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Spring Cleaning doesn't have to mean 'Chemical Warfare'! The best natural cleaning supplies on the market today

Time to embrace the cleaning power of plants! Image by Pixtawan courtesy of freedigitalphotos.netTime to embrace the cleaning power of plants! Image by Pixtawan courtesy of freedigitalphotos.netIt’s that time of year again, the days are getting longer once more and in the theme of another fresh new year we’ll be itching to clear out the old and make room for the new. Spring cleaning is good for the soul as well as our health, if done correctly...

These days we’re at least starting to cotton on to the fact that harsh chemical cleaners are bad news for our health (breathing toxic sprays and absorption through skin contact) and the planet (when the chemicals are washed down the drain or toilet), and then our health again when we go on to eat food contaminated with those same chemicals (like fish). At the same time however we’re also very aware of all the dangerous germs and allergens lurking around our homes and our loved ones that still need to be controlled, so what do you do?

Luckily for us, natural cleaning solutions have really come a long way in increasing their effectiveness WITHOUT compromise! Yay for the future!


Read on to see our favourite natural cleaners tested in real life, some of which are may be essential for camping as some sites specify using ONLY biodegradable toilet solution and washing up liquid:


Ecover Washing-Up liquid – This has been my favourite washing up liquid for well over 10 years now! How's that for a dedicated reviewer? It’s good stuff, gentle on your skin, and a bottle lasts a very long time.

Available in some supermarkets, or get it delivered from Ethical Superstore.


We also like Ecover’s non-bleach toilet cleaner and their range of Laundry detergents too. The detergents leave your clothes delicately scented (not overpowering!) and you have the peace of mind of knowing that any residues are non-toxic and kind to you and your family’s skin, unlike the current main brands in the market. I can't say what the toilet cleaner does to your clothes, but the loo's fresh and clean! ;)

Both are available in some supermarkets, or get it all delivered from Ethical Superstore here.


Method’s grease-cutting multi-surface cleaner.

Personally I find Method’s product performs much better and with less sprays than Ecover’s multi-purpose version, and certainly rivals any branded ‘chemical’ cleaners!

This ones also available in store at Waitrose, or get it delivered from Ethical Superstore with the rest...


YOU naturally-powered Window & Screens Cleaner leaves your glass (or plastic in our case!) beautifully clear with that satisfying degree of evaporation you expect from a good window cleaner. 

The Method Multi-surface cleaner will do the job, but this stuff does it better and brings the TV and laptop screens up lovely!

Currently available in store at Waitrose, if you know of anywhere else that stocks it let us and other readers know in the comments below.


Home made Drain Cleaner – available from your kitchen cupboard!

Even if you limit how much fat goes down your drain it will inevitably still clog up at some point. I’ve tried a lot of home-made cleaners over the years and have not been impressed with many of them but in some cases the old fashioned way is still the best method!

A generous sprinkling of Bicarb followed by a splash of vinegar/lemon juice and a kettle of boiling water really does the trick to get a slow sink moving again, the real trick is to regularly clear them before they become properly blocked…


Don’t forget to ditch the plastic sponges that are destined to spend eternity in landfill, not to mention the trouble with breeding bacteria on sponges that stay damp for long periods of time! Cotton dishcloths are a much better and just as importantly a biodegradable option. A cotton dishcloth also dries much faster (if hung up properly) than a sponge so bacteria has less time to grow.

They can also be laundered and re-used several times until they're finally done with! This one's not even a more expensive ethical choice since those cheap little sponges are looking like a bit of a rip off when you consider how little use you get out of them!

Choose the pack of cotton cloths next time at your regular supermarket, or get these fancy ones with silver ions at Ethical Superstore.


We also like the natural sponge cleaning cloths from If You Care. They hold loads of water, rinse out well and dry fast, with a textured scrubby side so are perfect for those big cleaning jobs or for washing up if you still prefer a sponge. When it gets dirty pop it in the wash and reuse!

Available online from Ethical


For more delicate surfaces that need a good scrub, like roasting tins or non stick frying pans, I love my Eco-Force recycled plastic scrubbing brush that comes with a changeable head (so you don’t have to throw the whole thing away when it’s had it!). OK perhaps 'love' is a bit much for anything washing-up related but it keeps my hands out of the mank and does the same for my cotton dishcloth! ;)

The used heads still wind up in landfill in the end so I wouldn’t say they’re a perfect solution, but it has at least gotten two uses from the original plastic and they take a seriously long time to wear out in the first place. I've still got a spare head well over a year later...

The Eco Force dish brush is available from Ethical Superstore.


Lastly, if the sound of all that scrubbing has your hands chaffing already (even without the harsh chemicals!) you even get to make an ethical choice in the rubber gloves you wear! These gloves from Traidcraft perform as well as any other washing up gloves but are made from Fairly Traded natural rubber meaning that you've helped ensure that the people producing the materials are justly treated and the land sustainably managed.

Of course they are available from Ethical Superstore!


I hope this guide has helped you to ditch the dodgy chemicals and to join us in the plant-powered cleaning community! We’d love to hear from you so don’t forget to come on back and share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section… remember to keep it clean! ;)


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Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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