In the spirit of sustainability, here’s how you can start switching to more eco-friendly cleaning products at home.
So you’ve begun your zero-waste journey in life—congratulations! Banning straws and bringing your own recyclable cloth bags to the grocery store is only just the beginning. But beyond metal straws, there are many other ways that you can live a more sustainable life, including investing in eco-friendly cleaning products.
You’d be surprised at how easy it is to find eco-friendly cleaning products now. More brands have been created by conscious people for conscious people, all in the spirit of saving the world. You, too, can do your share by becoming a part of this movement!
But what exactly defines eco-friendly cleaning products, you ask? Essentially, these products don’t contain chemicals that are not only harmful to us when ingested, but also contribute to indoor air pollution.
Most eco-friendly cleaning products are made out of natural or plant-based ingredients that are equally as effective in cleaning your home. But more than just nature-friendly ingredients, it’s also the packaging that it comes in. Thanks to these people creating eco-friendly cleaning products, they’ve also taken into account the sustainability factor of the packaging design. Expect bottles made out of reusable plastic, glass, and even downsized plastic packaging.
Excited to start your journey in using eco-friendly cleaning products? Here are a few of our recommended ones:
1. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
Look up home remedies for cleaning agents and baking soda is likely a very popular ingredient on that list. For good reason, too. It’s a great cleaning agent because it’s a mild alkali and allows dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for the best removal effect. When not fully dissolved, it’s mildly abrasive and can lift dirt easily, similar to a scouring powder.
However, it’s generally a gentle cleaning agent, which makes it perfect for materials such as glass, chrome, steel, plastic, and enamel surfaces. Because it’s also a naturally-occurring ingredient, it’s safe for use around kids and pets.
Nonetheless, some people might find baking soda alone to be a little too gentle on certain stains. For that, you can use brands such as Meliora Cleaning Products, specifically the Meliora Cleaning Products Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub. It has a refreshing scent of tea tree and peppermint and gives an extra kick to your cleaning process.
2. Pure castile soap
Another ingredient that comes up a lot when people search for eco-friendly cleaning remedies is pure castile soap. Those who enjoy making their own handmade soaps might recognise this as its base ingredient. It’s a versatile, vegetable-based soap that is natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Among the plant ingredients used to make pure castile soap are coconut, castor, avocado, walnut, and almond oils. Pure castile soap can be used to clean dirty dishes, acts as a window cleaner as well as an all-purpose household cleaner, a laundry detergent, and more. Basically, it has plenty of uses.
Dr. Bronner’s is a popular brand choice for eco-friendly cleaning products, and they have a wide variety of Pure Castile Soap fragrances. The best part? It’s made with organic and certified fair-trade ingredients and packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.
3. Citric acid
Citric acid, or orange peel, is very often used in eco-friendly home cleaning products because of its ability to cut grease. Plus points for it being naturally solvent. Other than cutting grease, citric acid also kills bacteria, mould, and mildew.
For those living in areas of the world that have hard water, it’s a great cleaning agent to get rid of hard water stains, limescale, and rust. In addition to that, citric acid also serves as a preservative in most cleaning solutions.
This local Malaysian brand, Ecominim, produces several eco-friendly cleaning products, including this Concentrated Powder Detergent that smells super minty. It’s low-sud in nature and is extremely concentrated, so you only need one small scoop per wash.
It may smell funky, but vinegar is yet another useful eco-friendly cleaning agent. But it’s thanks to its funky, sour property that makes it such a good cleaning agent. There are several types of vinegar, but white vinegar seems to be the most potent cleaning agent of them all. However, it might actually be a little too strong for certain types of cleaning. For that, you only need to dilute it with water and you’re good to go.
Thanks to its acidic property, vinegar is great for counteracting build-ups such as soap scum, hard water stains, and sticker glue. When you dilute vinegar in water, it makes for a good solution to clean windows, mirrors, and wood panels and it gives them a great shine.
White House Foods Cleaning Vinegar is a great eco-friendly option for floor cleaning. One plus point is that it comes in a soothing lavender scent, which takes off the edge of vinegar especially if you’re not fond of the originally sour scent.
5. Luffa sponge
How often do you change your dishwashing or bathroom cleaning soap sponges? Pretty often, on hindsight. Regular man-made sponges break down pretty easily, and they’re not exactly made of the best eco-friendly materials. All that can change if you switch over to natural luffa (or loofah) sponges.
You might recognise these for bath loofahs, but did you know that you could also use them to replace your dishwashing sponges and bathroom cleaning sponges? They’re 100% natural, which means that when you’re done using them, you can just bury them in the earth and they will degrade naturally. In a few months, they will break down and be absorbed back into the earth.
Written by Peony Chin