Although I use natural cleaning products like soap, bicarbonate of soda and occasionally Ecover cleaning products, I prefer not to. Cold water and elbow grease clears most things. I know I sound dreadfully Victorian, and house proud, but really I am not. It’s just that even home-made scouring powders involve some plastic and of course represent some environmental impact. It seems a waste of product when a good scrub does the job just as well.
But you need to have a good range of scrubbers on hand. I use everything from bristle brushes to wire wool to get the job done. In my opinion natural products are good to go most of the time but occasionally synthetics come into their own.
This is my list of scourers in order of toughness
Knitted metal ribbon pad – the big boys of the scouring world will shift almost anything can not be used on plastic, non stick or delicate surfaces.
Wire Wool not as butch but still not good for plastic, non stick or delicate surfaces.
Synthetic scouring pads are good, where metal is too much and might leave black marks – think tiles but luffa too weak. Plastic scourers are ideal for burnt on non stick pans (though after reading this you might want to phase out the non stick and so the need for plastic scourers). However they are plastic and while I do occasionally use them, I am not entirely happy recommending them. When I have to, I use these recycled products that come sustainably packaged.
Coconut Pads – while not quite as powerful as synthetic pads they are a good, non-plastic alternative.
Also Useful Are
Bristle Brushes great for general cleaning, crevices, non stick pans and vegetables