EASY HOME ECO-CLEANING SWAPS

Over the last five years, we've completely phased out toxic and disposable home cleaning products. We've saved thousands of dollars, so many trees, and rid our space of harmful chemicals! Our UO product line used to include everything from natural household cleaners, to dog treats (yes, seriously!), to skin care products. But as time went on, we narrowed our focus to just skin and body related items. Not to fret! We've compiled a list of our eco-friendly, vegan, and all-natural home cleaning faves:

UO Laundry Soap:

One of our fellow small shops, Marley’s Monsters, exclusively carries our UO all-natural laundry soap. This magical powder contains only three ingredients:

  • Washing Soda is a water-soluble salt that helps to clean clothing without leaving a waxy, chemical residue that store-bought cleaners typically have
  • Organic Coconut Oil helps to soften your clothes as they are being cleaned
  • Organic Soap Berries clean and deodorize clothing naturally without harsh chemicals or irritants
  • Optional: add in your favorite essential oils for even more benefits and a fresh, clean and natural scent. We recommend doTERRA’s purify, lavender, or lemon.

Benefits:

    • Safe for all skin types - including sensitive skin
    • Safe for top-loading and high-efficiency washers
    • Safe for septic tanks
    • Uses high quality, natural ingredients which means it’s better for the environment
    • Soap is biodegradable making it eco-friendly
    • Safely cleans, deodorizes, and softens clothing
    • Packaged in a reusable glass jar so there is less plastic waste going to landfills


Using the included reusable wooden scoop, add one heaping scoop to each load of laundry. Each jar includes approximately 60 loads. In true UO fashion, our Laundry Soap comes in a reusable glass jar with a reusable wood scoop. When you’re finished with the soap, simple clean out the jar and repurpose it in your pantry to store dry ingredients, such as rice, beans, flour, etc. For more creative ways to repurpose our packaging, check out this post.

 

Reusables:

  • Reusable Sponges: Stop tossing those sponges once a month. Grab a few Marley's Monsters reusable sponges in bold and graphic prints to add a little fun to your daily household chores. Perfect for dishes and countertops. Simply throw them in the washing machine and use them over and over.
  • Unpaper Towels: These Marley's Monsters cloths are the perfect swap for paper towels, napkins, dish rags, etc. Use them dry for sopping up spills, or keep some in a jar with your fave DIY cleaning solution for quick and easy disinfecting wipes. They even work in place of Swiffer cloths - just tuck them right under the tabs and mop away. Get a surprise pack or select fun prints from their list.
  • Washable Bamboo Duster: Ditch your hideous plastic duster and grab this sleek and modern reusable option. Made from multiple layers of bamboo & cotton blend fleece. Duster tendrils will curl after washing to make the collection of dust more effective. To wash, simply remove the duster from the handmade wood handle and slide back on once dry.
  • Bamboo Dryer Balls: There are so many dryer ball options out there, but most are made with wool. As a vegan family, we don't purchase any animal products, so it was a little harder to find something that worked for us. We found dryer balls made from organic bamboo on Etsy and love them! They soften clothes and reduce static just like disposable dryer sheets, but also cut down on dry time (saving energy costs) and don't leave your clothes smelling like chemicals. Just add a few drops of essential oil for a fresh, clean and natural scent. Our faves are doTERRA’s purify, lavender, or lemon.

 

Package-Free:

  • Dish Washing Block: No plastic bottle needed! This zero-waste vegan dish washing block is a cleaning powerhouse with a rich, sudsy lather. Cuts stubborn grime and grease, without drying out your hands.
  • Laundry Stain Stick: Another great plastic-free swap! Simply add water to activate the soap and rub on the stain.

 

DIY & Repurposing:

  • Old toothbrushes, mis-matched socks, and ratty t-shirts make great cleaning tools! No need to purchase something extra, just repurpose objects you have around the house.
  • Mix up some DIY cleaning solutions in a repurposed bottle or grab a new glass spray bottle with a custom cover! 
    • If DIY isn't your thing, we recommend Saint Olio's aromatic cleaners (made with pure ingredients), which will replace just about everything under your kitchen sink. They come in eco-friendly glass bottles and even offer a concentrate to dilute yourself. Safe to use with bare hands, yet powerful enough to clean every surface of your home. Spritz liberally on yoga mats, kitchen counters, bathroom floors, stainless steel appliances, and windows!

 

 Clean Air:

  • Essential Oils: Ditch those artificial candles, Glade Plug-Ins, Scentsy warmers, and switch to pure essential oils with a diffuser. We have four diffusers throughout our home and change up our essential oil blends based on our needs. We use calming oils at night, productive/happy oils during the day, and even cater them to our guests when we have gatherings. This allows us to have a fresh scent in the home without any harmful aromas.
  • House Plants: Adding potted plants to your home has been shown to reduce airborne toxins. Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air and also take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. **Be sure to use an organic potting soil so you aren't bringing added toxins into your home through your plants.

 

In addition to our own stash of products, we also use an eco-friendly house cleaning service. As busy entrepreneurs (and parents), this has been our saving grace. A few years ago I probably would have rolled my eyes at the thought of hiring someone to clean my house. But I recently discovered that I'm one of those neat freaks whose anxiety is triggered by a messy house. Yes, that's a real thing - read all about it here. So while this is definitely an added expense, it has been worth every penny. It freed us up to get more work done for Urban Oreganics and spend more time with our kiddos. When searching for a cleaning service, we made sure to choose one that uses all-natural and eco-friendly products. After five years of having a chemical-free house, it's alarming how quickly those products we used to use, now give us a throbbing headache. It's our body's reaction to the harmful VOC gasses that are being released from those products.

We know that making drastic lifestyle changes like this can be overwhelming, and often times costly. Instead of tossing all your supplies and starting over, just consider swapping each item as you run out. So rather than heading to the grocery store when you're low on paper towels or all-purpose cleaner, just order one of the options listed above. Or if you're really set on making all these changes today, consider donating what you have to your local school, homeless shelter, or community center. Which eco cleaning products are you already using? What's next on your list?


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Urban Oreganics Owners

About Us

Hi! We’re Cory & Emily, husband and wife, parents, and co-owners of Urban Oreganics. Over the years, we’ve developed a passion for creating an eco-friendly, minimalist lifestyle for our family. We’re always discovering new sources inspiration and are excited to share those with you through our blog.


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3 comments

  • Thanks for this great list! We’ve been working on this for over 10 years, and always have room to improve (especially as life gets busy). What service do you like to use here in Portland? I need one STAT!

    • Rosalea
  • Love all of these suggestions, thank you!

    • Melinda Ralls
  • Love this list! So simple and nicely organized. You’re so right though – it is so overwhelming. We’ve been doing what you suggested and slowly swapping things out as we run out. It’s hard for me to use up what we have when I know how harmful it is, but we just can’t afford to change it all at once.

    • Susie Carter
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