It’s not always easy to see how environmentally unfriendly a lot of modern cleaning products are. This is particularly true in the bathroom, where sanitation sometimes means using harsh or dangerous chemicals found in many of today’s bathroom cleaning products.
Fortunately, there are ways to go about eco-friendly bathroom cleaning. You’ll need some basic supplies — vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice being the most common. Using these ingredients and a few other items, we’ll show you how to clean your bathroom the eco-friendly way.
1. Reuse Newspapers
Tired of finding lint and fuzz on shiny surfaces after you’ve polished them with old rags? For many, the solution is using a microfiber cloth — but these are extremely bad for the environment because they shed tiny plastic particles that are too small for most filters to catch.
The eco-friendly solution? Use newspapers. Whether you’re cleaning bathroom mirrors, putting a shine on the toilet, or cleaning your shower’s glass door, newspapers provide a streak-free, fuzz-free finish every time. On top of that, you don’t have to worry so much about disposal; they’re easily recycled and biodegradable.
2. Streak-Free Glass Cleaners
Commercial glass cleaners contain harsh chemicals. Plus, they come in single-use plastic bottles that will make their way to the trash when you’re done with them. It might seem surprising, but there are several eco-friendly alternatives that are just as good as commercial glass cleaner.
Hot water is one. Use hot water to unstick even the toughest soap scum. White vinegar is a safe acid that you can use to get a streak-free and spot-free shine on glass. You can also brew black tea and put it in a spray bottle to clean mirrors and doors. Use any of these three solutions with the newspapers mentioned above to get spotless glass.
3. A New Kind of Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Commercially available toilet bowl cleaners rely on some seriously caustic chemicals to get your bowl sparkling clean. It’s tempting to use bleach instead, but bleach is also bad for the environment — and if you aren’t careful, it can be dangerous. If bleach mixes with ammonia (which is a component of urine), it creates a toxic gas that can leave you feeling sick or dizzy.
The solution? Use baking soda and vinegar. Per one toilet, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Then, pour the mixture around the inside of the toilet bowl. Let it sit and do its work for between 20 and 30 minutes, then scrub.
Be aware that plain vinegar without the baking soda will also work to clean and sanitize your toilet. That said, if you have spots that need to be removed, baking soda makes a perfect abrasive to help you scrub them.
4. Have a Grimy Sink or Bathtub?
Then try a lemon and some salt. This is a surprisingly easy sustainable bathroom cleaning solution. Just cut the lemon in half, sprinkle salt on the cut halves, and scrub. The acid in the lemon juice helps erode tough grime, lime and scale — and the salt acts like a bit of pumice to further improve cleaning power. Best of all, you’ll enjoy a lemon-fresh scent.
Have stinky drains? Squeeze a bit of the lemon juice down the drain when you’ve finished scrubbing to help freshen it.
5. DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
There are a lot of commercial cleaners available, many containing harsh or caustic chemicals. There are also some eco-friendly options that are commercially available, but these can get quite expensive. It’s surprising how easy it is to make an inexpensive all-purpose cleaner.
Simply mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with a cup of vinegar and a cup of water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and use it on bathroom walls, shower tiles, counters and anywhere else that needs cleaning. The acids in the lemon juice and vinegar will loosen grime so you can wipe it away.
6. DIY Lime and Scale Remover
This is another product that is commercially available — and not all that good for the environment. The good news is, white vinegar does the same job as lime and scale remover.
When you need to unclog a faucet or showerhead, soak it in pure vinegar to dissolve scale. For tough scale buildup, soak for 30 minutes at a time, then use an old toothbrush and a toothpick to scrub scale away and clean nozzles. If any remains, repeat this process until the scale is gone.
7. DIY Drain Cleaners
Commercially available drain cleaners are among the most dangerous — and least environmentally friendly — products that you can buy. They’re full of caustic substances designed to dissolve clogs. However, there are a couple ways to unclog drains without relying on these types of cleaners.
Boiling water is one method — though it isn’t recommended for toilets since it can crack the porcelain. Heat water to a boil, then pour it down a sink or shower drain to melt built-up solids and flush them down the drain.
If boiling water doesn’t work, pour about 3/4 cup baking soda down the drain, and follow that with a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Plug the drain if possible, and wait 30 minutes to let the mixture take effect. The fizzing, bubbling action will loosen clogs. You can then pour boiling water down the drain to flush away the clogs.
8. Beat Mold and Mildew With Something Other Than Bleach
As mentioned, bleach isn’t good for the environment. It’s also harsh on your hands and skin (which means you need gloves to use it), it smells bad, and it can bleach colors. For years, it’s also been touted as the only way to kill and remove mold and mildew. There are other solutions, however.
First, make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated. Moisture allows mold and mildew to grow, especially humidity after showers. Keeping the bathroom as dry as possible will curb mold and mildew growth.
If you still have an issue, then use vinegar. It’s acidic enough to kill mold and mildew on surfaces. Vinegar also helps loosen mold and mildew so you can scrub away the grime.
9. Give Stainless Steel a Polish
Once you’ve used vinegar or lemon juice to clean faucets and other metal fixtures, you’ll probably want to give them a good shine. There are, of course, commercially available stainless steel polishes — but olive oil is eco-friendly and you probably already have some in your pantry. The key with this tip is to only use a little. Use a cloth or paper towel to rub a drop or two over stainless steel for a gleaming finish.
It’s surprising how easy it is to make environmentally friendly bathroom cleaning supplies. Try some of these tips for a sparkling clean bathroom that doesn’t hurt the environment. If you want to make eco-friendly bathroom upgrades, shop Modern Bathroom’s selection of environmentally friendly fixtures.
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