Plastic Free July: Reducing Cleaning Plastics

Plastic Free July was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (the founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) and a small team in local government in Western Australia back in 2011. It is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world, which sees millions of people give up single-use plastic for the month of July.


Throughout July, I am documenting my attempts to live a fully single-use plastic free month on my Instagram. If you’ve been following my IG/Blog for a while you’ll know I already try to live as plastic free as possible, however, there is always room for improvement and I definitely am not perfect.

During July, my Instagram and blog content will be themed around reducing plastic in four key areas of your life and home: Food, Bathroom, Cleaning and On-the-go.


Week two’s focus is: CLEANING. 


How To Reduce Cleaning Plastics In Your Home:


1. Buy Dissolvable Cleaning Sachets


Did you know that a typical bottle of cleaning solution is made up of 90% water?

Stop replacing your cleaning products with new plastic bottles each time and re-use the bottles instead. Brands like Iron & Velvet, Ocean Saver and Neat offer plastic free, concentrated refills that you simply top up with water. You’ll get the exact same cleaning power without the plastic waste!

My favourite brand is Iron & Velvet, I use all of their sachets to clean my home.

Iron & Velvet Sachets

2. Make DIY Cleaning Products


You may already have ingredients in your cupboards that can be used in homemade cleaning products. Yes, that’s right! If you have lemon, baking soda and white vinegar in your cupboards, you’re already well on your way to being able to make your own cleaning products.

A simple Google search will bring up a multitude of DIY cleaning product recipes that work!


My favourite DIY solution is:

500ml hot water, 125ml white vinegar, 2 tbsps bicarbonate soda, Juice of half a lemon.

Mix all the ingredients together and leave to cool, then pop it in a spray bottle. It’s great for cleaning kitchen and bathroom sides and leaves them super shiny!

DIY Cleaning Spray

3. Stop Using Washing Up Sponges


Did you know the sponges each household throws away in a year will take up landfill space for 52,000 years!? Switch out sponges for biodegradable, natural options – wooden or bamboo brushes and reusable cloths are great and don’t wear out as quickly. 


My favourites are Ecovibe sponges and Toockie Cloths. I also make my own hand made cloths from scraps of cotton fabric, so if you’re into sewing this is a great option too!

Fairtrade Toockie Cloths

4. Find a non-toxic alternative to bleach


Bleach is a favourite for many due to its strong cleaning power, however, not only does it come in a single-use plastic bottle, it’s also highly toxic to the environment and ourselves. Bleach is especially dangerous to the environment as it lingers for many years, causing harm to wildlife.


Switch to a non-toxic, natural bleach alternative instead, such as these from Peace With The Wild and Mangle & Wringer. The cleaning power is just as effective, without harming the environment.

Mangle & Wringer Natural Bleach

Thanks for reading. You can keep up to date with my Plastic Free July journey over on my Instagram. What are your favourite plastic free cleaning products? Let me know in the comments below.


Pip x

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Elm was born out of passion for the environment and a desire for a more sustainable, way of life, without compromising on quality or time.

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