How does hearing “spring cleaning” make you feel? Personally, I love cleaning. Not necessarily the huge cleaning projects, but I enjoy taking small daily and weekly steps to maintain my home. Whether you love to clean or not, this spring cleaning low-waste routine will have you stopping to smell the roses!
Enjoy this spring cleaning low-waste routine and let me know which item is your favorite in the comments or on Instagram @kayla_ih!
Spring Cleaning Low-Waste Routine
1. Clean out that drain that has Lord-only-knows how much hair in it
Let me address the elephant, or giant wad of hair, in the room:
Why snake a drain if you’ve never done so before?
Maybe I’m jumping to wrong conclusions here, and you’re totally familiar with confronting the ~stuff~ in your drains.
But while writing this blog post, I started talking to people in my life about cleaning drains and realized it’s a task many people have never even considered.
So I bring to you, this tidy little plastic drain snake. One could even call it cute and approachable.
To clean your pipes the natural way, sans Drano, you simply put this drain snake into your drain, twist and pull up.
Some people would write this tool off because it’s plastic, but I think it deserves a spot in your spring cleaning low-waste routine. Especially when compared it to the alternative that’s so easy to reach for: Drano.
Drain Snake vs. Drano
- One-time purchase (reusable)
- Chemical free
- Takes up less storage space (for all the fellow tiny livers out there)
- No health concerns
Drano liquid clog remover:
- Packaged in plastic
- Received an F from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in reference to environment and health safety
- Has to be sensitively stored away from children and animals
Plus, as always: maintaining the things you already own is an essential habit of sustainable living.
Warning: the Amazon reviews are not for the faint of heart. The things people have been pulling up out of their drains with this drain snake will leave you shook.
This drain snake says it’s suitable for variety of pipes – sink, kitchen, bathtub and so on.
2. Use the sun (UV light) to clean things naturally
There are two ways to approach UV light cleaning. The first, and the version I recommend, is simply using the sun.
UV cleaning with the sun
Some common household items that How To Clean Stuff recommends cleaning with UV light are:
- Stuffed animals
- Stained tupperware
- Moldy items
The second way to clean with UV light is to buy UV light cleaning devices.
UV cleaning devices
Common UV cleaning device can help with allergies, such as mold and dust mites.
A few common UV cleaning devices are:
- UV light toothbrush cleaner for sanitizing your entire householdâ€™s toothbrushes
- UV light vacuum for eliminating allergens and killing bacteria and mold
- Antimicrobial UV light air sanitizer for killing bacteria, mold and viruses in the air
This spring cleaning low-waste task actually isn’t the first time UV cleaning has made an appearance on Writing From Nowhere. If you remember my sustainable travel packing list, I recommend the Steripen as a tool for sanitizing water and avoiding plastic bottles while traveling in areas where the tap water is unsanitary to drink.
The company behind Stasher bags recently shared this hot tip on their Instagram on how to use mother sun to naturally bleach food stains from your Stasher bag.
This tip should work on all types of tupperware in your kitchen.
In case you’re new to Writing From Nowhere, in a nutshell: Stasher bags are reusable silicone Ziplock bags. They’re leakproof, heatproof, dishwasher safe and can be reused indefinitely. They’re a life-changing low-waste item to have in your arsenal!
3. Go over the surfaces in your home with a reusable dusting cloth once a week.
This spring cleaning low-waste item is a repeat from my low-waste autumn cleaning blog post, but I thought dusting deserved a spot on this spring cleaning low-waste list as well.
Even living in a tiny home as my husband and I do, this spring cleaning low-waste habit always turns up a surprising amount of dust. I try to go over all of the surfaces in my home once a week.
4. Replace any old scrub brushes with biodegradable tools
Is it time to get new scrub brushes?
I included these in my eco-friendly gift ideas holiday post last year and was surprised to see how popular they were.
Some studies have found that 47% of kitchen sinks contain coliform bacteria, and more than 1 in 4 kitchen sinks contain mold. (source)
Maintaining clean kitchen brushes means a cleaner sink, dishes, and so on. A solid cleaning investment!
If you don’t need new brushes yet, then right on! Next time you do need to purchase some, remember this as an opportunity to make a more responsible choice.
5. Change your bamboo toothbrush
Have you changed your toothbrush this year? No judgement here. I hadn’t, until I wrote this blog post.
This may not be a conventional spring cleaning low-waste item, but it’s a great opportunity to take a moment to care for your health.
If you are sick, no judgement here. I believe that everyone should take care of their health without any shame or judgment being attached to it.
But taking steps to upkeep your health can have huge long-term returns on your low-waste journey.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are visibly fraying. (source)
These toothbrushes are made from sustainable bamboo, are biodegradable and vegan.
6. Try your hand at making cleaners from scratch for your spring cleaning low-waste routine
This sustainable spring cleaning recipe is as simple as it sounds. Organic material, vinegar – done!
I made my batch of lemon vinegar clear in November, and as of March I’m still using it and it hasn’t spoiled. I store mine in the fridge, though I’m not actually sure if that makes a difference.
To make your own vinegar cleaner, follow these easy steps:
- Soak lemon rinds (post juicing) in vinegar
- Let soak for a week or two in a dark place
- Remove lemon rind, put vinegar in a spray bottle and get cleaning!
I bet you already have a spray bottle laying around the house somewhere that can upcycled. But if you are going to buy something new, remember to choose glass and not plastic.
7. Deep clean your wooden or bamboo cutting board
You can deep clean a cutting board without chemicals by using coarse salt and a lemon.
How to naturally clean your cutting board:
- Wash cutting board as usual
- While still wet, cover in coarse salt
- Let sit overnight
- Scrub cutting board with a lemon and wash again
Spring Cleaning Low-Waste Routine Summary
Which of these spring cleaning low-waste routines will you incorporate first?
The lowest-hanging fruit is probably changing your toothbrush, but I think deep down you’re curious what’s living in your sink.. Tell me in the comments or on Instagram @kayla_ih!