Cleaning Tips for Zero-Wasters
A Non-Toxic Guide to Cleaning Your Resuable Lunch Boxes and Other Plastic-Free Kitchen Tools
Living green takes commitment. Luckily, you are not alone. With so many new go green, plastic-free product companies springing up, it is easier than ever to celebrate zero-waste living with reusable products.
We'd like to help you tuck a few more no-plastic tricks up your eco-sleeve to keep your new toolkit of reusables up and running without any muck or gunk! Here are a few eco kitchen tips for keeping your non-toxic ECOlunchbox steel containers, reusable water bottles, straws and other reusables 100% non-toxic and free of yuck!
Reusable bottles correct a multitude of sins. They can also hide a lot of gunk. Take a peek inside your favorite stainless steel or glass bottle. Chances are there may be something other than water along the sides and at the bottom. An easy fix, simply buy a bottle brush. Measure the opening of your bottle before you click “buy.” Or pick a versatile brush like the one-size-fits-many Reach Bottle Brush by our friends at Full Circle Home.
Box It Up
With proper care, our rugged stainless steel ECOlunchboxes are built to last for many, many years. Fortunately, caring for stainless steel lunch boxes is not difficult. They're even dishwasher safe! For hand washers, hot soapy water will do the job quite nicely.
But you must avoid any harsh chemicals, like bleach and ammonia, as well as steel wool and other abrasives that will likely degrade the corrosion-resistant finish on the surface of stainless steel. Instead for tough stains or stuck food residue, soak the container in hot soapy water or make a paste of baking soda and water, coat the problem area and leave for 30 minutes. Then rub with a damp cloth, rinse and dry.
Suck It Up
How often do you think about straws? If you are on a plastic-free pathway, chances are a lot. These pesky little things can cause a great deal of harm. Clean the ones you already own or buy glass straws from Glass Dharma. They come with their own little brush.
Now that you only use wood or bamboo cutting boards (right?) instead of plastic, you need to seal them with wood or bamboo oil like the lovely bambo and wood grain finishing oil sold by our friends at Bambu. Great for their reusable lunchbox sporks we sell at ECOlunchbox, as well! Use a soft cloth towel to coat the board.
Mix It Up!
Got more cleaning to tackle in your eco kitchen? Purchase non-toxic cleaning liquids sold in reusable, refillable containers. That means a lot less plastic container waste will be coming out of your eco kitchen.
Or for DIYers, mix up a batch of vinegar cleanser. Vinegar is a cheap, chemical free alternative that extends the life of all your sponges and scrub brushes.
Here's an easy recipe. Mix vinegar with warm water and a couple drops of sudsy for an all-purpose cleaner. Boil a solution of watered down vinegar in your microwave (if you still use one!) until steamy and then wipe down. Use your imagination. Only good ole fashioned clean can come from this! Use vinegar to sanitize your drains too! Just pour some down and run the disposal if you have one.
It’s an eco sin to forget your bags in the car, but now you can add something else to fret about to your eco list… you’ve also got to remember to wash those bags! Did you think of that, too?
Don’t forget to regularly clean your reusable grocery bags. Hot water kills any E.coli and other bacteria. Just make sure they're not dry nylon bags. High heat can warp them. Hand wash bags and air dry made of non-woven polypropylene or recycled PET like mesh bags or crocheted bags.
Wipe It Up!
Say goodbye to paper towels. You’ll save some trees and some money. Instead add a splash of color with cotton Unpaper Towels that are much more absorbent and machine washable.
Eco-friendly folks are masterminds when it comes to using products in ways they were never intended to be used! Up-use old plastics instead of discarding them by trying a mesh produce bag out as a scrubber for pots and pans! These are one-use items though. Food really sticks to mesh.
Quick, cheap, and easy. If only everyone knew how easy it was to live green!