Eco brush (Your Natural Cleaning Caddy Must Haves)
Eco brushes and cloths for Cleaning and Scrubbing your entire home:
Zerowaste Notes on how to clean, disinfect, and keep your zerowaste products lasting longer. Uses for the various eco cleaning brushes and cloths. Where to get them in South Africa, how to use them and after care for these non-plastic, zerowaste, long lasting, biodegradable eco brushes.
A brush for your every cleaning need. No dyes, chemicals, preservatives etc.
Why choose wooden eco brush for use in your home?
Most kitchen, bathroom and household brushes are made using nylon / plastic bristles which do not biodegrade and polluting the planet for centuries.
Small microplastics find their way into the oceans and fish and sea creatures eat it, we in turn eat fish and other sea creatures.
So basically, we are eating plastic. Other than that whole plastic choke sea creatures which are important in the ecosystem for a sustainable, circular economy.
Wood / Bamboo is naturally anti-microbial, sustainable, compostable, durable, eco-friendly and the bristles are made from high quality plant fibers / bristles that are naturally strong and durable.
Eco brushes are made from natural plant fibers like Coconut, Sisal, Palm, Tampico, and Bamboo. They don’t pollute the environment. Are microbial. Don’t leach chemicals. Non-toxic. Gentle on skin but have wonderful scrubbing and scouring effects.
They are non-scratch and gentle but effective to use on fragile dishes, pots and pans like cast iron.
The natural loofah is from the cucumber family that is a plant gourd that dries naturally into a loofah.
Eco options are sustainably sourced, last longer and are gentle on fragile skin for babies as well as gentle on the environment.
One good thing about ecofriendly products is that they are nontoxic, containing no toxins so they can be used on the body as well as for cleaning. Be wise to use different ones for body and others for cleaning.
And don’t cross contaminate. Whatever you used on your body or whatever you used in the kitchen can be retired to cleaning but never use cleaning ones for the body / kitchen.
For example: you can use the bottle brush when retired for the toilet. You can use the long handle dish brush as well. The natural loofah after kitchen use to scrub or clean when you are unable to use it for kitchen.
A new natural loofah can be used for exfoliating the skin in the bath. I love to use it for removing dead skin cells on my feet. And I find it so relaxing and soothing to scrub my back with it.
These natural cleaning products can be composted when their prime is over.
Natural cleaning can be used in all areas in your home that need to be cleaned.
Natural Cleaning Tools:
Bottle eco brush:
I use this brush to clean forks, kettles, teapots, jars with a large opening, wine glasses, bottles, food processor, oily dishes, small bowls and pots, cups, mugs, glasses, vases, flasks, French press, milk bottles, sauce bottles etc.
I found that the many brittles on the bottle brush helped release stuck on junk. And cleaned in between flat small holes.
Replaces: plastic bottle brush
Scrubbing Full Circle Ring eco Brush:
Bread bins, corners around the stove, fridge, tiles and grout, cupboard doors, outside toilet bowl, corners of the hood, stove, fingernails, square tins, bowls, oven trays, squared cornered skillets, pots, pans, trays, and baking tins.
Also, for small spaces between the fridge, the wall, and the stove. Fruits and vegetables. Great for removing stubborn dirt and grease. Hard to reach corners. My hand fitted inside the ring for easy grip.
Replaces: general scrubbing brush
Pot Scrubber / Palm Cleaning eco Brush:
An abrasive scourer. Great for Pots, burnt pots, grills, ovens, mold from walls, baked on gunk from plates, goo, or stickers on glass or ceramic or stainless-steel containers, oven racks, roasting trays, and greasy pans. Not ideal for glasses as it was too short to hold onto.
Gentle on pots as it is non scratch. Can clean cast iron pots. I usually add some baking soda and lemon juice to burnt pots, black soot from cooking on the outside fire and greasy pots, leave to sit for 10 minutes and then scrub.
Replaces: Plastic scrubbers, scouring pads, steel wool, mess wool.
Long Handle eco Dish Brush:
Comfortable and lightweight. Easy to use. Used for daily dish scrubbing especially flat or slightly curved plates and trays. The long stainless-steel handle ensures you can scrub those dishes without getting your hands dirty.
Also ideal for washing serving dishes. Recycle the metal piece separately. The brush head is removable and compostable. Not ideal for glasses, pots and mugs nor square dishes as the brittles don’t reach far corners.
Replaces: plastic sponges, plastic dish brushes etc
Bamboo Vegetable eco Brush:
Dual sided; Soft side for scrubbing hard veggies and fruit like carrots, cucumber, oranges, tomatoes, apples, potatoes, and a more abrasive side for general household scrubbing.
Tough side if for scrubbing the sink, tile, bathrooms, walls, floors, carpets, tires, cupboards, pool surfaces, stovetops, outdoor furniture, barbeque equipment etc.
Replaces: plastic scrubbing brushes.
Straw Brush or an old, disinfected toothbrush is a good addition for not only cleaning straws but bottles with small openings, hard to reach areas around or behind the stove, microwave, fridge, around faucets and toilets, kettle sprout, lids, toaster, window seals, grout, door tracks, bottle nipples and the sink.
Wooden Pot scrapper is used to scrap of stuck on gunk. And can be used to clean the stove top especially glass stove top. It can also be used on burnt pots and pans, trays, oven racks, floors, tiles, furniture to remove stuck on pieces without scratching.
Although the loofah is hard and brittle when dry, it softens when you soak it, before using it to wash dishes. Soak for a minute or two in a cup of warm water and dish soap to soften it for wash.
Squeeze lightly occasionally while soaking to foam bubbles so you can easily wash your dishes. You will notice it will start to foam better when soft. I also noticed it foams better when washing dishes with warm water.
Good for cleaning square and round dishes. Washes all dishes except inside long bottles. A good daily scrub and exfoliator.
Replaces plastic sponges.
Natural 100% Cotton Cloth:
Unbleached cloth doesn’t contain any chemical dyes that poison our environment. I use it for polishing and dusting. It left no streaks nor marks. Its so soft to touch. I use it on my electronics, glass table, fragile ornaments, brass ornaments, glass, stainless steel and ceramic ornaments.
I use it to clean the fridge door, microwave door, outside of the toaster and they were bright and shiny. Very effective and didn’t shed (lint free). I also use it with just plain water or multipurpose cleaner. I didn’t need a polisher.
Replaced all chemical products for polishing and dusting and cloths.
Natural Unbleached 100% knitted Cleaning Cloth:
This is an all rounder. I use it to wipe everything except for the microwave and fridge door. It cleaned the stove and soaked up oils. Cleaned tiles and walls. And the crocheted ends acted as a grip for slightly stuck on gunk. It works better when damp. And I use another for drying dishes. Can replace microfiber if you are not so comfortable using it.
Great for wiping, dusting, drying, and polishing surfaces, walls, appliances and dishes. Some people will argue that microfiber is plastic, but it is made in such a way that the plastic is bonded tightly that it doesn’t shed so badly, if used correctly. (read on how to use and clean them below).
Microfiber Dusting Cloth:
This one in particular, I love to use has finger like parts that get into hard-to-reach areas and catch all the dust particles, as well as for use to remove cobwebs.
I also use it to clean keyboards, as the finger like areas get into the spaces in between each key.
It is also useful for stains, spot cleaning and glass cleaning. Most times I dry dust with this cloth but can also be used when damp with only water for very dusty areas or with a dash of dish soap, or a multipurpose or dusting spray.
Effective at removing marks and fingerprints. And a good leather or furniture polisher. The best part is the cloth is removable and can be thrown into the washing machine.
Although most squeegees are plastic, you may opt for silicone and maybe a stainless steel or wooden handle. They are perfect to wipe down your shower tiles and doors after a shower to prevent mold and mildew.
Mold and mildew grow in a damp area. This also helps to keep your shower tiles from getting brown streaks and soap scum. A must have in your natural cleaning caddy.
Ingredients to use for Natural Cleaning:
Bicarbonate of Soda
Fresh or Dried herbs Lavender, lemon, Rosemary, Bay leaves (for infusing herbal water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol sanitizer)
Whole Citrus / citrus peels
Natural Dish Block
Castile Soap / Natural Dish Washing Liquid
Natural Cistern Block
Herbal infused Water
Natural Multipurpose Spray
(I will write a post about good cleaning recipes to use these ingredients and their uses or properties soon).
How to care for eco cleaning tools:
- Natural Loofah
The loofah should also be air dried and stored in a place with less water splashes. Soak to disinfect in vinegar or hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice (microwave in the jar of vinegar and lemon juice) every two weeks.
- 100% Cotton Cleaning cloths:
If very dirty, hand wash with a natural soap such as “boerseep” (tallow soap), castile soap or a natural laundry stain stick soap. Do not to bleach (nor use harsh chemicals) because that will degrade the cotton! If you struggle with lingering smells, soak for 30 – 60 mins in a bowl with 2 tablespoons baking soda and a cup of warm water or plain vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Otherwise, just wash it with the rest of the laundry using a gentle natural detergent.
Microfiber cloths should not be frequently washed in the washing machine (if so, use the gentle setting), otherwise frequent wash loosens the fibers.
They are simple to hand wash with a gentle soap. Microfiber should be washed separately in the washing machine as they soak up all odors and dirt from other laundry (avoid washing them with towels and socks).
Opt for higher grade or higher quality microfiber because most likely the weave is strongly bonded or closer together. And higher quality works better, leaves no streaks
Eco Wooden Cleaning Brushes
Don’t soak brushes in water. Hand wash only.
Avoid storing inside the shower or on splash-prone areas of the kitchen sink.
Clean your wood dish brush after each use by holding the dish brush under warm running water to remove loose particles. You may also use a fork to dislodge any stubborn pieces when needed.
Ensure they air dry completely, you may hang on your windowsill or the sun or dry with a towel. This will help delay cracks and splitting in the wood.
Store bristle side up so that the bristles can receive optimal airflow.
Occasionally, disinfect by soaking it in a cup of vinegar and a little dish soap or castile soap. Put the dish brush, bristle-end down, into the solution. Give it a little swirl. Let it soak for about an hour.
Remove your brush and rinse in hot water and air dry. Wood has natural antibacterial properties that don’t harbor bacteria nor offensive odors that don’t need to be disinfected that often.
Another way to disinfect is to pour hydrogen peroxide over it, making sure the peroxide gets on all the bristles. Let the peroxide remain on the brush for at least 15 minutes to help sanitize it.
Rinse the brush under running warm water and let it air dry.
Do not use harsh chemicals when cleaning with eco brushes like bleach.
With time, wood will age and develop a patina and a few cracks. Oxidation may occur (dark spots on wood). Few bristles may fall out and the brushes will be worn down in some places. These natural signs of aging are caused by water and frequent use, but they do not affect the performance of the brush.
Natural products may age, vary in size and color, but will give wood a beautiful and unique character that should be embraced not discarded.
When necessary, you can oil your brushes with light oil such as olive oil or coconut oil, or beeswax to help keep them protected and looking new.
Sources / where to I buy my eco brush and natural products in South Africa:
www.naturallife.co.za (natural brushes)
www.unwrappedco.co.za [natural ingredients (refill option) in Randburg, South Africa]
www.holisteeq.co.za (natural products, natural unbleached cloths and loofah)
Green Bee – Green Bee Biodegradables (thegreenbee.co.za) (natural cleaning products – dish washing liquid, multipurpose cleaner)
In conclusion: Using non-plastic zerowaste cleaning eco brush and products and tools is not only the better option for you and your family as they are nontoxic but also benefits our environment for the present and the future. Your Natural Cleaning Caddy Must Haves! Remember that we do our best to reduce as much as we can. Keep using what you have and replace naturally as they diminish.
More from MrsChettyLife: Handwash dishes Handwash dishes the Eco way – MrsChettyLife (mrschettylifestyle.co.za)
Let’s connect on Instagram, I update more frequently about my on my eco-journey walk, cleanng inspo, home decorating, mom chats, healthy feeding, talks about mom stuff and saving the planet one step at a time and eco (non-plastic) beginner friendly. I also share and review eco companies doing good and hosting giveaways.
Interesting non-South African Pieces (I am uncertain where else to get these from in South Africa, if you know, please let me know in the comments below)
Tenugui cloth: www.kyotocollection.com/what-is-a-tenugui/
Furoshiki Cloth: www.kyotocollection.com/what-is-a-furoshiki/
Swedish or Sponge Cloth: Buy If You Care 100% Natural Sponge Cloths Online | Faithful to Nature (faithful-to-nature.co.za)
Disclaimer: These ingredients and posts are from my experience. I am not a legal expert, even though they have been personally tested and researched thoroughly. Please ask your doctor, if you have any concerns, test patch and do your own research before use. Use at your own risk. Some images are taken off the internet.