The Sustainability Series: Turning your Kitchen Cleaning Routine Zero Waste

Now this is where it truly gets a bit more challenging – turning your cleaning zero waste. It is hard to be completely zero waste when it comes to cleaning, as accessibility and affordability really comes into play with this one, but I like to think I have compiled some easy swaps to make your routine a little different and more environmentally conscious.

I personally like to think that these products are investments. Yes, at the time, they are expensive and do require a bit of a purchase to begin with. But, you won’t need to purchase some of them ever again in your lifetime (if you take good care of them that is,) which is pretty cost effective overall. Some of these also come with the price of the reusable bottle, so bear that in mind when purchasing zero waste.

  • SWAP: Kitchen roll for a reusable one

This one is fairly simple, if you’re sick of getting to the end of the roll and having to use sponges to mop up the messes, invest in an eco-friendly alternative to never run out again. Now, these can get a bit expensive. Personally, I wanted ones with clasps so I could make it into a roll, but you can order so it comes without which makes it around five pounds cheaper. I bought mine from Etsy, and they came to £25.00 and I’ve found them to be super absorbent and really easy to clean in the wash.

  • REPLACE: Multipurpose Cleaner

This one may be a little harder to find, especially if you live in the depths of the countryside. But, if you can find a zero-waste shop in your area, you’ll be set for a while. I purchased a reusable spray bottle and filled it up on the day. This bottle, bear in mind, was humongous, and I don’t think I would run out anytime soon so wouldn’t need a refill for a long time. With the bottle it came to around £2.90, but refilling would be less since I wouldn’t need to buy the bottle again.

  • REPLACE: Dish Soap

This one I was actually a little sceptical over. I’ve been a huge fan of fairy washing up liquid over the years due to its longevity, and its ability to clean effectively. With the refillable one, I was shocked by how much I loved it. Again, you’ll have to find your nearest zero-waste store, and I again had to buy another bottle since I didn’t have one before, but I was blown away by the quality. So. Many. Suds! And it did an amazing job at washing up too, this one came to £3.50 with a reusable bottle, so without the bottle and just for the liquid, came to around 75p.

  • REPLACE: Sponges

As a household without a dishwasher, washing up has become the bane of our existence and we go through sponges faster than ever and the plastic we produce from this is immense. So, I finally took the plunge and purchased sponges made from natural biodegradable fabric. Apparently, these are supposed to outlive any measly fabric sponges and stay fresh for longer. They are pretty absorbent and do the job well, but I will keep you updated on how they handle life over time. Not to mention they have a rougher side and a softer side to make tough cleaning easier. They were £3.00 for two, but I can see them lasting longer than your average sponge.

  • REPLACE: Scrubber brush

Now this can be used for multiple different uses, such as vegetable scrubber and pot scouring pad, and is made out of natural bamboo fibres and a wooden handle. This makes it completely compostable should I need to get a new one in a few years’ time. It honestly works really well and is super easy to clean, so has been a great swap from using disposable scouring pads my whole life.  

Published by Heather Dalgleish

21-year-old journalism student. Author and illustrator for In Full Bloom Magazine

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