The Bathroom Beautiful: DIY Natural Cleaners to make your Loo Shine!

Keep a bathroom chemical free without compromising on cleanliness

Averse to using good old elbow grease, most people are partial to cleaning products that tout their ability to reduce the need for any effort on their part. We’re quite happy to simply spray something on the dirt and then get back under the duvet. And although it’s true that commercial cleaning products contain enough chemical clout to vaporize small bacterial colonies, their astringent chemical compounds are harmful to you and your family.

It’s all about the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) you see. VOCs leach chemicals into the air that irritate lungs, skin and eyes. They can cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, cancer, heart conditions, bronchial complications and congestion.

Not only are VOCs unsafe for you; they are also dangerous for the environment. Although regular soap kills most bacteria, our need for the security that an antibacterial soap provides means that these substances are creating dangerous strains of super bacteria. Antibacterial products also end up in rivers, streams and oceans where they play havoc with the natural ecosystems by eradicating the good bacteria as well as the bad.

Instead, let’s get back to the kinds of cleaning products your grandma used that are natural and chemical-free but still get the job done:

Bathroom surfaces: Dust surfaces with baking soda and wipe down with a sponge. For stubborn stains and dirt, add a couple of drops of lemon juice or white vinegar. White vinegar is an excellent disinfectant, combating household bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens.

Clogged drains: Pour down a 1/4 cup of baking soda followed by hot water and voila! It’s clear. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down your drains periodically to ensure that they stay clean.

Windows: 2 Tbsp. of white vinegar in a gallon of water is all you need. Spray onto the surfaces with a spray bottle and wipe down with newsprint for a smudge-free clean.

Floors: Up the vinegar content (about 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a 1/4 gallon of water) in your spray bottle. Spray on tile, linoleum, wood and parquet floors and mop as usual.

Odors: Sprinkle baking soda over the offending area and leave for a couple of hours. Sweep or vacuum up.

Air Fresheners: The trouble with commercial air fresheners is that they don’t really freshen the air. They just add a bunch of chemicals to what is already poor indoor air quality. So just leave a book of matches and a scented candle for your everyday odors.

Make a wonderful disinfectant air freshener from vodka (yes; that just happened!) Just mix 2 tablespoons of vodka in a cup of water, put in a spray bottle and spritz to your heart’s content. If you want to do more than just neutralize bad odours, add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix.

Taps: Remove lime buildup and water stains by cleaning taps with apple cider vinegar. Simply pour onto a cloth or sponge and wipe down affected areas. Dissolve lime buildup in shower heads by soaking in apple cider vinegar.

Keeping your bathroom chemical free won’t mean you have to compromise on cleanliness, but it will mean that you save money on cleaning products and provide a safer home for your family. 

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