Summer is upon us and for a lot of people that means moving out and cleaning up! I am going to be helping a friend move out of her apartment this month which means making her place look spotless in hopes of getting her deposit back. My first concern when it comes to cleaning is all the chemicals that most people use. Luckily, this friend of mine supports my zero waste efforts and plans to use zero waste cleaning products that won’t put our health at risk.
There are many zero waste cleaning supplies that you can make at home! I am going to be sharing some of the staple recipes I use when I clean. FYI, vinegar is about to become your best friend.
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 glass spray bottle
- 10-20 drops of essential oil (my favorite is eucalyptus)
Just add all of these liquids into that glass spray bottle, spray it onto the dirty surface and wipe it off with a rag which can be created using a repurposed old t-shirt.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide
That’s it! Let soak for 30 minutes in your toilet bowl, then scrub with a zero waste toilet bowl brush and voila!
- 1 2/3 cups of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of liquid castile soap
- 1/2 cup of water
Mix these well and store in an airtight container like this jar. This concoction is really good for the bathtub or shower, tiles, grout, and sinks! You can reuse an old toothbrush to clean things like grout. Check out my article on toothbrushes to find alternatives for those too!
Glass and Window Cleaner
- Equal parts vinegar and water
- 1 glass spray bottle
Super simple. I recommend wiping with rags than paper products!
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 15-20 drops of essential oil
Combine ingredients and use a soft cloth when cleaning your wood surfaces.
- 3 tablespoons shredded unscented bar soap (preferably from a cardboard box)
- 1 teaspoon washing soda
- 15 drops essential oil of choice
- 2 cups water
Use a cheese grater to grate soap then heat water in a pot and add shredded soap. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in washing soda until dissolved. Cover and leave mixture for several hours or overnight. If your soap becomes too solid, blend it with a hand blender or in a blender. Add essential oil and stir.
I kept the cleaning recipes super simple, especially for first timers! Either way, I understand that making your own cleaning supplies can feel like a daunting task. If you’re not ready to tackle DIY recipes for zero waste cleaning supplies, that’s okay too! There are some companies that sell greener or zero waste cleaning products in recyclable containers. With a bit of research you can find a company that suits your preferences.
I linked a few products from a company called Biome in Australia whose vision is to empower people with access to carefully-vetted choices that make a difference. Feel free to check their site for green cleaning sprays that are already prepared or look into their DIY kit to help you get started making your own!
I will definitely be using these recipes when helping my friend move out and I’ll feel good knowing that the next person who lives there won’t be exposed to toxins because of us. Good luck to those moving out and happy zero waste cleaning!