It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for clean beauty and ethical fashion so it’s no wonder that I also try to make my home more eco-friendly. There are the obvious home swaps, like stainless steel straws and reusable grocery bags but what about cleaning products and things that are meant to be discarded by design?
Below are some eco-friendly swaps for my home I’ve made so far, plus let me know if you have any additional recommendations!
I finally have in-suite laundry and let me tell you, it’s been life changing. But I also recognize that it can be a real energy, water and resources pit. My current laundry routine is to hand-wash my delicates and materials like silk, hang dry everything other than linens, which does go in the dryer. These are some laundry products I’ve been loving:
- For hand-washing I love the Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash ($13 for 16.9 oz, 95 hand washes, 33 machine washes) – it comes in naturally infused scents like lavender, grapefruit, jasmine, eucalyptus and unscented. It can be used for hand and machine washing and I like that it’s a no-rinse formula. It’s also ultra delicate and doesn’t leave my hand feeling stripped. It’s available on their site and if you’re in Vancouver you can buy/refill at The Soap Dispensary on Main Street.
- For machine-washing there is nothing easier than the Tru Earth Laundry Detergent Strips ($20 for 32 strips) – available in a classic linen scent, fragrance-free and a gentle baby formula as well as Platinum versions for heavy duty cleaning. The entire package is no thicker than a September issue and is designed to be used up. The component itself is compostable, there is no worry of over use (just one strip per load!) and it dissolves completely! TIP: Add some vinegar to your wash to neutralize strong scents. It’ll smell like vinegar when it’s out of the washer but once it’s dry you won’t smell it.
- For machine-drying using wool dryer balls can really decrease drying time and eliminate the need for fabric softener. It will essentially help decrease the drying process by soaking up some of the moisture and they last up to three years! You’ll know it’s time to replace them when they feel firm and don’t seem to soak in moisture at all anymore. Just toss it in the compost once it’s done. This product can also be used to add a bit of scent to your loads by adding a few drops of essential oils. There are so many brands available, they average about $20 for three balls. TIP: If you’re not looking to buy more products or need a bit more help to cut down drying time, add a completely dry towel when running your load through the dryer for a similar effect.
- For stain removal I use the Eco + Amour Laundry Stain Stick ($7) – again, I love that this is a product that can be used up with no pesky packaging. The product itself is 100% saponified coconut oil and I find it works on deep stains (like red wine) and day to day stains like makeup.
When it comes to soap scum and watermarks, I am not about the elbow grease it requires so I am diligent about cleaning my bathroom regularly so I don’t have to do that gross deep clean often. Here are the products I use to keep my washroom spick and span:
- For general cleaning I use the infamous Bathroom cleaner ($16) from Blueland. Not only is the product eco friendly (refills are in tablet form, just add water and wait for it to dissolve) but the bottle is perfect for bathroom cleaning. It’s shatterproof making it ideal for work around tile and porcelain if you have butter fingers. It’s meant to be a forever bottle and each refill is $2 or less.
- For the toilet bowl I love the Ecover Toilet Bowl Cleaner ($5). It eliminates stains and leaves nothing but shine, plus it’s not made of harmful chemicals that make your eyes burn when you use it. I pair with the Umbra Touch Toilet Brush ($20). Even though the brush is made of plastic and metal, I opted for this choice because replacement brush heads are readily available, plus the plastic resists mould!
- For stubborn hair clogs just use good old white vinegar and baking soda, just like a science project. I’ve tried lots of hair declogging products in the past but honestly, keeping it simple works best for hair clogs.
My absolute favourite space in any home because the kitchen is where the food lives. For real though, food is so special to me. It’s how people gather, celebrate and nourish, but it’s also extremely messy. While I love to cook, cleaning is another thing. However, I’m a new bitch now. I am a dishwasher bitch. These are some of the products I use to keep my kitchen tidy and ready for guests (one day… hopefully…):
- For hand washing I have been using the Method dish soap for years, specifically the Clementine scent ($7 for refill size). It’s smells so juicy and delicious. I love that the refills are readily available (I see them in pretty much every grocery store) and their refills are ultra affordable ($8ish for 36 oz!) The dish soap is naturally derived, grease fighting and lathers up well. I like to pair handwashing with natural sponges and I’ve been eyeing the Sitti natural loofas ($13 for a set of three). Not only can these be used for cleaning your body in the shower, but they can double up as kitchen sponges. Made purely of loofah plants once it’s time to switch it out you can toss the entire thing in the compost because it’s 100% biodegradable!
- For the dishwasher I keep it simple and stick with Method for all of my dish cleaning and buy their dishwasher packs ($7 for 20). I use the free and clear version because it’s dye and fragrance free while also being plant and mineral based. I dunno if this is the best option for me, I’m new to dishwasher life. I would love recommendations or suggestions!
- For the counter tops I am so infatuated with the scent of the Public Goods Surface Cleaner ($9) – it never irritates, works on stubborn spots and, of course, is refillable! Also, how chic is this packaging? I don’t just use this in the kitchen, I use it on every surface in my home.
- For oven-cleaning once again, you can’t beat white vinegar and baking soda. Heat your oven and let it cool down a tad but while it’s warm, mix some water and baking soda to form a paste, slather it on and spritz with white vinegar. It is SO satisfying to have all that stuck on food and grease just melt off.
- For composting I am a BIG fan of Greenlid ($44 for 20). You may recognize the brand from Dragon’s Den, and I have been using them for years. The bins are fully compostable, leak-proof and odour resistant. I love that I can just fill the bin and when it’s full I just toss the entire thing into the compost. Piece of cake!
A FEW EXTRAS
- For paper towels These No Trees! Bamboo Dragon Towel ($10) are unreal. You can use them, throw them in the wash, and reuse each square up to 100 times. They shrink and pill a bit in the wash, but for quick wipes they get the job done. It looks like a more heavy duty version of a paper towel and I have been using the same set for years.
- For facial tissues I have been eying the Mouche sets ($19 for a pack of four) Can blowing your nose be aesethic AF? Maybe. Listen. I’m a crier. I cry when I watch sad movies, I cry when I watch the news, I cry non-stop during therapy. Your girl goes through a lot of tissues. Like the paper towels, Mouche tissues are made with bamboo. What’s great about bamboo is that it’s more sustainable to grow and harvest, plus to keep production as simple as possible all of the Mouche tissues are unbleached!
- For glass cleaning / mirror I just use white vinegar and newsprint to avoid streaks. Honestly, if you take anything away from this it’s that you should use white vinegar for everything.