My mom always said the most important rooms in the house to keep clean were the kitchen and the bathroom. She didn’t say why, but I would guess it’s because those two rooms are where nasty smells can build up if they aren’t kept clean. Rotting food or urine build-up aren’t exactly welcoming aromas!
Bathroom cleaning may evoke images of bleach fumes, harsh scrubbers and sprays, and open windows to ventilate the nasty fumes. Many of us were raised with bathrooms being cleaned in this way, but the good news is there is a better, less toxic, greener way to get your bathroom sparkling clean. Here are some ideas for environmentally-conscious bathroom cleaning.
Make Your Own Cleansers
Making your own cleaners is a cost-effective way to do eco-friendly cleaning. From cream scrubs to sprays, you can make your own cleaners. Here are some ideas:
- Lemon Soft Scrubber
In a glass jar, mix: 1/4 cup of borax laundry booster, 1 cup baking soda, and 1 tablespoon biodegradable liquid soap. Add water and stir to make a thick but pourable consistency. Stir in 10 drops of lemon essential oil. You can also use peppermint, or mix them. Pour this mixture onto bathtubs, sinks, counters, etc.
- Anti-bacterial Spray
In a 1-quart spray bottle, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 3 cups of water, 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract (available at health food stores) or tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of biodegradable liquid soap, and 10-20 drops of lavender or lemon essential oil. Spray on sinks, countertops, and any smooth surface and wipe clean.
White vinegar is a powerful anti-fungal and germ-killing liquid. You can spray white vinegar directly onto mildew stains and mold in your bathroom, let it sit for about 15-20 minutes, then scrub and rinse (use your lemon soft scrubber for extra cleaning power!).
White vinegar also gets rid of hard water stains and build-up. This is why it is used to clean coffee makers.
For the Toilet
Clean the toilet with vinegar and baking soda. Pour about a cup of baking soda into the toilet, followed by 2 cups of white vinegar. After the fizzing begins to subside, scrub the toilet with a toilet brush.
Tea Tree Oil for Mildew
This oil is a potent anti-fungal product. The oil is available at most drug stores and pharmacies. Add about 5 drops of the oil per 1 cup of white vinegar and spray onto mildew stains. To prevent hard water build-up and mildew from returning, spray your shower and bathtub with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water to which 10-20 drops of tea tree oil have been added. Shake well before spraying.
Store-Bought Green Cleaners
If home-made eco-friendly cleaners are not your style, there is a variety of green cleaners available in retail stores. In fact, as awareness about the harmful ingredients in conventional cleaners becomes more well-known, cleanser manufacturers have taken note and eco-friendly cleaners can be found in many stores.
Look for cleaners that are free of chlorine bleach, dimethicones (and any substance ending in “-cone”), parabens, and other tongue-twisting ingredients.
Another note for keeping your bathroom cleaning eco-friendly: use reusable, washable cloths and scrub brushes to clean rather than paper towels.
Make Mom Proud
So whether you make your own cleaners, or buy eco-friendly cleaners from the store, you’ll be avoiding harsh chemicals and moving towards a greener life. Plus, you’ll make mom proud when you get that bathroom sparkling clean!