Green Cleaning in the Bathroom Including Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products and Tips for Green Cleaning

Background
Common Sense Cleaning
Dangerous Cleaners in the Bathroom
Green Alternatives for Cleaning in the Bathroom
Deodoriser
Drain Cleaners
Mould and Mildew Removal
Lime Deposits
Plumbing Fixtures
Porcelain Cleaner
Shower Heads
Tiles and Basin
Toilet Cleaner
Green Products for Bathing

Background

Most people do not realise how dangerous to people, pets and children common household cleaners can be. Others don't know the damage these cleaners can cause to the environment. Common cleaning products like disinfectants, drain cleaners, anti-mould solutions and detergents can be a cocktail of potentially hazardous chemicals including bleach, solvents, chlorine and ammonia. Some simple and far less hazardous alternatives can be used to make cleaning a far less harmful household chore. This article looks at green cleaning in the bathroom.

Common Sense Cleaning

Some common sense steps can be employed to ensure safe and effective green cleaning. These are to:

  • Simply use less of the commercially available chemicals when cleaning. It will be cheaper and tends to be as effective.
  • When using using less chemical cleaners, you may need to allow more time for the cleaner to work. Just be patient and allow stains to soak.
  • Clean as you go. Prevention is better than cure, so don't allow mess to build up, clean spills when they happen and don't allow stains to set
  • Elbow grease, water and good cleaning equipment like quality brushes, cloths and scourers can often complete a cleaning job without the use of harsh chemicals

Dangerous Cleaners in the Bathroom

Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners all contain extremely corrosive ingredients that can severely irritate eyes, skin and the respiratory tract. Most can be fatal if swallowed. Of all the cleaning products, chemical drain cleaners exceptionally hazardous. They contain sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite that can burn both eyes and skin.

Green Alternatives for Cleaning in the Bathroom

Deodoriser

Deodorising toilets can be done by simply opening windows to bring on fresh air. A small bowl of potpourri, a mint plant, cedar blocks or sachets of dried flowers and herb scan help to mask odours as can adding vanilla essence when cleaning floors. An open box of baking soda will remove odours and can be placed in an attractive container. Avoid potpourri that lists unspecified "fragrance" on the label; this could mean synthetic chemicals, including phthalates. Look for products scented with essential plant oils, such as lemon, verbena, or lavender.

Drain Cleaners

Regular cleaning will ensure even slow flowing drains will remain unclogged and may simply require regular flushing with clean, hot water. Before resorting to chemical solutions to clear blocked drains an old fashioned drain plunger will normally clear all but the most severe blockages.

Mould and Mildew Removal

Mould can be removed by wiping with vinegar, leaving overnight and then scrubbing off. Mildew can be treated with a solution of equal parts borax and vinegar in warm water. The best solution is to avoid mould and mildew forming in the first place. Depending on the location and local environment eliminating mould and mildew may be very difficult but it can be reduced by ensuring the bathroom is well ventilated and surfaces are kept dry.

Lime Deposits

Lime deposits can be removed by dissolving with white vinegar. Hard lime deposits in difficult areas can be softened by covering the deposits with paper towel soaked in vinegar. Leave the paper towels in place for an hour before cleaning and rinsing.

Plumbing Fixtures

Stainless steel, chrome, fiberglass, ceramic, porcelain or enamel fixtures can be cleaned by wiping with a mixture of 2 tbsp of baking soda dissolved in 1 litre of water. Rinse clean.

Porcelain Cleaner

Clean porcelain surfaces by rubbing with cream of tartar sprinkled on a damp cloth.

Shower Heads

Cleaning clogging of metal and plastic shower heads needs to be approached differently. To remove deposits which may be clogging a metal shower head, combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and one litre of water in a pot - you may need more depending on the size of shower head and pot. Completely submerge the shower head and boil for 15 minutes. For clearing plastic shower heads combine equal parts water and white vinegar, submerge the shower head and soak for an hour.

Tiles and Basin

An all purpose cleaner for green cleaning of bathroom tiles and basic can be made from 2 heaped tablespoons of bicarbonate soda mixed with 1 tablespoons of white vinegar. Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth and wipe off with a clean moist cloth. For stubborn stains leave the cleaner on for a while before wiping off.

Other household green cleaners for the bathroom include:

  1. Baking soda can be sprinkled and used as a scouring powder. It can then be rubbed with a damp sponge and rinsed thoroughly.
  2. Diluted vinegar removes most dirt without scrubbing and doesn’t leave a film. You should oly need around 30 ml of vinegar in 1 litre of water.
  3. Vinegar and Baking Soda combined can be used to remove film buildup on bathtubs. Simply apply undiluted vinegar to a sponge and wipe on. Then scour with baking soda, rub with a damp sponge and rinse with clean water.
  4. Baking soda can also be used as a grout cleaner. 3 cups baking soda mixed to a paste with 1 cup warm water can be scrubbed into grout with a sponge or toothbrush before being rinsed off.

Toilet Cleaner

Numerous household recipes exist for toilet bowl cleaners some are as follows:

  • Use vinegar as you would any other toilet cleaner. Leave to soak for 10 minutes before washing off. Limescale residue can be scrubbed off.
  • Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet bowl, squirt with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush.
  • Flush to wet the inside of the bowl. Sprinkle borax around the toilet bowl and spray with vinegar. Leave for several hours or overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
  • Two denture tablets can be dropped into the toilet bowl and the water used with a toilet brush to clean the bowl
  • Borax and lemon juice can be used to remove stubborn stains like a toilet bowl ring. Mix borax and lemon juice to a paste. Flush to wet the bowl and cover the ring with the paste. Leave to sit for 2 hours and scrub with a toilet brush.

Green Products for Bathing

Chemicals in many soaps, shampoos and other personal cleaning products can irritate sensitive skin and cause problems in the environment.

An environmentally friendly repleacement for bath products is to put half a cup of rolled oats into the toe of an old, clean stocking or sock. Place it under the running tap as the bath fills. The oat treated water is good for your skin and the sock can be used a loofah for cleaning your skin.

An environmentally friendly shampoo can be made by mixing water with various herbs and vinegar. Lemon juice can be used as aconditioner and lightener, egg yolks are good for for dry hair and beer will give hair additional body. Biodegradable organic shampoos and conditioners are now widely commercially available.

Source: AZoCleantech

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