I have spent the last 5 years testing out a huge range of low waste dishwashing cloths and sponges, trying to find the most effective and most planet friendly combination. Finally, I think I’ve done it!
I tried lots of different types. Coffee sack scrubbers, LoofCo washing up pads, compostable sponges, you name it. I wasn’t quite happy with any of them. Until I discovered that the Ecovibe Coconut Fibre Scrub Pad and the EcoVibe Compostable Sponge make an excellent duo. The sponge is perfect for wiping up spillages and surfaces. The cleaning pad is abrasive enough to clean dishes and pans without leaving scratches. Both items come in fully recyclable carboard packaging and are HOME compostable at the end of their life.
I’m lucky enough to own a selection of hand crocheted dish cloths. We use them every day for wiping tables and surfaces, mopping up spillages (mostly cause by my 2 yr old!) and general household cleaning. When these reach the end of their life, I’m going to try these biodegradable Bamboo Eco Dishcloths.
3. Dishwashing brush
I have a strong desire to throw out all the plastic items I own and replace them with aesthetically pleasing wooden and metal alternatives. However, this negates the point. We are still using the same plastic dishwashing brush my husband owned before I even met him (more than 6 years ago). I have invested in a wooden brush with a replaceable head as the plastic one is pretty close to the end of its useful life. But the point is, the most zero waste purchase is sometimes the one you don’t make – not until you really need to.
4. Washing up liquid
There are arguments for solid soap as transporting liquids increases manufacturing requirements, storage and CO2 emissions, not to mention the wasteful packaging. However, I’ve tested dishwashing blocks and DIY dishwashing liquid. Unfortunately, in my experience I have found them to be either ineffective or inconvenient. So for me, refillable dishwashing liquid like Bio D's Grapefruit Washing Up Liquid is the way to go. I have 2 containers which I fill up and use. One stays on the sink, one in the cupboard. When one is low or empty, I simply fill it up or order more from the refill shop, that way I never run out.
5. Bottle brush
I used to own just one bottle brush and it worked for some types of bottles. But now I have acquired a few different sizes and that makes all the difference. My bottle brushes have cotton tips (to protect the bottle) and wire handles which mean you can gently bend them to the angle you want and get every last bit of the bottle nice and clean. (I even use the small one to clean the spout on my tea pot!)