Cleaning

11 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tools Your Home Will Thank You For

From reusable paper towels to bamboo dusters.

March 27, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


Like most people, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and disinfecting lately (yes, there’s a difference between the two). Aside from copious handwashing, the daily routine in my household now involves wiping down phone screens, laptop keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, and car steering wheels on a regular basis. We also disinfect any packages, grocery cart handlebars, and, on occasion, even the bottom of our shoes.

That said, I’m mindful that some of the chemicals I’m using are not necessarily great for the environment. I’m currently following the EPA’s recommendations on which products are effective against the novel coronavirus, and while I haven’t seen many green options, I’ve been using the ones they recommend (if I have them on hand) to help keep my home safe.

But even if the sprays, wipes, and cleaning liquids I’m using aren’t necessarily earth-friendly, the actual cleaning tools I use can be. So I did a deep dive on eco-friendly cleaning implements—from reusable kitchen cloths to bamboo dusters— that can help you maintain cleanliness while still keeping the planet in mind.


11 Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tools

1. Reusable Paper Towel Roll (Food52)

$32 for 3

Anyone else going through paper towels lightning-fast right now? You can use these sheets for a week, and when you’re done they are totally compostable.

2. Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Kitchen Sponges (Green Ocean Co.)

$8 for 3

These plant-fiber sponges are a great alternative to the typical plastic kind. They’re totally biodegradable and compostable, too.

3. Organic Waffle Kitchen Towels (Coyuchi)

$48 for 6

These super-absorbent cotton towels are fully machine washable. Plus, they are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which means they are made with environmental and social responsibility in mind.

Photo by Coyuchi

4. Plant-Based Cleaning Brush Set (Ecozoi)

$27

These gorgeous brushes, made from sisal and coconut fibers, can be used on everything from dishes to produce. Plus, they’re durable—the company estimates you can use each brush several hundred times before you need to replace them.

5. Five Two Wool Dryer Balls (Food52)

From $20

If you’re doing a lot of laundry nowadays, these dryer balls can cut down on the drying time. The balls are made of 100 percent New Zealand wool, and come in extremely chic colors.

6. Refillable Glass Cleaning Spray Bottle (Amazon)

$16

If you typically rely on spray cleaners that come in plastic bottles, consider mixing up your own sprays, and decanting them into glass bottles you can use over and over again.

7. Reusable Pot Scrubbers (Food52)

$32 for 5

These handmade nylon pot scrubbers can be tossed in the washing machine once they get dirty. They’re a great alternative to steel wool, which can get rusty or super gunky.

8. Reusable Kitchen Cloth (Trader Joe's)

Prices Vary

These multi-purpose cleaning clothes are actually great for dusting or cleaning the floor. You can wash and reuse them, and cut them into smaller pieces for various cleaning jobs.

9. Ring Vegetable Brush (The Container Store)

$5

This vegetable brush, made from bamboo and a combo of natural and recycled bristles, is perfect for (gently) scrubbing down fresh produce before you get cooking.

Photo by The Container Store

10. Washable Bamboo Fleece Duster (Package-Free Shop)

$38

Banish dust with this surprisingly cute duster that just so happens to be made from natural, 100 percent compostable materials. You can remove the cotton-and-bamboo dusting attachment from the handle and machine wash as needed.

11. Beach House Candle (Sky Candle Co.)

$28

Ok, so while a candle isn’t strictly a cleaning product, you can keep your home smelling great with this soy wax candle that is both biodegradable and renewable.

Photo by Sky Candle Co.

What's your go-to cleaning tool? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains items independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases.

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Nina is a writer, editor, and enthusiastic home cook in New York City.

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