Borax cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. Find it in the laundry section.
There are tons of "green" bathroom cleaners on the market, but most of the time it's cheaper and just as effective to make your own. Armed with a few simple non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients, you can keep your bathroom fresh and sparkling.
What You Need
Baking soda – cleans, deodorizes, scours
Borax – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects
Castile soap or vegetable oil-based liquid soap – cleans
Distilled white vinegar – cuts grease and soap scum, dissolves mineral deposits, inhibits mold, freshens; reportedly kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses
Essential oils – freshen, disinfect
Kosher salt – scours, disinfects
Equipment or Tools
Measuring cups and spoons
• TUB AND TILE CLEANER: In a jar or spray bottle, combine 1 2/3 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based liquid soap. Add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Shake before using. Apply with a cloth or sponge and rinse well.
• SCOURING POWDER: Combine 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup kosher salt in a jar. Sprinkle on area to be cleaned, wipe with a sponge, and rinse.
• TOILET BOWL CLEANER: Mix 1/4 cup borax or baking soda and 1 cup vinegar in the toilet. Let it sit for 15 minutes (or longer, if necessary), scrub, and flush.
• GLASS CLEANER: Combine 1/4 cup vinegar and 4 cups warm water in a spray bottle. Use to clean glass or mirrors with a dry cloth or piece of newspaper.
• DRAIN CLEANER: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into drain followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let it sit and fizz for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot or boiling water. May need to repeat or leave baking soda and vinegar in overnight.
• FLOOR SANITIZER: In a bucket, mix 1/2 cup borax with 2 gallons hot water. Apply with a mop or sponge. Rinsing is not necessary.
• SOAP SCUM REMOVER: Sprinkle on baking soda, scrub with a cloth or sponge, and rinse. Vinegar or kosher salt also work.
• CALCIUM OR LIME REMOVER: For calcium or lime deposits on a chrome faucet, soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
• MOLD OR MILDEW REMOVER: Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup vinegar to make a paste. Scrub with a brush or sponge and rinse with water. For tough mold, let it sit for an hour before rinsing with water.
• Where to find ingredients at the grocery store: baking soda – baking section, borax – laundry section, castile and vegetable oil-based soaps – cleaner section, vinegar – salad dressing section; essential oils – health food stores, kosher salt – spice section.
• Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and/or cleaning power. Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, tea tree, and thyme are among the essential oils considered to be antiseptic and antibacterial.
• Using a label or permanent marker, write recipes directly on jars and bottles for future reference.
Do you have any bathroom cleaner recipes or tips to share? Leave a comment!
(Images: Adrienne Breaux, Amazon.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.com)
Originally published as a Home Hack 2010-02-08 - CB