Today’s consumers are choosing to be much more eco-friendly than ever before. And when it comes to cleaning the bathroom—one of the most germ-filled areas in the home—it can be challenging for people to make the switch from the traditional cheap cleaners that are filled with toxic chemicals, to more simple ingredients that are natural.
According to a report published by Nielsen, many people are willing to pay more for sustainable products from companies committed to making a positive social and environmental impact. In the Generation Z group alone (those aged 15-20), the amount of shoppers willing to pay more for sustainable products went up from 55% in 2014 to 72% in 2015.
With that in mind, here are a few easy eco-friendly ways to clean your bathroom:
Clean Toilets With Lemon & Salt
Bleach is a standard cleaning agent used by many consumers. However, there are a few reasons you should be careful about using bleach in your bathroom, or anywhere else. First and foremost, bleach fumes are left behind even after you’ve washed it away with water, and those emissions can have an effect on children’s respiratory systems. In fact, several studies have linked bleach usage in the household with health issues like asthma and allergies. Furthermore, it can also react with other cleaning chemicals like ammonia, which, when combined, can create chlorine gas that damage nasal passageways.
According to Fix It Right Plumbing in Australia, part of maintaining a great bathroom is ensuring that you use the right cleaning methods to prevent future issues. “The way you clean your toilet can affect its plumbing integrity,” they said. “For example, using wipes to scrub grimy toilet lines can clog the pipes. And mineral deposits in your drains can also affect the plumbing. Careful and responsible cleaning is a must.”
Rather than go straight for the bleach, use standard table salt and and lemon juice. Pour the salt directly onto the stain, and wash off with a lemon-doused paper towel or toilet brush. You can also choose to let the two ingredients soak for a bit before washing off. The combination of salt and lemon has been proved to work effectively for getting rid of lime, rust, and hard-water stains.
Use Vinegar For Shower Curtains
Shower curtains can get grimy and dirty pretty quickly after extended use. Fortunately, there’s an eco-friendly way to get rid of all your shower curtain stains. Throw your curtains in the washer on a cold water setting. Then throw in a cup of white vinegar, combined with your favorite eco-friendly washing detergents. Vinegar is great because it can kill mildew and hard water stains.
For added scent, you can also throw in a few drops of an antibacterial oil, like lavender or eucalyptus. Another option is to add a couple of towels with your curtain, as they’ll create the agitation necessary to remove tough stains.
Use Baking Soap For Tubs
An equal parts mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water will easily get rid of soap scum in the tub. Allow the mixture to form into a nice paste and let it sit and soak before scrubbing off. For tubs with heavier stains, you may have to allow the solution to sit for up to two hours.
For preventative measures, try switching to glycerin soap while washing, which can prevent dirty rings from forming around the tub. There are a handful of benefits of glycerin soap:
- It increases the skin’s moisture content
- It has anti-inflammatory effects that are helpful for people with sensitive skin
- The anti-microbial qualities help prevent swelling and redness, reducing the chances of acne
- Antioxidant properties encourage blood flow to the skin and can help eliminate wrinkles
Remove Grout With Vinegar
Like most eco-friendly tips, this one also involves utilizing vinegar. It’s common for your tiles and walls to accumulate grout, thanks to all the steam created when you’re in a small, hot space. And because the grout is uneven and porous, it’s the perfect place for mold and mildew to thrive. Vinegar’s acidic nature prevents that mildew and other bacteria from growing, and also works as a great preventative agent.
To get the job done, grab a spray bottle and mix equal parts vinegar and water. Spray areas where the affected grout is, and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub it with a brush. If you find that a tougher stain isn’t going away, you can combine baking soda with the vinegar as well.
Another way to clean your grout—especially if you hate the smell of vinegar—is to combine baking soda and liquid-based castile soap. Mix it into a paste, then spread between the grout before scrubbing it off with hot water. You might also want to try using a sponge that’s specifically designed to scrub grout, like the R-Teez, a tile grout cleaning sponge.