10 Easy Tips for a Zero Waste Bathroom

After the kitchen, the bathroom seems to generate its fair amount of waste. Switching over to a zero waste bathroom is easier than you think! Follow these 10 tips and kiss that bathroom waste can goodbye!

zw bathroom

1) Facial Tissues

Start a collection of handkerchiefs. Not only will they reduce your waste, they will also feel better on your nose! We have some nice soft flannel in our home. To wash them, just throw them in with your regular laundry.

2) Shampoo and Conditioner

There are a few options here. You can try to find a place that will refill your bottles, use a shampoo bar, or go “no poo”. No poo never worked for me, and we don’t have any place around that we can refill bottles at so we have a shampoo bar….and love it.

For conditioner, I use apple cider vinegar (glass jar). If I remember, I like to infused it with chamomile, calendula, and yarrow but if I forget, adding 1-2 drops of rosemary essential oil and tea tree essential oil works great. *Rosemary essential oils is contraindicated for those with epilepsy. Some people find they don’t need it and some people made add a little coconut oil afterwards.

Warning though, the apple cider vinegar will let you know if you have any open scratches!

3) Toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Bamboo toothbrushes are a favorite among zero wasters, as I love them as well. We have one for everyone member of the family…including our not yet two year old (dental health starts young, though we skip the fluoride).

For the littles, who are picky, we still use baby toothpaste, but our oldest daughter (age 7), my husband, and I use a homemade tooth powder. I mixed equal parts baking soda and bentonite clay with some stevia ( powdered herb).

4) Soap

Unpackaged bar soap is the ultimate winner here, with soap in paper coming in second. Castille soap in a bottle is nice for those with access to bulk soaps but there are many, like us, that don’t have access to that. Supporting a small shop on Etsy is a great way to find some amazing soap. I personally love Rocky Top Soap Shop for their wide variety and quality, especially if you have a man in the house who doesn’t want “girly” soaps.


5) Shaving

We switched a while back to the safety razor…and never switched back. It is a nice middle ground between disposable razors and the straight razor. My husband has to shave every week day and uses it with no issues. He took a month of leave and didn’t shave and it still did a great job when he had to get rid of his beard.

It works well on legs and underarms….although in full disclosure….in the winter I don’t shave my legs…too cold.

Use a shaving soap and a brush ( you can buy the razor, brush, soap, and soap dish all at the Life Without Plastic store) in lieu of shaving cream. Getting the right lather can be a learning curve so have patience.

6) Hand towels

A few years ago, I probably would have never had to add this to the list but since some company came out with disposable hand towels (sigh, shakes head)….keep real hand towels available. Launder when you do laundry.

7) Q-tips and Cotton balls

I used to think that I could never give up q-tips…and then I found myself in a place where we couldn’t have them! (Long story). We used the corner of our towels. Now, 12 years later, I don’t use q-tips. I don’t use the corner of my towel either…I use these awesome cotton rounds from one of my favorite shops on Etsy. Works like a charm.

The aforementioned cotton rounds can do everything those little fluffy balls of cotton (are we sure they are all cotton?) can…plus you can wash them and reuse them. If you want to remove fingernail polish….well, I would have to ask around. I don’t wear it because of its chemical content.

8) Toilet Paper

The most comfortable option is buying toilet paper in a paper wrapper. We used Amazon for this and got a case, which worked perfectly for our family of 6. For those with less people….it will definitely curb your need to buy toilet paper for a while.

Other options include, but not limited to….cloth wipes, bidet ,and air drying.


9) Cleaning

Cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite chore, I would rather iron all the clothes and linens in the house BUT it needs to be done. Baking soda is a power house for tough jobs and a home made cleaner of vinegar, water, essential oils, and a splash of vodka does everything else.Vinegar works well for hard water folks too!

10) Feminine hygiene products

While several of the things listed above can have a positive impact on your health by reducing your toxin load, switching to cloth pads and/or menstrual cup is not only a step towards a zero waste lifestyle…its also a big step for your reproductive health. I talked much more about this on my blog, little impact family, so you can read the post “The Healthy, Zero Waste Period. A Change for Health.”

So there you have it, 1o easy tips for a zero waste bathroom. You are well on your way to living a zero waste lifestyle.


What do you do in the bathroom to be zero waste?

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Jacki is a herbal mama to 4 beautiful girls and married to her best friend. She is a doula, natural living advocate, and herbalist. She homeschools and crafts her way through every adventure life throws her way.
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Latest posts by JackiMay (see all)


Jacki is a herbal mama to 4 beautiful girls and married to her best friend. She is a doula, natural living advocate, and herbalist. She homeschools and crafts her way through every adventure life throws her way.

16 thoughts on “10 Easy Tips for a Zero Waste Bathroom

  • December 13, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve used apple cider vinegar for quite some time now as a hair rinse and really like it. And I just discovered rosemary essential oil too. Thanks for the great article!

  • December 14, 2015 at 12:08 am

    It always surprises people when they learn they can use ACV for their hair but it works! The addition of herbs or essential oils just makes it so much better. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • December 14, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Great post! I actually found the bathroom one of the easier changes to make. We’re still working on it, but I feel like it isn’t an insurmountable change.

  • December 14, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Hi Jacki,

    I’ve been mixing up my leftover coffee grinds with a little olive oil for that lux feeling and ceyenne pepper to pep up circulation:) No waste in the kitchen and the bathroom! Do I get a gold star? 😉

    Great post – definitely going to try the vinegar x

  • December 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Wow! You definitely get a gold star for the cayenne pepper idea!

  • December 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Love it! I am going to try that now 🙂

  • December 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Small steps make it happen! Thanks for stopping by Helen.

  • December 14, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Gotta say I’m pretty proud that I do all of these except safety razor. I’m currently using one with a reusable handle and disposable heads that last a month. I’ll work my way to safety I imagine! Ten great tips! And as far as TP, individuality wrapped in paper is as zero as I get!

  • December 14, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    nice tips thanks
    Starting with the kitchen, bathroom will be the next step 🙂

  • December 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

    That was our last thing in the bathroom we changed over. It was almost intimidating, now its second nature. 🙂

  • December 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

    The kitchen definitely can create a huge amount of waste…after the kitchen the bathroom will feel like nothing!

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  • May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I am working my way to a safety razor too !! I have to use up the ones i have before using one i just got with gift money ! the smoothere on amazon is cheep and came with a box . tried it once today loved it. I dont want to use my plastic ones now.. .

  • May 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    How do you get those cotton rounds in your ears ?! I have crochet face scrubbies similar to the ones you linked but I don’t know if they’d fit in my ears. The last thing I can get rid of in my bathroom beside the bulk buy of tubes of toothpaste ,shampoo and conditioner are qtips and cotton rounds. If my husband doesn’t dry out his ears out from water his ears get sick so I’ve been looking for an alternative. I’ve looked at the earwax scoopers they have in japan- they just don’t dry ears. An ear dying tutorial would be appreciated !
    We went family cloth and bidet as an budget friendly alternative hubby wasnt on board at first but now hes good. Its saved us alot of money from when we get sick especially for hankies and I don’t have lint problems or sore spots like I did with tp. I made the squares out of the flannel receiving blankets that people gave us but I never used because I live in Arizona. We just wash em with the cloth night-time diapers with ecofriendly deturgent and peroxide no problems here!! I making the adjustment for meat on a budget is hard for us though. Any tips to go ecofriendly on meat would be appreciated to!

  • April 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I blog about reducing waste all the time, a really think your site is great! I am not sure that we will ever achieve zero-waste, but it’s worth trying to get there. I suggest that a post like this one needs a footnote that the worst thing you can do is to throw those little damp cloths down the toilet These started out as “baby wipes”, but are now sold for a multitude of cleaning uses. They don’t break down like a paper towel will, and cause enormous problems in the sewers, if flushed away. Sometimes society seems to be going backwards on waste!

  • May 3, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Not to be a horrible stick in the mud but if you can buy something local and in-store instead of having it shipped to you, even if it means your husband is stuck with girly soap, that is the better option. Shipping is horrible for the environment and if you think it is a zero waste workaround – you are fooling yourself!

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