Walk through any major store and you’ll see an overwhelming amount of cleaning products available. Laden with toxic chemicals, they do the job but send terrible things down our drain and into our air. Even before zero waste, creating zero waste cleaning products was a no-brainer.
I use two for all of my needs: from bathtubs to sinks to counters to floors, these two items are multi-purpose to the extreme.
The benefits are kind of ridiculous: zero waste cleaners are much cheaper than store bought, they’re less harmful to you and the environment, and – frankly – if you pick up a cheap spray bottle second hand they’re more aesthetically pleasing!
I almost didn’t write this post because the recipes are so ridiculously simple, but I’ve seen people asking before, so I thought I’d share.
Baking soda scrub
Use for: sticky situations in the kitchen, stubborn tub scum, and any other stubborn stain or mess.
For the baking soda scrub, I fill a small jar with baking soda and add 5-10 drops of any essential oil I want. I cap the jar and shake it up to distribute the essential oils. (I generally go with something citrus, just to match the vinegar spray.)
I keep 2 of these jars around the house – one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom – so they’re easily accessible. When I’m ready to scrub, I scoop some out in my wide tablespoon and mix it with water until it’s a thick paste. Then I toss it on my rage and scrub away, adding more as needed.
NB: I use Plant Guru essential oils which I’ve found are both cheap and strong. When I bought them, they came in a recyclable cardboard package.
Citrus vinegar spray
Use for: counters, sinks, tubs, or mirrors/windows with some newspaper. I also use it as a closet refresher.
I generally start by buying vinegar from the bulk section when possible. (If you’re in Indianapolis, Fresh Thyme has bulk vinegar options.) I fill a Mason jar with vinegar and then add in ‘flavors’ to make the vinegar smell more palatable. I honestly don’t mind it, but my husband loathes the vinegar smell so in goes the extras.
Some of my favorite options are:
- lemon or orange rinds
- leftover ginger butts
- basil or mint
Most recipes say to almost fill the jar with the desired infusion, but I usually use a lot less and have found the vinegar smell gets masked just as effectively. I let the infusion sit for about two weeks, strain, and then pop it into an old spray bottle. My ratio is one part vinegar to two parts water.
Have you ever DIY-ed your own zero waste cleaning products? What recipe did you use? Was it effective? Share your experiences in the comments below!