Spring Cleaning: Natural Cleaning Tips for the Bathroom

I think today’s post is going to be my favorite of the series because the photos really show the power of natural cleaning products.  I used to hate cleaning my master bathroom. We don’t have a window that opens and the fumes from our old cleaning supplies always gave me a headache.  I would clean one fixture and take a break just to get away from the harsh smells.  Now that we’ve made the switch to all natural products I never have that problem.  I still hate cleaning the nasty bathroom, but the smells are actually pleasant.

Before you read on, let’s all agree to pretend I let the bathroom get really, really dirty so I could better illustrate the power of three simple, natural  ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. Agreed?  Good.  I feel better.

Here are the before and after photos of our bathroom along with tips on cleaning it using nothing more than white vinegar, baking soda, and a lemon.

This is the faucet of our shower before I cleaned it.  It’s obviously covered with hard water stains.  I’ve had professional cleaning people come to my house and tell me they can’t get these off without using harsh chemicals.  I always tell them to leave it because it’s so easy to clean.  You only need one powerful, natural ingredient.

That’s right, a lemon!  I just cut it in half and use the actual lemon to scrub the hard water stains on any fixture.  I’ve even used it to remove rust stains from a bobby pin I left sitting in the shower.

Like I said, just rub the lemon on the fixture and rinse.  The spots will magically disappear before your eyes and you’ll be left with this!

A dramatic improvement!

Next I tackled the tub with white vinegar and baking soda.  I keep my baking soda in the box, but I poke holes in the top so I can sprinkle it onto the surface I’m trying to clean.  I put the white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it all over the baking soda until it starts to foam.  Then I scrub.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to remove dirt and grim once the foam has a chance to loosen it up.  As you scrub, the two ingredients turn into a paste like a mild version of comet cleanser.  Then you just rinse it all away with hot water.  Be sure to rinse it well or the baking soda will leave a white residue behind.  Here are the before and after photos of the tub.

The tub before.  I know it’s gross!   Can you see the ring of dirt and dead skin?

No more ring around the tub!

Next, I put the baking soda and white vinegar to work on the sinks and this time I remembered to take pictures of it in action.  Check it out.

This is my sink before I cleaned it.

Here the baking soda and vinegar are working their magic.

Once I started scrubbing, the baking soda and vinegar mixed together into a paste that really made the sink and faucet shine!

Like new!  Again, make sure to rinse well with hot water or the baking soda will leave a cloudy white residue.

The last thing I tackled was the toilet.  I saved it for last because it’s my least favorite job and it’s probably the most embarrassing photo to share with you.  First, a few tips. I sprinkle the inside of the bowl with baking soda then I spray it with vinegar.  I let the foam work for a few minutes then scrub with a toilet brush.  Next, I spray down the whole toilet with vinegar and wipe it clean.  That’s it.  It only takes a few minutes and the vinegar acts as a disinfectant killing the germs, neutralizing odors and removing all evidence of accidents from little boys who still have trouble aiming.  Here’s the proof.

As much as I hate to admit it, this is the before photo of the toilet.

And here is the after.  All clean!

That’s it.  Three inexpensive, easy to find, all natural ingredients to clean, deodorize and disinfect the bathroom.  I didn’t take any photos of the floor, but I just vacuum it and then mop it with my Oreck Steam CleanerNothing but hot steamy water and some white vinegar.

Have you tried using natural cleaning supplies on a really tough job?  We’d love to hear about it!

Don’t forget to visit Krista at Hope in the Waiting to get her tips for decluttering and organizing your bathroom.

*This post contains affiliate links. 


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  1. Great cleaning tips & love the focus on cleaning with natural products

  2. Any suggestions on a good natural product to clean glass doors on showers? I’m pregnant and can’t handle all of the smells from the cleaners, not to mention I’m using scrubbing bubbles and it does a decent job, but not the greatest. I’d really love any suggestions cause my shower is getting grosser by the day :D

    • broccolicupcake says:

      Hi Shannon – baking soad and vinegar are great at scrubbing soap scum off glass and other surfaces. Since it’s a shower door you might try mixing the baking soda and white vinegar directly on your rag and then scrubbing the glass door. If it’s really dirty the baking soda might stick when you sprinkle it on then you can spray it with white vinegar in a spray bottle. Let it sit a few minutes and wipe it down. Follow that up with a lemon wash. Just cut a lemon in half, remove the seeds and scrub the door with it. Rinse with hot water. This has worked really well for several people I know who have glass doors and it works for me on sinks and faucets. The vinegar can be a strong smell, but it wears off quickly. Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy! :)

      • To help prevent that awful white ‘glass cancer’ haze on your shower doors, after cleaning with your vinegar/lemon options, try wiping the glass surfaces with a tiny amount of SWEET ALMOND OIL. Just a few drops on a cloth works wonders, and will last through showers until your next scheduled clean.

    • Tabitha says:

      One word…Magic Erasers…well, that was 2. ;)

  3. Christine says:

    I’ve been cleaning with the same exact products in the last few months and been very happy with it. I do not have a steam cleaner for my floors (yet!) but I have been using vinegar & water with a little baking soda and the smallest dollop of foaming dish soap for my tile kitchen floor. Last time, I took 1/2 a lemon & squeezed the juice into the water, then dropped the lemon rind into the sink to swish in the water as I rinsed my mop. Loved it! Helped a little with the temporary vinegar smell too. When I drained the water, I used the lemon to freshen my garbage disposal after the mop water drained out. Two birds with one lemon!

  4. Cant wait to try the lemon trick.
    Does anyone have a great suggestion for removing mold. YUCK…it is nasty and I have tried so many purchased cleansers – but nothing seems to work for me; including lots of scrubbing. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • broccolicupcake says:

      Have you tried tea tree oil for the mold? A little goes a long way, but I’ve seem it work well in small amounts of mold.

    • Try the cotton used for perms that comes in a roll. Soak it with bleach and press into the mold…let it set overnight and it will be gone in the morning!!!

  5. Christian says:

    “grime” not “grim”

    Anyways, I’m just about to implement your idea by scrubbing away the hard water stains on the chrome in my shower.

  6. Will the lemon work for water spots on a ledge in my bathtub? I have used several cleansers, scouring pad and nothing seems to get the water stains to even lighten up. any suggestions? thx

    • broccolicupcake says:

      It should. It’s the acid in the lemon that helps break up the spots. Make sure to remove any seeds before scrubbing with the lemon so you won’t scratch your tub. Follow it up with white vinegar if the spots are really stubborn.

    • Just want to let you know I used the lemon juice and baking soda with some elbow grease to get off all my water spots on my ledge! Works wonders :) I feel like I have a new tub again! Thanks for the tip, love your ideas!

  7. Hello ladies! Can’t wait to try out the lemon in my bathroom. Does anyone know if you can use it on your car? I hate that every time I wash my car it still has waterspots no matter what I do…

  8. Jessica says:

    Hi – my shaving cream cans have left rust stains on the ledge in my shower. Do you have any good tips for removng those stains? Thanks!

    • nottoogoodforyou says:

      Baking soda might work for the current stains. But for preventing future stains try lids, such as from Pringles cans, to put on the bottom of your shaving cream can.

    • Remove rust spots with a tiny bit of Bar Keeper’s Friend. It works effortlessly. You will be amazed.

    • F.Y.I. I bought a couple of beer can holders that I use to keep my shaving cans in to prevent future rust rings. You just have to dump them out every week to empty some of the water that accumulates from the shower. (I get the hard plastic ones, but I;m sure the foam ones would work fine also.)

  9. Here is another tip for cleaning the bathroom… I use exfoliating gloves ( one on each hand) to scrub the sink and tub with. I get them at the dollar store and I just throw them in the washing machine when I’m done. They are abrasive enough to get thru the grime and you have 10 surfaces to get into any odd shaped area! Plus, you can use BOTH hands at the same time! No more dropping the sponge every 20 seconds!

  10. Ahhhh! I love this! My bathroom has suffered since I’m 8 months pregnant and do NOT want to use those stinky chemicals. I have a lemon tree outside my door so this is perfect! I buy the baking soda at the local dollar store (Yay! money saver!).

    Just found this website and totally subscribing!

  11. Thank you so much for sacrificing your cleanliness just to show a before picture of your bathtub ;) I’ve never had a ring around the bathtub like I have in my new house and I had no idea how to clean it. It looks exactly like your bathtub before picture so I’m so excited to know how to take care of it. Thank you thank you thank you!!
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..7 Ways to Chill Out & De-stress

  12. Thank you so much for the pictures and clear instructions!! I’ve been looking into natural cleaning remedies because I’m moving into a new apartment and would really like to keep my cleaning as green (and cheap!) as possible, so this is super helpful! I don’t usually reply to blogs, but I just wanted to say thanks for the pics and not to worry about them (my bathroom is much dirtier, and only I use it!) :-)
    Danielle´s last blog post ..Health Insurance – Not for the healthy?

  13. Thanks for sharing your tips and techniques. I do often use natural cleansers like vinegar and water, but i haven’t incorporated lemon before. I will definitely try these ideas.

  14. I just tried the lemon trick and it worked so well. Who knew!? Thank you for sharing!

  15. You can certainly see your skills in the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  16. Hey! Just had to say, I am just now learning about cleaning my home naturally, so I thought I would start small. We just moved in to a new place that had a mirror totally covered in hard water stains. I don’t have lemons available to me where I live, so I used lime instead, thinking it’s a close relative and will probably work. It did! I had to scrub the mirror as best I could, twice, but the mirror did come out perfectly clean! Very cool! Thanks for the tip!

  17. just used the lemon 1/2 lemon like you said and it didnt work, thanks tho!

  18. Heather Swenson says:

    I teach people about Queens of Green. Its a company who is serious about getting harmful and toxic ingredients out of your home. Queens of Green cleaning products use the best of science and nature to combine for the safest most effective cleaning.
    Queens of Green also has many more wonderful products for your family.
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  19. I put baking soda all over my glass top stove to get rid of stains and put hot damp towels over them for 15 mins because I had herd that this would remove stains. It removed some surface stains but nothing dramatic so I got creative and added some hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda and my stove looks brand new and its 6yrs old. Im in shock!

  20. We always wipe the shower down with a towel after each use. It solves the problem of any buildup and only takes a minute!

  21. That lemon trick BLEW my mind!!! I have had hard water stains in our bathroom for ever and NOTHING I used would get rid of them. I also hate scrubbing hard, because half the time that doesn’t seem to work. So why not work smarter, not harder? I’d rather use my brain haha.

  22. How can I remove rust from the bath tub?

  23. Can we use this technique on cars? I have really hard water stains on the front end of my car & been DYING to find ways to get rid of them.

    • broccolicupcake says:

      I would test it on a hidden area first. I’m not sure how the acid in the lemons would work on a car.

    • THE SPOTS may not be hard water stains but the clear coat beginning to turn loose. We own an body shop and have seen that happen many times. Be careful what u use or go by your local body shop and get their opinion,,,it should be free!!!

  24. I have lived in my house for 13 years. I am just wondering how you get a ring in your toilet? I have never had one. I clean my bathroom 3 times a week and do a quick clean daily

  25. i have been looking for a solution to the chemical crud they sell in stores. this is great! thanks so much!
    linda´s last blog post ..6 Steps to Feng Shui your House for Love

  26. I’ve been using a mix of vinegar & water in a spray bottle for some time now. I clean the mirrors & faucets, but I will try these tips too. I use Magic Eraser to clean the sink & tub. It’s amazing! As for the toilet, I use Lysol toilet cleaner, but this is a great alternative!

  27. Sona Argandona says:

    Demand for safe “green” cleaning products is on the rise, as consumers are increasingly unwilling to risk their health for the sake of a “clean” home.The truth is, most cleaning products on the market are toxic chemical cocktails, and when you spritz your bathtub or kitchen counter with that brightly colored liquid you’re exposing yourself and your family to endocrine-disrupting phthalates, carcinogenic benzene, and organ-damaging phenols, just to name a few.-

    Our new blog site

  28. I have an old tub and the enamel is worn, therefore making a rough surface with a dirty ‘look’. Any ideas on how to make it look clean as well as ‘be’ clean without bleach?

  29. Love this! I have been using a mixture of vinegar, water, and tea tree oil as a natural bathroom cleaner, but it doesn’t get rid of the tough stuff. I didn’t know about the lemon, though. I might go tackle it now.
    Vanderbilt Wife´s last blog post ..Saturday Linky Love


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