Cleaning products at the local department store come in a variety of bottles, with just about every chemical you can think of lining the shelves waiting to make its way into your home. Not only are they harmful to the environment, but cleaning products are responsible for about 10 percent of all toxic exposures reported in the U.S.

Companies producing these corrosive chemicals bank on the fact that you’re not aware of the harm they cause. While some of these chemicals present immediate hazards like watery eyes, burns, and respiratory or skin irritation, others are associated with producing chronic effects, like cancer. To avoid these dangers, try substituting these poisons with more natural alternatives. Here are three easy, natural bathroom cleaner substitutes you can make at home.

Toilet Cleaning With Vinegar and Essential Oils

There’s nothing worse than letting your toilet build up dirt and grime, leading you to use a toxic cleaner to get to the bottom of it. To avoid these thick layers of filth, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a couple drops of essential oil—lemon or tea tree work well because they both enhance your bathroom’s smell and have antibacterial properties. Use about five drops of essential oil for each cup of vinegar, spraying and wiping your toilet seats daily.

If you need a stronger cleaning agent, add about a ½ cup of baking soda and 10 drops of essential oil into your toilet bowl. Then, add about a ¼ cup of vinegar. Once it fizzes, use a toilet brush and scrub the bowl clean. Since this mixture has a reactive nature, it’s not possible to pre-mix a large amount of this natural cleaner for future use, although you can pre-measure all of your ingredients and have them readily available at your disposal.

Glass and Mirror Cleaning With Vinegar, Water and Newspaper

Cleaning your glass or mirror isn’t just about wiping it down; it’s also about eliminating any leftover streaks. Instead of using harsh chemicals to complete this task, try a simple solution that’s safe for both the environment and yourself. To do this, add about two tablespoons of vinegar into a gallon of water, dispersing it into a spray bottle. If you don’t have vinegar or hate the smell of it, use undiluted club soda or lemon juice instead.

After you have your cleaning mix in a bottle, spray it on your glass or mirrors. Without letting it dry, use an old newspaper to wipe it clean. Not only does a newspaper help prevent streaking, but it’s also a great alternative to paper towels. If every household in the U.S. used one less roll of paper towels annually, it would save about 544,000 trees.

Bathtub and Shower Cleaning With Vinegar and a Homemade Soft Scrub

The key to keeping your bathtub and shower clean is to practice prevention methods. To do this, make sure you spray your shower walls with vinegar a few times each week after you’ve taken a shower (just keep a bottle of scented vinegar in the shower stall for easy access). Additionally, use a squeegee a few times each week too, helping you avoid build up of dirt and grime that’s harder to clean later. If you have a shower curtain from JCP, you can use this mix to keep it clean, too.

While prevention is the key to keeping your bathtub and shower sparkling, you should still make it a habit to scrub it down occasionally. To do this, make your own homemade soft scrub by mixing ¾ of a cup of baking soda with a ¼ cup of castile soap. Add about one tablespoon of water and mix it with a fork. Finally, scoop out the homemade soft scrub with a sponge or piece of cloth and start cleaning.

Keeping your bathroom sparkling clean doesn’t have to cost you your health and the environment. Stock up on these natural cleaning solutions and you might avoid losing a few years of your life.

Do you have any other natural cleaning solutions that you use in the bathroom or around other areas of your house? Leave a comment below and share your wisdom.

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Featured photo credit: jaymiekvia Flickr

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