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Cleaning the Commode: 3 Natural Bathroom Cleaners

Cleaning the Commode: 3 Natural Bathroom Cleaners

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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