Go for hand soaps in aluminium bottles or glass (don’t handle with wet hands). Usually the pump is plastic, so just pop this in your household recycling waste (most councils accept tops these days). Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing (avoid rosemary oil for high blood pressure). Avoid shea butter for latex allergies.
A zero waste hand soap also has biodegradable ingredients, that safely break down, once washed down the drain. Avoid hand soaps that contain toxic chemicals and fragrance oils (these cause algae bloom in the oceans, which chokes oxygen out of the water, harming marine wildlife).
Everyone is using more liquid soap these days since the pandemic, so choose a good one. NHS says to carefully clean the inside of your hands (thumbs too). Wash hands after visiting the bathroom, changing nappies, handling/eating food, blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, before/after treating a cut or wound and after touching animals (or their food, houses etc).
This low lather refillable hand wash is an ideal alternative to toxic plastic hand washes. This ethical cleansing liquid hand soap is made with 100% natural ingredients (23% organic). Beautifully scented, it features a stainless steel pump and you can buy refill bottles after that. Containing essential oils, choose from the following scents (avoid the Naked version as it contains rosewood from an unsustainable tree):
- Body (cypress, juniper, lavender, cedarwood)
- Nuit (bergamot, ginger, palma rosa, sandalwood)
- Be (mandarin, cardamom, ylang ylang, cedarwood)
The Best Biodegradable Sanitisers
If you would like to use a biodegradable anti-bacterial sanitiser for your home, you’ve come to the right post. Most sanitisers on the market contain toxic phosphate that harm our oceans as they don’t biodegrade once rinse down the drain, and most contain artificial fragrance (which also does not biodegrade) and are tested on animals.
These are all tested to certain safety standards which you will know about if you work in industry, but most of us don’t know what they mean. Suffice to say, these are the two quality brands to trust, with all genuine eco companies using them. They are close as you can get to totally biodegradable, and are both plant-based and not tested on animals. Avoid using scented items for pregnancy/nursing and near pets (including citrus). Bio-D has plenty of unscented options:
Bio-D is the brand leader eco-cleaning and laundry company in England. All items are packed in recycled plastic (and you can order refills, bulk sizes and super-bulk sizes, as well as most farm shops and health stores having refill stations). The range includes:
- Rosemary & Thyme
- Lime & Aloe Vera
There are several items in the range:
- Multi-Surface Sanitiser is ideal for baths, floor and paintwork, and can also be used undiluted for larger areas, just add a small amount of water for maximum effect.
- All-Purpose Sanitiser neutralises 99.9% of harmful bacteria including salmonella and E coli.
- Sanitising Hand Wash also neutralises 99.9% of harmful bacteria, while being gentle on your skin.
Due to concerns over machines that have injured koalas during eucalyptus harvesting, we no longer recommend anything with this oil, unless source is stated, so we are researching the eucalyptus home & garden sanitiser. Delphis Professional Cleaning makes products for industry, offices, schools etc, and have great reviews (the company was formed by an ‘overpaid banker who left to do something for the planet). Its anti-bacterial sanitiser is used in many biocidal applications, and tested effective against a lot of bacteria, algae, mould and enveloped viruses. Free from chlorine and bleach, it has a 6 month shelf life (post-dilution) and is free from perfumes and dyes. It’s safe on paint, metal, glass and rubber and is also free from phosphates and safe in septic tanks, if used as directed.
Green People Children’s Sticky Hand Sanitiser is a delicate organic and vegan product to clean dirt, grime and germs in one small squirt. No need for water, so perfect for on the go. It includes tea tree extract with added antispeitc properties that is free from harsh ingredients, and no Triclosan which can strip and dry out the skin. 96% organic ingredients. Apply to sticky hands, use with a cloth to wipe faces, clean toys and highchairs. Safe for babies too.
This refillable surface spray (NZ) is lovingly made and sold in a kiln-fired amber glass bottle, which you then just add contents from the refill bottle. No peeling or plastic labels, and you can use the pump over and over. Scented with essentials oils of frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh and patchouli. Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing and medical conditions like asthma, epilepsy and high blood pressure. Avoid essential oils near pets/babies.
Leaves a streak-free finish on glass and stainless steel, and also removes bacteria, grease and soap scum in kitchens and bathrooms. To use, just use a few sprays and wipe with a clean dry cloth. For stubborn areas, leave for a few minutes, before wiping.