Want to keep your bathroom clean but don’t want to expose your family to harsh chemicals and unpleasant vapors? While commercial cleaning products are popular because they do work well, you can swap them out with natural cleaning products that are gentler on your bathroom fixtures and better for your health.
Sometimes natural solutions take a little more elbow grease to reach sparkling perfection, but on the plus side, they’re easy (and cheap!) to make.
Here are some natural cleaner recipes for keeping your bathroom clean:
Common natural ingredients
First, let’s take a look at the “ingredients” most common to DIY cleaning solutions. You’ll notice that most of these are inexpensive products that were used for home cleaning long before commercial cleaners came out. They’re generally available at grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Baking soda – Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, can be used as an effective scrubbing paste for removing soap scum and hard water stains. It also absorbs unpleasant odors, may kill certain types of fungus, and can remove rust from steel (though it should not be used on aluminum).
- Borax – A naturally occurring compound, sodium borate is most often used for washing laundry, but is also useful for surface cleaning as it has some antifungal properties.
- Dish soap – Note that most commercial dish soaps have a number of chemicals in them. There are a few “green” brands that have reduced some—but not all—of these chemical components. Opt for a vegetable-based soap, or, if you’re really concerned about making sure the cleaner is 100% natural, you can make your own dish soap.
- Kosher salt – Salt primarily serves as an abrasive for scrubbing action. The kosher variety is more effective because it is a coarser grind.
- Tea tree oil – Derived from a plant native to Australia, this essential oil may have antimicrobial properties.
- Vinegar – The acid in vinegar serves as a disinfectant that kills sickness-causing bacteria such as listeria, salmonella, and some varieties of E. coli.
Before you begin, here are a few cautions:
- We know bleach isn't listed above, but it’s worth mentioning: Never mix a bleach product with anything that contains ammonia or vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction releases toxic gas! Also, do not leave bleach sitting in a toilet unsupervised. If someone tries to use the toilet when it’s there, they can also be affected since urine also contains ammonia.
- If you have older tile in your shower or bath, be aware that acidic cleaners such as vinegar can actually dissolve the grout, causing water to leak through and into the walls.
- Though you don’t have to be quite as careful with natural cleaners as you do harsh chemical cleaners, keep in mind that just because a product is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe to ingest. (We’re thinking tea tree oil in particular). Use common sense!
Natural bathroom cleaner recipes
- Scrubbing agent
In a bowl, mix 1/8 cup baking soda with enough dish soap to create a paste. Use a sponge to scrub it into tubs, tile and other surfaces with soap scum or other buildup. Rinse with water when finished.
- Tile spray
In a spray bottle, mix 2 teaspoons tea tree oil with 2 cups water. Spray the solution on tile to remove mildew and mold. Rinsing or wiping is not necessary.
- Toilet cleaner
Add ¼ cup borax and 1 cup vinegar to the toilet bowl water and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Scrub using a toilet brush and flush.
Alternative method: Coat exposed surface of toilet bowl with baking soda and pour 1 cup vinegar into the water. It will bubble and create a reaction; when it settles down, scrub using a toilet brush and then flush.
- Glass cleaner
In a spray bottle, mix ½ teaspoon dish soap with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 2 cups water. Spray the solution on glass and wipe with a clean cloth.
Alternative recipe: 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water
We hope these natural cleaning solutions are helpful for you! Next time we'll cover how to unclog a drain without using dangerous chemicals.
If while you're cleaning and you notice leaking facuets, dripping pipes, or other problematic plumbing issues, remember that Ken's Plumbing is always available to help! Call us at (864) 242-5511 or click the banner below.