Spring cleaning! the plastic free way...
Dear Planet Lovers and Eco Warriors!
It's time for another mini blog. This time about spring cleaning! Oh joy, you say! Yes, cleaning isn't my favourite either. In fact, I'd rather be cooking, reading, painting, walking or knitting, or doing anything else, if I had a choice..!
However, I love a clean home, especially as we spend so much more time within our 4 walls. So, cleaning has actually become a bit of a calm-creating exercise (yoga and a clean floor just go hand in hand), and it's no longer merely about zapping the bacteria and saying goodbye to dust bunnies.
Plastics are pretty much all-existent when it comes to most cleaning products and it has taken me quite some time to find workable plastic free and sustainable alternatives. It's no secret that cleaning agents are mostly sold in plastic bottles, but it's not just in the bottles, it is also in sponges, cleaning cloths and cleaning gloves.
Sponges, for one, have been a difficult one to source, but I am happy to report that I have found some lovely compostable plastic-free sponges made of cotton, wood pulp & flax.
Also, some cute and reuseable koala and kangaroo motif Cloths, made with 70% cellulose and 30% cotton (with water-based inks, and certified according to Oeko-Tex standard 100, machine washable at 60c). Not only do they help you clean the sustainable way, but ecoLiving gives 10% of profits relating to sales of these cloths to support NSW Wildlife Rescue Service (WIRES), helping wildlife affected by the Australia bush fires.
One of my favourites are the OceanSaver Cleaner Refill Drops, which are beyond easy to use: Add the refill pod to any empty spray bottle you have at home - as long as the bottle has been thoroughly cleaned out beforehand. Then add 750ml tap water, screw the spray-top firmly and shake to produce a strong and effective cleaner! The pods are made from PVOH which biodegrades in water into natural molecules of carbon dioxide and water, meaning a lot less plastic whilst you clean with this type of traditional cleaning product. These lovelies come in the form of Antibacterial cleaner, multipurpose cleaners, Kitchen cleaner & degreaser, and glass cleaner spray refills. More options coming soon! ...
Plus, let's not forget the humble, but so essential, latex rubber Cleaning Gloves ... Ours are sourced from responsibly managed rubber tree plantations. Needless to say, don't use these if you're allergic to latex.
...then, there are Natural cleaners ... I love that cleaning can be a low-toxins (and sustainable) affair, by using just a few natural ingredients which are available in biodegradable packaging and at bulk refill shops... for example:
(1) Descale with white (distilled cleaning) vinegar: The age-old vinegar cleaning method is hailed by many as the way ahead. I couldn't agree more :-) Use it to clean/descale your kettle (dilute it slightly and let it eat up all the limescale while it 'sits' for a few hours/overnight). Do the same with your showerheads, tap heads and taps (wrap an old facecloth or other cloth around the tap base & soak it with vinegar, let it sit for a few hours or, better yet, overnight & then wash it away with water).
(2) Create a fizz with white vinegar and bicarbonate soda... sprinkle the bicarbonate soda and spray (or pour) white vinegar on top, watch it fizz & give it a good scrub - works for sinks and bathtubs alike. Rinse it with some water afterwards - I usually also pour a glug of white vinegar down the drain at the end, for extra measure, to make sure the Bicarbonate Soda has dissolved!
(3) Disinfect a wooden chopping board with lemon and salt (1 lemon and 1-2 tablespoons of salt) - cut that lemon in half & sprinkle it with salt. Rub the salty lemon half directly on the the board to kill germs. Rinse & wash it as usual and let it dry. Compost the used lemons, if you can.
... There are so many other techniques. Let me know if you'd like some more natural cleaning tips!
PS: by white vinegar I mean the distilled white cleaning vinegar, which is not edible...
Enjoy the spring weather and sun!