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The Best Reusable Cleaning Tools to Reduce Waste

March 5, 2024

The Best Reusable Cleaning Tools to Reduce Waste

Over the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of waste I produce. One area I’ve focused on is my cleaning supplies. Many conventional cleaning products come in disposable plastic bottles that get thrown away after just a few uses. Not only is this wasteful, but it can also be expensive to constantly buy new cleaners.

I’ve discovered there are many reusable cleaning tools that are effective, eco-friendly, and save money in the long run. Here are my top picks for the best reusable cleaning tools to help reduce waste in my home.

Reusable Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are one of my favorite reusable cleaning tools. I use them for dusting, wiping down surfaces, cleaning mirrors and windows, and more.

Benefits:

  • Microfiber traps dirt, grease, and dust without the need for chemical cleaners
  • Can be washed and reused over and over again
  • Cuts down on waste from disposable paper towels and wipes
  • Available in different sizes for multi-purpose cleaning jobs

I recommend getting a pack with different colors for different areas of your home. For example, use blue cloths in the bathroom and yellow cloths in the kitchen. This prevents cross-contamination.

My favorite microfiber cloths are by Scotch-Brite. They come in a handy dispenser pack and are very durable with tight woven fibers. I just throw them in the wash after use and they come out good as new.

Reusable Mop Pads

Mopping is a common chore, but the disposable mop pads and solution refills create a lot of plastic waste over time.

Switching to reusable mop pads that attach to the mop head is an easy way to reduce waste while still getting floors clean.

Benefits of reusable mop pads:

  • Machine washable after each use
  • No need to purchase disposable pads
  • Variety of materials like microfiber, cotton, and cellulose
  • Can be used with reusable mop solution (see below)

I recommend getting mop pads with rubber backs – they grip better and don’t slip around on the mop head. The microfiber pads work well for trapping dirt and are very durable.

My go-to brand is Scrub-It – their mop pads last through hundreds of washes without falling apart. A good set can last years!

Reusable Spray Mop Bottle

In addition to reusable mop pads, I also make my own reusable mop solution. This eliminates plastic waste from all those disposable spray mop bottles.

All you need is a reusable spray mop bottle, which can be easily refilled and reused forever.

Benefits of a reusable spray bottle:

  • Made of durable plastic
  • Variety of sizes available
  • Refill with your own natural cleaning solution
  • Eliminates waste from disposable plastic bottles
  • Saves money over buying premade cleaners

I like using the Handy Harry spray bottles – they come in multi-packs and have a battery-powered sprayer so you don’t have to pump it manually. I just mix my own solution of water, vinegar, and essential oils and refill as needed. A fraction of the cost of disposable!

Reusable Dish Scrubbers

For cleaning dirty dishes, reusable dish scrubbers are a must-have. They replace disposable sponges and plastic scrubbing pads.

Here’s why reusable dish scrubbers are effective and eco-friendly:

  • Made of durable materials like silicone, nylon, or natural loofah
  • Can be easily hand washed after use
  • Quick drying and antibacterial
  • Variety of shapes for scrubbing plates, cups, pots, etc
  • Last for months with proper care

My favorite is the Scrub Daddy scrubber – it has a cool texture changing ability, becoming soft in warm water for gentle cleaning, then firm in cool water for tough stains.

I also suggest getting a set of silicone scrubbers for pots and pans – the OXO brand is top-notch.

Reusable Produce Bags

Plastic produce bags are major sources of grocery waste. I’ve switched to reusable cotton produce bags.

Why reusable produce bags are useful:

  • Machine washable cotton construction
  • Breathable material doesn’t trap moisture
  • Variety of sizes for fruit, vegetables, bulk items
  • Eliminates plastic waste from single-use produce bags
  • Saves money over buying disposable bags

The best reusable produce bags I’ve found are from a company called Ecobags. Their Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bags come in 3 convenient sizes and have a drawstring to securely close.

Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags

Disposable plastic baggies get a lot of use for packing sandwiches and snacks. I’ve found reusable sandwich and snack bags are a great replacement.

Benefits of reusable food bags:

  • Made of washable materials like cotton, silicone, waxed canvas
  • Seal tightly and are leakproof
  • Withstand multiple washes without damage
  • Fun patterns and colors available
  • Eliminate waste from one-time use disposable baggies

For packing kid’s lunches, I love Flip & Tumble reusable sandwich/snack bags – they have cute designs my kids love and are very durable.

Reusable Straws

Plastic straws are being banned globally for the massive waste and danger to marine life they cause. I’ve switched to reusable straws in stainless steel, glass, and silicone.

Why reusable straws are better:

  • Made of eco-friendly, reusable materials
  • Variety of shapes like straight, bent, and curved
  • Easy to clean with pipe cleaners
  • Great for kids with fun colors and patterns
  • Reduce huge amounts of plastic waste from disposable straws

We use FinalStraw reusable straws – they come with a convenient carrying case and cleaning brush. Very handy for packing in lunches and bags!


By switching to reusable cleaning tools like microfiber cloths, mop pads, scrub brushes, and bags, I’ve been able to greatly reduce the amount of waste produced by disposable cleaning supplies.

The best part is that reusable products actually save money in the long run! The initial investment pays for itself within just a few months.

Making this small change has kept dozens of disposable plastic bottles, wipes, straws, and bags out of landfills. Multiply that by millions of households, and the impact is huge.

When shopping for reusable cleaning tools, prioritize durable materials like microfiber, silicone, cotton, and stainless steel. With proper care, they will provide years of use and savings. Our planet will thank you!

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