Having a Chemical Free Bathroom
Okay, I know it’s Valentines Day’s day and a post about toilet cleaning is about the least sexy thing ever. This is one holiday I don’t tend to make a big fuss over (I argue that Joe is my valentine every day, and then everyone throws up).
Moving on… we did a spring clean yesterday (a bit premature, I know) and it got my trying out new ways to clean without producing loads of toxins or waste.
If you’re short on time, I’d always recommend Method. I posted about this on my new Instagram yesterday, but they have a lot going for them: They’re certified cruelty free by Cruelty Free International, they use recycled and recyclable plastic and they’re Cradle to Cradle certified gold.
Cradle to Cradle assess a whole bunch of things about companies, including:
- The toxicity of their ingredients
- The materials they use
- Where their energy comes from
- Their carbon footprint
- Their water stewardship
- Their ‘social fairness’
Because Method are such good eggs, Joe and I still (very sparingly) use their cleaning products (and a couple from Ecover, too). This is part of a much wider discussion, but to sum up: by just cutting my own plastic waste, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough. I want to encourage larger corporations to be mindful of the materials they use, which means demonstrating that with my buying power. (I keep talking about this, I really should write a whole post on it.)
Anyway, that’s not why we’re here today. I just thought I’d drop that in for people who genuinely don’t have enough time to DIY everything in their life. For those who do:
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DIY Bathroom Cleaners for Removing Stains
I’m a huge fan of the oldie-but-goldie stain remover – white vinegar and baking soda. Saying that, I’ve seen a tonne of recipes online that instruct you to mix the vinegar and soda in a bottle before you use it. Although I’m no expert, I haven’t found this to be effective at all and a quick Google will tell you that the two can cancel each other out when mixed together.
What I have found (and there doesn’t seem to be much of a scientific explanation for this), is that making the reaction happen can be quite an effective cleaner. So, spraying the surface with vinegar first, then adding baking soda, to make the reaction happen on the surface you want to clean.
I don’t know, I’m no scientist, but if it works, it works. Alternatively, vinegar and baking soda are each great cleaners on their own. I prefer to add lemon or lime juice to vinegar because it smells much nicer, and baking soda can be made into a paste with plain old water!
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DIY Bathroom Cleaners for Killing Germs
Although the methods above have been mighty effective for removing stains, they haven’t stopped me from wanting to give them a once over with anti-bac when I’ve finished. I just can’t shake the feeling that something tame enough to eat isn’t going to kill all of the germs in my bathroom.
After a few minutes on Google, I actually found that essential oils can be very effective anti-bacterials. They vary in their properties, but some of the best essential oils for household germs include: bay, cinnamon, clove and thyme (according to this study). You can read more articles here and here if you’re so inclined. (No? Just me? Ok…)
Although these essential oils might be superstars at killing bacteria, they might not be so useful in removing stains. I’d recommend going in with something plain to tackle the stains, then using essential oils to get rid of bacteria (and make everything smell heavenly).
You can mix essential oils with water or olive oil, depending on your preference. Water is better for wiping down surfaces without leaving much residue, but mixing them with olive oil makes a surprisingly good polish! If you want a quick, tackle-all then you could even just add the essential oils to vinegar!
There are plenty of posts out there that tell you you need to stock up on borax, castile soap or hydrogen peroxide, but in my (non-expert) opinion, these are expensive an unnecessary (not to mention questionable for the environment). If you’re not ready to go completely natural, I’d recommend using Method or Ecover. They might use natural ingredients, too, but at least they know what they’re doing!
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