Cleaning can generate waste and pollution because of products’ packaging and ingredients.
less packaging, and
reduce the amount of cleaning product you use.
It is both simple and efficient.
This section offers some tips as to which products to use, where to find them and how to use them. There is always the shop option available, although the DIY options are often super easy and as efficient as the shop ones.
What can we do to reduce our cleaning waste? Switch to these new habits, that will help you use fewer products and use less of each product. And then use the Swap Lists to choose eco-friendly products.
Only run a full a full dishwasher. Check how to load your dishwasher for maximum efficiency.
Reduce the number of laundry loads: only run a full load of clothes and wash less. Rather than washing your clothes after every wear, air them (leave them on a hanger outside your cupboard for the night) and rely on the look, smell, and feel. You can even take the hanger and clothes with you in the bathroom when having a warm shower, it will steam and refresh it! Not only will this prolong their lives, but it will also have a positive impact on the environment and your purse. Do get your kids on board, as it seems they are often responsible for most of the laundry!
REDUCE THE HEAT
Reduce the heat of the planet,… by reducing the heat of your laundry and dishwasher programs. Most clothes can be washed at 30 degrees C.
Abandon your dryer – even for just half the loads – in favour of a clothesline, drying rack or radiator.
USE FEWER PRODUCTS
Rather than separate cleaning products for every cleaning task, downsize to two to four products.
Have a look at our DIY recipes: you will need very few products.
Using fewer products also use up products rather than having a multitude of unfinished products sitting under the sink.
USE LESS OF EACH PRODUCT
Experiment and get to the minimum amount of detergent needed to do the job.
When washing up dishes, use less water and detergent by washing from cleaner to dirtier, smaller to larger items (check this).
Avoid pouches, and instead balance the quantity of detergent with the quantity, dirtiness of the laundry, hardness of the water.
Avoid detergent altogether with microfibre cloths. These cloths need nothing more than water, are washable and reusable. Check out e-cloth. Let us know if you find natural fibre alternative to these microfibre cloths that work as efficiently.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR TOOLS AND APPLIANCES
Take care of your dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and other appliances, to make sure they work well and will last.
Washing machine: run a hot program once every 3 months with 3 tbsp of soda crystals (or baking soda) in the drum to clear soap and hard water deposit.
Dishwasher: fill your soap dispenser with white vinegar and run an empty cycle once every 2 months. Regularly check the food trap, filters and other nooks and crannies for stuck food particles.
LIMIT THE PACKAGING
Buy in bulk, or refillable,
or large quantities - by order of preference.
SWITCH TO ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
Switch to home-made cleaning products. It is even simpler than buying readymade products from the store. Vinegar and baking soda will get most of the jobs done, as efficiently as more complex and toxic products. The Swap and DIY lists will give you different options.
If buying from stores, check ingredients and choose eco-friendly products (see "Swap list" for options).
AVOID TRADITIONNAL DRY CLEANING
Dry cleaning involves processing clothes in a liquid solvent to remove soil and stains. Most dry cleaners still use the solvent perchloroethylene ("perc"), a product associated with cancer.
Check that you need dry cleaning, as most delicates don’t need it and can just be washed on the wool/delicate program, with reduced spinning.
If you do need it, find an eco-friendly solution, the most environmentally sound alternatives being wet cleaning and liquid carbon dioxide cleaning.
When using dry cleaning services, avoid the plastic cover and the hangers (bring your own instead).