When I first tried a reusable bamboo brush for cleaning the dishes, it fell apart in weeks.
It really didn't stand up to the challenge of washing up every single day and I was left wondering why I'd stopped using plastic scourers. But in the last year I tried again and now I wouldn't go back. In this blog I will share what products I use, how I rate them plus some tips on switching to more eco-friendly washing up products.
Washing Up but Eco-Friendly
Washing Up Liquid
It is crazy just how many plastic bottles we get through as a civilisation. And that includes all the ones we use for cleaning. I used to easily burn through the small 300ml bottles which were cheaper than buying any kind of larger version at the supermarket.
So I decided to start using a refill service at Green Heart Collective. This is great because I now simply refill a 1L squeezy bottle which will be able to hold my washing liquid for a lifetime.
I chose Ecoleaf by Suma as my washing up liquid as it performs really well, gets things clean and is slightly kinder to hands than the supermarket stuff I was using before.
What I also like about Ecoleaf is that it is from an amazing co-operative called Suma.
All Ecoleaf products are vegan, animal cruelty free and non-toxic. And what makes it different from the gloop you find in high street shops is that the ingredients come from plant extracts which are also biodegradable and non-hazardous.
- It doesn't bubble up so much but that doesn't really affect the performance at all.
- You might need a teeny bit more elbow grease to get things super clean
- No super pretty colours, it's a clear liquid...because it doesn't contain any unnecessary chemicals!
Read More: Refill is the New Recycle
I currently use a set of compostable sponges by Eco Living which I bought at Buy the Kilo in Tynemouth Metro Station. These are really great to use because they're a good size and great for all-round kitchen cleaning.
They're also made from naturally renewable resources such as cotton, wood pulp and flax meaning they're also TOTALLY plastic free.
- They can get a bit stained
- Eventually will break apart with heavy duty use...but this shows that they are actually compostable!
LoofCo Washing-Up Brush
A rubberwood and coconut brush that actually lasts! LoofCo's Washing-Up Brush is really good for scrubbing the dishes. I use it for those slightly more stubborn bits that get stuck on plates. It's also handy for cleaning away tea stains at the bottom of mugs.
Unlike my first bamboo washing up brush this LoofCo brush has kept in good condition. It does need to be kept dry between uses, so I give it a rinse and make sure that air can get round it.
Smaller Pot Brush
All the gear and no idea. My arsenal of washing up tools is not complete without this final pot brush. I got it from Buy the Kilo and it is made by Eco Living. It's made from beechwood with vegan, plant-based bristles. The bristles are very stiff and it is great to clean up pans without scratching them.
Sponge Scourer Combo
All of the items so far I can really recommend and they're still going strong despite buying them months ago.
One of the weaker products was a sponge scourer. It had a rough loofah side and a softer spongey side which were stitched together. I forget which brand it was. It's probably already composted by now because the spongey side very quickly got shredded after washing up every day. The loofah side survived for a lot longer.
This was a shame because it seemed to be a good transition from the plastic sponge/scourer combo and it meant I didn't need to use any brushes. Maybe it would be worth trying a different brand.
Big fail. I usually like the products you get from If You Care but I unfortunately the rubber gloves were pretty hopeless, falling apart within a week. I can only seem to get on with those black heavy duty gloves which last months.
Have you got any recommendations for eco-friendly washing up gloves? Let us know in the comments below.
The Pros and Cons of Using Eco-friendly Washing up Products
- Less plastic
- Far less microplastic pollution
- Support smaller businesses and organisations
- Less waste
- Old sponges, brushes will eventually decompose
- It's a relatively cheap swap to make (even if you pick one item to change)
- Long lasting
- Slightly more elbow grease required (only sometimes and in those cases, let it soak!!)
- You do need to take a bit more care by rinsing sponges, brushes after use and allowing to dry to avoid mould
- It is more pricy than the cheapest supermarket brands
Tips on Switching to Eco-Friendly Washing Up Products
- Change one thing a time
- Let things soak in warm water for a bit
- Try different products from different brands
- Ensure any brushes or sponges are rinsed and left to dry after use