Homemade Cleaners (Ulysses Press, 2014), by Mandy O’Brien and Dionna Ford offers a safer solution to commercial cleaners with toxic chemicals with tips, tricks and formulas to make your home sparkling and germ-free. Using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and even vodka, O’Brien and Ford tackle everything from countertop cleaners to air-purifying plants, enabling you to avoid using products that can cause skin irritation, asthma and other harmful side effects. The following excerpt from the chapter “Bathrooms” teaches you how to make a heavy-duty homemade toilet cleaner.
Purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Homemade Cleaners.
In the bathroom, most surfaces can be cleaned with all-purpose cleaners, and counters can be given the same treatment as kitchen counters. But toilets, tubs, and a moist environment present a unique set of challenges. Don’t despair. Those issues can be overcome with these simple answers to your bathroom needs.
Toilets and Tubs
Even though the kitchen harbors the most bacteria in the house, that’s not to say your bathroom is pristine. Every time you flush your toilet, an aerosol spray of water droplets, laden with bits of feces and urine, explodes into the bathroom. The bacteria contained in those bits of waste travel as far as eight feet from the toilet, onto your bathroom sink, the floor, and even your toothbrushes. Closing the toilet lid before flushing can limit the spray, but it won’t completely eliminate the spread of bacteria. Nothing is safe.
Modern cleaners often rely on bleach to kill bacteria. But bleach has its own issues. Instead, try some more natural alternatives for a sparkling clean bathroom.
The bathtub cleaners in this section are designed with porcelain and ceramic in mind. If you have stone in your bathroom, such as travertine tiles in the shower, do not use anything acidic on it. Doing so can permanently damage the stone surface. Look for the recipes in this section that are notated as “safe for stone.” Also, be aware that baking soda is a mild abrasive; when you scrub stone with baking soda, be gentle.
Heavy-Duty Homemade Toilet Cleaner
• 1⁄2 cup borax
• 1 cup white distilled vinegar
• 10 drops tea tree essential oil
• 10 drops of your favorite essential oil
1. Combine all ingredients and allow to sit in toilet bowl for at least 1 hour. For tougher stains, mix into a paste and apply directly to stains.
2. After it has been allowed to sit, use a toilet brush to scrub toilet clean.
Note: Use hydrogen peroxide or tea tree oil in the bathroom to kill bacteria and avoid the toxic fumes from commercial products.
Safely keep your house clean and sanitary: Read Make Your Own Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner for more on how to keep your toilet clean, Liven Up Your Laundry with Homemade Dryer Sheets to make dryer sheets and Disinfect Your House with Homemade Cleaning Wipes to make natural cleaning wipes.
Reprinted with permission from Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy, Toxic-Free Recipes to Replace Your Kitchen Cleaner, Bathroom Disinfectant, Laundry Detergent, Bleach, Bug Killer, Air Freshener and More … by Mandy O’Brien and Dionna Ford, and published by Ulysses Press, 2014. Buy this book from our store: Homemade Cleaners.