Okay, so I might be jumping the gun a bit with this spring cleaning-related post, considering that spring is more than two weeks away and National Cleaning Week (yes, it does exist) doesn't kick off until March 21. But it always helps to be prepared, right? Right. Below are 10 pieces of eco-friendly cleaning products ranging from recyclable trash bags to bamboo gong brushes that will come in handy when you do decide to partake in any spring cleaning activities later this month. Or in April. Or May.
In addition to the below cleaning tools, be sure to check out my 'Back to basics' series of posts where I highlight a handful of natural products that are often the key ingredients in homemade cleaning and laundering solutions. And if you haven't already, become a fan of MNN on Facebook and be automatically entered to win the complete line of Martha Stewart Clean eco-friendly cleaning products!
SUCK UK Goldfish Trash Bags @ Charles & Marie ($16/box of 12)
Sure they're spendy but these hefty, 14-gallon trash bags will no doubt lighten up any humdrum spring cleaning mission. Or just keep 'em around for special occasions. They're also sure to give the garbage collector a good chuckle. The bags are designed by Weiden & Kennedy and are made from oxi-biodegradable EPI plastic.
100 Percent Recycled Plastic Bucket @ Gaiam ($12 - 19)
If the buckets, pails, or tubs that you usually break out for spring cleaning projects are beginning to look/smell a bit funky, replace 'em with durable buckets made entirely from recycled plastic. Available in three sizes in burnt (pictured), black, ocean and olive.
Quickie 8" Bamboo Gong Brush @ Green Depot ($6.95)
Made from rapidly renewable bamboo and compostable Palmyra fiber, this gong brush is ideal for heavy-duty scrub jobs both indoors and out. Part of Quickie's "Green and It's Clean" collection of bamboo cleaning tools.
Bissell Steam Mop Hard Floor Cleaner - Green Tea @ Target ($89)
With a built-in water purification system, this easy-to-handle-and-store steam mop from Bissell cleans sticky, dirty floors with the chem-free power of steam. Included are washable microfiber mop pads that eliminate the need for disposable cleaning cloths.
Full Circle Squeeze Cellulose Cloths @ Greenfeet ($3.90/ pack of 3)
Ditch the paper towels this spring and grab a handful of these super-absorbent reusable cellulose cloths from Full Circle. They're appropriate for any clean-up task and will last you well beyond spring cleaning season. They require occasional freshening up in the dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water.
Casabella eclipse Cleaning System @ The Container Store ($12.99 - $29.99)
The fabulous eclipse line of cleaning tools from Casabella includes a pole made from 30 percent recycled aluminum and interchangeable cleaning heads — a mop/wringer, broom, and microfiber floor duster — with plastic parts made from recycled PET soda bottles. The eclipse line is Cradle to Cradle certified.
Bar Keepers Friend @ Sur La Table ($2.95)
You needn't be a barkeeper to reap the benefits of this trusted, old-timey powder cleanser that works magic on various household surfaces. Bar Keepers Friend is biodegradable and does not contain bleach, phosphates or harmful abrasives. Although not 100 percent all-natural, BKF is a great alternative to similar products like Comet.
Super Pine Cleaner @ Gaiam ($14/2 bottles)
This delightfully aromatic pine cleaner isn't synthetic nor were trees cut down to extract its effective, all-natural pine oil. This cleaner biodegrades and works wonders on various surfaces. Added bonus: it's super-concentrated so a little goes a long way, reducing packaging woes and saving you a few bucks in the process.
Bathroom Mold Remover @ Green Depot ($5.95/4 mold removal blocks)
Just add water to these nifty mold stain-removing blocks and go to town ... on bathroom tiles, walls, ceilings, etc. No need to add detergent or chemical cleaners. Made from non-woven nylon and magnesia in Japan.
Uncle Earl's All-Natural Moisturizing Soap @ Green Depot ($3.95)
Given that Uncle Earl's was created for machinists, it also does a bang-up job of soothing hands made rough from long housecleaning sessions. In addition to being effective, it's economical — a 3.5 ounce bar of will outlast a gallon of liquid hand soap.