Plastic free cleaning tips

Plastic free cleaning tips

Plastic free cleaning tips

Spring is my favourite time of year to get organised for the year ahead. The fresh air and sun filled days help to make chores like cleaning, decluttering, and mending enjoyable and fun.

We stock up on most of our house cleaning ingredients and supplies throughout the year but try to do a large refill during spring when we do a deep clean of the house.

Our cleaning products are purchased from stores that offer bulk options to help us reduce plastic and be part of the refill revolution. We take used empty bottles and containers to the store and refill, then decant into the spray bottles we have been reusing at home. This small change has helped save hundreds of plastic bottles.

Victoria Market Soapbox has almost everything we need to keep our house clean. Customers can bring in their own empty containers and fill up on liquid castile soap, dishwashing detergent, laundry powder, disinfectant, window cleaner, toilet cleaner, wool wash, and an array of unpackaged blocks of soap.

Keeping essential oils and naturally scented candles in the house is a gentle way to refresh and invigorate a space at any time of year and if you are keen on DIY cleaning recipes there are some oils like clove, lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus that are handy to have. Learn more about oils at Inner Essentials at Queen Vic Market.

Vinegar is my favourite household cleaning ingredient. In my house you will find a couple of jars filled with lemon, orange and even mandarin peels soaking in vinegar. Not only does citrus peel mask vinegar’s smell, the oils from the fruit skins contain D-limonene, a good chemical, giving an extra boost to the vinegar to really cut through stove-top grease. Here is my recipe for scrappy citrus vinegar.

Scrappy Citrus Vinegar Recipe

Half-fill an empty jar with orange or lemon or mandarin peel scraps. Top up the jar with white vinegar, put the lid on and let it sit in a dark place for 6 weeks. Strain and use as you would cleaning vinegar.

If you are needing new cleaning cloths and brushes now is a good time to make the swap to products made of natural materials. Cleaning and dishwashing cloths made of cotton or hemp are more eco-friendly as they can break down in the home compost at the end of use. They also hold up better in the washing machine when they need to be cleaned. There are pot scrubbers made of coconut coir and natural fibre bristles with wooden handles that will last longer than plastic and won’t scratch pots and pans.

Most of the options at supermarkets are synthetics made of plastic. Each time they are used plastic microfibres are washed down the drain and into our waterways. These tiny plastics enter the food chain and disrupt the environment. When plastics of any size get into the ocean, it becomes a magnet for other manmade chemicals. Because the plastics are so small, fish ingest them and sadly the chemicals work the way up the food chain until they are on our plates.

Cleaning and caring for our homes and the stuff within is important to me and being able to clean plastic free make is better. By looking after our belongings we put value into the time, energy, resources that went into making them and hopefully extending their life, having it forever or passing it on to someone else who will find it useful.

Written by Queen Vic Market Sustainability Ambassador Erin Rhoads. Keep up to date with Erin by following her on Instagram.

Image credit: David Hannah

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