Natural Bathroom Cleaning

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Homemade bathroom cleaners
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It seems that if I’m not cleaning the kitchen, I’m cleaning the bathroom. Bathrooms can take a lot of time to clean because of all the different surfaces and how much they get used. Plus, if you have boys and have ever cleaned their bathroom… #eww. Here are my favorite homemade bathroom cleaners and how to use them.

DIY Homemade Bathroom Cleaners

If you’re like me, cleaning the bathroom is your least favorite cleaning chore. Luckily, a checklist and some homemade bathroom cleaners are all you need to make the job easier. They also help you save money!

You don’t need a lot of fancy cleaners. Bathroom cleaning can really be simple. Simple ingredients like borax, castile soap, and essential oils, like eucalyptus, make for a clean (and fabulous smelling!) bathroom. Here are some of my tried and tested homemade bathroom cleaners and cleaning hacks.


Like my windows, I clean mirrors with a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Paper towels can leave a lot of residue, but one of my favorite way to shine mirrors is with repurposed t-shirts (they make great rags). Old newspapers also do the job nicely. 

Cleaning Bathroom Counters

I use a microfiber cloth I have on hand and some homemade bathroom cleaners to get the grime off of my counters. Don’t forget to wipe down the walls every once in a while! They can get dusty and germy too, especially walls by the toilet area.

Here are some DIY cleaner options for the countertops:

Tile, Shower, and Tub Bathroom Cleaner Recipes

If you have some microfiber towels, you can use them for all of these surfaces. I’ve even found them to be an effective soap scum remover in the shower. If not, other natural options work great too.

Here’s how to get a naturally clean shower and tub:

  • Equal parts of vinegar and warm water will clean tile, counters, cabinet fronts, and soap scum in the shower. I use 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
  • baking soda and water paste will clean stuck-on gunk in the shower and tub (use vinegar instead of water for really tough stains)
  • Use this homemade shower cleaner for soap scum and rust from hard water. Spray it on the tile and even shower doors. This works well for buildup in bathtubs too.
  • Here are some great natural tile cleaner and grout cleaner recipes.
  • For stained tubs and really tough messes, this homemade scouring powder works great, though it isn’t needed for regular cleaning.
  • For mildew on hard surfaces (like tile), tea tree essential oil is a good option. Porous surfaces with mildew on them should ideally be replaced since the mold is also deep below the surface.


About once a week, I sprinkle some baking soda around the inside of the toilet to coat, then I dump a cup of white vinegar into the water. Then I give it a good scrub with a reusable toilet brush.

The baking soda and vinegar fizz to remove stains and any lingering smell. This also works on the outside of the toilet and floor to get rid of the “boy” smell from bathrooms.

I’ve found that the lingering urine smell (especially with potty-training boys) is often hiding in the toilet seat hinges and under the bolt caps on the side of the toilet. I take these off and thoroughly clean them every two weeks or so.

Here are my cleaning recipes for a naturally clean toilet, inside and out:

General Bathroom Cleaning

Here are a few more homemade bathroom cleaners that can be used on multiple surfaces. If you’re too busy to make your own cleaners, Branch Basics is my favorite natural use-it-on-everything cleaner. I’ve also discovered a great company called Grove Collaborative that I discuss in more depth in this post. They make great natural cleaning products and a fantastic glass spray bottle.

Air Fresheners

Most of the stink in a bathroom comes from urine and germs on surfaces and in the air. By giving everything a good clean, that will naturally take care of any stinky smells. It’s always nice to walk into a bathroom, though, and smell something fresh like lemon or cinnamon and clove.

I’m not a fan of bathrooms that smell like bleach, artificial air fresheners, or other toxic chemicals! Products like Febreze and Lysol Spray have a host of chemicals that can be really harmful, especially to children. To freshen the bathroom without the toxins, try these natural ideas:

Here are some good cleansing essential oils to try.

How do you clean your bathroom? What is your least favorite room to clean? Let me know in the comments below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


70 responses to “Natural Bathroom Cleaning”

  1. M.Pradeep Avatar

    My bathroom floor has marble tiles which have become very smooth and slippery.

    How do I clean them and make them anti-slippery ?

    Objective is to make bathroom floor tiles anti-slippery.

  2. Suzanne Avatar

    I’m a germaphobe…so what do you do with the wipes/sponges/toothbrush/scrubber after you have cleaned everything??

    1. Elle Avatar

      All the rags/clothes/ect could go in the washing machine and the sponges toothbrush/scrubbers could go in the dishwasher.

      1. Barbara Avatar

        Just don’t use dryer sheets with your microfiber rags. It will absorb the chemicals and streak when using them on glass.

  3. Brooke Avatar

    Hydrogen Peroxide is extremely caustic and I won’t keep it in my house.

    1. Angie Avatar

      able to burn or corrode organic tissue by chemical action.
      “a caustic cleaner” ]

      Last I checked hydrogen peroxide does not corrode your skin. You are mistaken. Hydrogen peroxide is perfectly safe to use for cleaning, tooth whitening, wound disinfecting, and even ingesting.

      1. Brenda Gavis Avatar
        Brenda Gavis

        Hydrogen peroxide usually sold at 3%. Caustic hydrogen peroxide is higher percentage of peroxide and needs to be diluted. 35% example

    2. jeni Avatar

      Growing up in a rural environment, we always used peroxide on cuts to ‘kill germs’! Pour a tiny bit on a cut or splinter and watch it bubble! When it no longer bubbles we figured germs are dead, and rinsed the wound. We all survived! Peroxide that you buy at the store isn’t that bad.
      We went barefoot all summer, and were outside most of the time – in creeks and ponds and were rarely sick… so, most germs and peroxide don’t really hurt. Some amount of regular outside ‘germs’ actually makes immune systems stronger… (not a fan of dirty bathrooms though so I’m changing from bleach and comet in the bathroom, and going to try the vinegar and baking soda methods!)
      My mom ‘made’ her own cleaning ‘products’… except it usually involved ammonia, or bleach…. ammonia for grease and bleach for germs.. – not together though!
      Love all the great ideas I get from this site!!!!!

      1. Erin Avatar

        That’s because it’s reacting with catalase positve bacteria such as Staph Aureus that is often found on skin and in wounds. Not because it’s caustic or dangerous. Our own bodies make hydrogen peroxide as a byproduct of some biological processes.

  4. Eva Russell Avatar
    Eva Russell

    Just what I was looking for. Great article. As you said, bathroom cleaning is one of the difficult part of house cleaning. Often I use house cleaning services to clean my house. Even they take some time to clean bathrooms. I am thinking of doing cleaning works my own more often so that I can save some money. Thanks for the great tips.

  5. kim Avatar

    I cannot seem to get the ring off around the toilet. I tried baking soda and vinegar as well as Borax with vinegar with no luck. I am afraid to try the pumice stone as I don’t want to scratch up the toilet. Any suggestions would be great!

    1. Linda K Avatar
      Linda K

      A pumice stone will work with hard scrubbing. However, I have just read to use lemonade koolaid. Sprinkle in toilet and swish around in the toilet bowl. Leave overnight and see what happens. I’m trying it tonight good luck.

      Linda K

      1. Jan Avatar

        denture cleaning tablets….about four…leave in overnight…should do the trick!

    2. Sue Avatar

      We also have a terrible hard water problem with all kinds if colored scale in the toilets. Each bowl has it’s own oersonality- green lime scale in one, brown  rust in another. Tried everything- Lime-away, The Works, hours of pumice rubbing. Last week I drained as much water out of the bowl as I could, bought a gallon of white vinegar, and poured it in gently to fill above the highest lime or rust ring. Left it in over night. The next morning I used a ScotchBrite scrubby dish wand carefully marked for toilet bowl use so it doesn’t wind up in the sink. VOILA!!! If you have stains above the water line, place a tissue on the stain and spray w/ vinegar to keep it wet. Or let one edge touch the vinegar in tbe bowl so it continuously absorbs the liquid and stays wet over the lime scale like a poultice. Unbelievable how clean the bowls are! Throw out everything else, this really works.

    3. Jen Avatar

      I had no luck with borax and vinegar, either. After losing an entire cup of vinegar and 3/4 cup borax, it didn’t mix with the borax. So now it’s in a bowl I’ll put in the toilet, mix it around, and hope for the best. But I’ll never waste that much again.
      As for pumice, if you’ve just got a water line, make sure it’s wet, and it will work. More than that, use the suggestion of leaving it all overnight.

  6. Lins Avatar

    This may be a dumb question, but….what exactly do you clean your toilet with (not the bowl; the whole toilet) If you use cloths, do you wash them immediately after? Will washing them in hot water be enough? If so, do you keep them somehow separate from your kitchen cloths? I waste so many paper towels cleaning the toilet… 🙁

        1. Cassie Avatar

          If you were worried about getting the clothes mixed up, just use a laundry marker to define toilet from kitchen 🙂

  7. Rhonda Avatar

    Hello, I have septic tank, I am always careful of what I clean with. I tried the toilet cleaner! YAHOO! It removed rust, smell, stains, and I have not killed the bacteria in the septic ( which is very important
    Thanks, Rhoni

  8. Susan Avatar

    I tried the vinegar and water mixture today, and it works wonderfully for mirrors, glass and tiles. I’ll never go back to chemical products!

    Though, I think I’ll try adding essential oils because the vinegar smell was quite strong!

  9. Charmaine Avatar

    I’ve been trying to figure out this crust bi-product in my daughter’s potty chair for a while. I found out its urine scale via a yacht forum, lol! They mentioned vinegar wouldn’t be acidic enough and there is a descaling product sold in stores. I was able to remove it by sprinkling citric acid in the potty and left it for 15 minutes. It came right out! I’ve always had luck with baking soda and vinegar in the toilet… I’ve learned potty chairs are a whole different specimen! 😛

  10. Chilli_P Avatar

    Hi, i have tried cleaning with vinegar but the smell….. It is very strong and a few times i even became nauseous after using it. Any ideas how to reduce the smell / or any alternatives to the vinegar please? thanks

    1. linda Avatar

      I add essential oils(lavender or peppermint to my vinegar/water mix.or any that u like.

  11. Sydnee Avatar

    How do you feel about the new popular vinegar and dawn dish soap as a tub/shower cleaner? Is that safe to use?

    1. Dot Avatar

      I started to use the 50/50 vinegar/water solution with a little dawn in it and I love it for the bathtub and shower. Just spray it on and it takes very little scrubbing to get a clean tub and tile.

      1. Rebecca Sheridan Avatar
        Rebecca Sheridan

        My mother in law has very hard water with a ton of calcium and rust in it. She bought one of those kitchen sponge things that has a handle you can fill with dish soap. She fills it half way with vinegar and then adds whatever dishsoap she has on hand. It works like a charm.

  12. kschnepple Avatar

    I purchase inexpensive washcloths (like the kind you can get in bundles from Walmart) and use these instead of paper towels. they can be used to absorb grease in the kitchen or to wipe up a spill, etc. then they just get tossed in the washer. i have not purchased paper towels for several years now.

  13. kschnepple Avatar

    I purchase inexpensive washcloths (like the kind you can get in bundles from Walmart) and use these instead of paper towels. they can be used to absorb grease in the kitchen or to wipe up a spill, etc. then they just get tossed in the washer. i have not purchased paper towels for several years now.

  14. kschnepple Avatar

    I purchase inexpensive washcloths (like the kind you can get in bundles from Walmart) and use these instead of paper towels. they can be used to absorb grease in the kitchen or to wipe up a spill, etc. then they just get tossed in the washer. i have not purchased paper towels for several years now.

  15. Kirsten McCulloch Avatar
    Kirsten McCulloch

    Hi, I just found your site for the first time. Great post! I use vinegar or more often a citrus infused vinegar as my primary cleaner, but I do the same as you and use both vinegar and bicarb soda in my toilet. I keep meaning to try a bicarb paste on the grout in my shower…

  16. Nicole Bliss Avatar
    Nicole Bliss

    I too use a cup of baking soda in the toilet but don’t find I need to also add the vinegar (though I am sure when I let it get bad the vinegar would require less scrubbing). I am definitely going to try your scouring powder. I use 50/50 vinegar/water for most everything but it doesn’t seem to work when things need a good scrub (I too have two little boys under age 5).

  17. Audry Strain Pettit Avatar
    Audry Strain Pettit

    I just started making a citrus/pineapple enzyme base. It is supposed to be similar to what Bio Kleen uses in their Bac Out line. It is still fermenting, but I can’t wait to try it out. Supposedly you can use it on basically any surface (even your skin). 

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It is actually rated much safer than any other cleaning products. You can even get food grade if you are concerned. Personally, I use regular hydrogen peroxide on my teeth and gums for natural whitening.

  18. Rebekah Wilhelm Avatar
    Rebekah Wilhelm

    I use the vinegar/water solution for most general cleaning, but one of my tools in cleaning the bathroom is a stainless steel scrub . . . goodbye soap scum! And pumice stones work well for hard water stains in the toilet bowl.

  19. Melissa Naasko Avatar
    Melissa Naasko

    Thanks for the shout out! Also, I so glad that you are encouraging people to use non-toxic cleaners. My grandmother told me a blood-curdling story about one of her little guys drinking bleach and there is a similar story in my husband’s family. Another time a friend accidentally used ammonia in her BBQ sauce because she mistook the bottle under her sink for the ACV. In the end, nobody had any after she tasted it but it sure scared me. There are better ways to clean!

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