Green Spring Cleaning Part IV: The Bathroom

Room by room, the Eco Women will help you spring clean your house in the most environmentally friendly way possible.  Today’s stop:  the bathroom!

Time needed: 2 hours

Supplies needed: 1 large box, 1 old towel cut into rags,  white vinegar ($1.00 for a large bottle), hot water, baking soda (.70 a box), vacuum cleaner with attachments.  (Vinegar has antimicrobial properties, but if you’re super-skeevy about germs, you can brew a solution of 3 tbs. liquid soap, 2 cups water, and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil or purchase an eco-friendly brand of all-purpose cleaner to substitute for vinegar.)

Step 1:  Vacuum the floor, use attachments to catch the cobwebs by the ceiling, dust down the baseboards and corners and sweep away the hair and dust on countertop surfaces.

Step 2: Scrub your sink and faucets with baking soda and a damp rag.  Rinse with water.

Step 3:  Fill the wastebasket with a half cup vinegar and hot water.  By using the wastebasket as a scrub bucket, you’ll clean the wastebasket, too!

Step 4:  Empty linen closets, medicine cabinets, cupboards and drawers.  Vacuum them, then wipe them clean with a rag dampened with vinegar water.  Wipe down all baseboards, light fixtures, cabinet doors, outlet covers and any mirrors with vinegar water.  If you wish, use another clean rag to dry them.

Step 5:  As you re-load your closets, drawers and cabinets, set aside anything you no longer use.  Box up extra sets of sheets and towels, that humidifier you haven’t set up in five years, those old tub toys.  Later you can donate them to the thrift shop.  Toss old make up and toiletries that have expired.  Rid your cabinet of those expired medications, but DO NOT FLUSH your old prescriptions and medications!  Flushing medicines down the sink or toilet are a health hazard as they contaminate our water supply.  You can mix your old medications with coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw them away in the trash or you can bring them to a drug disposal drop box available at many pharmacies, hospitals and sheriff’s departments.    Saturday, April 30 is National Take-Back Initiative–go to their website to find a safe place to bring your old prescription drugs.  Keep those nasty chemicals out of the drinking water.

Step 6:  Use baking soda and a damp rag to scrub your shower or tub.

Step 7:  Run your shower curtain, bath mats and towels through the wash.

Step 8:  Wash your toothbrush holders and soap dishes with your next load of dishes or put them in the dishwasher.

Step 9:  Scrub the toilet bowl with an environmentally friendly product like BioKleen or Green Works.  If you prefer to make your own toilet bowl cleaner, use a combination of 1/4 cup baking soda and a small amount of vinegar.  Let it sit a half hour before flushing.  Use borax on any stains in the bowl.

Step 10:  Scrub your toilet with vinegar and baking soda and a damp rag or use an environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaning product like Ecover, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day or Seventh Generation.  Toss the rag in the compost pile or the wash.

Step 11:  Scrub the floor with vinegar and hot water.

Step 12:  Dump the vinegar/water from the wastebasket into the toilet and rinse the wastebasket before replacing it to its proper spot.

After you’ve completed this 12-step program to a sparkling clean and disinfected bathroom, you’ve earned the right to a glass of wine and a long hot bath.  Of course, if you’re like Enviro Girl, you’re entirely sick of being in the bathroom after the 12-step bathroom cleaning program and you prefer a long walk followed by ice cream.

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7 thoughts on “Green Spring Cleaning Part IV: The Bathroom

  1. Just stumbled across your blog, love it! Quick question: is there an alternative to vinegar to make cleaning products with? Could you use lemon juice for example? My boyfriend has a real aversion to vinegar and will throw a hissy fit if I use it, even to clean with! Bless him!

    Off to learn more eco-friendly tips from the Eco Women 🙂

    • Vinegar does not smell once it dries, but some people do NOT like it. Baking soda is a good substitute, tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties and smells much better than vinegar, otherwise I can personally vouch for Ecover or Mrs. Meyers Clean or BioKleen all-purpose cleaners. They’re very safe and nontoxic and smell nice.

      • So if I take this step: “fill the wastebasket with a half cup vinegar and hot water” and replace the vinegar with baking soda/tea tree oil that’ll do the trick?!

      • Oh yes! And probably make the whole experience smell better while you’re at it;)

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