Have you ever read the warnings on the back of cleaning products? How about the ingredients? It all sounds scary and worse yet, it is bad for your health. But most people feel, as I did, that in order to thoroughly clean and disinfect one’s bathroom, toxic chemical cleaners were the way to go. However, as Washington contemplates tougher regulations on household cleaning products and more evidence points to a correlation between household cleaners and aliments like cancer, we need to rethink cleaning so it is safe for us and the environment.

I have seen a lot of dirty bathrooms and bathtubs. When I need to clean tough water stains and soap build-up off of bathtub, I reach for my vinegar, Borax, and baking soda. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and removes many water stains. For really tough water stains and grime, I use a cocktail of a paste made out of Borax, baking soda, and vinegar. I recently cleaned a bathtub which had not been thoroughly cleaned in around 6 months. The fixtures had hard water build-up on them and the tub, which had been refinished several years before, was discolored from kids’ toys rubbing on them.

I started by mixing about 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of baking soda with a 1/4 cup of vinegar in the base of the tub. Next, I took a regular scouring pad, wet it with water and dipped it into the paste of Borax, baking soda and vinegar and went to work scrubbing. I repeated the process until the entire tub had been covered with the cleaning cocktail. Some areas, like the fixtures, I worked longer on as they were water stained and had hard water build-up around them. Next I rinsed the tub with water. This all took around 30 minutes and afterward, the tub looked new, the fixtures were sparkling chrome again and best of all, no fumes! All of these products can easily be purchased at any local grocery store in the baking isle.

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