What’s to love about a humid bathroom full of mould and smells? It doesn’t have to be that way. And for sure, you don’t have to live with a bathroom that is packed with chemicals. How many times have you visited a house and found a myriad of chemical cleaners and air fresheners around the toilet, and shelves weighed down with toxic bathroom cleaners and items?
Cleaning Your Zero Waste Bathroom
Your bathroom should be your sanctuary, whether you have a roll-top bathroom or just a shower or wet room. Start by giving everything a thoroughly good clean, using a biodegradable cleaner like Bio-D and an E-Cloth (which cleans most everything with water). If safe to do so, ‘change the air’ by opening the windows, which are also probably good to clean (again just use eco-friendly items, rinse and dry). Simply Clean is a book of simple cleaning recipes, using kitchen ingredients. Becky will show you how to simply (without chemicals) how to clean a toilet, how to remove mould and rust, how to remove soap scum, how to clean a showerhead and how to clean a whirlpool or garden tub.
Get a little Silicone Shower Tub Drain Protector, which stops hair going down the plughole. This makes the bathroom nicer for you, and saves on expensive plumbing bills, by preventing clogs. The tall dome shape fits flat and pop-up drains and the weighted stainless steel keeps it in place. The edges sit flush, so no hair gets through.
Switch to Tree-Free Bathroom Tissue
The recycled toilet paper in supermarkets is of inferior quality, and scratchy on your tushie. It’s also packed in plastic. The luxury toilet paper usually comes from the endangered Boreal forests (ironic that one company gets a koala bear to advertise its paper, when their raw material is helping to destroy the world’s forests). Instead, set up a subscription for luxury toilet paper made from bamboo. This is the world’s fastest-growing grass, and industrial bamboo is not taken from panda habitats. Choose from Bumboo or Who Gives a Crap?
If you don’t mind being a bit way out there, The Bum Gun is a portable bidet that you spray up your butt! And Cheeky Wipes offers reusable toilet paper (sold with wet cloths in their own box). You may wish to save this just for pee trips, but you can then throw them in the washing machine. Don’t use fabric conditioner, as this will ruin the absorbency. In the US, they have now invented FreshSpa, which simply and affordably converts your toilet to a bidet, so no bathroom paper is needed.
Zero Waste Bathroom Accessories
Go for a bamboo toothbrush (don’t leave it in water or it will disintegrate). At end of use, just use pliers to remove the nylon bristles, then put the brush in the compost bin (or keep old brushes under the sink, to clean muddy boots or fiddly areas of the dishwasher). Tevra is a little company that sells bamboo toothbrushes and vegan biodegradable dental floss, with refills. They also sell loofahs (plant gourds that are ideal to exfoliate the body in a bath or shower). Everything here is sold in zero-waste packaging.
Naturally Freshen The Air
Forget toxic air fresheners. Just open the window (if safe to do so). Many people keep plants in the bathroom, although they don’t really ‘clean the air’, they just make the place a little fresher. However, if dogs and cats follow you in, be aware that many indoor plants are toxic to plants (just brushing a tail against lilies or sago palm can be lethal). See toxic plants to avoid near pets. Also don’t burn essential oils (or spray perfume) in the bathroom, if cats, birds, ferrets or reptiles are nearby. Nor use Borax (if used for natural cleaning).
If you filter your tap water, you can replace plastic jug filters with charcoal bamboo water filters. These naturally filter the water for a few months. At end of use, you can either plant them in the garden as natural soil conditioner. Or you can leave them in pots around the house, to naturally absorb odours – including in the bathroom.
Of course, if your bathroom is regularly producing unsavoury smells, it pays to look at what you are eating. A healthy clean diet with lots of water, should not be producing so much odour, that you need to spray an air freshener anyway. Common reasons are lactose intolerance and drinking alcohol. If you have serious concerns, then obviously visit your doctor.
Holistic health coach Joy McCarthy writes that you are more likely to have ‘seriously stinky poo’ if you eat meat, or dairy (allergies are a common cause of ‘skid marks’, as there is too much fat and mucous). And apparently if you have ‘rabbit poo that plops’, this means you have too many white foods and not enough fibre (so switch to brown rice, brown bread etc).