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. Mike Avatar

    Can anyone tell me FOR SURE whether vinegar and water, and baking soda, and dawn (all these separate or together) will not harm the flora in my septic tank?
    I’ve had to have a guy out once for my septic tank and don’t want to have to have that happen again!
    Thanks for any info you can provide on this! Links maybe?

  2. Kathy Avatar

    HI was looking for a ceramic shower tile cleaner. A girl on U tube said to use ration 1:1 vinegar and dawn. I saw no use for this as the tub already has soap scrum (soap) on the walls you are trying to clean so why add a slippery Dawn soap to the vinegar. .When I did what she said it just made my tile full of soap I could not remove.
    Just heads up. Yes vinegar full strength can give you a headache, keep all windows open if you are allergic to vinegar.

  3. Rose Avatar

    Baking soda and vinegar works very well for build up on toilets. It also works well to clear drains and smells coming from build up in drains. It may take a couple of doses to clear a bad clog but awesome. And as for complaints about vinegar smells it quickly disapates. I like the smell of vinegar.

  4. Ann Hepworth Avatar
    Ann Hepworth

    I don’t know what to keep in the jar that holds my toilet brush!
    After you use the brush to clean the inside of the toilet, then what?
    I really am serious…i cannot tolerate anything anymore, but I can’t find a clue anywhere.
    Thanks for all the research and testing I don’t have to do!

  5. Barbara Domingo Avatar
    Barbara Domingo

    Any suggestions for removing soap scum buildup from glass shower doors in a marble bath? (I’ve used the vinegar/dawn method on other surfaces and it was fantastic but vinegar isn’t good for marble so I’m looking for an alternative. I tried vodka, as suggested on another site, and it didn’t work. Thank you!

  6. Elyn Sloane Avatar
    Elyn Sloane

    WOW! Thanks for the tip on getting the gray out of my bathroom sink….baking soda and vinegar. Love the explosion!

  7. Mathilde Avatar

    Found out that vinegar and baking soda works great on cleaning my drains but My stopper in the bathtub is frozen in place due to hard water and nothing seems to work any ideas

    1. Marlene Avatar

      I can’t remove the stopper in my bathroom sink, so I add enough water to the baking soda to make a thick liquid that I can pour into the drain, followed by vinegar and later by hot water.

  8. Brenda Spring Avatar
    Brenda Spring

    I love using natural products! I think that the idea with the vinegar is more than amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing it here! Regards!

  9. Gemma Avatar

    Does it have to be white vinegar or will brown malt vinegar work as well?

  10. becky Avatar

    Ran across this tonight.enjoying all the tips on the one on using the shave foam to polish .defog mirrors..gonna try that..

  11. AnnaE Avatar

    I’m really keen to start cleaning using vinegar and have seen a number of mentions about adding essential oils. How much should I add to a spray bottle when cleaning the bathroom and kitchen? Which are the best ones to use? Thanks

  12. AmyB Avatar

    After cleaning mirrors use a small amount of FOAM shaving cream on mirrors and polish it onto the glass. The result no fog mirrors. Ps clean car windows with salt water and you will never have to deal with ice accumulation!!!

  13. Sam Avatar

    Thanks for the tips! But it took me several minutes to decipher this parenthetical instruction: “(1 regular one wet, and one polishing one dry, or just one regular wet one and one regular dry)”. I think it’s the use of the word “one” to mean both a towel and a quantity of towels, with the inclusion of a single “1”.

    I think it means: one wet towel (regular towel) and one dry towel (regular or polishing towel). Is that right?

  14. Cindy Avatar

    I too had the same problem with hard water build up. I tried everything. The only thing that finally worked was a pumice stone and good old fashioned elbow grease (and lots of it, lol). For the longest time I wouldn’t use a pumice stone because I thought for sure it would scratch the toilet bowl, but it doesn’t at all! It actually is kind of “soft” in that it “dissolves” as you use it. Now I use pumice stones all the time, we have very hard water. Love them!

  15. Azreyla Avatar

    What is good for really bad hard water build up in the toilet bowl? We moved into a house that the toilet is just a nightmare with build up. I have tried so many different things but I only seem to scratch the surface of the build up.

  16. samantha Avatar

    I use vinegar in the toilet and sink and for the tub I use baking soda mixed with dawn. Works great

  17. Amanda Avatar

    What do you use when baby poops in the bath? I’ve been using hot water and vinegar but does that sanitize as well as it should? Thank you!

    1. Jeni Avatar

      Your babies poop isn’t really that ‘toxic’.
      It’s just poop.
      Gross and smelly maybe, but not full of anything horrible. Just whats left after digesting food.
      Scoop the poo out, drain the water, clean if needed in your normal fashion, and all is fine!!!
      The surfaces of bathroom fixtures are made to be resistant to germs and bacteria, as long as there isn’t any scum on it!

  18. Billy Avatar

    A great new eco-friendly line of cleaners is BioWorx. These products can be found on Amazon. Their shower cleaner dissolves soap scum (calcium stearate & magnesium stearate), scale (calcium carbonate), and sebum (the waxy oils our bodies produce).

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