Page - April 19, 2007
If you thought soap scum was a problem, just take a look at all the environmental hazards lurking in your bathroom.


Your drains can be kept open, clean and odor-free without the use of corrosive drain cleaners. There are two simple rules: never pour liquid grease down a drain and always use a drain sieve.

  • Use this preventive measure for drains once a week: mix 1 cup (250 ml) baking soda and 1 cup (250 ml) salt. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of this mixture into the drain. Follow with a pot of boiling water, and flush with cold water. Done once a week, your drain should remain open and odor free.
  • For clogged drains, pour in 1/4 cup (60 ml) baking soda followed by 1/2 cup (125 ml) vinegar. Close the drain until the fizzing stops and flush with boiling water. As a last resort, use a plumber's snake, available at most hardware stores but beware, it can damage pipes.
  • If hair comes out while showering, don't wash it down the drain. Just put it at the edge of the drain and throw it out afterwards.

Tub and Tile

Most commercial tile cleaners do more harm than good because many contain chlorine, a serious irritant to the eyes, nose and skin, and one of the most dangerous chemicals found in municipal sewers.

  • For bathroom cleaning, use a firm bristled brush with either baking soda or a mild all-purpose cleaner and baking soda. Rinse with hot water.
  • For hard-water areas use vinegar or lemon juice to dissolve the mineral build-up. For really tough jobs, saturate a rag and lay it on the problem spot for a few hours before rinsing.
  • For mold and mildew, rub tiles and grout with a cloth which has been moistened with vinegar and scrub with an old toothbrush.

Quick Tips

  • Use a toilet dam or a plastic container filled with water, to reduce the amount of water used for each flush or install a dual flush toilet.
  • Mend any dripping taps or leaking pipes immediately.
  • Use handkerchiefs instead of disposable tissues. This will not only help save trees, but the cotton will be softer on your nose.
  • Avoid using Kimberly Clark paper products like Kleenex, Cottonelle and Scott that Kleercut ancient forests.
  • Install water saving devices for your taps and showers. Energy saving shower heads can save up to 20 percent of hot water usage - and cut your electricity bills. A faucet aerator will reduce the flow without reducing the water pressure.
  • Don't leave the tap running while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • A shower (about 10 minutes) uses 2/3 the amount of water as a bath.
  • Keep your water heater down to 130° F (54° C). This is hot enough to kill bacteria and still save energy.
  • Use your waste basket for miscellaneous bathroom wastes. Flushing garbage wastes water and can cause treatment problems.
  • When buying a new shower curtain, choose cloth instead of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.