Chemical-Free Cleaning 101

do-it-yourself natural sustainability sustainable swap zerowaste

Chemical-Free Cleaning 101

Have you ever been concerned about what’s in the cleaning products you’re bringing into the family home after your weekly grocery store run? Cleaning supplies are a $221 Billion industry built to market products that attempt to convince us our homes are a cesspool of bacteria. Products like these contain lyes, soaps, detergents, solvents, polishes, scrubs, and degreasers that are dangerous, unhealthy, and expensive. Below are a few items to safely and sustainably clean your home, plus, save you money while helping the environment.

-What type of cleaning products should I be using?

The most basic products in your home are the best ones to use and don’t involve toxic chemicals. Instead of buying a multitude of different products all packed in different bottles, buying the following 4 (really, three) ingredients are easy to find, cheap to buy, and fast to mix together:

  • Water
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • Distilled Vinegar

Vinegar is by far the favorite choice among many sustainable households for it’s effectiveness and safety in the family home. In the bathroom, eliminate soap scum on fixtures by soaking a rag and placing it around the deposits. Cleaning a shower head is possible too when securing a vinegar filled bag around the head. Remove both after one hour, rinse, and shine!

Vinegar mixed with baking soda also makes a great toilet bowl cleaner making it safer for when the dog decides to take a drink without you knowing! If the kitchen has chrome appliances, using Vinegar to wipe them down will leave a polished and clean surface behind and 1 tablespoon of Vinegar in 1 quart of water acts as a great glass cleaner too! 

4 tablespoons of Baking Soda mixed with 1 quart of warm water will efficiently clean all kitchen surfaces with ease. Have a spot that’s a little stronger? Sprinkle some Baking Soda directly on a damp UnSponge and scrub away! A heavy, and all over, sprinkling of Baking Soda left for 15 minutes on your carpets also acts as a deodorizer for stubborn smells. Afterwards, vacuum and repeat as necessary for stronger odors.

-So, what reusable and sustainable options can I use for wiping and cleaning surfaces?

Paper Towels are expensive and are used quickly in the home for simple tasks like drying hands, cleaning the windows, and wiping up messes when making dinner. By using cloth wipes, you’ll save money and the environment by eliminating waste. Rags, old socks, or our PaperLESS Wipes are great for cleaning surfaces without filling up your trash while emptying your wallet. After using, just toss in the wash with your towel load and use them over and over again. 

Reusable Mop Wipes/Pads are a great alternative to the famous, expensive, green handled master of waste. Load old rags or our pads, into your existing big-brand dust mop and clean away. When finished, like most sustainable products, just wash and use again!

Feeling proud about your kitchen comes easily when it smells and looks clean, but if you’ve noticed a funky odor lurking around the sink area, it’s probably your kitchen sponge. After multiple uses, a big-brand sponge will break down and release microplastics into the water and hold mildew and bacteria causing them to smell. What do you do then? Throw it away of course. Next time, try an UnSponge! It works exactly like a sponge but has the ability to be washed with your towel load and placed back on the sink.

The most important part about all this is, just start somewhere. Replace glass cleaner one month, and in the next, transition to using cloth wipes instead of paper towels. After that, start recycling! One small change a month could lead to a cleaner, greener lifestyle that feels natural and not forced. If you’re interested in receiving our guide, 12 Steps to Sustainable, please email

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