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3 sustainable cleaning ideas for your zero-waste home

  • 4 min read
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Written by Chloe Taylor

Marketing Executive

It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to committing to the big spring clean, so it is best to always start off small. Try the pantry or kitchen cupboards first to get you into the spring swing.

The best eco-friendly household products can be the ones made by you

We found that the main ingredient to a sustainable spring clean can usually be found living in your kitchen: lemons! That is right, lemons not only possess antiseptic but also, antibacterial properties and they are a natural deodorizer.

group of lemons cut up

Using those loose lemons, you can make your own chemical-free cleaner. Not only is it cost-effective, but you won’t need to worry about finding the right one in the shops.

Making a chemical-free cleaner is not only natural but you can customise it with scents that suit you.

Here is a step-by-step on how to make a standard all-purpose solution:

  1. Mix 1-part vinegar to 1-part water in a glass spray bottle (plastic may occasionally react with essential oils, so it is important that the container is made of glass)
  2. Add in 8-10 drops of your favourite essential oil
  3. You can additionally pop in some citrus peels to the above mix to give it that extra cleaning power

You can use your home-made solution to clean stove stops, the microwave, and other small appliances. And if you have any left-over lemons or lemon peels do not throw them away.

Instead, you can use them to freshen up your home by simmering the peels in water on the stovetop, to create a natural air freshener. You can even sanitize your chopping boards with just one slice of lemon.

A sustainable wardrobe declutter

What might be fashionable comes and goes but living a zero-waste life can promise long-term benefits. Textiles such as clothes can often be one of the most wasteful items, as they generally are not able to be recycled and are usually disposed of amongst general waste.

It can be easy to feel you should dispose of items if they are well worn, may have a hole or two, or you just no longer wear them.

Before you think about throwing them away, here are a few ideas on what you can do with them instead:

  1. Grab the needle and the thread and fix those small holes, there are quick guides online and it won’t take more than 10 minutes to do.
  2. Unwanted or worn items can be used to make rags. This way you are repurposing something you once loved by cutting them into squares or rectangles to make cloth rags, a perfect addition to a zero-waste spring clean. 
  3. If some clothes are still in good wearable condition, they can be sorted and packed into a box ready for donation at your local charity shop or clothing bank If you have other items around the home from furniture to appliances, consider donating them to your local Reuse Network

Buy eco-friendly or zero waste products if you need to make new purchases

The first thing’s first, is getting to grips with ditching the plastic. You may not realise how much packaging you use and throw away. Often at supermarkets fruit and vegetables are packed up in multiple bits of plastic. 

  • Make sure you grab reusable shopping bags when doing the weekly food shop and avoid unnecessary extra packaging (e.g. you don’t need to put your vegetables in the plastic bags) wherever you can will help make all the difference.
  • In some areas, zero-waste shops are starting to become available, giving people the chance to purchase refillable versions of household items. Check out The Zero Waste Network to find your local Zero Waste Shop.

Often, the need to buy something new cannot be avoided. So, after turning those pre-loved t-shirts into cleaning cloths, you will still need new t-shirts to wear. Buying from charity shops, small local businesses, not-for-profit organisations or even online - these methods of purchasing can be an eco-friendly and less expensive alternative to buying fast-fashion and often many items are in ‘new and unworn’ conditions.

As part of our spring-cleaning guides, we are here to provide you with some of our top tips on how to get your home ready for spring, why not check out our blog on eco cleaning tips for the home, here