How To Clean Your Home (pt 1: Bathroom)

As a culture we are becoming more aware of how important it is to understand where our food comes from, what it is made of and whether or not it is good for us. We are becoming more aware of how important it is to not put toxic chemicals onto our skin or in our hair. There is a push for organic, clean, environmentally friendly options for many every day products. 

Yet, our homes remain toxic to ourselves and our children. Take a look under your bathroom sink. Would you allow your child to play with what is under there? Would you allow your dog to chew on that bottle of bleach? Hopefully not. Yet, we are fine with spraying, dusting, blowing, sprinkling and ultimately breathing and swallowing every product that is under there. 

Let's put things in perspective. (From The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel Maier)
*Ninety percent of all accidental poisonings occur in the home. According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, more than seven million cases of poisoning are reported each year. That equates to 14,000 each day! Young children are the primary victims with the elderly being the next most affected. 
*According to a five-year EPA study, the air in an average American home has chemical contamination levels 70 times greater than outdoor air. The EPA maintains that half of all illnesses occurring in the United States can be attributed to chemical contamination of indoor air. In fact, a 1985 EPA report states that household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution.
*A study by the Toronto Indoor Air Commission concluded that, due to increased exposure to household carcinogens, women who work at home have a 55 percent greater chance of developing cancer than women who spend the majority of their time outside the home. 
*The National Academy of Sciences estimates that 15 percent of all Americans are multi-chemically sensitive due to chronic exposure to household and cosmetic products. 


Still feel good about what is under your sink? I didn't after reading this. As an individual who strives for what is healthy and good for the inside and outside of my body it only made sense to look for alternatives. I began to look at "healthy" cleaning products on the market. Mrs. Meyer's, Green Works, Seventh Generation, etc. They are not cheap, and the ingredients list still didn't seem like something I would let my dog drink. 

I recommend a much easier, cheaper and healthier option. The shopping list is simple: Baking Soda and White Vinegar.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda (sodium bicorbonate) is an amphoteric compound. It can react with both acidic or base compounds. Baking soda's natural mineral form is known as nahcolite. It can be found dissolved in mineral springs. It has been used for a long time cleaning and cooking agent. The ancient Egyptians harvested deposits of natron--a combination of sodium carbonate (soda ash) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) from dry lake beds. Today most baking soda is harvested from mineral deposits in the Piceance Basin in Colorado. There are different grades of baking soda depending on how much processing it goes through after harvesting. For baking I recommend using a higher quality baking soda. But for cleaning (especially since I buy it in bulk) I don't particularly care. 

What is White Vinegar?

White Vinegar is an acidic compound made by fermenting grain and water. It's cheap, mildly acidic and has a much milder odor than most vinegar on the market. 

The Solution

To clean your bathroom with these products is phenomenally simple. For mirrors I use a wet rag and dab a bit of vinegar onto it. Wipe and repeat. Voila, sparkling mirrors! For sinks, counters and the toilet I sprinkle baking soda liberally, douse with vinegar (enjoy the science: sodium carbonate reacts with the acetic acid in vinegar to produce an explosion) and scrub. If you want to go crazy you can sprinkle a couple drops of lavender or citrus essential oil around over the baking soda before you pour on the vinegar.

Yes, it's that simple, that cheap, that easy, that much less toxic. And oh the possibilities of what you can use that extra storage space for under your bathroom sink... 

(For more healthy living tips subscribe to LittleOwlCrunchyMomma)


  1. I've recently tried making my own "cleaning solutions" aka rosemary, lavendar, lemon grass, & white vinegar. I'm not sure how it will work—still shaking up the solution, waiting for the 10 days to add more vinegar—but I'll let you know how it works.

    My next project: making my own toothpaste.

    1. Yay! I love to hear how it goes. With all those essential oils it should smell wonderful! What are you going to use it for?

      I've made my own toothpaste in the past using baking soda and peppermint oil. I am working on a better recipe, though. Will post that once I get it down :)

  2. Jackie,
    I absolutely love the way you think and write. I am so excited to follow your blog!
    And hell yes I am trying this! Yay!

  3. I thought I would check out your article as I just finished a weekly cleaning of the bathroom and was curious what you had to say. That quote was an eye opener. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for letting me know you were here! The quote was an eye opener for me as well. If you try the technique, let me know what you think.

  4. I made toothpaste with baking soda, coconut oil and mint oil. You can add xylitol if the salty taste of BS bothers you. I use a sonic care electric toothbrush, and I just dig the toothbrush head into the hardened coconut oil mix, and brush away. It tastes like ass, and I wouldn't use the mint oil next time, it doesn't really help mask the salty taste of BS, and why waste it. I'm getting used to the taste, and boy when you rinse the water tastes soo sweet lol. I just guessed at proportions and keep it in a container by the bathroom sink. I think you could use the same mix as deodorant, just take a little in your hands, rub to liquify, rub under armpits. I don't know if the BS will leave a salty or grainy/white residue on your armpits as I haven't tried it yet. It's too cold out lol. I live near the north pole, so the coconut oil is always solid at my house. Love your blog LOCM and I'm still trying to digest the no-poo hair method...

    1. Hey! I might have to try that recipe for toothpaste at some point. I am using one right now where the base is clay... I really like it. It's just a little pricey. I use bs/co for deodarant, too! :)

      Thanks so much! (p.s. What is LOCM...?)

  5. Hey, so I've been cleaning my bathroom with this, but it did not work very well for the bath tub/soap scum on bath tub. Do you have any ideas for that? I ended up just using comet....I'm just kinda crazy about not having soap scum on the shower, I just love how clean it looks otherwise!

    1. If there is soap scum stuck on the tub I usually have to go over it twice. I will add more bs and use that as an abrasive to really get off the scum. It takes a bit of elbow grease sometimes but I would rather do that than use comet... that stuff scares me! :)

      You can always make a little paste with the bs/vinegar and let it sit on a spot for a while, too. Or try using an abrasive sponge.

      Hope this helps!


Comments make me oh so happy! Feel free to comment away. I'd love to hear what's on your mind