When I was dating my now-husband way back when, I used to stay round his blokey flat in Clapham, South London. The bathroom was particularly uninviting. Aging, mouldy grout. Manky lime-scaled taps. Greying, tired tiles. Not a place to spend any time.
In those days I used Cillit Bang in my own flat. Bang and the dirt was gone! Remember those cheesy ads? Barry Scott, anyone? (if you have NO idea what I’m on about, see here).
Wow, that stuff can shift dirt alright. It can even turn pennies shiny again (Barry’s favourite test). Back then I didn’t think twice about insisting it was used in the Man Flat. And it truly transformed it. But, at what cost?
The problem with conventional bathroom cleaners
Now I look back, it’s clear Cillit Bang removed way more than just dirt and grime. It’s also easy to remember the terrible eye-watering fumes it created (yes, even worse than those emitted from the Man Flat bathroom when it wasn’t being cleaned).
As I’m sure you’ll know, many conventional bathroom cleaners are just as toxic as Cillit. Most of the time it’s a battle to find out what chemicals they actually contain. That old “trade secret” problem again.
If you live in a hard water area, you’ll know how painful cleaning can be. Limescale is the enemy. Don’t you just hate how quickly it makes bathrooms look drab? Most UK areas have hard water. So, how can you look to beat limescale naturally and blitz other dirt and grime as well?
A great option for bathroom cleaning which also re-uses your empty plastic spray bottles is OceanSaver EcoDrops. I love the Ocean Mist anti-bacterial one.
All you need to do is fill up a 750ml bottle with water and pop the EcoDrop in to dissolve. Give it a shake and leave for about ten minutes. Then you’ll have a bottle of cleaner, all ready to use.
OceanSaver was set up to reduce single-use plastic. It aims to prevent 1 million plastic bottles ending up in the oceans this year alone. By keeping those bottles in our homes.
It’s such a simple idea, yet so powerful. Like toiletries brand, Ethique (see my previous post), OceanSaver has cut out the water – this also makes the product smaller, lighter and far more environmentally friendly to transport.
Unfortunately OceanSaver’s formula is a “secret” too but it says it’s completely non-toxic and safe to enter waterways once it’s been diluted to the correct strength.
There are loads of fragrances and targeted cleaning EcoDrops available. All are 100% plant-based, vegan and bio-degradable. For the full range, see here.
What about plastic-free options?
If you don’t have any empty plastic bottles or want to ditch plastic altogether, my all-round winner for plastic-free bathroom cleaner is Mangle & Wringer’s chamomile and lavender bathroom balm.
Mangle & Wringer was set up by Vanessa Willes in 2012. Sadly, Vanessa couldn’t continue with her previous career in design after becoming unwell. The brand was inspired by her housekeeper, Bette Smith (also the reason for the brand’s name – see here).
Over the years, Bette created and used her own natural formulations for cleaning homes. And luckily for us, she was happy to pass them on to Vanessa to share with us.
The bathroom balm is a gentle, all natural and bio-degradable formula containing sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, coconut oil, soap, palm-free vegetable glycerine, sodium chloride, lavender and chamomile essential oils.
The balm’s easy to use- just scoop up a small amount on a damp cloth and rub it around and leave for a few moments, then rinse and dry. I recommend using old towels for this – the paler, the better. That way you won’t get any dark fluff deposits.
Both OceanSaver and Mangle & Wringer perform perfectly. OceanSaver smells really fresh and works wonders on toilets and sinks without any major scrubbing. It also does a great job on floors.
The Mangle & Wringer balm effortlessly tackles dirt and residues on sinks, showers and baths. It’s also great for making taps shine. It can be used on all types of material too.
OceanSaver EcoDrops come in little cardboard boxes which are fully recyclable. Included are some plastic-free stickers for you to place on your old bottle to identify it. Very snazzy.
Manger & Wringer bathroom balm is packaged in an aluminium tin which is also recyclable.
Have you tried greener bathroom cleaning yet? Hopefully this post has inspired you to do so, if not. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.