7 easy swaps for tools for a plastic free cleaning routine

7 easy swaps for tools for a plastic free cleaning routine

Tracey Banks

Now you’ve got your essential ingredients you will need the basic tools to work with. They are simple swaps that minimizes plastic usage from your cleaning routine which in turn will help reduce plastic in landfill as well as the number of microplastics that get washed down the sink.  

Here's some natural, organic, compostable or at least reused alternatives for the plastic and disposable collection in your cupboards:

natural sponges

Sponges are a very useful but problematic tool. Most cleaning sponges are made of plastic, meaning that as the material degrades, microplastics escape down the drain and into the environment. e.g. a loofah sponge is as an ideal cleaning tool for both washing dishes and general surface cleaning for two reasons: its sponge-like texture is absorbent and easy to use with liquids and its rough surface efficiently scrubs away hard-to-remove stains.

natural brushes

choose washing up, dish, bottle and toilet brishes made using eco-friendly, plastic free materials that are natural, sustainable and compostable.

natural cloths

natural materials like cotton, wood pulp, bamboo, are more durable, they last longer and are a great swap from synthetic fibres - no more micro-plastics being washed down our drains & into our oceans; if they are 100% organic then they are 100% compostable - less plastic rotting and leaching in landfill.

metal wool

Need a rougher texture to scour pots and pans? Use a metal wool. Steel scrubs clean the toughest messes effortlessly and most often without any cleaning product at all - simply soak the stain in water and scrub. Save money on specialty (often toxic) stove cleaners and (short-lived) green scrubbies. Since stainless steel is a ferrous metal, you can recycle it as scrap metal.

natural rubber gloves

choose natural rubber household gloves that are reusable, made from 100% latex and contain no fillers - better still go for gloves that are made with fairly traded rubber from a responsibly managed plantation, lined with 100% natural cotton from renewable sources.

empty refill bottles

rinse and reuse bought plastic spray/pump bottles that still have life in them or replace with reusable glass refill bottles


an essential piece of equipment for refilling bottles - opt for a recyclable metal one over plastic

old toothbrushes

sterilise head in hot water & vinegar then use for cleaning plug holes and the hard to reach crevices like in between tap handles - reuse plastic ones taking care to stop before it starts to shed bits, then reuse your bamboo ones with no fear of microplastic pollution reprisal!

old fabric/clothes

reuse and repurpose cotton fabrics as rags for cleaning and polishing. Dusting can often be accomplished easily with an old sock worn in your hand.

guppy bags / cora ball

there are an estimated 1.4 million trillion microfibers in the ocean, and every time we wash our synthetic clothes we add to this number. Microplastics harm marine life and  end up on our plates in our fish dinners through the aquatic food chain.

trap microfibres being released in the wash with one of these: Guppyfriend is an innovative laundry bag that is scientifically proven to protect your clothes and filter microfibres, stopping them from entering our oceans. Inspired by the way the coral filters the ocean, the Cora Ball collects microfibres into a fuzz that can then be peeled off and disposed of properly. 

woolen dryer balls

wool dryer balls shorten drying time, soften and fluff fabric, and reduce static in a tumble dryer. They help bed sheets stay untangled during the drying process as well as keep pet hair off of clothes. They are all-natural, with no synthetic fibres or chemicals used. 

tools ready? put them to use with your plastic free refills or your homemade DIY green cleaning recipes.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published