Cleaning and Laundry


Here's a list of ideas for your zero waste / sustainable journey. I hope this helps! As a preface:

All-purpose cleaner
  • Mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Optionally, use citrus peels to scent it. Recipe
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  • Make a bleach alternative using a lemon, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, and hot water. Recipe
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Cleaning brush
  • Wooden cleaning brushes with plant fibers. At end-of-life, they can be composted.
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Dish liquid

Often sold in plastic bottles.

  • Look for bulk dish liquid in your area. Bulk Biokleen Dish Liquid at Fillgood
  • Use castile soap diluted with water. 1 cup of water + 2 tablespoons of castile soap + 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda + essential oils (optional for fragrance)
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Dishwasher detergent
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  • Hanging clothes to dry prolongs the life of your clothes while also reducing energy consumption. I air dry most of my clothes and put bulkier things like towels and sheets in the dryer since I don't have space to hang everything.
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Dryer sheets
  • These aren't really needed, and they accelerate the wearing down of clothing.
  • Use bamboo dryer balls, such as Buddah Bunz.
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Dust pan
  • There's no need to replace a plastic dust pan, but if you're shopping for one then opt for a metal dust pan
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Fabric softener
  • I haven't really needed it, and I've read it can accelerate the wearing down of clothing.
  • Some people make their own using 3 tablespoons of citric acid to 3 cups of water, which is then added 3 tablespoons (per load) to the fabric softener compartment. Or some people simply add between 1/4 to 1 cup of white distilled vinegar during the rinsing cycle.
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Hand soap
  • Castile soap diluted with tap water (1 part castile soap to 10 parts tap water)
  • I use a glass/metal foaming dispenser to extend it and make it easier to suds up. Liquid Soap Foamer from Fillgood
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Paper towels, microfiber cloths
  • Use cloth rags or "unpaper towels" and wash them with your regular loads of laundry. Unpaper Towels on Etsy. Tip: You can have a color coded system where rags of a certain color are used in the bathroom and rags of a different color are used in the kitchen. Wash them with hot water if they get super dirty and you want to thoroughly disinfect them. If you don't have enough to run a full load of hot water laundry, you can put the rags in a bowl and pour hot water on them. When the water cools off, wash them with a regular load of laundry using cold water.
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Plastic broom
  • Most people already have a plastic broom, but if you don't or yours breaks then you can get an old-fashioned compostable broom. Redecker Rice Straw Broom
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Swifter pads
  • A lot of people got suckered into buying a Swifter, so if you already own one, then opt for a reusable pad instead of buying the plastic-laden Swifter pads. Don't go run out and buy a Swifter though; you can simply use a regular mop.
  • Cut a scrap piece of fabric to the size of a pad.
  • Buy reusable cloth pads
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Tile scrub
  • Mix baking soda, castile soap, and vinegar. Recipe
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Trash can / compost liners
  • - Fold a sheet of newspaper into an origami bucket. Tutorial
    - Rinse the can out instead of using a liner
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Wet wipes
  • Make pre-moistened cleaning wipes using rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and essential oils. Store in a glass jar. Tutorial
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Window & glass cleaner
  • Spray diluted vinegar onto the surface. Rub dry with newspaper for best results. Or use a very absorbent towel.
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