October 25, 2022 3 min read

Almost all traditional cleaning products are made from single-use plastic. This non-recyclable waste ends up in landfills and the ocean, and contributes to widespread environmental breakdown and serious harm to marine life. Indeed, the common kitchen sponge can take millions of years to decompose, and is filled with microplastics that end up in our oceans and water supplies. 

Plastic aside, lots of popular cleaning products contain ammonia and bleach. Although it’s a powerful cleaning tool, bleach can form dioxins which harm aquatic, wild and human life. In the atmosphere, PlanetArk explains, bleach is also associated with urban air pollution and ozone depletion. Indeed, a 30-year study by Harvard University and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research suggests that using cleaning products just once a week could increase a person’s chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by nearly a third. 

Finding solutions to harmful single-use plastic isn’t always simple, but we’re here to help you perfect your plastic-free cleaning routine — for the better of both yours and the planet's health. 

1. Use Natural Cleaning Practises

Vinegar, salt, lemon and sodium bicarbonate are all effective natural cleaning tools. You can make an all-purpose cleaner with just white vinegar, distilled water and essential oil (for scent). Distilled vinegar is also great for cleaning windows and removing limescale from kettles, taps and other surfaces. 

Dirty oven? Simply make a paste from bicarbonate of soda and water, leave for 30 minutes, and then scrub with a brush or an old bamboo toothbrush.

Stained toilet? Leave a cup of baking soda to sit in the bowl for an hour, then add white vinegar and flush away the discolouration. Baking soda can also be used to deodorise your fridge and soft furnishings. 

Simple, affordable and plastic-free solutions.

2. Cleaning Refills 

If you're not up for making your own cleaning products, or need something more specific, eco cleaning refills are a great alternative to single-use products. You can either sign to a subscription-based refill service, or take your empties down to a local refill station to top up.

With OceanSaver Cleaner Refill Drops, for example, you pop one of their antibacterial zero-waste pods into a clean bottle filled with water, shake, and use it to clean as normal.

Another popular brand, Ecoverhas more than 650+ Refill Stations across the UK, where you can top up your ecological detergents and cleaning and laundry products. 

When you switch to refills, you will wave goodbye to the mountain of half-empty plastic bottles in your cupboard (UK households use over 70 million cleaning sprays every year!) and, instead, be faced with an organised and sustainable range of ready-to-use cleaning products. 

3. Switch to Reusable Cloths

Compostable dishcloths are a great alternative to single-use synthetic sponges or microfibre cleaning cloths. They are made from FSC® certified cellulose and waste cotton, which makes them hygienic, reusable (dishwasher and washing machine safe), and fully compostable and biodegradable. Once you are finished with the cloth, you can cut it into strips and place it in your household compost bin. 

Plastic-Free Cleaning Cloths

4. Invest in Beechwood Cleaning Tools

From your pot brush to your toilet brushthere are biodegradable alternatives to all of your favourite cleaning tools made from beechwood and coconut fibre. As Impactful Ninja explains“thanks to the carbon sequestration of living beech trees and the low transportation footprint with widely available local sources,” beechwood is a sustainable material. “The annual volume of beech harvested is currently lower than new growth, making it more sustainable than woods with a decreasing population.” 

Plastic-Free Cleaning Products

Once you have finished with your beechwood and coconut fibre brush, simply place it into your home compost and know it will leave no harm on our planet. 

If you can't find beechwood tools, bamboo is just as good. It grows super fast, and is renewable, compostable and biodegradable. Bamboo also boasts antimicrobial properties, which means it helps create a barrier between you and harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria or mould. 

And there you have it, four ways you can switch to a plastic-free cleaning routine. Got more suggestions? Leave a comment and share your thoughts below.

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Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.

Share your plastic-free swaps with us at hello@wildandstone.com or tag us on Instagram #wildandstone.


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