To many minds, the bathroom is the place where the greatest amount of bacteria lurk, whether or not your toilet is located in the bathroom itself or elsewhere. The bathroom often looks the tackiest, what with soap and toothpaste smears everywhere, grey soap scum on the taps and rings around the bath. And it can be all too easy to succumb to the temptation to bring in the heavy cavalry in the form of hospital-grade disinfectants and powerful degreasing agents that promise to cut through all your bathroom gunk in a manner of seconds as well as killing every single germ in sight.
However, these super-duper commercial cleaners often leave you with headaches from nasty fumes, and itchy, dry or even cracked skin from the chemicals. And the germ-killing bacteria certainly kill bacteria, but they also kill the skin cells in your hands. Thankfully, natural domestic cleaners work just as well, if not better, to get your bathroom sparkling and clean – and hygienic. Actually, some of what gets smeared on bathroom taps and the top of vanity units is cleaning products: toothpaste and soap. All you need to do to remove this is give it a good rub with a damp flannel or cloth and it comes away easily and quickly. You can even squeeze out a little more toothpaste onto the taps and give them a good shining. The toothpaste just rinses off with a bit of water or another wipe with a damp cloth. If you clean your bathroom “little and often”, this can be all that you need to do to keep everything clean.
However, if it’s been a while since you cleaned the basin and if there’s grey scum in the bath, you’ll need a little more firepower. Have you ever noticed that many commercial cleaning products have the words “contains baking soda” emblazoned across their fronts? Well, baking soda is an extremely efficient natural cleaner that is perfect for scrubbing down bathroom surfaces. It won’t scratch either porcelain or taps, and it gets the gunge off. All you need to do is to mix a bit of baking soda – you may need about half a cup to do the bath thoroughly – with some water and apply it with a cloth. Leave it for a little, then get rubbing. It will require a little elbow grease to get all the muck off, but this is going to give you a small workout – it’s good for you. Rinse the baking soda off with fresh water.
Rinsing it off with white vinegar produces a satisfying fizz and also helps to attack any alkaline deposits.
Keep the vinegar handy for cleaning glass, whether the mirror or glass surround on a shower. The easiest way is to mix vinegar and water – a 50/50 mix – in a spray bottle and squirting this onto the glass to be cleaned. Rub well with a soft lint-free cloth, then dry off with another soft cloth. You can add some essential oil to the vinegar and water mix to add a pleasant scent to it, plus some germ-killing ability (neat vinegar will kill mould spores, so if you have discovered a nasty patch of mould in your bathroom, attack it with neat vinegar, then make sure you leave the bathroom well aired to stop the mould coming back). If you haven’t got a spray bottle, dampen a soft cloth with a vinegar/water mix and rub it directly onto the glass. Dry off with a second cloth.
The toilet is the one thing to clean in the bathroom area that gets most of us nervous. All those germs and the smell…
However, the yellow crystals and the skid marks will yield easily to a bit of scrubbing with the toilet brush plus a bit of hot soapy water. If you have one of those old duck-head bottles from some commercial toilet cleaner you bought in the past, save this and fill it with some soap gel (made by pouring boiling water onto soap scraps or grated soap). More stubborn stains within the toilet bowl can be shifted by leaving it overnight with one of the following natural house cleaners:
* a cup or two of baking soda
* denture cleaning tablets – about two will do
* a can of Coke or Pepsi
Leave whatever you’ve selected in the toilet bowl overnight and DON’T USE THE LOO while it’s in there. Flush down in the morning, and finish off with a good scrub if necessary.
If you’re worried about germs in the toilet, you can use a little alcohol (vodka, whisky, brandy, rubbing alcohol or methylated spirits) to wipe down the toilet seat and the flush button.
Don’t bother putting disinfectant inside the bowl – it will just go down the drain with the next flush. The only places you are really going to come in contact with are the seat and the flush button, so these are the ones that really need disinfectant. And you’re going to wash your hands after using the loo, aren’t you? So don’t be too fussy about killing every single little germ – you’re not going to eat in there.
Nick Vassilev is the founder of Anyclean, a successful cleaning company based in London, UK. His extensive knowledge about the cleaning industry helps him provide excellent cleaning services London and increased value for money to his clients.