Like many people, I’ve been cleaning and disinfecting a lot these last two years (and yes, there’s a difference). In addition to hand washing, masking, and social distancing as recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, my new routine also involves regularly wiping down phone screens, laptop keyboards, doorknobs, and light switches to keep general germs at bay. Once you start reading about bacteria, it becomes the only thing on your mind.
While certain products like hand sanitizer or wipes require a specific amount of chemicals and surfactants to be effective, others like kitchen cloths and mop heads don’t. From washable cloths and bamboo dusters to compostable sponges and trash bags, here are 10 eco-friendly cleaning products that can help you produce less waste and become more sustainable—all while you clean.
1. Easily Greener Swiffer Sweeper Compatible Microfiber Mop Pads,
Several of us on the Home52 team use their Swiffer on everything—floors, baseboards, walls, and even ceilings. It's just so handy for dust bunnies and hair, but the disposable sheets aren't exactly sustainable for the environment—or our wallets. These washable mop pads make it easy to keep using our Swiffers in a more eco-friendly and economical way.
2. AYOTEE Small Trash Bags, $12.89
While not a cleaning product per se, these compostable trash bags come in handy every night when I take out the garbage. They're on the small side, which I appreciate because it's a visual reminder to create less waste.
3. If You Care Reusable Paper Towel Roll, $32 for 3
For anyone who thinks they can't quit paper towels, these are a more sustainable (and truly functional!) solution. You can use these absorbent sheets for up to a week, and when you’re done, they can be composted.
4. AIRNEX Biodegradable Natural Kitchen Sponge,
Made from coconut fibers and plant-based cellulose, these hardy sponges have lasted me way longer than traditional ones and I love that they're compostable after they've done their service, too.
5. Coyuchi Organic Waffle Kitchen Towels, $48-$58
These super-absorbent cotton towels are fully machine washable. Plus, they're certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which means they're made with environmental and social responsibility in mind.
6. Holikme Drill Brush Power Scrubber, $9.95
This power drill cleaning brush is endlessly reusable and has replaced many grimy cleaning sponges in my house. And since the drill does all the work, I no longer have to throw my body weight into scrubbing out mold and mildew in the bathroom, so it's a win-win for everyone.
7. Five Two Wool Dryer Balls, $36-$70
If you’re doing a lot of laundry, these dryer balls can cut down on the drying time (thereby cutting down on electricity use) and with some added essential oils, can totally replace single-use dryer sheets. The balls are made of 100 percent New Zealand wool, and come in extremely chic colors.
8. Sally's Organics Glass Spray Bottle,
If you typically rely on spray cleaners that come in plastic bottles, consider mixing your own sprays, and decanting them into glass bottles you can use over and over again.
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.
10. The Container Store Ring Vegetable Brush, $5.99
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.
Banish dust with a 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.
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