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Detox the Bathroom

For a chemical free clean


Homemade cleaning solutions are a healthier alternative to chemical cleansers. Follow our cleaning tips for a sparkling clean, eco friendly bathroom.

Smart advertising has led many of us to believe we need a different product to clean each fixture in our bathrooms. In reality we need only three ingredients to get the job done: white vinegar, baking soda, and water (plus lemons if you want a nice smell).

These natural products are a healthier alternative to chemical cleansers, which usually base their grassy meadow, fresh lemon, or pine tree scents in volatile organic compounds that degrade the indoor air quality of our homes. Natural cleaning products are better, especially in the bathroom, a high-traffic area full of moisture that can trap airborne chemicals.

A few small adjustments to our cleaning routines can make a huge difference to our health and keep our bathrooms smelling fresh. Here’s how to clean every bathroom fixture without chemicals.

First, the bathtub and sink are probably the easiest elements to clean–simply wipe with a damp cloth and baking soda. Baking soda makes a great scouring powder that doesn’t damage the enamel on tubs and sinks.

For backsplash tiling, spritz with white vinegar and then remove residue with a damp cloth and baking soda. For stubborn stains on tile grout, spray with white vinegar, let it sit for anywhere from two minutes to half an hour, and then scrub with a coarse toothbrush. As a preventive measure, squeegee the shower walls after each shower so moisture does not build up and lead to mildew.

Shower curtains are tricky to keep mold-free. Crissy Trask, author of It’s Easy Being Green (Gibbs Smith, 2006), recommends hanging hemp shower curtains because they are naturally mildew resistant and machine washable. If you choose to use a vinyl curtain, make it last by ventilating the bathroom after each shower. Also straighten the shower curtain so mold can’t get trapped in its folds.

Properly cleaning the toilet is all in the details. First, unscrew and remove the toilet seat to really get at hidden grime and then wipe everything with a damp cloth. To clean the toilet bowl, pour a little white vinegar into the water and let it sit (vinegar acts as a mild bleach to loosen stubborn stains). Follow up by sprinkling baking soda around the bowl and scrub as usual.

It is especially important to use environmentally friendly products when cleaning the bathroom since most of the cleaners we use will end up going down the drain and into our water system. Experimenting with different homemade cleaning concoctions adds a little fun to otherwise dull household chores, and it will save money.

Green Way to Clean Drains

  1. Pour ½ cup (125 mL) baking soda into the drain.
  2. Follow with ½ cup (125 mL) vinegar.
  3. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Finish with boiling water


Innovation for Good

Innovation for Good

Neil ZevnikNeil Zevnik