Photo by Daniel Rothamel
Guest Post by Stacy from Delighting in the Days:
Most of us know that the cleaners lining the grocery shelves are full of toxins, harmful to our health, and bad for the environment. Chemicals such as chlorine bleach and ammonia may clean well, but they can also damage the nervous and respiratory systems (as noted in Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs, page 46).
We do our best to stay away from these chemicals, but when it comes to killing germs or tough cleaning jobs, it can be tempting to give in and reach for the bleach (or other toxic cleaner). One place this often happens is the bathroom.
Let’s face it; the bathroom is one area that we want to keep as fresh as possible!
How can we clean the bathroom effectively without using chemicals?
Arm yourself with the right tools:
Ingredients such as vinegar, castile soap, baking soda, essential oils, and water will allow you to make all manner of non-toxic cleaners.
Tools such as a scrubby sponge, a decent toilet brush, and a microfiber cloth help get the jobs done when a little extra elbow grease is needed.
Cleaning the toilet
For daily cleaning/sanitizing, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a few drops of essential oil. I like to use lemon or tea tree; both have anti-bacterial properties and smell great. Use approximately 5 drops of essential oil per cup of vinegar. Spray on toilet seats and wipe.
When additional cleaning power is needed, add a tablespoon of castile soap to the vinegar and shake to blend.
For an extra thorough toilet cleaning: pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda and 10 drops of tea tree oil. Get the toilet brush ready and add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the bowl. As it fizzes, scrub the toilet.
Because of the reactive nature of this combination, it is not possible to make a big batch to save for future use. But you can pre-measure the baking soda into a container and add the essential oil (10 drops per 1/2 cup) and have that stored in the bathroom. Then you only need to add the vinegar each time.
Cleaning the bath and shower
Prevention is key to keeping the bath and shower clean.
Here are two things you can do a couple of times a week, right after taking a shower:
Spray the shower walls with vinegar to prevent mildew.
Keep a spray bottle filled with scented vinegar right in the shower stall to make this an easy job.
Use a squeegee to wipe down the walls.
You will be amazed at how much this cuts down on cleaning and scrubbing, especially if you have glass doors in the shower. We have a squeegee that suctions to the wall. That way it’s easy to reach (and right in front of my face to remind me!).
While prevention may be key to keeping the bathroom clean, it is still necessary to give the tub a thorough scrubbing once in a while. When that time comes, make your own Soft Scrub!
Photo by Stacy @ Delighting in the Days
Homemade Soft Scrub for Bath and Tile
This recipe is adapted from the recipe for Earth Paste in Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan (page243). It is quick and easy to put together and effectively cleans the bath (hooray). Make this in small batches because it can dry out and harden when stored. This recipe makes enough for two to four uses. Keep any remaining mixture in an air tight container.
3/4 cup baking soda (slightly heaped)
1/4 cup castile soap (I use Dr. Bronners Peppermint)
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon vinegar (*Now that I’ve learned you shouldn’t mix castile soap and vinegar, I would just omit the vinegar and make a paste with baking soda and castile soap.)
In a bowl, combine the baking soda and castile soap. Add the water and stir with a fork.
Lastly, stir in the vinegar. The mixture will fizz a little. Stir to make a nice soft, paste-like, consistency. (This is important – the vinegar must go in last or else the scrub will be like sludge instead of a creamy paste.)
Scoop out the scrub with a sponge and start cleaning.
This scrub can also be used to clean the toilet.
The recipes in this post will enable you to clean the bathroom from top to bottom without using chemicals. The vinegar spray will also clean the mirror and door handles. Add soap to the vinegar mix, and it will get the counter top, sink, and walls clean. If you own a microfiber cloth, use it to clean the mirrors with water.
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What tips do you have for using non-toxic cleaners in the bathroom?
Stacy is wife to a preacher and mom to three busy children. She is passionate about healthy, natural living and loves to make anything and everything from scratch. Stacy writes about finding peace and joy at home, on her blog: Delighting in the Days.
Thanks so much to Stacy for providing my very first guest post! I love these ideas for naturally cleaning the bathroom, it almost makes me want to go deep clean my bathroom right now! Almost. But when the time comes, I know I’ll be making the homemade soft scrub!
Linked to: WFMW at We Are That Family