How to Make Your Own Eco-friendly Cleaning Products

Eco-friendly cleaning tips for diving and snorkelling

Just like us, marine life and corals need a healthy balance of nutrients, oxygen and clean water to survive. When this delicate balance is tipped, it can spell bad news for our coral reefs. We’re all working hard to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics and replace chemical sunscreens with reef-safe alternatives. But did you know even the smallest amount of toxins found in everyday cleaning products can lead to lasting harmful effects on our marine environment and health? This can be tricky for marine tourism operators who, of course, need to keep their equipment and vessels clean and in line with health and hygiene standards – and often use chemical cleaning products to do so. So, what can you do to adopt eco-friendly cleaning to reduce the risk of potentially harmful chemicals reaching our coral reefs or other sensitive marine ecosystems? 

Use biodegradable or eco-friendly cleaning products

To protect our reefs and marine life, there are a few small changes Green Fins members and other dive and snorkel operators can make. Making a few simple switches will  ensure your dive or snorkel operation doesn’t harm life below the water. Switching from chemical to environmentally-friendly or biodegradable cleaning products is just one of them. Adopting a minimum discharge policy is a small but effective step that businesses can take to help preserve our coral reefs for future generations to enjoy. 

And the great news is environmentally-friendly cleaning products are now more affordable and more widely available to buy than ever before. However, you can also have a go at making them yourself! They’re easy to make and only require a few simple ingredients that you may already have in your cupboards. 

You might have to use your eco-friendly cleaning products a little more regularly than harsh chemical products but they’re effective, affordable and, more importantly, they’ll help save our precious reefs.

How to make eco-friendly cleaning products

We’ve found some simple, tried and tested, eco-friendly cleaning recipes that you can use as a natural alternative to more toxic products. To get started, all you’ll need is:


  • Baking soda
  • Lemon/calamansi
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Lemon (optional)


Wood & hull cleaner

Mix 1 part white distilled vinegar with 8 parts warm fresh water.

All-purpose boat cleaner

Mix ½ a cup of white distilled vinegar, ½ a cup of baking soda and 4 litres of warm water. Once mixed, use it with a scrubber.

Wetsuit disinfectant

In your wetsuit cleaning basin, mix 1 part white distilled vinegar with 8 parts warm fresh water. You can even add a little citrus juice, like lemon, to neutralise odours.

There you have it! A few easy eco-cleaning recipes that you can try for yourself. Remember, choose GREEN whenever you clean!

Thank you for supporting Reef-World and the UN Environment Programme‘s Green Fins initiative by adopting sustainable cleaning processes. If you have any questions or concerns about locally available products, or you’d like to share information about a great environmentally-friendly product you’ve found, please contact