10 Zero Waste Cleaning Tips: A Guide to a Sustainable Home

zero waste cleaning tips

We have to address every aspect of our daily routines if we wish to live a greener and more sustainable lifestyle. One area where we can make a big difference is in the way we clean. Traditionally, cleaning products are packaged in plastic and contain harmful ingredients, which contribute to environmental pollution and human health problems.

Following zero waste cleaning tips will make our homes healthier and cleaner while minimizing our environmental impact. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for replacing household products with sustainable alternatives, shed light on harmful ingredients, and explain the need for natural zero waste cleaning products.

What does Zero Waste Cleaning Mean?

zero waste cleaning

When you practice zero waste cleaning, you don’t put any trash in landfills or use chemicals that are harmful to the environment. A sustainable lifestyle involves using natural products and practices that are beneficial to the environment.

The goal of these zero waste cleaning tips is to never leave any footprint at all when you clean with zero waste – which may seem impossible at first. Transitioning to an eco-friendly cleaning routine is easy (and enjoyable) when you focus on making small changes.

Zero Waste Cleaning Tips: Important Statistics 

  • American households can save about $2,000 per year by adopting zero waste initiatives, even though 267 million tons of municipal solid waste are generated each year in the U.S.
  • Between 2021 and 2026, the number of zero waste packaging will increase by 13.2%.
  • Plastic is produced in 300 million tons per year, and 50% of it is single-use.
  • Plastics are produced at a rate of 430 million tons per year, of which two thirds are short-lived and end up in the landfill. 
  • A mere two million tons of plastic waste were recycled in the U.S. in 2021 out of 40 million tons.

10 Effective Zero-Waste Cleaning Tips

zero waste cleaning tips

Follow these zero waste cleaning tips to get started on living a sustainable lifestyle and ensuring a circular economy.

1. Prepare your cleaning solution

Do you want to get rid of all the plastic bottles and jugs filled with household cleaning products? A wet cloth and some muscle can remove grime from windows just as easily as water. You can reuse old spray bottles by filling them with one part water and one part white vinegar if you like to spray solutions on counters, porcelain, and other surfaces. 

Add a few drops of lemon essential oil or a few drops of your favorite natural scent for a custom blend. It is also very effective to make a paste of baking soda and water for tough surface stains, even on granite.

Here are some DIY Zero Waste Cleaning Products for a Sustainable Home.

2. Instead of paper towels, use cotton cloths

Cloth rags have several environmental disadvantages. Dust and dirt particles can be easily trapped and held on microfiber towels, but when they are washed, they shed microplastic fibers, which end up in oceans, rivers, and other water bodies, causing harm to marine life because they cannot be recycled.

The production of cotton, a natural fiber, relies heavily on chemical pesticides, large quantities of water, and a vast area of farmland. You can reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing cotton by reusing existing items you already have in your home, such as old T-shirts, cut-up bedsheets, or bath towels.

3. Clean with your current equipment

Despite what advertisements might suggest, you don’t need fancy new gear to clean your home. Most household cleaning equipment like dustpans, brooms, dusters, vacuum cleaners, hampers, irons, toilet brushes, buckets, pan scrapers, and drying racks are durable. 

You may already have durable zero waste cleaning gear in your closet. Instead of extracting new environmental resources, check it out! A handyman can fix any broken cleaning equipment for free or for a reasonable price. You may also try fixing any broken cleaning gear yourself. 

4. Invest in durable second-hand items

Consider purchasing used zero waste cleaning equipment if you do not have durable items at home. Ask your friends and family if they have older gear they no longer need. Adopting these items saves them from the waste stream because most of them are durable and will last a lifetime. 

5. If it is safe, reuse cleaning containers

A lot of toxic chemicals aren’t even listed on the labels of regular US household cleaning products. Use repurposed spray bottles, pump bottles, toilet bowl cleaner bottles, laundry detergent bottles, and dishwasher powder bottles for DIY cleaning products to protect your health, and the environment, and to save money. 

Be careful not to reuse containers that were previously filled with harmful products. This includes poisons for rodents, insecticides, insect repellents, weed killers, car cleaners, drain openers, and oven cleaners. In zero waste cleaning, reusing is central: consider reusing before purchasing new items.

6. Use compostable items

Compostable products are better for the environment than chemical-laden things that pollute. Switching to soap nuts as your laundry detergent can help you accomplish this. Cornstarch, vinegar, salt, lemons, and coffee grounds are other kitchen items you can use as part of your sustainable cleaning solution.

Don’t forget that you may not be able to see all the environmental waste around you. The chemicals in traditional cleaning products are harmful to our environment, thus the importance of investing in compostable cleaning items.

7. Avoid single-use products

Our planet is slowly dying due to single-use items. Every one of us has used such items at some point in our lives. Our planet needs reusable, zero waste cleaning items to bring it back to life.

Make your reusable cleaning equipment instead of buying new sponges and scrubbers every time you need to clean. You can use items that you already have around your house. Be creative and look for things you can reuse.

8. Invest in durable cleaning tools

Think about that plastic bottle you just bought from the store if you don’t believe that things can last forever.

Consider reusing that water bottle instead so that the planet can sustain itself for centuries to come. When buying eco friendly cleaning tools, you should follow the same principles. A lifetime of cleaning tools can be yours when you pick the right item. Instead of buying new tools every month, invest in one sturdy set.

9. Buy package-free items

Having all your cleaning gear and ingredients packaged free of any kind is the ideal option. The search for package-free products may be more difficult than with other products. The ideal scenario is to purchase your baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, or washing soda in bulk. You can purchase as much of the product as you like at a zero waste bulk store if you have one nearby.

10. Keep a regular cleaning schedule

The concept of zero waste cleaning tips goes beyond your cleaning supplies – it’s a way of life. You will create a clean and comfortable space using the materials you use, but it is important to maintain a regular cleaning schedule to prevent heavy dirt and grime buildup.


It is possible to reduce our environmental impact and ensure a healthier living environment for us and our children if we follow these zero waste cleaning tips and practices. We can take an active role in preserving the health of our planet by eliminating hazardous ingredients, reducing plastic waste, and adopting sustainable alternatives. Together, let’s make this journey a cleaner and greener one.

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