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!
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Originally published as a Home Hack 2010-02-08 - CB