Greener ways to wash the dishes means using biodegradable dish cloths and brushes, with biodegradable washing up liquid or bars that don’t harm aquatic life, once rinsed down the drain. A natural washing up liquid is free from these ingredients. Use with Fair Trade rubber gloves (store safely, gloves are choking hazards for pets and children, and keep in a dry place (use a separate pair for dishwasher).
Zero Waste Washing-Up Tools
- Leave No Trace Sponges are made with cotton canvas, hessian and coconut coir, and a natural latex coating (should last up to 2 months, sold without packaging).
- Scrubbies are made from organic cotton with eco dyes (hessian on the other side).
- Tabitha Eve Dish Cloths are beautifully absorbent, made from organic and uncertified cotton, and can be composted at end of use. Expect shrinkage on first wash, but this creates maximum absorbency.
- Tabitha Eve’s None Sponge is handmade from cotton and an absorbency bamboo core, which can be cut up at end of use, and composted. Tabitha Eve Heavy Duty Sponge has strong hessian layers which are naturally abrasive.
- Ecococonut Dish Brush (a handle that can reach awkward places, sold in a cardboard box). Their Coconut Scourers are ideal for tough stains (not for small hands!)
- Eco Living’s Stainless Steel Scourers are for deep cleaning, wrapped in a recycled paper band.
- Skoy Scrub is made from recycled cotton ends and food-grade nontoxic hardener, in beautiful modern patterns.
- For hard-to-reach areas, use a glassware sisal brush.
- For sparkling glassware, use cleaning vinegar or bicarbonate of soda (neither are food-grade so don’t bake cakes with them!)
Biodegradable Washing Up Liquids
- Bio-D is sold in most health shops and also in bulk sizes. This is the best sold with anionic surfactant, a small percentage of non-ionic surfactant, sodium chloride and citric acid along with lavender or pink grapefruit – choose the unscented version for pregnancy/nursing and pet bowls. Use Dishwash Powder (in a paper bag, up to 72 washes) with Rinse Aid (all sold at Natural Collection).
- Dishwashing Soap Bar is made with organic coconut oil, naturally occurring glycerine, sodium carbonate and sodium cocoyl glutamate (from coconut oil). Store on a slatted soap dish, to stop it going squidgy.
- Authentic House Washing Up Bar is made with coconut oil, citric acid and washing soda. Choose from Unscented, Lemon, Sweet Orange or Sprint (all made with real essential oils).