Sunday, August 1, 2021

Cleaning For Caregivers: Clean, Sanitize, All With Zero-Waste Supplies

Single-use cleaning products made of plastics and paper are constantly being disposed. They wreak havoc on our environment causing global warming, an increase in hurricanes, wild floods, and forest fires. 

Today, there are host of companies peddling products that are not only environmentally aware, but also recognize the impact on the human body.  Chemical sensitivity is a real thing, as real as climate change, and thankfully entrepreneurs found solutions for humans and our beautiful planet Earth.

Ok, but do these products work? More specifically will these eco-friendly alternatives sanitize surfaces? Will they keep our medically complex kids safe, too?  Products must be effective for our craniofacial community, where cleaning solutions and implements in our homes must not give off irritating fumes, yet be able to keep our homes squeaky clean to reduce the proliferation of bacteria and viruses. 

I'm skeptical, but that's just how I am wired. Let's see what's on the "zero-waste" market. From what I understand, these zero-waste products will not only clean up some serious messes, but also minimize their effect on the environment once it's time to dispose of them. 

A Game-Changing Single-Use Sponge

Photo Credit: Scrub & Throw

Perhaps the most intriguing among the cleaning products I learned about during my recent research was Scrub & Throw. I love single use products. As a medically-complex adult, you can pry my paper towels from my cold dead hands. When cleaning the kitchen, I fear rags because I feel as though I am dragging germs from one surface to the next. However, on some messes the paper towels just do not cut it. Dried on food, and tough hard water stains around the faucet rip paper towels. What to do? Enter the Scrub & Throw, the "first-ever zero waste scrub sponge made to be thrown away at the end of each day. It's cleaner and safer for our homes and our planet," says creator and entrepreneur, Catherine Burke.  It's a loofah for your kitchen, home, and bath fixtures. Catherine shares, "the sponge 
is 100% biodegradable/compostable. It is made from the loofah plant so its a renewable resource! They can be thrown away at the end of the day guilt free. It's a safer alternative for our homes and our planet." 

Luxurious, effective, and yet you can conveniently throw it away at the end of the day when you are done. No carrying over germs into the next day. Consumers reviewed the product and raved, 

"Game Changer"

Kitchen clean-up game changer. I can't believe I used to extend the life of my gross, old sponges in the microwave and dishwasher. Never again!

These sponges are sold in a 30-pack box for $14.99, or save and sign up for a subscription for

Photo Credit: Scrub & Throw
$11.99 per month. Your kids will love them because they expand when submerged in water. How fun! Learn more about the product and start scrubbing now on their website, Instagram, and Facebook pages. 

This Bleach Freak Needs An Alternative Cleanser

Photo Credit: Force of Nature

I have a confession to make....I love bleach. I really love it. It breaks down in water, and has some elements of the zero-waste cleaning swerve to it, but its so harsh smelling. The vapors can be dangerous if you inhale them in an enclosed space. Additionally, bleach can irritate people with compromised airways and sensitive skin. I am trying to slowly move away from dear friend, bleach. I've tried vinegar and like the effects. Yet, it's still smelly, but thankfully not as toxic. I needed something to kick it up a notch. After a smidge more research on the many zero waste blogs, I found this multi-surface cleaning solution that gave me pause: 
Force of Nature! What a great name, too. I'm in love! "Force of Nature is a cleaning gadget that actually uses electricity to convert tap water and a recyclable capsule into a powerful all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant," says the product website. 

How does it work and is it effective? 

The website goes on to explain, "each “Activator” capsule contains just salt, water, and vinegar, but has just as much germ-killing power as bleach, without any potentially harmful chemicals, fragrances, or irritants. Unlike some other “all-natural” cleansers on the market, Force of Nature kills 99.9% of germs and is on the EPA’s List N, the disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, which is a big bonus."

Photo Credit: Force of Nature 

Yes, you read that right! It nukes COVID-19. Electrifying!

I'm an intense person, and this is an intense cleaner that I can get behind. The Starter Kit is priced reasonably at $65. Learn more about the starter kit and the product line  on the Force of Nature website

If the smell of vinegar is a turnoff, or reminds you of coloring Easter eggs, check out this quick and easy all-purpose cleaning recipe using castile soap. Castile soap is made with muddled olive oil and sodium hydroxide. It is a great option for folks with sensitive skin. It has no odor, but you can find varieties that have essential oils added like Dr. Bronner's brand. 

  • 1 Cup of Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Castile Soap Like Dr. Bronners (bought in bulk at Whole Foods)

There are a host of other zero-waste products that are eco-friendly and effective, too. Please read more about how to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle at these links below.. 

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