11 Safe & Effective Natural Bathroom Cleaning Essentials
By Marilee Nelson |
Welcome to the fume-free world of natural bathroom cleaning!
Yes, it is possible to clean and disinfect your bathroom using non-toxic products if you have the right products, tools, and know-how.
This article will show you how with the 11 safe and effective natural bathroom cleaning essentials.
From the best cleaning tools and natural cleaning products to non-toxic disinfecting solutions and DIY options, this article has everything you need to tackle your bathroom cleaning with ease, efficiency, and zero harmful chemicals.
1. All Purpose Cleaner
All-purpose cleaners are essential for removing germs, dirt, and grime from surfaces and, in some cases, even doing double-duty as floor cleaners.
Branch Basics All-Purpose is up for these jobs (and more), making it one of our top cleaning essentials for bathrooms. This multi-purpose cleaner is made by diluting Branch Basics Concentrate with water in a spray bottle. Just mix according to package instructions, shake, and you’re ready to go.
Learn more about our top picks for non-toxic all-purpose cleaners in: 5 Best Natural All-Purpose Cleaners.
2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Conventional toilet bowl cleaners contain some of the most toxic ingredients for people and the planet, making them especially unsafe to use around children and pets.
Fortunately, you can get the same deep cleaning and disinfecting action using natural products, such as Branch Basics Bathroom or Branch Basics Bathroom + Oxygen Boost, followed by a non-toxic sanitizer like 3% hydrogen peroxide or 3% hydrogen peroxide plus distilled white vinegar (used separately—spray one, scrub, allow dwell time, and flush then spray the other, scrub, allow dwell time and flush—and stored in separate bottles).
Like Branch Basics All-Purpose, Branch Basics Bathroom is made by combining Branch Basics Concentrate with water in a spray bottle, and that’s it!
Get more tips on the best non-toxic toilet bowl cleaners and disinfectants in: 5 Best Natural (and effective) Toilet Bowl Cleaners.
3. Glass Cleaner
Ammonia-based glass cleaners are incredibly toxic when inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Yet, it can be challenging to find comparable non-toxic alternatives.
Meet Branch Basics Streak-Free, one of our most beloved products/dilutions made by using 1 drop (yes, you read right! 1 drop) of Branch Basics Concentrate in a full spray bottle of water. This makes enough glass cleaner to last for several months.
Other options include hydrogen peroxide, vinegar,and more.
Learn all about your options, including how to clean glass stovetops, in: 6 Best Glass Cleaners Without Ammonia.
4. Drain Cleaner
Their main ingredient, sodium hydroxide, is so caustic it can cause severe burning and permanent damage to skin, eyes, internal organs and tissues, and even death when ingested, inhaled, and/or splashed onto skin and/or eyes..
In addition, most plumbers do not recommend it due to its tendency to damage pipes.
Instead, we suggest using a combination of natural products, such as baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice with very hot water, to dissolve clogs and force them out of the pipes using pressure.
We explain exactly how to do this, plus other non-toxic drain cleaning options in: Natural Drain Cleaners: 5 Safe Options For Your Home.
5. Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is beloved in the non-toxic cleaning community for good reason: it’s a cheap and effective multi-purpose wonder!
We’ve already discussed how to use it for disinfecting, as an all-purpose cleaner, and clearing out drains.
In addition, it can also be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water stains, as a natural glass cleaner, as a floor cleaner, and much more.
The only caveat is vinegar contains natural acetic acid—which is what makes it work. However, acetic acid is also a lung irritant, so use with caution (plenty of ventilation, pour vs. spray) around babies, children, or anyone with compromised respiratory function.
Get more advice and tips on how to use vinegar in: 12 Ways to Use Vinegar in Your Home.
6. Natural Disinfectant Solution
We briefly discussed how to do this above, but the best tools for the job are:
- 3% hydrogen peroxide (brown bottle)
- Distilled white vinegar
These must be used separately (spray one, allow dwell time, wipe off then spray the other, allow dwell time and wipe off) and stored in separate bottles (or they will create a toxic gas if combined), but when combined, they will disinfect as effectively as chemical-based disinfectants.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a must-have in your natural bathroom cleaning caddy.
This gentle, non-toxic scouring agent is excellent for cleaning tile grout, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and can be mixed with liquid castile soap and water to create a DIY soft scrubbing solution.
It’s also an excellent natural deodorizer, and, as you’ve just learned, works wonders as a natural drain cleaner.
Get more tips on how to put baking soda to work in your non-toxic home in: Cleaning With Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate): 12 Surprising Uses.
Oxygen Boost is a super grout cleaner! Spray Branch Basics All Purpose or Bathroom cleaner to wet the grout. Sprinkle Oxygen Boost on the grout and spray All Purpose or Bathroom to wet the Oxygen Boost. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a brush and rinse.
Once you clean with Oxygen Boost you’ll agree, this affordable product is a must-have for non-toxic bathroom cleaning and beyond.
Learn more about how this product works as a cleaner and disinfectant in: The Power of Sodium Percarbonate for Cleaning.
9. Microfiber Cloths
We are big fans of microfiber cloths for bathroom cleaning for dozens of reason, including:
- They trap more germs than traditional cloths or sponges (up to 98% with just water)
- They leave a lint-free shine on glass and faucets
- They’re highly absorbent
- They trap dust vs. move it around like traditional dusters
- They’re affordable
Some of our favorite brands of microfiber cloths and dusters include:
- PerfectCLEAN Microfiber Cloths
- Full Circle Dust Whisperer
- BoomJoy Microfiber Feather Duster
- Hiware Microfiber Window + Blind Duster Brush
- Baseboard Buddy
- Swedish Dish Cloths
- Unscented Swiffer Cloths
Note: To avoid washing microplastics back into the waterways, we highly recommend washing your microfiber cloths with Guppyfriend bags.
10. Toilet Bowl Brush
It may seem insignificant, but the right toilet bowl brush can make all the difference in effective bathroom cleaning.
You want a brush that easily gets up under the rim, scrubs effectively, stores without creating a gross puddle of toilet water, and looks clean in the holder.
The Sellemer Toilet Brush and Holder Set meets all these requirements and is super-sleek too.
11. Spray Bottles
Since most natural-cleaning-enthusiasts combine pre-made products with DIY, the right spray bottles for the job are a must.
Choose the cheapest and you’ll soon be faced with broken triggers right when you’ve refilled your bottle (no fun, we’ve been there!).
Branch Basics Starter Kits include all the high-quality, reusable spray bottles (in glass or plastic) you need to make All-Purpose, Bathroom, Streak-Free, Foaming Wash, and Laundry.
For DIY products, we recommend splurging a bit on higher-end reusable plastic, glass, or stainless steel spray bottles because they will last a lot longer. They don’t need to cost a fortune, but don’t opt for the cheapest brand.
We also love applying trigger sprayers directly to our 3% hydrogen peroxide bottles for easy disinfecting and to help preserve the life of the peroxide (its shelf-life is greatly extended by leaving it in its original dark bottle).
Products to Avoid for Bathroom Cleaning
The synthetic chemicals used in conventional bathroom cleaners have documented toxicity and safety risks ranging from acute poisoning to chronic diseases, reproductive issues, and even cancer.
Therefore, we recommend avoiding the following ingredients in bathroom cleaners—some of which may be found in “green” or “
eco-friendly” cleaning products:
- AmmoniaChlorine Bleach (sodium hypochlorite
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives such as: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, quaternion-15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (most commonly known as bronopol), and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.
- Quats: Also known as quaternary ammonium compounds or QACs
- Synthetic surfactants
These are just a few examples of some of the most common harmful chemicals in bathroom cleaners.
Plus, cleaning product companies are not required to list all their ingredients on labels, which can make label-reading challenging—especially in the face of rampant greenwashing. No ingredients on a label is a toxic red flag which means, “put it back on the store’s shelf!”
The best solution, for products with ingredient lists, is to use consumer advocacy tools like the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin DeepProduct database, which rates the ingredients in products on a scale from “1” (least toxic) to “10 (most toxic). We recommend that all products kept in the home have all ingredients rated a 1 - 2.
You can also look for “Made Safe” and “EWG Verified” certifications, both of which can only be used on products with safe,vetted ingredients.
Get more helpful details on ingredients to avoid in bathroom cleaners in: How To Clean Your Bathroom Naturally With Branch Basics.
Have Questions? We’ve Got Answers
Now that you’re familiar with the bathroom essentials for natural cleaning, let’s answer some FAQs.
How often should I clean my bathroom?
Since bathrooms are a hotbed for germs it’s better to clean more often than less often.
However, how often to clean your bathroom depends on many factors like how many people are using it, whether anyone’s been sick or is immune-compromised, if you’re potty training littles, etc.
Generally, we recommend deep cleaning your bathroom at least once a week, with wipe-downs a couple of times in between or as needed.
What products should I avoid combining?
One of the best things about switching to non-toxic cleaners is you don’t have to worry so much about how different chemicals may interact, such as bleach with ammonia, bleach with drain cleaner, bleach with vinegar, etc.
However, as mentioned previously, you do not want to mix hydrogen peroxide and distilled white vinegar because they will create a noxious gas if combined in the same bottle or sprayed on the same surface at the same time.
As outlined previously, you can use them separately, but not together.
What is Branch Basics made out of?
Branch Basics Concentrate—our flagship product—is a plant and mineral-based non-toxic formula made with:
- Purified Water: Reverse osmosis (because you can’t have a non-toxic product made with toxin-filled water)
- Decyl Glucoside: A naturally-derived surfactant cleanser derived from coconut and/or corn
- Organic Chamomile Flower Extract: An organic flower extract with Allergen (IFRA) Certifications, which certifies it is nonallergenic and is not a fragrance.
- Coco-Glucoside: A naturally-derived surfactant derived from coconut suitable for baby and pet products.
- Sodium Citrate: A plant-derived, biodegradable sodium salt that acts as a water softener.
- Sodium Bicarbonate: A mineral-based water softener, also known as baking soda.
- Sodium Phytate: A natural chelator, phytic acid is found in plant seeds and is often used commercially as an antioxidant preservative.
It is also:
- Made Safe Certified
- Cruelty-Free Verified/Never tested on animals
- Independently, third-party tested as a non-skin or eye irritant
- 100% biodegradable
- Safe for the most sensitive skin
Get more information on what’s in all Branch Basics products in: How Branch Basics Is A Natural, Sustainable, and Eco-friendly Cleaning Line and Breaking Down Our Healthy Gel Hand Soap Ingredients.
Get Started With Our Non-Toxic Bathroom Cleaning Solution
Non-toxic bathroom cleaning doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a deep, long-lasting clean for natural, non-toxic products.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune in time, effort, or money either.
If you’re interested in simplifying your natural bathroom cleaning routine check out Branch Basics Premium Starter Kit, which has everything you need to make your own bathroom cleaners, including All-Purpose, Bathroom, and Streak-Free plus Foaming Wash (for hands, makeup removal, and more), and Laundry Soap, plus a full-size Oxygen Boost.
Want to test us out first? Our $5.00 Trial Kit allows you to experience our All-Purpose cleaner for minimal investment.
If this article has inspired you to toss your synthetic chemical-based cleaning products, please see How to Dispose Cleaning Products Safely (And Legally) for instructions on safe and legal disposal.Finally, for more natural bathroom cleaning tips, check out: How To Clean Your Bathroom Naturally With Branch Basics.
Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.