The bathroom is one of the dirtiest spaces in our homes and the most difficult to clean. Bathrooms have a number of surfaces – from sinks and doors to fixtures and curtains – that work as hosts for bacteria, mould and grime. Yet, most cleaning products for the bathroom are loaded with harsh chemicals such as ammonia and bleach which leave us with watery eyes and burning noses.
Here are a few natural ways to bring some shine and sparkle to your bathroom without reaching out for the regular cleaners.
It’s everybody’s least favourite spot to clean in a bathroom but a clean toilet is a safe, hygienic one. A spotless, visibly clean, fragrant toilet, however, is not necessarily a hygienic one. It could still harbour bacteria that we expose ourselves to every time we visit the restroom. How do you get a toilet to smell fresh and be clean all day so that it is inviting to use without putting the user at risk? Most toilet cleaners use a potent mix of bleach, ammonia and synthetic fragrances that hide stains and mask the foul odour. But they also release fumes in the bathroom that leaves us with watery eyes and burning noses. It’s important to note that the dirt in most toilets is of biological origin – body secretions, oil, fat etc which can be tackled with a natural cleaner.
The Better Home toilet cleaner gets rid of harmful bacteria and odour without the use of synthetic chemicals. It is composed of active microorganisms that clean dirty surfaces and eliminate odour by degrading their source. It leaves no toxic residues behind nor does it cause allergic reactions of discomfort to the user. Pour some cleaner in the toilet bowl and let it stay for 30 minutes. The cleaner works slowly to get rid of germs and stains. After that brush the sides of the bowl with a toilet brush.
Its action continues even after it is flushed down the toilet or drain. The active microbes continue to digest the organic dirt particles, freeing up blockages and ensuring the free flow of water.
Just like any other glass surface, mirrors can be cleaned with a solution of vinegar and water, diluted in a 50:50 ratio. Pur the solution into a spray bottle and wipe down your mirrors with cut-up newspaper. Avoid using an abrasive wipe for the mirror.
Sinks and Taps
The sink is an often ignored bathroom fixture but it can host almost as much bacteria as the toilet bowl. Before reaching out for the toxic cleaners, however, take a look inside your kitchen cabinet. A mix of vinegar and baking soda works well on sinks and taps without damaging them. Don’t forget to get into the grimy space where the tap and sink meet. An old toothbrush serves as the ideal tool for this tricky task. You can clean your drainpipe by pouring a mix of vinegar and baking soda down the drain and flushing it down with hot water.
Buckets and mugs
These receptacles become magnets for mould and fungus especially when water is allowed to stand in them for a long time. Start by scrubbing off the mould with a brush and rinse it out with hot water. Sprinkle some baking soda on the mouldy spots and let sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing again. Give the bucket a final rinse with hot water and dry it in the sun to completely disinfect it.
Towels, mats and shower curtains
Unless your bathroom is well ventilated and receives bright sunlight, it is prone to remain damp and dark through the day. These are ideal conditions for the growth of fungus and bacteria. Bathroom textiles are among the dirtiest objects in our homes since they undergo repetitive use, multiple times a day and are shared by many, giving them little chance to completely dry out. Avoid leaving any thick towels and doormats in the bathroom and, if possible, switch to light, thin hand towels. Spread wet towels out on a rack so they can air dry, and avoid hanging wet towels near the toilet. Change out your towels twice a week, and give the towel rack a good wipe down to disinfect it. It is advisable to wash towels with a mild, natural detergent such as The Better Home laundry wash. Sun-drying towels and mats is the best way to naturally disinfect them. Similarly, wash shower curtains every month to avoid the buildup of fungus.
Tiles and walls
A dank, dark bathroom is prone to develop fungus on its walls and floors. Check and fix any leaky taps and pipes to prevent moisture from accumulating around drains or in-between the tiles. Heat a cup of vinegar until warm and spray it on the mouldy area. Let it sit for an hour until the vinegar is absorbed. Now, pour a cup of The Better Home toilet cleaner into the bottle and spray it over the surface. After a few minutes, scrub the mould off with a brush or toothbrush. Wash with water. Be sure to let your bathroom air dry thoroughly to prevent the fungus from re-appearing.
Most air fresheners and fragranced products contain thousands of synthetic ingredients. They fill the air in our homes with harmful compounds that enter our bodies through our lungs and skin. Poorly lit, inadequately ventilated bathrooms are sites of low air quality, made worse with the use of scented sachets, candles and sprays. To naturally freshen up your bathroom, open the windows or install an exhaust fan to get rid of foul air and steam. Diffuse a pure essential oil or add a vase of flowers for a mild, non-toxic perfume.