• Tamsin

3 DIY Cleaning Recipes For a Zero-Waste Home

Updated: Aug 4

Cleaning. You either love it or you hate it.

Either way, there’s no getting around it.

When we talk about reducing our plastic waste, there’s a huge focus on food packaging. While it may be the area we produce the most waste, it’s not necessarily the easiest to tackle for the simple reason that our society is yet to catch up with our demands for more responsible packaging.

But if there is one area that all of us can address, it’s our cleaning cupboards! Not only is switching to all-natural and eco-friendly products better for the planet, it’s also great for your wallet. Plus, it creates a minimalist space if you’re all about that craze.

So while brands spend thousands of pounds on ads to convince you that you need to buy yet another cleaning product, you can actually get away with 2-3 different items. And your home will be as spotless as ever.

White vinegar cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1 spray bottle (you can buy one here, or even better just repurpose any spray bottle you may have around the house - I use my old glass cleaning spray bottle)

  • 2 cups white vinegar

  • 2 cups water

  • ½ cup lemon juice

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a spray bottle. And voilà you have an all-purpose, all-natural cleaner.

Combining lemon juice to white vinegar helps neutralise its strong odour and makes for a great degreaser - perfect for those greasy stovetops and kitchen counters.

PS: for that extra zero-waste hack, keep the lemon peels to either give your fridge a breezy smell or in your dishwasher to give an extra clean to your dishes.

Black soap cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • Black soap

  • Water

  • Sponge (level up your zero-waste game by opting for plastic-free sponges like this one)

Black soap naturally cleanses, disinfects (to some extent) and nourishes all types of surfaces (tiles, terracotta, ceramics, marble, laminate, stainless steel). Add a bit of black soap to your sponge and start wiping down your surfaces. You can also use it to clean your cutlery and dishes.

This is the perfect cleaner for households with babies, toddlers or event pets. This natural product means that you don’t have to worry about chemicals and toxins coming into contact with your loved ones.

TIP: apply black soap to cooked on stains in your oven while it is still lukewarm. Leave overnight, then clean and rinse.

Looking for a place to get black soap? Check out this one from The Soapery, a small UK business that supports people like you and me on our low-waste journeys. I really like it for its all-natural and minimalistic composition - no faff, straight to the point ingredient list.

Baking soda cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda (stock up and reduce packaging by buying in bulk like here)

  • White vinegar (optional)

  • Water

  • Sponge

This type of cleaner is especially useful for parents of toddlers and babies. It can be used to remove crayon drawings on the walls and clean kids’ toys. All you have to do is wet your sponge, add some baking soda and start wiping down.

Baking soda and white vinegar have similar properties which is why mixing them together has limited value. But in some circumstances, like washing your drains, you’ll want to mix the two to create a strong chemical reaction (the mixture fizzes up).

Start by pouring boiling water down the drain. Then pour a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar/water mix (1:1 ratio, meaning ½ cup water and ½ cup white vinegar). Cover the drain plug and let it sit 5-10 min. Pour boiling water down the drain again. And you’re done.

Here are just 3 of my all-time favourite DIY recipes but there many more out there. If you have any other recipes that you think should be added to the list, let me know in the comments below. I'm always on the look-out for new recipes and products to test and help me on my low-waste journey x

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