After years of testing materials and tweaking designs, the Bambu line of eco-friendly cleaning products has officially launched. But why spend two years perfecting the same four cleaning tools? This is why (and how) we did it.
The Start: Designing the best eco-friendly cleaning tools
The best cleaning products would be nothing without the right materials. And when it comes to designing eco-friendly products, choosing the right “ingredients” is everything. For too long, cleaning tools have been made up of petroleum-based materials like microfiber and synthetic sponges. Even the “green” alternatives use silicone or bleached cellulose.
Making the best eco-friendly cleaning products meant rejecting any materials that weren't clean from the start. So we went back to nature to find the building blocks. Rather than bleached cellulose, we found bamboo felt, hemp, and organic cotton. Instead of plastic bristles, we created an even tougher solution from plant-based tampico and palmyra. We wanted eco-friendly cleaning tools that wouldn’t contribute to microplastic pollution. So using only renewable, plant-based materials was essential.
The Middle: Testing our eco-friendly cleaning tools
If a product doesn’t perform as good as what’s already available, it won’t be a true replacement for its synthetic counterparts. That’s why we spent months testing each cleaning tool that was made. Thorough testing allowed us to determine the best way to care for each product. How long it would last, and how it could be cleaned or sanitized. We believe that daily use items should be durable and beautiful. So we tested our tools to ensure that they could work hard while still looking great. Studies show that sponges can be some of the dirtiest items in your house. So we knew that ours needed to be washable and easily sanitized. Through the months, we discovered that simple solutions, like soaking the brushes in white vinegar, would keep our tools safely in use for longer.
The Final Touches: Plastic-free from thread to packaging
It’s often the smallest pieces that make the biggest difference. And the details of our eco-friendly cleaning products are no different. In order to make each item 100% plant-based, only organic cotton thread was used to sew in labels and logos. And when it comes to packaging, being 100% plastic-free was essential. That’s why you won’t find any plastic tags or connectors on our products.
The End (Of Life): How we made a circular cleaning line
We knew that designing a set of eco-friendly cleaning products that lasted forever was impossible. So, considering their end of life was the key factor in how we made our tools, and what we made them from. By crafting only from renewable, natural materials, we were able to ensure that every item in this line is compostable. Either in your backyard compost, or via local yard debris services. Designing products that are long lasting and also compostable wasn’t easy, but it was essential.
Meet Our Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tools
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Cloths and Sponges
While so-called green alternatives to disposable dishcloths and petroleum-based sponges aren’t new, a truly green solution is. Rather than use bleached cellulose or synthetic materials, our solutions use natural and renewable materials like hemp and organic cotton. They are dishwasher and machine washable, and can be composted in your backyard or at a commercial composting facility.
After finding out that the average sponge is not only entirely petroleum-based but also harbors more bacteria than a toilet, we knew a washable, plant-based solution was needed. The LongLife Sponge is crafted entirely from bamboo felt, organic cotton, and hemp. These durable materials naturally fight odor and bacteria. And, the entire plastic-free sponge is washable with a quick rinse in the dishwasher or washing machine.
Did you know that microfiber and other synthetic fabrics cause 35% of all microplastic pollution? Most cleaning towels and dishcloths are made up of these materials, but natural alternatives work just as well. The All-Natural Dishcloth is made of durable and absorbent organic cotton, and it can be endlessly washed for years of use.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Brushes
Tired of stainless steel scrubbers ruining your pans? Looking for a plastic-free brush that cleans just as well? These are just some of the reasons behind the design of our two eco-friendly cleaning brushes. With carefully crafted handles made from USDA certified organic bamboo and 100% plant-based bristles, these brushes earn a spot on your countertop. Each brush can be sanitized by soaking the bristles in white vinegar. And they can be safely disposed of with your yard debris pile.
Designed for washing vegetables, but perfect for so much else. This dual-purpose brush offers a softer side made with tampico bristles for gentle washing, and a stiffer side made with a tampico-palmyra blend that’s ideal for root vegetables and tougher tasks. For optimal use, rinse and shake out your brush after use, then store it bristle-down.
No need to worry about damaging your cast iron or ceramic dishware. Or about shedding plastic particles with every scrub. The Pot & Pan Brush offers a plant-based alternative that’s safe for all materials. The durable bristles will easily tackle tough dishes without scratching them. And once this brushes time is up, compost it with your yard debris for a zero-waste life cycle. Keep it in ideal condition by rinsing and shaking away excess water after use, then store this brush bristle-down.
Why Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tools?
Even if you’re committed to living as sustainably as possible, the cleaning tools you use to do the dishes or scrub down your stovetop might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But when you add it up, cleaning products like sponges and scrub brushes contribute a surprising amount to issues like ocean pollution and overflowing landfills. Here’s why.
Because most cleaning products (think of those yellow and green sponges) are made up of petroleum-based materials, their production requires extractive processes. During their life, these cleaning products begin to shed tiny microplastics down the drain, and eventually, into natural water sources like rivers and the ocean. And, although few are single-use, most traditional cleaning tools are difficult to truly “clean.” So, after a few months, they end up in the trash. Due to the fact that they are made of synthetic materials, these products will sit in the landfill for hundreds of years (or more).
Recycling can’t fix this dirty product life cycle, which is why choosing cleaning tools made from renewable, plant-based materials is the solution. By starting out with the right materials, our eco-friendly cleaning products offer a life cycle that’s been carefully designed to leave no waste behind.