Cheap and Natural Cleaning Alternatives

SQUEAKY CLEAN: Your water closet will be spotless with these natural cleaning products & green tips. (Photo: Evil Erin/Flickr).

Want to get that icky bathroom mess tidied quickly without spraying a lot of unpronounceable substances everywhere? We've rounded up a list of gentle, effective natural cleaners that are safe for you and your family. They'll save you money while helping to protect the environment.

Blast the bowl!

Who needs "scrubbing bubbles" when you've got baking soda and vinegar? Wet the sides of your bowl with a toilet brush. Liberally sprinkle the sides with baking soda, then splash on some vinegar. Instant foam! Scrub clean. The baking soda is also a terrific deodorizer.

Tile cleaner

All you need is a sturdy sponge, a bowl full of white vinegar, and some salt. Soak the sponge in vinegar, sprinkle with salt, and scrub away the toughest grime. Rinse clean. You can help keep soap scum at bay between cleanings by spraying your wet tile with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.

Sparkling glass and mirrors

Most commercial products are ammonia-based. Vinegar works just as well — and it's cheaper. The same spray bottle with a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water you use to touch up tile (or any other surface) will get your mirrors spotless. Since we're paying attention to resources, use recycled paper towels to buff any streak marks. Better yet: make your own cleaning rags from discarded cotton clothing.


Use 1 cup (about 250 ml) white vinegar in 1 gallon (about 4 liters) of water. Some people add 6-12 drops of peppermint oil as a freshener.

Remember that an open container of baking soda will absorb most household odors. The bathroom is a great place to experiment with homemade potpourri and natural oils. Enjoy your clean and toxin-free bathroom!