10 Low-Waste Bathroom Swaps

Hi Guys! Today I’m gonna be giving you a few tips on having a more eco-friendly bathroom! Recently, the UK has committed to banning single use plastics including cotton buds by 2020 – but if you want to get a head start, keep reading for my top 10 low-waste bathroom swaps…

Disclaimer: This post includes gifted products that are marked [gifted] and affiliate links which are distinguished with an *. This means I may make a comission off of any purchases made via those links, at no extra cost to you.

Cotton Pads

This is a really easy swap to make! There are a few options to choose from. First is to use organic cotton pads, which are produced more sustainable (read my post on organic cotton here) but are still creating a lot of waste. The best option is to buy a pack of resuable cotton pads.

Here are some links to some products you could try -> reusable*, organic cotton*, facecloth*.

Bamboo Toothbrush, Toothpaste Tabs & Corn Floss

Brushd. very kindly gifted me some eco-friendly dental products, some of which are easier to make a switch to than others! These are great for everyday use, but also for travelling as they won’t take up any of your liquid allowance and can just be popped in your bag.

Toothbrush: The simplest swap is a Bamboo toothbrush which you can find in a lot of shops (online and irl). We use about 300 toothbrushes over our lives (if you change every 3 months as recommended). The standard plastic toothbrushes aren’t recyclable and can take over 400 years to degrade. When you’re done with your bamboo brush, you need to remove the bristles (& recycle) and you can compost the handle.

Toothpaste & Mouthwash: You can get toothpaste tablets with or without fluoride and they come in a glass bottle. There are about a months worth of tablets (brushing twice a day) and you can order on subscription too. They’re a little weird at first but you soon get used to it! They are kinda chalky when you initially chew but they quickly become like normal toothpaste – their mintiness isn’t so stron thought. They also have mouthwash tabs which you dissolve in water and those bottles come in a two month supply. Find toothpaste tabs in cardboard packaging instead of glass here.

Flossing: Brush. offers two flossing options: Charcoal or Corn (vegan). Both are plastic free and give you enough floss for 100 uses. After you’ve used them, they’re compostable – easy peasy!

Electric Toothbrush Heads: These guys are compatible with Oral-B toothbrushes and when you’re finished, you just send them back with the pre-paid compostable pouch and they are recycled properly!

Brushd also have a giving program where you can ‘buy one, give one’ where they donate a toothbrush to children via ‘A Reason to Smile’ to match every toothbrush purchased. Another scheme they have is ‘Plant a Tree’ so for every subscription order that is placed, they plant a tree!

Check out all these products over on Brushd by clicking here. [Gifted]

Metal Safety Razor

Each plastic disposable razor will take over 400 years to degrade if left in landfill and we use millions in the UK each year – its almost 2 billion in the USA. The issue is that they’re normally made of a few different materials which makes them tricky to recycle. Whilst a safety razor is more expensive upfront, they are an investment which will work out cheaper in the long run!

Gillette does have a razor recycling programme but I think that’s kind of like putting a plaster on a bullet wound! There are also some limitations and i don’t think that many people want to add another time-consuming step to their already busy lives. It’s so much easier to just invest in a reusable razor. You can find a plastic-free shaving starter kit here and some tips on using one here.

Q-Tips / Cotton Buds

Another pretty simple swap is these reusable cotton buds. In the UK, we use an estimated 1.8 Billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds per year. 10% of those get flushed! You can use alternatives such as LastSwab which is reusable or these compostable zero-plastic cotton buds*. I think that reusable is always better but use whichever you feel most comfortable with!

Shampoo, Conditioner and Soap Bars

The best swap from bottles is naked bars or DIY. Solid versions are pretty easy to find at the moment and are also great for travelling. I use the procoal shampoo bar* [Gifted in February] and I really like it, you can also find a DIY tutorial from diynatural here.

Menstrual Products

There are a few ways to have a more environmentally friendly period, so there should be something to suit everyone. I’m going to do a full post on this but here is a brief run down. Just a gentle reminder that if for whatever reason, these products are not accesible to you then don’t feel anxious or guilty about it: your health and wellbeing comes before everything else!

Cups: I’m sure you’ve heard of menstural cups by now, and they are a common way to reduce period waste. Organicup [Gifted] or Mooncup* are some good brands, but make sure to look into which sizes are best for you. Be aware that cups aren’t for everyone and that lots of companies (including Organicup) offer a guarantee of a refund if you’re not satisfied after so many days.

Period Pants: I think period pads are such a great option. I love my pair from Modibodi* [Gifted]. They’re really comfy and do a great job. Whilst they can be on the pricy side, they are a great investment.

Reusable Pads: A great way to reduce waste if cups and tampons aren’t your thing. Here are some of the more affordable reusables* i’ve found, or you can also shop organic cotton single-use ones here*.

Organic Tampons: Whilst you’re still using singe-use products, you can make a difference by using organic cotton tampons (post on organic cotton here). Check out DAME as they also come with a reusable applicator [Gifted].

Image taken from DAME’s website

Eco-Friendly Deodorant

This is another pretty easy swap to make!

There are a few options: Buy in a tube, as a cream or DIY. Pure Chimp is a really cute brand thats vegan, palm oil and cruelty free. It comes in a glass jar and contains enough balm for about 2 months. If you’re looking for something with an easy application, Ben & Anna have a stick deodorant thats vegan, cruelty and plastic free. An easy-to-follow DIY from The Healthy Maven can be found here.

Check out this post from Psychologies which has a few more brands who have eco-conscious deodorants.

Cosmetics, Hair Products & Skincare

When your current products run out, consider swapping to a more sustainable alternative, or make your own! Try to buy products that are vegan & cruelty free and without plastic packaging (metal, glass, bamboo or wood are ideal. Check out this great post from Going Zero Waste featuring some eco-friendly beauty brands). I’ve not tried to make any of my own products yet but here is an amazing post with lots of tutorials and information about DIYing your own cosmetics!

Laundry

Most of our clothes contain plastic and when they’re washed, small fibers which are basically micro-plastics are released into our oceans. Guppy-Friend* is a bag which catches these fibers and allows you to dispose of them properly, by recycling. Another good laundry product is Eco Egg* which is an eco-friendly and vegan laundry product that lasts 70 washes and you can buy refills.

Image taken from Eco Egg’s Website

Cleaning Products

Norfolk Natural Living [gifted] also offers a range of eco-friendly laundry & cleaning products. My favourite is their Loo Cleaner which is a plant-based alternative to bleach! All their products are natural & safe for everyone and you can find some great specific products (eg. Denim Wash) that are tough to find eco-friendly elsewhere!

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve got some inspiration of low-waste bathroom swaps you can make in your own bathroom. Let me know if you have any other tips in the comments below!

Bye for now x

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23 Comments

  1. This is a fantastic post! I’ve recently just invested in some reusable cotton pads and have plans to change other things as they run out like buying a bar of soap instead of a bottle. There are some great suggestions here – a lot of this stuff I hadn’t heard of before so great to know it exists.

  2. My friend uses toothpaste tablets; it is such a clever ideas, sine the jars can be reused or recycled. Switching to eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner is, to my mind, very easy, and my mother makes all our soap herself. Just because it is organic and eco-friendly does not mean it is less effective, which some of my friends seem to think.
    I use flannel pads I stitch myself for my cycles but I love the eco-friendly options you have here!

  3. Wow thanks for going in detail with this post, I’d love to start making more conscious choices with what I buy and replace! I’ll have to tag my friend in your tweet so she can have a read, she’s really into sustainable and ethical products! I’ve used a shampoo bar before from Lush and I actually loved it, and I’ve only recently heard about the period knickers, I’d really like to try them!
    Becky x

  4. What a great list. Though I’ll have to admit the bamboo toothbrushes I’ve tried just doesn’t do the job. My teeth still feel “dirty” after brushing with them. Also, I’m not a big fan of soap bars. I can’t get over the amount of bacteria that can grow in a damp soap bar *shudders*.

    1. Thank you! That’s interesting! I’ve never experienced that but I can see how it could happen. Soap generally has antibacterial products built-in and they’re super unlikely to make you ill – we have so much bacteria all over our bodies everywhere! You can rinse it through before lathering and keep out of moist areas to help prevent bacteria growing but there’s no more chance or bacteria than there is anywhere else!
      Check out this article for more info: https://www.self.com/story/bar-soap-sanitary-or-germy

      Thanks for reading and commenting – really interesting​ points I’d never thought about before xx

  5. Hi Jess
    Yes i need to do more eco swaps in my bathroom although i have already swapped out cotton pads & menstrual products but I know i could do more! Thanks for all these tips! I shall take a Look at where i can do better!! 🙊😊 xo

  6. I made my own reusable cotton rounds and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with how well they work. A huge improvement over cheap disposable ones!

    1. That’s such a great start!! Bamboo toothbrushes are really easy to find online and in shops so I hope you can find one somewhere to make the switch!xx

  7. Great post! So much good advice here. I never knew toothpaste tablets existed! I don’t have periods at the moment due to the pill I’m on, so I’m kinda glad I’m not producing any extra waste from sanitary products because DAMN you can really get through them! I’d be keen to friend eco-friendly tampons though if I ever do have them again xxx

    1. Thanks Jenny! I guess the pill is the most eco-friendly period product haha! But yeah, they can be a bit more expensive but I think if you can afford it then it’s definitely something to try! xx

Let me know what you think!