How can I clean my home without using plastic?

Cleaning the home without plastic? When you look at the rows and rows of plastic-bottled products in the cleaning aisle of a supermarket it might seem like an impossible idea. But over time, I have managed to virtually eradicate plastic from my cleaning routine.

I admit it is not always easy to change the shopping habits of a lifetime or ignore the “science” used in advertising. It can be hard to resist their messages. Sometimes we mindlessly pick up familiar cleaning products that we have used without thinking of the harm they may cause to the environment.

So how have I done it?

First I searched for products that had plastic free packaging but I also wanted products that were toxin free, made from natural materials and preferably locally produced.

I decided that solid cleaning bars were the way to go. They come in a paper wrapper – no plastic in sight! They are lightweight and small so take up less space in your cupboard too (and unlike conventional cleaning products there is very little water used thus reducing transport costs- financial and environmental). 

I have tried many different ones and my current favourites are made by Planet Detox, a UK company. The bars are made from natural minerals and essential oils. They are free from SLS, palm oil and parabens. They are antibacterial and antiseptic. And they smell amazing! So they tick all the boxes.

I use three different bars- dish washingkitchen cleaning and bathroom cleaning. Here’s how I use the kitchen and bathroom bars:

  • Wet a cloth with hot water 
  • I use Circle A Heart cloths – they are 100% cotton and handmade in the Scottish Borders
  • Wet the surface to be cleaned
  • Rub the surface with the bar (if you rub the bar on the cloth, the bar is more likely to get soggy)
  • Scrub with the cloth and rinse off
  • Enjoy the wonderful scent of tea tree and eucalyptus or lemon and thyme

I have previously written a guide to plastic free washing up. For this, I use a dishwashing bar, bamboo pot scrapercoconut dish scourer and cotton cloths. 

So as you can see, the actual process of cleaning is straightforward and I am very happy with the results. With the added bonus of the amazing smell of Planet Detox products. Most importantly it is all done without plastic bottles and without the microplastics from sponges or microfibre cloths. 

If you are happier using a spray bottle, you might consider refilling your bottles in a zero waste store or even making your own cleaning products.

Remember, each small action can make a big difference if enough of us make the changes. Why not give it a go?

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