Zero-Waste Cleaning

One of the easiest zero-waste changes I have made is my cleaning routine. Once upon a time I was the one in my family that was convinced we needed the newest cleaning gadgets coupled with the newest cleaning solutions. Fast forward ten years and I have swapped gadgets and gimmicks for simpler, multi-functional cleaners. Never again will I fall prey to a product telling me it is only for use in one room in my house or that it will cut my cleaning time in half.

My cleaning stash is much smaller now a days, and the amount of time I spend cleaning has also dropped. This is partly because I have less stuff, and partly because I use the same three things (baking soda, vinegar, and a bar of soap) to clean my entire house and I love it! Not only have I saved time, but I also save money by only buying these relatively low cost items.

cleaning all three

To clean almost all of the surfaces in my kitchen and bathroom I use baking soda and a bar of soap that comes in recyclable paper packaging.

Instead of using dish washing liquid that comes in a plastic container, I use baking soda and/or a bar of soap (my favorite is Dr. Bronner’s). I currently don’t have a dishwasher so I have never needed to find an alternative soap for dishwashers.


Instead of using multiple sprays and cleaners to clean the rest of my surfaces I simply use homemade lemon vinegar, though you can use plain vinegar too. You can check out how easy it is to make lemon vinegar here.


Instead of using a fancy broom or mop with disposable pads, I use a wooden broom with a metal dustpan that I bought secondhand. When I need to mop I use a rag (if you own a mop you could totally use it) and my vinegar solution to spot clean. For larger areas I use warm water mixed with some baking soda and a rag. I use the vinegar for small areas because it’s already in a handy spray bottle ready to spot clean. I use the baking soda for larger areas simply because it’s easier to buy in bulk for me so I would rather use more of it than my vinegar. You could easily use a solution of either for cleaning your floors.

If you already have one of those store bought mops that uses disposable pads, you can still use it, but instead of putting a pad on the bottom try putting a reusable rag there instead. To secure the rag you can use rubber bands or twine.


Instead of buying toilet bowl cleaner, I use baking soda and a compostable bamboo brush.  You can also use a rag instead of buying a toilet brush. I’ve used both and they both seem to work equally well.


Using these three inexpensive ingredients I have completely changed my cleaning routine to fit into my zero-waste lifestyle. If you have any awesome zero-waste cleaning tips I would love to hear from you! You can leave your tips in the comment section below or email me at


2 thoughts on “Zero-Waste Cleaning

  1. This is a great list of zero-waste cleaning tips. I love the simplicity of your routine: sometimes, less is more!

    I actually just compiled a thorough guide to getting started with the zero-waste cleaning. I think you might find some of the ones not mentioned here useful.

    For example, vodka has some surprising advantages over vinegar for cleaning. Take a look if you get a chance:



  2. This is great, thanks for sharing. I have just realised that my attempt at Zero Waste cleaning is more complicated than needs be lol. I love the simplicity of this post.


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