Ingredients: Water, vinegar, essential oils (optional).
Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto the mirror. Wipe away with unpaper towels or a microfiber cloth.
Tub and Shower
An easy way to clean the bathtub and shower without scrubbing is to use dish soap and vinegar.
Ingredients: Dish soap, vinegar.
Heat 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of dish soap in the microwave for 30 seconds and place into a spray bottle. spray the solution all over the bathtub and let it sit for 30 minutes. You should be able to just rinse off all the grime without any scrubbing.
Remember to avoid vinegar on natural stones.
DIY Zero Waste Floor Cleaner
You can make floor cleaners at home too and stay zero waste in the cleaning department.
Wood, Laminate, Tile, Stone Floor Cleaner
Ingredients: Hot water and dish soap.
You shouldn’t use vinegar on wood floors as that can cause damage. Simply use 1 cup of water and a tablespoon of dish soap in a bucket and use a spin mop to clean your floors.
- 1 tsp Blue Dawn Dish Soap
- 1/4 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1/3 cup Baking soda
- A Microfiber Cloth
- A Cleaning toothbrush
Mix together dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda in a bowl. Add the mixture onto the dirty grout and wait 10 minutes. Scrub away or rinse off the dirt.
Zero Waste Cleaning Without Paper Towels
Paper towels are so convenient and it can be hard to switch to a perpless kitchen. The truth is, it’s not much harder!
All you need to do is keep a roll of unpaper towels and a spot in your kitchen, such as a bin under the sink, where they go when they are dirty. You can wash them as usual and then re-use them again and again and again.
Try any of these unpaper towel options:
Sustainable Product Guidelines To Follow
Zero waste means trying products and companies which use thoughtful and minimal packaging with no plastic and disposible materials.
Finding these cleaning products can be tough. Especially when we see so many eco friendly cleaning products out there but they aren’t zero waste. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is eco friendly, but it comes in a plastic bottle which makes it not suitable for a sustainable lifestyle.
Ingredients and manufacturing also comes to mind when looking for sustainable products. Here are the things I was looking at when creating my list of zero waste cleaning products for you.
Non-Toxic: Many cleaning products are toxic and have chemicals in them which are harmful to our bodies. Cleaning your home shouldn’t be the reason why you suffer from asthma and possibly cancer. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to get your home clean, as you can see from my comprehensive list of DIY zero waste cleaning products and many of those products are food-grade safe. I look for products that are made from non-toxic ingredients so they can keep our bodies and the environment safe.
Vegan: I prefer to find products which are vegan and cruelty free simply because its the humane thing to do. Animals should not be hurt when it comes to products in your home.
Palm Oil: Palm oil is a huge cause of deforestation and the workers on the deforestation projects are not compensated fairly, so I like to avoid palm oil al together. Unfortunately, it is super difficult to avoid it, so if you do see palm oil ingredients, go with RSPO certified palm oil as it is a more sustainable choice.
Ethical Manufacturing: Products which come from fair trade channels are always the better choice Any brand which donates profits and partners with charitable organizations should be supported.
What you should know about plastic pollution
Here is a super quick run down on plastic pollution. There is an entire garbage truck full of plastic dumped into our oceans every minute and nearly all plastic that has ever been produced still exists today. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.
Not to mention the tens of thousands of marine animals which are killed yearly from plastic bag litter.
Plastic isn’t just dangerous to animals and oceans it is also dangerous for humans. Exposure to plastic can impact pregnancy, fertility and increases the risk of cancer.
Long story short, plastic bad.
How can you avoid plastic, and reduce plastic pollution?
To avoid plastic and reduce the plastic pollution you can start with zero waste cleaning products! You can also try these things:
- Replace plastic bottles and single-use cups with reusable mugs
- Use glass instead of plastic
- Use cloth reusable grocery bags
- Don’t use plastic straws
- Bring your travel mug with you when purchasing coffee in the drive-thru
- Bring travel utensils with you when you eat out
Zero Waste Cleaning Made Easy
As you can see you don’t need a lot of money to switch to zero waste cleaning products in your home, especially if you go with DIY cleaning solutions. You can fill your pantry with sustainable cleaning products for a small amount of money, and most of those cleaning product’s actually last longer than the traditional cleaners you find in the grocery stores.
Avoid the use of plastic in your home and choose zero waste cleaning products.