Zero-Waste Method for Cleaning Dishes

By KIM GONZAGA/ecoRI News contributor

Doing your dishes with bar soap isn’t nearly as difficult as you might imagine. All you need is a bar of soap, preferably a natural one, a scrub brush, and a sponge. Work the brush into your soap in a circular motion to build a lather on it before making contact with your dishes. Then simply scrub them as normal.

You can also wet your sponge and press the soap into it to create lather if you prefer to tackle some of your dishes this way. The brush works best for pots and pans and the sponge is more suitable for plates, bowls, and utensils. Your lather will last longest if you keep the brush and the sponge out of the stream of water.

The best part? No plastic bottle. And here’s a great tip: collect all the slivers of soap throughout your house and dissolve them in water to create a liquid soap. This gives you yet another waste-free soap alternative.

If you prefer to use liquid soap, here is a simple method for creating it from your favorite bar soap. Add one bar of soap to a gallon of water and boil it on the stove until the soap is completely dissolved — shred the soap if you would like to hasten the process. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher and set is aside for a few days. Give it a stir and add it to a reusable dispenser. You can get quite a lot of liquid soap from one single bar. Add some of this liquid soap to a reusable spray bottle with vinegar and you’ve got yourself a wonderful all-purpose cleaner.

Kim Gonzaga is the owner of the Providence-based Stella Marie Soap Co.