Posts tagged "cleaning"

What can I reuse or recycle to make dishcloths or pot scrubbers?

We’re having a cleaning-themed week here on Recycle This – yesterday, we talked about reusing or recycling bleach bottles but today I’d like to think about making and have a question for you guys:

what have you reused or recycled to make reusable dishcloths or pot scrubbers?

A lot of people knit or crochet dishcloths or tawashi scrubbers from either new cotton or reclaimed stuff – but there are also how-tos for making them out of plarn (plastic bags turned into yarn) for a more abrasive dishcloth/scrubber.

Less involved, onion nets can be very quickly made into scrubbers – just followed in on themselves to make a ball/scrubber shape.

What have you used to make them? Any pattern suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle bleach bottles?

Inspired by clearing out of bathroom cupboards this morning, I thought we’d have a cleaning themed week here on Recycle This. We’ve covered various cleaning related things in the past – pump action spray bottles, washing powder packaging, “freshener” shakers and reducing the amount of cleaning products used – but there are still a few things we could think about reusing, recycling, upcycling & reducing.

We’ll talk about more specifically cleaning alternatives later in the week but bleach, and so bleach bottles, is a candidate for reduction. There are alternatives to such harmful stuff in plastic bottles. But some people are a bit “prise it from my cold dead hands” about bleach and will never be parted from it, no matter what us vinegar loving hippies say.

All the ones I’ve checked have been made from HDPE – type 2 plastic – and most areas that collect plastic collect resin code 2 plastics so they can be recycled but I think reuses might be harder to identify. They feel less reusable than, say water bottles or pop bottles – because of the chemical residue, because they’re thick opaque plastic and in the case of some of them, a quirky bent neck for getting under toilet rims.

Anyone got any reusing/upcycling ideas though? Do you do anything with yours or do you just throw them into your recycling bin?

How can I reuse or recycle a Cillit Bang spray bottle?

Shelagh emailed to ask:

How can I reuse a Cillit Bang spray? It seems impossible to remove the nozzle to fill with a product.

I’ve never used it so I don’t know what the bottle is like – but I’m going out to the shops in a few minutes so I’ll have a good look at one (that’s guaranteed to get me some weird looks in the cleaning aisle ;) ). I’ll also check what type of plastic it is for recycling purposes (my guess would be HDPE, plastic number 2, which is widely recycled, but I’ll check).

We’ve covered pump action spray bottles before – people reuse them as plant spritzers or personal misters, or refill them with vinegar or homemade cleaning solutions to make their own cleaning sprays — but all of those reuses require getting into the bottle again. Anyone got any helpful hints on how to remove the nozzle section from a Cillit Bang bottle without breaking it?

Any other reuse ideas for if the nozzle section is stuck on?

How can I reuse or recycle “Swiffer” mops/handles?

We’ve had an email from Kelly, asking about reusing a “Swiffer” handle:

I’m sick of having to buy Swiffer cloths so am swapping to a regular brush and mop instead. What can I do with an old Swiffer then?

Disposable branded cloths aren’t the only option for using with Swiffers and the like – there are lots of homemade alternative options, often reusing and recycling old fabric from clothes, which can be washed and reused like any household cloth.

Looking at the pictures on Google, they’re look like a pole with a flat bit on the end so I imagine could be used for various other cleaning purposes – gazing at our filthy window here, I could imagine using it to dry water stains off the glass.

The pole away from the base could be useful by itself – I remember an old thrifty decorating tip was to use wooden broom handles instead of curtain poles, I’m not sure if the Swiffer pole would work for that but maybe it would… Could the base be used as a sandpaper block when you want to lightly sand a large area?

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle washing up brushes?

dish-brushEven though we use them in addition to sponge and cloths, we seem to go through washing up brushes pretty quickly, usually because the bristles all flatten out rendering them somewhat ineffectual at reaching hard to reach bottoms of glasses etc.

We keep a couple around for “dirty” cleaning jobs, such as de-muddifying trainers, where the flattened bristles do enough but what can we do with the others?

And is there a super-invincible kind of brush that lasts longer, thus reducing our constant need to replace them?

(Photo by laeste)