Here are all of the eco-friendly cleaning supplies I use regularly to get you started on your green cleaning journey.
Long-term readers of Moral Fibres will know that I’m big on eco-friendly cleaning – and making my own natural cleaning products.
There’s good for this. It’s kinder to the planet – no dubious chemicals or tons of plastic bottles under my kitchen sink. Plus, unlike standard cleaning products which can damage your lungs, it’s good for your health.
It’s also a whole lot of fun whipping up your own cleaning products in your kitchen. Give it a go, and I promise you’ll feel a bit like an alchemist mixing up various (often food-safe) ingredients, as you come up with potions and powders that will leave your home sparkling clean and smelling beautiful!
I’ve been asked a few times lately about my eco-friendly cleaning supplies and where I source my materials. As it’s come up a few times I thought it would be useful to put all of this information into a blog post. So lo and behold, a comprehensive list of the eco-friendly cleaning supplies I use and where to source them.
My Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies Arsenal
Here are all the supplies I use regularly in my home – from the bottles I use to where I source the raw materials:
- Amber Glass Bottles
- Trigger Spray Nozzles
- Pump Tops
- White Vinegar
- Bicarbonate of Soda, Soda Crystals, Salt, Citric Acid & Borax
- Liquid Castile Soap
- Essential Oils
- Cloths & Scrubbing Brushes
Amber Glass Bottles
I buy my amber glass bottles from Friendly Turtle – I buy them in 500ml or 1000ml sizes. Don’t feel you have to splash out on bottles though. For a zero-waste solution, the glass bottles that white vinegar comes in will suffice: just store them in a dark cupboard when not in use.
The reason I specifically use amber glass bottles is that the cleaning products I make typically contain essential oils. Amber-coloured bottles protect the essential oils from ultraviolet light, which can damage the oils Meanwhile, the glass is used because certain oils, such as citrus oils, may dissolve plastic over time. This could be a problem if you’re reusing plastic bottles time and time again.
Trigger Spray Nozzles
I like to keep a few trigger spray nozzles to hand, as they don’t last all that long. I add these to my Friendly Turtle order.
Alternatively, you can reuse trigger sprays from any used-up cleaning products for a greener approach. Just make sure you clean them by popping the pump in water and spraying it a few times, to make sure there’s no cross-contamination.
White vinegar is a key component of my eco-friendly cleaning supplies. I buy my white vinegar in bulk, getting four 5-litre jerry cans of the stuff at a time. I’ve found it’s by far the most economical way of buying vinegar, coming in way cheaper than buying the glass bottles of white vinegar at the supermarket or the plastic 750ml bottles from the pound shop.
I buy a big bottle of vodka specifically for cleaning with. Nothing fancy, just the cheapest, nastiest stuff I can find on the bottom shelf of the supermarket. Minimum alcohol pricing laws in Scotland mean the cheapest I can find vodka for is £12 for 750ml, however, you might find it cheaper where you are.
Vodka is scent-free and oddly great for deodorising soft furnishings and for removing bad smells from clothes (I promise your clothes and house won’t smell like a pub). It’s also great at cutting through soap scum and has some disinfectant properties. And the handy thing is that once you’ve finished cleaning you can pour yourself a celebratory vodka and tonic if you want…! To sip responsibly of course!
Bicarbonate of Soda, Soda Crystals, Salt, Citric Acid & Borax
These products are heroes when it comes to eco-friendly cleaning. As such, I always keep a couple of boxes of each ingredient to hand. This is because when it comes to eco-friendly cleaning each ingredient is handy in its own right.
If you’re new to these ingredients, no doubt you’ll want to know more about what they do and what they can be used for. Don’t worry, I am on it!
- Uses for soda crystals around the home
- Uses for borax around the home
- Guide to cleaning with citric acid
- Guide to cleaning with bicarbonate of soda
As well as being brilliant planet-friendly cleaners in their own right, these ingredients can often be combined with other ingredients to make powerful homemade cleaning products.
Large boxes of borax, soda crystals, and bicarbonate of soda can be found cheaply in the cleaning aisle of bigger supermarkets, or in pound shops. If you can’t find them locally, I’ve got heaps of guides on where to buy these online:
- Where to buy soda crystals
- Where to buy borax
- Where to buy bicarbonate of soda
- Where to buy citric acid
Liquid Castile Soap
I’m a fan of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I’ve been buying the orange-scented soap in the larger size and have been using it as part of my aforementioned handwash recipe. I also use it for other uses around the home, such as cleaning my solid floors and making homemade cleaning sprays.
To help you out, I’ve put together a big guide on where to buy liquid castile soap.
New to Castile soap? Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning with castile soap.
I use a variety of essential oils as part of my eco-friendly cleaning supplies arsenal. The most common oils I use are lemon, sweet orange, and grapefruit, as I’m a particular fan of citrus scents. I’m also partial to lavender and tea tree oil because of their disinfectant and antibacterial properties.
I tend to buy my essential oils from Tisserand at Ethical Superstore, but they can be bought from heaps of other shops. I’m in the process of putting together a guide to essential oils so watch this space.
I keep a stash of cotton cloths in a drawer. Some I’ve bought, and some are old clothes that can’t be donated that I’ve cut up into cleaning rags. It’s a cheap and easy way to keep your home clean. I’m also a fan of Seep’s range of eco-friendly cloths, scourers and brushes, which are all made from sustainable materials.
Some people like to use e-cloths in lieu of any cleaning products – homemade or shop-bought. There is a bit of controversy regarding microfibre cloths shedding microplastic into the ocean. However, if you wear any kind of synthetic clothing then it’s also responsible for this microplastic release.
I would personally argue that the environmental impact of not using harsh chemicals that ultimately end up in our waterways is better than the small amount of microplastic coming from microfibre cloths. That’s your personal choice to make though.
If you choose to use e-clothes, you can mitigate the impact by washing your cloths (and clothes) in a Guppyfriend microplastic catcher. Plus you can ask your local MP to support legislation that would require washing machine manufacturers to install microplastic filters on all new washing machines as standard as they have done in France.
Other Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies You Might Need
Scrubbing brushes and some citrus fruit (buy when they have the yellow reduced stickers on them) are always handy eco-friendly cleaning supplies to have to hand, as is a little bit of elbow grease!
Looking for inspiration? Try my guide to making natural cleaning products for some recipes to try out with these eco-friendly cleaning supplies!