8 Cleaning Hacks to Make Your Life so Much Easier

Are your cupboards bursting with cleaning products you only use once a year? This article will feature 9 zero-waste cleaning hacks that are good for the planet and use simple household basics instead of questionable chemicals.

There are lots of good reasons to switch to a zero-waste cleaning routine: by using simple, all-natural ingredients like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda or castile soap, not only are you reducing the plastic and dubious chemicals you bring into your home and restoring order in your cleaning cupboard, you can also save money. After all, why spend your hard-earned cash on a different product for every purpose when trusty old cupboard staples like bi-carb or vinegar provide an easy fix for most of your cleaning woes?

Here are some easy recipes using only (distilled) white vinegar, bi-carb, cornstarch and water so you’ll never have to worry about using the wrong product on the wrong surface again!

Universal Cleaner (Kitchen surfaces, hob, bathroom, you name it!)

For a powerful product you can use on nearly anything, mix ½ cup of white distilled vinegar and ½  cup of water plus add 12-24 drops of essential oil if you want, then simply fill into a spray bottle and you’re good to go! 

Toilet Cleaner

If it’s good enough for The Guardian’s Dale Berning Sawa, it’s good enough for you, right? She puts  ½ cup bicarb, ¼ cup white vinegar and 10 drops of essential grapefruit oil (optional) directly into her toilet bowl and starts scrubbing.

Drain Unblocker

A blocked drain is one of those things I used to leave for far too long without dealing with it – at least until my mum told me about this tried and tested recipe: mix 20 ml distilled vinegar and 100ml water, then put to one side. Next, pour 1l of boiling water down the drain, followed by 6 tablespoons of bicarb. Pour down vinegar mixture, put in the plug and wait for 5-10 minutes, then pour another 1-2 litres of boiling water down the drain.


I don’t know about you, but apart from cleaning the toilet, tackling the oven is definitely one of the most dreaded cleaning jobs in my flat…No need to stress with this method though: simply combine bicarb with a splash of water and spread it on the parts of your oven that need cleaning (including oven trays and racks!), then leave to its own devices for a few hours, or preferably overnight. The next day, simply scrub off the mixture and the dirt should come right off with it.

Windows & Mirrors

Should the spring sun shining through your windows reveal that they are in desperate need of a clean, try this easy recipe to remedy the situation. Simply combine ¼ cup of white vinegar, 1 tbsp of cornstarch (optional) and 2 cups of warm water, get yourself a sponge and start wiping! (If you don’t have cornstarch, no need to worry – I’ve found that vinegar and water do an excellent job on their own too.) 


Mary Marlowe Leverette from The Spruce recommends adding distilled white vinegar to your wash in order to brighten whites and keep colours from running, amongst other things.


Drinking glasses losing their sparkle? Just put a dash of vinegar into your dishwasher rinse well and they should get their gleam back.

Remove stickers

We’ve all been there – you try to carefully scrape off a sticker but it only comes off in parts, ruining both your nails and your mood. Next time, try rubbing the sticker with a sponge soaked in distilled vinegar first, which will dissolve the glue. It should come off easily after that.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about simplifying your cleaning routine using all-natural ingredients! If you’d like to learn more about sustainable living, make sure to sign up to swopzshop.com to receive our newsletter and check out our other blog posts whilst you’re there. And should you have some zero-waste cleaning hacks of your own to share, we would love to hear from you! Tag us on social media (see below for links!).

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