DIY Cleaner Recipes

Back in February, I had promised to share my experience with natural cleaning products I made, and it totally dropped off my radar until now, sorry :) So I give you this disclaimer: you are about to see my bathroom that I share with my brother in its dirtiest state ever to showcase the power of natural cleaning products. In less time and money than it takes to go shopping at the grocery store, you can make these 5 natural cleaning products in the comfort of your own home to clean the bathroom sections I am featuring!

You might be wondering what caused me to change my cleaning habits, and why should you bother to take the time to invest in these cleaning recipes. The answer is short and sweet - your health should be your #1 investment. As I've aged (keep in mind I'm only 25), my allergies have become more sensitive and I've become more aware of what companies aren't telling us about what's in their cleaning products. It was always hard for me to breathe with the fumes of cleaners floating in the air of a little bathroom, which would cause me to have to stop and take a break while the bathroom vented out more. That in itself made my cleaning time two times as long as it would've taken to finish if I could breathe properly. I also became aware of how our bodies take in these cleaning chemicals post-cleaning. They don't just disappear y'all! They stay put in the air and on surfaces, and they get taken into our bodies though the bottoms of our feet, our hands, lungs, mouth, etc.

Here are a couple major reasons you should take the time to switch from toxic to natural:

  • Unregulated chemicals in the ingredients 
  • Being loyal to a cleaner brand just because your mom used it, doesn't mean it's safe for you to use. Ingredients like phtalates (in fragrances), 2-butoxyethanol (in multi-purpose cleaners), chlorine (in toilet cleaners), benzalkonum chloride (in fabric softeners), volatile organic compounds (found in aerosol cans) and many others are toxic and harmful, especially to our lungs, nervous system, kidneys, and liver.
  • If you have kids, remember they are more prone to poisoning and illness from chemicals than you might be. Better to be safe than sorry.  

Alright, so let's dive right into this mess!

1. SINK & COUNTERS

We don't keep very much on the counter space considering how close it is to the toilet, plus the area gets dirty so fast that it needs to stay clear for a quick clean. As you can see below, our sink has an oval groove in it. This tends to cause a buildup of grime, dirt, and who knows what else. Both the faucet and drain cap never fail to get some sort of toothpaste buildup, and the sink bowl overtime always has a buildup of soap and dirt.

To clean the counters and sink, I use my all-purpose cleaner and a sponge.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 TSP tea tree essential oil

Now let's have a look of what everything looks like after cleaning...ahh much better :) Cleans everything right off leaving a shine, no fumes, and no residue.

2. TOILET

In all honesty I dread even having to touch the toilet; you never know what lurks under that seat lid when you share a bathroom with a guy (sorry but you know it's true)! :| All exposed now...how disgusting. If you fail to clean your toilet from bottom to top, inside to outside at the end of every week after a month, it might look like this. The dreaded stain on the seat lid is always the hardest to remove, and is a breeding nest of germs spreading and multiplying. So let's fix this up.

To clean the toilet entirely on the outside, I first use my all-purpose cleaner and a sponge.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 TSP tea tree essential oil

Then I use my toilet cleaner with a brush for the inside bowl and lid area. Scrub everywhere at least twice and rinse.

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil

As you can see in the picture below, most of the seat lid stain was removed, but not all of it wanted to come off. I was serious that it is always the hardest area to clean when it gets way too dirty! So in situations like this, I get out my soft scrub cleaner to do the extra work with a scrub brush. If the buildup has been sitting on the seat lid for a very long time, unfortunately there's no way out of getting the entire stain out of the lid's material, but you can remove a good deal of it with this cleaner.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1/2 TBSP dish soap

When mixing in the dish soap, keep in mind that whatever dish soap color you choose will be the color of your soft scrub. Try to stay away from the darker colors like blue, red, and green.

Well would you look at that :) Doesn't this look more welcoming now?! You can still see the faint stain on the lid, but that's there permanently now. If your stain still remains and over time it darkens to a brown or black, it's probably time to replace your lid. Moving on to the mirrors...

3. MIRROR WALL

I honestly don't know why home builders like to install these massive mirrors in bathrooms. I HATE them! So much area that needs to be cleaned and quite frankly I don't want to see myself walking from one end of the bathroom to the other. Another downside to these kinds of mirrors is rust. Yes, rust. The metal clasps on the bottom near the counter can start rusting over time if you like to take hot showers and fog up the mirror (I'm guilty of that).

To clean the mirror, I use my glass cleaner and paper towels. I have tried various versions of Windex, I have tried other glass cleaners, I have even tried sulfate-free glass cleaners. NONE OF THEM clean better than this homemade recipe!! With this recipe I get no residue streaks left on the glass, do you know how happy that makes me? :)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil

BAM, look at that glass! :) Streak-free clean and no need to respray the area to remove missed fingerprints, water marks, or dirt.

4. BATHTUB

Probably my second least favorite thing to clean. This fake hard plastic tile wall...not my friend. Neither are the ledges that come out of the wall that tempt anyone to leave their wet soap bar to stick and become removable only by digging nails into the soap. These ledges also are a host spot for mold buildup under and around your shampoo and conditioner bottles. Lastly, bathtubs with no-slip textured bottoms are great to have since they have a legit purpose to keep you from falling on your butt. But those bottoms will NEVER stay clean, ever. I highly recommend to never get a textured bottom. Just buy a mat to place inside that you can remove when cleaning and can replace as it gets old. There's nothing more painful and frustrating than leaning over your bathtub side scrubbing away for at least 15 minutes while switching between arms as they tire out.

To clean the bathtub, I use my soft scrub cleaner and a scrub brush. I also have on hand a large cup to gather water to rinse everything off.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1/2 TBSP dish soap

Post-clean, the bathtub is definitely whiter and cleaner. You can see in the picture below just how good the homemade soft scrub works to cut out the grime, soap residue, and dirt in just a couple scrubs! You can also see that the tub bottom still has a hint of brown due to the textured bottom not being easy to clean whatsoever. However, the stain from the shower curtain is gone, and the buildup from underneath the shampoo and conditioner bottles are also gone.

5. FLOORS

Every time you clean your bathroom, you should be cleaning your floors. Floors buildup just as many germs and bacteria as everything else mentioned above. We have laminate patterned flooring in our bathroom, which is always subject to tennis shoe streaks, a covering of dirt, hair, dust, grass, you name it.

To clean the floor, I use my floor cleaner and a sponge. This can also be used on baseboards, and will easily get the dust and dirt out of hard to reach grooves without ripping the paint off.

  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups water

Another clean surface :) Floors - done. Baseboards - done. Now let's talk about another space in bathrooms that doesn't always get the cleaning attention it deserves...

6. SHOWER CURTAIN PROTECTORS

How often do you change out your shower curtain protector? If you don't have a waterproof shower curtain like me, then you probably have one of these plastic protection liners inside the bathtub. They accumulate so much dirt, residue, mold, allergens, and bacteria! Just look at the difference between my new protector on the left, and the old on the right! Which would you rather be breathing next to? I bet it's the left one. I choose not to scrub down the plastic protectors, just not a good use of my time, so I trash the old and replace with a new one every few months when I start to notice a dark yellow color forming.

The remaining touches to cleaning my bathroom are changing out the trash bag and putting new towels on our towel hooks so we're ready for the next time we shower. We don't keep all of our towels stored away in the bathroom cabinets to prevent mold from settling in after continuous hot showers. Who wants to use smelly towels, ew. The other side to that is we reuse our towels at least twice to save water and time spent on laundry. If you're taking a shower you are clean when you come out aren't you? :)

After all the cleaning is done, I wipe down all the counter top pieces like the soap dispenser, kleenex holder and picture frame before putting them back. I also use a small washcloth to place under all the shampoo and conditioner bottles, and soap holders that stay on the outer side of the bathtub to prevent dirtying the bathtub up even more.

Now even after all that cleaning, I didn't have to worry about breathing in harsh chemicals, burning my lungs, or having to wait 15-30 minutes to enter back into the bathroom for fumes to vent out. Doesn't that sound amazing?? 

Give these DIY cleaner recipes a try and let me know how this safer cleaning routine works for you!

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Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are Β©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!