Eco friendly cleaning
Cleaning,  Green Living

Save Money & Time With An Eco Friendly Cleaning Routine

I’ve been developing this money and time saving eco-friendly cleaning routine for years! In this post I’m going to focus on the Kitchen and Bathroom because those are areas that need to be cleaned with the most frequency. I know you will find some nugget of wisdom in this post that you can implement today, whether it’s cleaning supplies or processes.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I only link to products I have personally used or researched.  

What makes this routine eco-friendly and sustainable? 

  • I choose cleaners that won’t harm the environment or children and pets. 
  • I try to avoid plastics and overall waste by refilling glass spray bottles 
  • I use washcloths and rags instead of disposable paper towels
  • I use what I have first before purchasing more

Would you like to meet your sustainability goals in 2023? Click here for how to set goals you can actually achieve!

What I don’t buy:

  • Products that can only be used for one purpose
  • Harsh chemicals or strong scents
  • Anything too expensive

What I do buy: 

  • Distilled White Vinegar – this can be purchased from almost any store.  Some even carry name brand Heinz in glass bottles – extra win for the environment.  If you can’t find glass, purchase the largest bottle available to reduce multiple purchases and excess plastic bottles. 
  • Baking Soda – Extremely cheap and again can be purchased from almost every store.  If you’re buying it in a cardboard box (which most come in) it can be recycled when done.  
  • Bon Ami Cleaning Powder – Non toxic formula without bleach, perfume, or dyes.  The packaging is made from 65% post consumer recycled materials and should be recycled when empty.  
  • Essential Oils – I purchased a bulk set about 10 years ago.  They can last a long time depending on how you use them! 
Cleaning with essential oils.

Multi purpose cleaner

My go-to multi purpose cleaner is a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar to 3 parts water, and then any essential oils you want to add.  Essential oils can have antibacterial properties, but I honestly just go by smell.  Right now my favorite is a few drops of Eucalyptus and Mint.  Refreshing!

I know vinegar can be too acidic for some surfaces, but I haven’t had an issue with this because I use a fairly diluted version.  Always check with what’s best for surfaces in your home!

The Kitchen Process

Surfaces 

I spray my vinegar mixture all over my countertops, breakfast bar, kitchen table, clear surfaces in my living room, refrigerator handles, microwave, stove, and garbage can.  Then I take a clean washcloth and wipe down all surfaces, in the same order as above, ending with the greasy splatters on my stove and then the garbage can dust. 

Yes, I clean my stove every day.  I used to only deep clean it on weekends but it’s so much easier to clean a day’s worth of build up off the stove than a week’s worth. Seriously, try it for a week.  

Also, whenever possible, work from top to bottom.  I wipe down my microwave first because it is above my stove and if any dust or crumbs fall from the microwave, I catch them when I move on to cleaning the stove.  This also holds true with counters before floors – because you know crumbs are falling onto the floor when you’re wiping them down. 

Once I’m done wiping up, my used washcloth goes in a cloth bag hanging from a cabinet where I toss all our dirty wipes and rags until it’s time to wash them.  

Side note:  I do not use paper towels for daily wipe downs.  I save those for human or animal urine or vomit (gross).  

Zero waste cleaning supplies.

The Sink

If I’m wiping down surfaces, it means all the dirty dishes are either washed or in the dishwasher for the night.  Some nights I have to take care of the sink, too.  I do not clean my sink every day, but it needs it at least a few times a week.  For this I use one simple thing:  Baking Soda. 

I generously sprinkle my 79 cent box of baking soda all over my stainless steel sink. (It usually has some moisture left in it, but if not, spray a little water before sprinkling the baking soda).  Let this sit for a few minutes while you grab the vacuum or broom. 

The Floor

Brief detour while the baking soda is at work… I used to sweep my kitchen floor all the time.  Our kitchen footprint is pretty small and consists of laminate wood flooring.  The actual dining area is carpeted.  (This was new to me in this house and grossed me out at first – but now I’m used to it).  I say this to help you realize I am not a crazy person that would sweep a whole house or something.  It would only take about 2 minutes.  

BUT recently I purchased a little swivel stick vacuum and it is now my new favorite.  It’s even faster than sweeping, but more importantly it can get back into crevices easier than a broom and takes care of my carpeted stair area like magic. It’s this one here (click on the photo for more info): 

Ok now back to the kitchen…while the baking soda is at work, do a quick sweep or vacuum and get the days worth of crumbs, hair, and God knows what off the floor. 

Eco friendly cleaning

Back to the Sink

Back in the sink, I take an old scrub brush and use it to scrub that baking soda and watch as all the grime lifts off of my sink.  Ahhhh so satisfying.  Rinse it down with some water and you have a sparkling clean sink. 

Dishwashing Tools

I prefer to use scrub brushes to wash dishes instead of sponges because they last longer and don’t hold on to as many germs.  But when they do wear out or get grosser than I’d like to use to clean my dishes, I don’t just toss them.  I do, however, use them to clean things like my sink or to scrub down my pots for plants in the spring.  Always try to give something a second life when you can!  

My favorite brand for cleaning brushes is Full Circle.  I have these (click on the photos for more info): 

They work great with my preference for zero waste dish soaps.  I skip the plastic bottles and use a bar soap that’s meant for dishwashing.  These last forever, are safe for washing baby items, are tough on grease, and of course come plastic free. (Click on the photo for more info)

Looking for Sustainable Kitchen Tips? Click here for everything you need!

The Bathroom Process

Ok, on to the bathroom!  Now, for the bathroom I am currently using a different bathroom cleaner than what I mentioned above but I don’t plan on purchasing again because they are only offering an orange scented version right now.  (I really despise oranges). 

But, it’s from Grove.co and you can purchase a concentrated formula cleaner in glass bottles and dilute it with water in your larger glass spray bottle.  It works really well and smells lovely.  However, when I leave it in the master bathroom and I’m currently in the kids bathroom, I just grab my all purpose diluted vinegar bottle because it’s closer 🙂 

Bathroom eco friendly cleaning

Clear the Surfaces

I start by clearing all the surfaces.  I keep it very minimal so that just consists of my soap dish and my kid’s cup of toothpaste/mouthwash.  Next, I dust. You heard me:  dust the bathroom.  There is nothing worse than spraying and wiping the bathroom counter to see a bunch of clumped up dust and little hairs traveling around your surfaces with your cloth.  Gross.  

I use a microfiber cloth and run over all the surfaces starting with the mirror, counter, sink, and top of the toilet.  Not only do I work top to bottom, but I also work cleanest to dirtiest.  Always end with the toilet.  I don’t usually dust the shower because dust doesn’t have enough time to settle there. 

Spray, Spray, Spray

Next, I take my spray and generously spray all surfaces including the toilet seat and underside, and the full bath.  Grab a clean washcloth and start with the mirror, working down to the counter, sink, and toilet.  

Next up:  Toilet

After the toilet, I toss that washcloth in the rag basket (a small basket I keep in the bathroom for any used washcloths or rags), I pick up my Bon Ami cleaning powder which is a great alternative to harsher cleaners like Ajax or Comet.  I sprinkle in the toilet and scrub that baby.  

Essential tip:  don’t put the scrub brush right back inside the brush holder.  Instead, close the toilet seat on the brush handle so the brush is dripping any grossness into the toilet and not building up in the holder. 

Eco friendly cleaning supplies

Bath & Shower

Now, grab a scrub brush and do a quick once over on the bath.  If you have more buildup in the shower or bath, sprinkle that Bon Ami and use it to get the grime out.  I also have a specific brush for getting in those tiny shower corners.  It’s my bff. (click on the photo for more info)

Rinse everything down and feel accomplished. 

Floors

If you have an extra minute, pick up your broom or handy dandy vacuum and attack those floors.  Bathrooms are usually so small that it takes no time at all.  

Looking for Sustainable Bathroom Tips? Check back for a post coming soon!

All done!

To finish, remove the toilet brush from the toilet and put it back in its place, put your countertop back in order, and put the cleaning supplies away.  

Congratulations on your Eco Friendly Cleaning. You Did It!

You now have a lovely, clean kitchen and bathroom using products that won’t harm the earth or your children and pets!  Pat yourself on the back and put your feet up – you deserve a break!

Do you need help developing routines for your general house cleaning? Click here for my post on keeping my house clean with kids and pets!

Did I miss something you wanted to hear about?  Let me know in the comments!

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