Now that you know how to ‘green clean’ your kitchen and laundry room, it’s time to tackle the bathroom – in an eco-friendly way, of course. I am going to share some simple homemade bathroom cleaning solutions that will save you money as well as help protect your family’s health and the environment. Thankfully, you will be using the same basic ingredients you’ve learned about already.
Learning eco-friendly, non-toxic ways to clean your bathroom is so important. Mainstream surface cleaners, scouring powders, and toilet cleaners come packed with an arsenal of toxic and corrosive chemicals that are dangerous to our health and to the environment.
- Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases.
- Triclosan is a common ingredient used in antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaners and it contributes to the increasing problem of drug-resistant bacteria. Triclosan is similar to the pesticide Agent Orange and can cause infertility, birth defects, and damage to major body organs. Also, studies have shown that triclosan can combine with chlorine in our tap water to make chloroform gas.
- Isopropanol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is a nervous system depressant.
- d-Limonene is a high-odor volatile organic compound that irritates skin and eyes.
- Pine oil is irritating to mucus membranes and harmful or even fatal when ingested.
- Some chemical ingredients do not break down into harmless substances in the environment, and thus threaten water quality or fish and other wildlife.
- Many use chemicals that are petroleum-based, contributing to the depletion of this non-renewable resource and increasing our nation’s dependence on imported oil.
- The plastic bottles used to package cleaning products contribute to the mounds of solid waste that must be put in a landfill, incinerated, or, in not enough cases, recycled.
As I show you how to clean your bathroom with homemade, non-toxic ingredients, you will notice that we are using many of the same ingredients and solutions as we did for cleaning the kitchen; see how easy it can be to make your own cleaning solutions!
Disclaimer: These natural cleaning ideas and solutions are offered as a way to minimize the use of toxic substances in your home and reduce environmental harm. Results may vary and are not guaranteed. Always test in small, hidden areas before applying any cleaning solution. Always use caution and keep the products and homemade solutions well-labeled and out of the reach of children.
Bathroom Mold in Shower
Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Here are several options for a natural mold remover:
- Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.
- Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing. The smell will dissipate in a few hours. Vinegar kills 82 percent of mold.
- Mix 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons tea tree oil. Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. The smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days. Recipe found here.
- A half a lemon dipped in Borax will also scour the mildew out of the cracks in your tub and tile.
Remember that vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly. Also, use Borax with care around children and pets, as it can be toxic if swallowed.
For a natural soap scum remover, apply baking soda (it is non abrasive) and then sprinkle with water or vinegar. Scrub with a damp cloth or sponge; for tough-to-remove soap scum, use a bristle brush.
Chemical drain cleaners are one of the most toxic cleaning products. These caustic mixtures commonly contain lye, bleach, or sulfuric acid and can cause damage to skin, lungs, and eyes. Instead of messing with chemicals, all you need is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
For a natural drain cleaner, pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup baking soda down the drain and then add apple cider vinegar. Let it bubble for 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
For a natural sink cleaner, simply scrub with baking soda and water.
For a natural countertop cleaner, add water and vinegar to a spray bottle (in a 1:1 ratio) and spray. You could even add a few drops of liquid castile soap. However, do not use vinegar on marble, granite, or other stone countertops as it may etch the stone surface. Another option is to simply add some liquid castile soap to some water. Imagine that, soap and water! 😉
Another option is to use an E-cloth. You only need to use water with this wonder cloth and it can clean many surfaces: stainless steel, tiles, chrome, glass, marble, or plastics. It can be washed and used over and over.
Glass and Windows
Commercial window cleaners contain many toxic ingredients such as ammonia and butyl cellosolve (a toxic ingredient that is not listed on the labels). Also, by buying commercial glass cleaners, you are going through many, many bottles, not to mention paying a high price for a product that is 95% water!
To clean mirrors, create your own natural glass cleaner with vinegar and water; it is much safer. Combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray and wipe, using a micro fiber cloth. Do not use newspaper, which contains toxic dyes, or paper towels, which contribute to waste.
Most toilet bowl cleaners are highly acidic and can irritate lungs and burn eyes. For a natural toilet cleaner, spray vinegar around the bowl, sprinkle with baking soda, and scrub it with a toilet brush. This solution will clean and deodorize.
Another option is to use Borax, a naturally occurring alkaline mineral that is a powerful disinfectant and deodorizer. Toss 1/2 cup in your bowl, wait a half an hour, then scrub.
How is your ‘green cleaning’ coming along? What steps have you taken so far? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment and share!
Wendy – ParentingTips365.com