Recycle Less: Dishcloths Review. Sustainable Cleaning. Rinse, Repeat Or Skip?

Lifestyle, Recycle Less

Welcome to Recycle Less, where in this edition I’m turning into my mother. 

Dish and cleaning sponges weren’t thing growing up aside from cleaning the car. My Mum used dishcloths of which I still have nightmares about. I think they were old t-shirts, or old clothes cut up. She boiled them every now and then but the same one was used for a long time. I hated the way they got slimy, the way the turned grey. I’m still shuddering. So much are my nightmares that if I smell even today them being sterilised by boiling which my Mum did once in a while I’m gagging. I remember in primary school I’m not sure if the school kitchen was cooking something or was boiling cloths however I remember whenever that smell was a round there was no way I was eating. 

Because of childhood dishcloth trauma I’ve avoided them. I prefer sponges. Better at foaming, scrubbing, wiping down. However most are made of plastic or a type of manmade plastic. I’m trying to reduce the amount of plastics I use and it’s hard. Food and cosmetics are the number one plastic abusers. The last few years I’ve purchased vegetable sponges made with 100% recycled fibres with walnut fibre scrub bit by Spontex. While these come in cardboard packaging, others I’ve tired still come in plastic (some are packaged in biodegradable plastic) and a lot of energy and resources used in production. I’ve been fine with these replacing them monthly. 

I was until YouTube kept bugging me to watch How to Hand Wash Your Dishes Like A Pro, With Rajiv Surendra | Life Skills With Rajiv on HGTV Handmade. I think because the algorithm knows I watch Hamimmony I like cleaning. FIY I don’t but I like a clean house. I ended up watching 14 minutes on how to hand wash dishes properly. I was okay, Rajiv tell me! One thing he said one thing that stuck out. You’re around someone else’s house and you go to wash up and what you find ‘is a nasty, smelly, rancid kitchen sponge ‘ you really don’t want to touch. I was surprise, washing up at the time and was hmm, yes looking at the sponge. He recommend not giving up sponges completely, they have their roles and preferred to use a dishcloth. I was horrified and carried watching. 

Recycle Less: Solid Dish Soap. Yes, It’s A Thing. Marseille Soap Review

Lifestyle, Recycle Less

Welcome back to another Recycle Less where I share my journey towards a lesser plastic free and more sustainable lifestyle. This edition is solid dish soap. Yes, solid dish soap! I didn’t know it was thing either. 

I don’t know why but it never occurred to me that you could get solid soap other than hand soap and shower/bath soap. I mean, where did that idea come from to use a solid soap to wash with come from. Probably Nat from soap that was used to wash EVERYTHING! First however a backstory how I came across solid dish soaps if you’re interested otherwise, skip 3 paragraphs and grab a cup of tea or coffee, for this is a long one. 

Back in October last year a YouTube video wouldn’t get out of my recommendations. To shut the algorithm up I clicked it. The algorithm might know me a little too well. I can’t remember the exact video other than the channel is Hamimommy and I’ve subscribed. Hamimommy is a channel I thought I’d never watch. A house cleaning, day in a housewife type of show. I like clean house, there are other things I prefer to do with my time. The cooking parts I mostly skip as meat is featured and I don’t eat meat. What I do like about her is she’s very much about reducing waste, reusing things, buying less plastic, sharing tips, promoting a less wasteful and more sustainable lifestyle. It’s one of the few videos I look forward to watching and the only one I sit down and watch rather than have on when in the kitchen cooking. Her house is gorgeous, her videos are amazingly filmed and edited and I’ve got some many tips and ideas from her. One being solid dish soap. I can’t find the exact video, however this one, 13 Items To Help Make Less Plastic and Disposables/ Zero Waste Routine features solid dish soap. No worries if you like me don’t speak Korean, you can turn on the subtitles in your language in YouTube settings. 

I wouldn’t say a light bulb when off when she featured solid dish soap. More a frying pan to my head. I use solid soap in the shower instead of shower gel to save plastic and help the environment when it’s washed down the drain. I use solid soap to wash my hands. While I’ve never got on with solid shampoo bars I have tried them. Why hadn’t I thought about solid dish soap before? Why? Because I didn’t know they existed. 

It was also around that time I started using new liquid dish detergent by Frosch. I’ve always used Frosch dish detergents as they’re bio, not that expensive and widely available in Spain. This particular one, a new rosemary scent came with a hazard sign on the back. None of the other Frosch dish detergents I’ve used have this!. While I use solid soap to wash my hands in the bathrooms, in the kitchen and when I get in, I use liquid dish soap. The scent even after rinsing well was still on my hands. I was concerned then that even with rinsing well the dishes, I was ingesting this hazardous bio dish soap. Hamimmony released that video, I went on a hunt for solid dish soap down a long rabbit hole. And with that, the actual review of the first dish soap I found. 

Jabon Zorro d’Avi Jabón Sóldio Natural para Vajilla, 120g

I tried Amazon first and it seemed only Jabon Zorro d’Avi a Spanish brand had sold natural dish soaps. I did find in my local supermarket Marseille soap however that had sodium tallowate, beef fat. Being vegan I didn’t want to wash with animal fats. The shipping was expensive even on Jabon Zorro d’Avi’s site. I think it’s since gone down. The soap bar, 120g, Jabón Sóldio Natural para Vajilla, wasn’t cheap €5.95. Amazon €8.95! Amazon shipping €3.95. €12.9 is a lot! I only wanted to try one! I decided to try a few zero waste shops locally to see if I could find any. The first one I visited stocked it however a little more than online I think €7. The sales assistant said it would last me 3 months. 

I think I used it wrong as it lasted about 3 weeks. It’s not a foaming bar. I’m team if it foams it’s working right? I know foam isn’t always an indicator that something’s working. I used the soap exactly as I do in the shower. Wet sponge, wet bar, rub them together, foam, clean. I tired to cut it into smaller pieces but it just crumbled. It also left white marks everywhere if you didn’t rinse or wipe down surfaces or the draining board well. Due to how quickly I got through it I decided to find another solid dish soap to try.


I did like that it was plastic free, vegan and all natural ingredients: Helianthus Annus oil, aqua/water, Olea Europapea Fruit oil, aqua/water, Sodium Hydroxide.

La Corvette Savon de Marseille, Savonnerie du Midi, 300g

In another zero waste shop Yes Future Positive Supermarket, I found a vegan traditional Marseille soap by La Corvette 300g. The sales assistant said it can be used for everything. EVERYTHING! I purchased one for the kitchen and went back a few days later to purchase another for hand washing as I wanted to stop liquid hand washing detergent. Price is around €3.50-€6.99 on La Corvette’s own site (in English!) depending on size purchased and if plastic wrapped. They sell non plastic wrapped bars and sell in bulk! It’s also palm oil free and certified COSMOS NATURAL by ECOCERT Greenlife, so I’m hoping coconut derived ingredient’s ethically sourced.

Recycle Less: The Irony of Shopping Local and The Case of Paper Parcel Tape

Lifestyle, Recycle Less

Welcome back to another Recycle Less where I share my journey to care for the environment and Planet Earth by being more sustainable.

It’s common knowledge that shopping local saves on emissions and energy in delivery from ordering online to you door and/or travelling further to afield for purchases. In return these emissions contribute in theory less against climate change. Money spent is also kept in the local economy. Not to mention either how many courier companies are overwhelmed with deliveries, how much abuse they get if items are delivered by said time and date.

I live in my eyes one of the best cities in the world for shopping or rather what I want from stores and shops, Barcelona. I can get nearly everything I need aside from cinnamon and raisin bagels. Good bagels are non existent here. I often shop in the city centre yet I find it’s in my local Centro Comercial (mall or shopping centre) I buy most clothes, shoes. If I’m honest I don’t shop much online for clothes. I’m old school. I prefer to look, touch the item in person. The centre has a few specific shops which I go to at least once a week, yet my local mall I can find most things I looking for or it’s perfect for returns. While I cycle as transport which is zero emissions aside from oil every now and then, looking at it the centre it’s local as it’s 25 min bike ride. If you’re really getting into the nitty gritty of what’s local my local Centre Comercial is a 5 min bike ride. I just seem to find what I’m looking for more in the local mall. Maybe as I have more time to look around as I don’t have to cycle back so far. 

When I visited my parents last year in the UK, my Mum and I went to a few local larger towns yet it it was the tiny rural Somerset town a 5 minute car journey from their house where I found the most things I was looking for. The shops combined excluding the supermarkets would probably fit into 1/4 if not less than my local mall and it’s not a large mall by mall standards here. They’d even fit combined into the superstore supermarket there! The shops themselves were basic compared to their larger town and cities counterparts. I got a few bits for my Dad and got a kick out of the local post office. 

Recycle Less Update Finds

Lifestyle, Recycle Less

I’ve been on a plastic free, recycle less journey for about 2 years and whenever I come across plastic free alternatives I’m always happy to share them here.

While food packaging remains my number 1 plastic frenemy, it’s getting easier to find plastic free alternatives for a whole host of other items now more companies are either cashing in on the plastic free market or by companies launched as they were unable to find plastic free alternatives. Amazon is also becoming the place to find plastic free alternatives. In this blog post I’m sharing few of my recent finds. For previous Recycle Less posts please click on the Recycle Less page above.