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.
- A 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:
- Disinfecting spray
- Toilet bowl cleaner fizzies
- Bathroom toilet spray (like Poo-Pourri)
- All-purpose bathroom cleaner spray
- Hydrogen peroxide makes a good toilet cleaning solution. Just wipe down the outside of the toilet to disinfect.
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.
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:
- Pumpkin spice room spray
- Natural air freshener recipes
- Use an essential oil diffuser in the bathroom. Keep in mind that if the room is small, you don’t need to use much in the diffuser! Be sure to double-check any safety contraindications before diffusing an oil.
Here are some good cleansing essential oils to try.
- Citrus oils like lemon, tangerine, lime, bergamot, and sweet orange
- Germ fighter blend (features cinnamon, clove, and other antimicrobial essential oils)
- Kidsafe germ destroyer blend
- Tea tree
How do you clean your bathroom? What is your least favorite room to clean? Let me know in the comments below!
Discussion (70 Comments)
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.
I’m a germaphobe…so what do you do with the wipes/sponges/toothbrush/scrubber after you have cleaned everything??
All the rags/clothes/ect could go in the washing machine and the sponges toothbrush/scrubbers could go in the dishwasher.
Just don’t use dryer sheets with your microfiber rags. It will absorb the chemicals and streak when using them on glass.
Hydrogen Peroxide is extremely caustic and I won’t keep it in my house.
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.
Hydrogen peroxide usually sold at 3%. Caustic hydrogen peroxide is higher percentage of peroxide and needs to be diluted. 35% example
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!!!!!
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.
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.
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!
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.
denture cleaning tablets….about four…leave in overnight…should do the trick!
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.
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.
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… 🙁
Katie - Wellness Mama
I use white vinegar and water with old microfiber cloths.
And you throw them in the wash to re-use them?
Katie - Wellness Mama
If you were worried about getting the clothes mixed up, just use a laundry marker to define toilet from kitchen 🙂
Use different color rags for different rooms
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
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!
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! 😛
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
I add 100% pure essential oils like Orange or Lavender.
I add essential oils(lavender or peppermint to my vinegar/water mix.or any that u like.