Plastic-free cleaning tools: Dish brush, dish clothes, vinegar


While I have found many plastic free alternatives in the area of food, much less experienced am I in the area of home cleaning. A while ago, I shared with you how I finally managed to buy plastic-free dish washing detergent. This time, my new findings are plastic-free dish brushes and concentrated vinegar in a glass bottle.

Let’s start with the dish brush. Early on in my plastic-free journey, I discovered the wooden dish brush with replaceable head. While such brushes are relatively easy to find (in the Netherlands you can buy these for example at AH or Ekoplaza), this is not the case for the replaceable heads. I have been looking in many different stores, but they are impossible to find in the small town where I live. It’s curious that stores only sell the brush and not the heads. Perhaps this is motivated by profits? Anyhow, in the end, I bought a couple of replaceable heads at Dille & Kamille. These are made of plant fibers and wood and cost 95 eurocent.

While at it, at the same shop I also purchased a small pile of dishcloths, made of organic cotton. I choose organic cotton to avoid both disposable kitchen wipes and those that are made of microfiber. Did you know that the microfiber in dishcloths contributes to plastic pollution in our oceans? Microfiber is usually made from polyester, polyamide, or a combination together with polypropylene (PP). All three of these are plastic. Research has shown that a large share of the plastic pollution in our oceans (“plastic soup”) comes from washing synthetic clothes and items such as microfiber cloth. Make sure to read the labels before buying to make sure it’s not synthetic!

For home cleaning, I use vinegar. But unfortunately, in the Netherlands vinegar typically comes in plastic bottles. This had been an annoyance for me for a long time, until our Instagram manager Marlies told me about concentrated vinegar, available in glass bottles at Asian supermarkets in the Netherlands. So on my way to work today, I finally bought one of those bottles. It was easy to find. The concentrated vinegar was standing next to all other kinds of vinegar and soy sauce. It costs only a couple of euros. Because it is concentrated, it is very important to dilute it with water before using it or else you could seriously harm yourself or damage the surface on which you apply it. Although the bottle has a plastic cap, this is a lot less plastic than the plastic bottles I used to buy.

Concentrated vinegar

I am happy that I am taking my plastic-free lifestyle yet another step further. I hope you too manage to reduce  your plastic footprint. It may be a challenge, but just take it slow, one product at a time. For more tips and to join the conversation, please visit our website or follow us on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest).

Wish you all a happy Plastic-Free Tuesday!


About Author


In 2013, after reading yet another article about plastic soup, Annemieke started her Dutch blog Plasticminimalism where she documented her small steps towards life with less plastic. To create more awareness about the adverse impacts of our plastic consumption, she launched Plastic-Free Tuesday in spring 2014. She strongly believes that building a better world starts by changing our own behavior. Annemieke is trained in environmental science and policy. She alternates living in the Netherlands, Sweden, the US, and China.

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