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)
Does it have to be white vinegar or will brown malt vinegar work as well?
I’d steer clear of it… might leave a residue.
any suggestions I have received were to use white vinegar.
Ran across this tonight.enjoying all the tips on cleaning..like the one on using the shave foam to polish .defog mirrors..gonna try that..
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
Just a few drops. And any sent on the oils.
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!!!
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?
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!
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.
I use vinegar in the toilet and sink and for the tub I use baking soda mixed with dawn. Works great
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!
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!
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).