Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

2-Ingredient DIY Mold Cleaner Recipe

This winter I have been waging a battle against some resilient mold in the bathroom. We replaced leaking, cracked calk around the tub of our shower this summer, and since then it has been slowly growing a pink mold. I’m not about to rip out the calk and do it all over again (although it has crossed my mind!), but the mold is driving me crazy.

I scrub our entire shower weekly with castile soap, but the mold kept coming back until even the castile soap didn’t seem to do much at all. Recent heavy rains in California meant our grout also started to grow black mold in some patches along the calk. (Lesson learned, always pay extra for the mold resistant calk.)

I finally got fed up and doused the entire shower with undiluted vinegar. When I stepped in the next morning, I was pleasantly surprised! While it was a bit extreme, it gave me a nice starting point.

DIY Mold Cleaner Recipe

DIY Mold Cleaner Recipe

1 part white vinegar
2 parts water

This is a strong solution. After the first few rounds of using the cleaner I would recommend reducing the amount of vinegar for maintenance. You can just add some more water to your partially-used container.

How to Use the Mold Cleaner

I filled an empty (completely rinsed) dish soap container with 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water. After a couple of shakes I squirted the liquid onto the grout, tile, calk, and our reusable shower curtain. Then I Let it sit overnight or until completely dry.

Our reusable, fabric shower curtain still has quite a bit of mold trapped in the hem at the bottom, so I have been drenching the bottom with the solution and letting it sit overnight after every shower (every two days or so). The mold is almost completely gone, and the vinegar has been slowly removing old mold stains as well.

If you are applying the liquid to your entire shower, the squirt bottle works great. For everything else, I would use a spry bottle. It’s less wasteful and makes it easier to apply to smaller areas. While the squirt bottle works well, it also floods the whole area with more of the cleaner than necessary. I will eventually upgrade to a spray bottle.

Once you have let the vinegar dry completely, you can add more of the cleaner and scrub with a microfiber cloth to remove any surface mold and soap residue.

It’s important to let the vinegar sit until it’s dry. This allows the vinegar (an acid) to slowly remove the mold on the surface and deeper into the fabric/grout/surface. I leave it overnight because it’s easy and it has been too cold and humid for it dry quickly.

Warning

Do not use this on natural stone! Vinegar is too acidic and may permanently etch the stone.

Your entire bathroom (or house/apartment if it’s small like ours) will also smell heavily of vinegar until it dries. It’s best to apply it before bed so the smell is gone by morning. You could also add some essential oils like tea tree oil or lemon essential oil to help reduce the intense salad dressing scent and help boost the mold removal process.

Digging Through the Trash

We don’t produce anywhere near the 4.3 pounds of trash the average American creates every day, but we could definitely do better.

The indoor can fills up about every two weeks or so. It doesn’t smell at all since we compost all food scraps so we tend to let it fill up completely. But every time I toss something into it or take it to the curb I am flooded with sadness and frustration.

Our trash is full of plastic bags.

At least 75 percent of our total trash volume is non-recyclable plastic food packaging like chip bags, cracker containers, and the plastic film that goes around jars or over hummus containers.

Zero-Waste Bulk Grocery Shopping – Skip the Trash

What’s in our trash (by volume):

1. Chip/snack packaging
2. Tissues
3. Plastic films and safety seals
4. Floss

I’ve known for months that we could cut our trash down by 50-75 percent just by no longer buying packaged potato and rice chips. At 4-8 bags per week, we are stuffing ourselves and the trash with junk. But the habit is much harder to kick than I anticipated.

 

How we can reduce our trash:

1. Ditch the packaged snacks.

In my dream world we buy crackers, chips, and healthy snacks from bulk bins. Our local bulk bins have nuts, granola, and cooking staples, but very few snacks. There are only 1-2 pre-made snacks that I could conceivably eat out of the bins since I am allergic to nuts and gluten-intolerant.

But that doesn’t mean we have to starve or overfill the landfill. A recent trip to Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco gave me hope that we can find more snacks and staples in bulk bins – we just may have to travel a ways for them.

Actions:

1. Buy tortilla chips from a local restaurant in bulk to replace our packaged rice/potato chips. This makes it more likely that we will skip the snack isle at the grocery store, and it helps us increase our daily calorie intake (important with our training schedules).

2. Make more snacks at home. In the past I have massively struggled to not only come up with zero-waste snack ideas, but also to then set aside the time to make them. When I did manage to make something like granola bars or homemade hummus, we quickly got tired of them and I’d have to find a new recipe and start all over.

The good news is that I now know we get tired of snacks every 2-4 weeks. We can plan a snack for each week and rotate them to keep things interesting. It’s time to dig into some of my snack ideas and make snack preparation part of our weekly meal prep/cooking dinner habits.

3. Eat more whole foods for snacks. In the past couple of months I’ve been eating salads as snacks. It’s an easy way for me to sneak in more greens and also not feel like I’m loading up on junk throughout the day. More options are veggies with hummus, leftovers from dinner, and hard-boiled eggs.

4. Schedule monthly trips to better bulk bins.

 

2. Use Handkerchiefs

This switch has been on my list for months. Due to allergies, I use at least a couple of tissues each day. After a ton of research and decision paralysis, I finally chose a pack of reusable organic cotton baby wipes to use at handkerchiefs. Well, the internet was wrong. They make terrible hankies.

My failure was disappointing, and I lost motivation. But I need to go back to my list and find a set that will actually work the way I want them to.

 

3. Compost Tissues

My boyfriend is less than enthused on the handkerchief idea. Since I make the bulk of tissue waste anyways, this isn’t going to impact our trash greatly. To make composting tissues easier, we can add a small paper bag next to (or inside of) our trash can to collect tissues.

 

4. Floss

Eventually we may switch to completely compostable floss, but for now we should start with reducing how much we use in the first place. Most of the floss we pull off the roll each night doesn’t get used. We need to use shorter strands each time. I might get super nerdy and make a guide for the smallest amount of floss for comfortable flossing so we don’t have to think about it each time or accidentally take too much.

 

Related:

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Inspiration

The Truth About Plastic

Toxins Hiding in Your House

Zero Waste Tea

Can I Recycle This?

Tales of a Paper Towel

How I use a planner to stay organized

I’ve tried a few different techniques to stay organized and productive, but by far writing things down by hand in a planner is best for me. It helps me to break down big tasks into smaller to dos over a few days. I can visually see all of the things I need to get done and feel like I have a grasp over them all. Plus, you just can’t beat the feeling of physically crossing something off your list.

How to Use a Planner

After at least 15 years of using a planner, I finally have a system that works for me. What started as a place to keep track of my homework has morphed into how I organize my entire life. I use my planner to keep track of my work tasks, daily errands and chores, habits, and personal goals.

How to Use a Planner

How to Use a Planner

 

1. Plan Big Three

Each day I set aside my main three (or fewer) tasks for the day. These are my main priorities that need to be done before I can call it a day. If I only do these three tasks, my day is a success. My last work task for the day is writing out what needs to be done the next day.

 

2. To Do List

Laundry, quick emails, and other lower priority tasks go to the side of my big three. In theory I should do my big three before diving into these quick to dos, but in general I tend to sprinkle them in between.

 

How to Use a Planner – Blogging Editorial Calendar

 

3. Monthly Editorial Calendar

For years I would hand draw a calendar for my blog in a lined notebook. It was tedious and didn’t make it easy for me to actually sit down and plan out my posts for the month. Now all of my tasks are in one place, and I can quickly flip to the front of my planner to see what I have coming up for the blog.

 

4. Deadlines and Dates

Meetings, appointments, and deadlines all have a home (and a symbol) in my weekly planner. While I also have all of these in a digital calendar, I find it really helpful to have it written out. I can easily take them into consideration when I’m planning my tasks and priorities.

 

How to Use a Planner Habit Tracking

 

5. Habit Tracking

There are so many great ways to track habits. But I find I won’t actually mark it as complete (or do it at all) if my tracker isn’t front and center. Each week I hand draw my own habit tracker right into the weekly spread. Lately I’ve been tracking habits related to my ankle physical therapy including how often I contrast bath, do scar tissue massage, eat or drink foods high in anti-inflammatories, and other ankle-related tasks.

This is a great way to track multiple habits, but there are so many ways you could do it. You could highlight the days you completed your main habit (or New Year’s resolution), put a mark on each day, have a symbol you draw on the day when you’re done, or create a little logbook style like I have.

 

6. Sketch It Out

In college I got into the habit of planning out my priorities and to dos for an entire week at a time. While this was helpful for me to plan out when I needed to get started on things and to space out my workload, it was terrible for actually getting it done. If I didn’t finish something it caused catastrophe.

After years spent working off of yesterday’s (or last week’s) to do list, I finally learned how to frame out my big projects and take it a day at a time. These days I will take a big project and break it down into individual tasks that have to get done. I then add them to do my to do list one day at a time so I have room to move them from one day to another if things aren’t chugging along perfectly.

This technique is key for my freelance writing assignments. I will have anywhere from 5-10 articles due in a month. At the start of the month I sit down and roughly sketch out when I will do each step for each article so I don’t get overwhelmed or miss a deadline.

Because this process is messy and constantly shifting, I use a piece of scratch paper so I can cross things off as I go and rewrite them as necessary. My rough frame lives in the back pocket of my planner, but you can also include it in the notes section. Or you know, use a pencil.

 

7. Move It Forward

Any main priority tasks that don’t get completed are automatically the top priority for the next day. Sometimes I just don’t realize how long a task will take me and my top three for the day are really more than I can tackle. Instead of feeling like a failure for not getting it all done, I just move it forward to the next day.

There are exceptions to this rule. I will always meet hard deadlines. Typically I have it all planned out so I’m not doing anything last-minute, but things happen.

 

8. Set Yourself Up for Success

Like most people, I could easily write out 20 things that I want to get done each day, but that’s never going to happen. I am strict with only having three top tasks for the day. No matter how many times I try it, four isn’t realistic. I just can’t get it all done.

There are days where three is way too many as well. Know what your priority will take (time, effort, energy, focus, someone else’s time, etc.) and plan accordingly. If something is going to take you six hours to complete, don’t add two more priorities to the list under it. You’ve already filled up your day with your main task.

 

How to Use a Planner – Goals and Intentions

 

9. Set Goals or Intentions

I put my goals for the week front and center so they are always on my mind. Sometimes these goals are big projects I want to tackle that week or my general focus for the week (like reflection, goal planning, inspiration gathering). I don’t always have an explicit goal for each week outside of just getting my normal tasks done. On those weeks I just leave the space blank.

 

Planner

The planner I use isn’t special. I searched for hours (I wish I was exaggerating) for a sustainable, ethical notebook that did everything I wanted, but I ultimately came up short. I’m currently using Moleskin’s 18 month, weekly planner. In the past I used a handmade, 100 percent recycled paper planner from Etsy.

 

Related:

I haven’t tried bullet journaling, but I am fully intrigued by it. I mean look at these examples! The colors and perfect penmanship make me happy. If only I knew how to draw (and could write legibly).

How to Get It All Done

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations

Piles of wrapping paper. Broken Christmas lights and ornaments. Browning trees resting on the curb. When you peel back the wrapping, the holiday season sure is full of trash.

Americans create 25 percent more waste in the month between Thanksgiving and New Years. That adds up to an extra 1 million tons of trash that go straight to the landfill or end up in the ocean.

Celebrate the holidays without the waste or the clutter with these zero waste Christmas decorations.

Cranberry and Popcorn Garlands

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Cranberry and Popcorn Garland
Reading My Tea Leaves

Compostable garlands are great to decorate your tree or hang around the house. Erin from Reading My Tea Leaves used cranberry and popcorn to create beautiful, mostly kid-proof decorations.

 

Petite Rosemary Wreath

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Rosemary Wreaths from Spoon Fork Bacon
Spoon Fork Bacon

Whether you are using them as place cards or just sprinkling them around the house, these little rosemary wreaths from Spoon Fork Bacon can be made out of compostable materials. They will also add a lovely scent.

 

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Applesauce cinnamon ornaments
Katy Elliott

These clever ornaments or gift tags from Katy Elliott are made of two ingredients – cinnamon and apple sauce. They also smell divine.

 

DIY Eucalyptus Garland

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – DIY Eucalyptus Garland via Homey Oh My
Homey Oh My

Decorations don’t have to be overly complicated or heavy. This DIY garland from Homey Oh My is a beautiful addition throughout the winter.

 

Felt Ornaments

Felt Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Ornaments via Purl Soho
Purl Soho

I’m such a sucker for plush ornaments. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about them that feels cozy and inviting. These ornaments from Purl Soho will last for years, and you can make them out of repurposed felt. They also seem like a great activity for kids on a cold winter day. (These snowball ornaments from Purl Soho are also great.)

 

Paper Snowflakes

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Paper Snowflakes via iheart Organizing

IHeart Organizing

These aren’t the clunky snowflakes you made in elementary school. Jen and her family at IHeart Organizing made their decorations in a single night.

 

Tree Trimmings

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Mason Jar Tree Trimmings
A Barefoot Day

Clippings make a great alternate to an entire tree. You can also take your tree trimmings and spread them around the house to enjoy the scent and the festivities everywhere.

 

Pine Cone Garland

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Pine Cone Garland The Sweetest Ocassion
The Sweetest Ocassion

My mom still has pine cones my brother and I painted in elementary school. This pine cone garland from The Sweetest Occasion is a bit more chic than those are, but the spirit is still there. Skip the paint to make these compostable and zero waste.

 

DIY Fresh Mini Trees

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – DIY Mini Christmas Tree from Trimmings via Say Yes
Say Yes

Next year I should make one of these adorable mini trees from Say Yes for our tiny house. Make these without the hot glue in order to reuse the base and compost the top.

 

Foraged Garland or Mantle Decoration

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – Foraged Garland Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty

Not only do you get a lovely winter walk in, but you get a free, stunning decoration. The incredible women behind Petal Floral Designs shared their tips for how to make your own on Style Me Pretty.

 

Floral Tree

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – DIY Floral Tree
Design Love Fest

I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The results are stunning. I would imagine the downside would be that the flowers aren’t going to last very long resting in the tree without water. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take Design Love Fest‘s idea and use hardy winter berries or other longer lasting plants.

 

Cinnamon Stick Himmeli

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations – DIY cinnamon stick himmeli
Jojotastic

You can’t beat the smell of cinnamon on a cold, dark day. Jojotastic created these beautiful decorations out of cinnamon sticks and twine. Use cotton thread and leave out (or save) the wooden beads to make these compostable.

 

More on celebrating the holidays sustainably:

Sustainable Christmas Lights

Minimalist Gift Ideas

15+ Christmas Cookies to Gift (And Eat Right Now)

Homemade Beauty Gifts

Last-Minute Homemade Gift Ideas

Sustainable Gift Wrap

Why You Should Celebrate a Minimalist Christmas

How to Create Every Day

A lot of people talking about creating more than you consume, but it’s extremely difficult in practice. Actually sitting down to create every day is an impressive feat, especially when you add in the murkiness of whether or not the work you do for money counts as creation.

It’s so easy to get caught up in consuming more than you’re creating. I am incredibly guilty of this. I can spend hours every day reading articles online, scrolling Instagram, and reading books. But those hours end up feeling like lost time when I don’t also spend time every day creating.

How to Create Every Day

Why You Should Create Every Day

I struggle to create outside of my work hours or tasks. At the end of the day, my brain feels drained of all creativity and words. Each day I typically spend hours researching and writing, sometimes for my own enjoyment (like my blog or journaling), but most often for someone else.

When all I do is work with words all day, I start to feel like everything is work and not play. My daily tasks start to feel more like homework than creative activities.

But when I do finally make the time I feel so much more relaxed and energized. Don’t get me wrong, reading books, watching movies, catching up on blogs, and poking around Instagram can all inspire me. But it’s not the same as busying my hands and letting go of expectations.

 

How to Create Every Day

1. Keep it short.

While I would love to create more than I consume on a daily basis, it’s just not always realistic or desirable. This month I’m trying to create for 15 minutes every day. That’s it. And even that may feel like too much.

 

2. Mix it up.

The more I mix up my hobbies and creative outlets, the more inspired and energized I feel overall. I picked up knitting again a couple weeks ago for the first time in a year, and it gave me the perfect amount of space from my writing. I’m able to mull things over or get out of my head completely. Water color painting, baking, and homemade gift making are on my list as well. As someone who can quickly tire of a craft project, I like having multiple creative outlets available.

 

3. Join a community.

There are a lot of groups who do a little something every day, whether that’s an ink drawing or a creative Instagram post. Look for a group that fits your interests or inspires you and jump in.

 

4. Let go of perfection.

This one is the hardest for me, but it makes the biggest difference. I can spend more time obsessing over getting something right than actually sitting down and getting it done. Instead of worrying about whether my cookies are perfectly round or if I messed up a single stitch on my scarf, I try to focus on the process as a whole. Perfection isn’t the point, the time spent on the activity is.

 

5. Creating is what you want it to be

People seem to get caught up in the DIY/crafting aspect of creation, but it can really be whatever you want it to be so long as you are making and not consuming. Coding an app, making a digital collage, writing a letter to your grandma – it all counts.

 

Need more ideas? Most of my tips for how to write every day can easily be translated into how to make or create every day.

Minimalist Gift Ideas

You can have a joyous, fulfilling, heart-warming Christmas without piles of gifts pilling out from under the tree. There is also nothing inherently wrong with giving someone a physical gift, but most of us have more than we would ever need.

These minimalist gift ideas will help you give a meaningful, clutter-free gift to anyone on your list. They are also great ideas of what to ask for if you would like to avoid receiving physical gifts.

Minimalist Gift Ideas for Everyone

Minimalist Gift Ideas

 

Exercise classes

Give a voucher to their favorite class or a gift card for somewhere new that you think they will love. If they love a bunch of different workouts/studios, you may want to look into something like ClassPass.

 

Hobby gift cards

It can be incredibly difficult to purchase an item that will fit in with your recipient’s hobby and what they already have. Gift cards are a great way to recognize what they love to do and allow them to get something they will really value and use. Great places to consider are art supply stores, yarn shops, cooking stores, local running shop, tech centers, local golf course, or anywhere else that supports a specific hobby. I personally love getting a gift card to my local running store and it supports their small business too.

 

Museum tickets

Take your friend on a museum trip or just purchase a gift card and let them buy tickets for the day that’s best for them. Even your local museum/aquarium/theater should offer a gift certificate.

 

Event tickets

Concerts, sports, movies, shows, the list goes on. You can buy specific tickets, offer a self-made voucher, or give a gift certificate for the location or ticketing company.

 

Babysitting

Or dog sitting as it may be.

 

Favorite food

Cookies just for me? Yes, please. You can also make their favorite meal and freeze it or give a coupon for a fresh batch in the future.

 

Other edibles

A bottle of wine, an assortment of local beers, coffee beans – the list goes on. Bonus, these are easy to tailor to your recipient’s taste and they are easy to buy in bulk.

 

Subscription

Many years ago (before it was cool), my mom gave my grandparents a Netflix subscription. My tech-savvy grandpa loved it. There are so many subscription services today – although I would encourage you to avoid any that send stuff unless it’s quickly consumable like wine. Subscription boxes can quickly add clutter and feel overwhelming.

 

Homemade consumables

Soaps, candles, beauty products, and other homemade consumables are a great way to cover multiple people on your list without adding a ton of clutter. Once they are used up they are gone.

 

Your time

It sounds so cheesy that my face is getting hot just writing it, but some of the best gifts really are spending time with your friend or family member. Take them on a picnic or a hike. Invite them over for tea and snacks. Offer to help with a big task like painting the room that’s driving them crazy or decluttering an overwhelming closet. If you can’t think of anything great, make an open-ended voucher for an afternoon of your time and let your recipient cash it in on whatever they want.

 

No gifts please

When someone specifically asks for no gifts, it’s best to respect their wishes and not get them a gift. But that doesn’t mean you can’t clarify and see if something on this list (like spending the day together or a bottle of their favorite beverage) would still be alright.

You can also ask to not receive gifts without causing a kerfuffle. The best way is to explain why you don’t want any physical gifts this year and offer alternatives (like the list above) to people who are adamant about getting you or your family something. (This article or this forum may help you broach the subject.)

 

Looking for more ideas? Check out these great posts.

Minimalist Gift-Giving from The Minimalists

90 Clutter-free Gifts and 18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children from The Minimalist Mom

21 Minimalist Gift Ideas Under $100 from The Minimalist Vegan

You can read more about my previous minimalist Christmases here.

Homemade Beauty Gifts

I’m a huge fan of homemade gifts and luxurious DIY beauty treatments. Combine them, and you have the perfect holiday present.

These homemade beauty gifts are easy to make and are made with easy-to-find, natural, sustainable, safe ingredients. No mysterious ingredients or harmful chemicals here.

Another reason I love making little gifts like these is because they are easy to scale up or down and make as many as you need. I’m also a sucker for anything in a cute jar.

Easy Homemade Beauty Gifts

Homemade beauty gifts - homemade shea butter and coconut oil body butter-homemade-shea-butter-and-coconut-oil-body-butter

Coconut oil and shea butter body butter

Infused bath salts

Homemade Beauty Gifts - DIY Tinted Raspberry Lip Balm from Hello Glow

Photo courtesy of Hello Glow

Naturally-tinted raspberry lip balm

Face mist

Conditioning anti-frizz spray 

Grapefruit rosemary bath salts 

Homemade Beauty Gifts - Herbal Sleep Balm from JJ Begonia

Photo courtesy of JJ Begonia

Calming sleep balm

Solid perfume

Peppermint + lavender headache balm

Homemade Beauty Gifts - Four holiday body scrubs from Hello Glow

Photo courtesy of Hello Glow

Four holiday-scented body scrubs 

Dry shampoo spray

Vanilla body spray

Sore muscle salve

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make some of these for myself.

Simple Bathroom Cleaning Guide

You don’t need caustic chemicals and piles of cleaners to effectively clean your bathroom. This simple bathroom cleaning guide will show you how to clean your whole bathroom with safe, sustainable cleaners. The best part? You can have the room clean, top to bottom, in 15 minutes or less.

Bleach, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals are damaging to the environment and you. Bleach can burn your lungs and your skin as you clean. Other cleaners are full of chemicals that are known to cause reproductive or developmental problems and cancer. Most companies do not put their full list of ingredients on the label.

There aren’t laws that require cleaning products to be tested for health or environmental safety. These toxic chemicals not only leave behind residue in your home, they are washed down the drain where they cannot be pulled out by most water treatments. Instead, they end up in our waterways.

While you can look up the safety of your products here, the homemade cleaners and castile soap I recommend here are safe for you and for the environment. They also work just as well (if not better) as what you can find on the store shelves.

Simple Bathroom Cleaning Guide-Simple-bathroom-Cleaning-Guide-minimalist-cleaning-natural-non-toxic-sustainable-environmentally-friendly

What You Need

Microfiber Cloth
These things are pure magic. While I wish they were made from natural materials, I think their longevity and their cleaning power more than make up for it. I was gifted some of my mom’s microfiber cloths when I went to college, and they are still going strong. My mom still uses the same ones she bought more than 10 years ago.

Microfiber cloths can be used for just about anything. They won’t scratch the surface or leave behind lint. I use them to remove hard water, clean the glass shower doors, and just about everything else. I use microfiber cloths for their scrubbing power and their antimicrobial properties. They can cut through thick soap scum better than most cleaners.

If you are really against microfiber, feel free to use a cloth towel or any rag, but be prepared to put more muscle into it.

Toilet Brush
The one you have is the best one to use. If you are looking for a new one, consider going for sustainable materials (like this one) or one where you can just replace the head of the brush (like this).

Castile Soap
I use liquid for convenience, but you can also use a bar. It is a safe, non-toxic cleaner, and I swear it cleans better than most conventional cleaners on the market. You don’t need bleach to safely clean your bathroom.

Small Towel
An old kitchen towel, t-shirt, or just about any other absorbent rag will work. You just need something to dry the top of the counter and any fixtures.

Reusable Gloves
Totally optional, but I use an old pair of dish gloves. I bought thick gloves that last really well. They are years old at this point and still work great.

Simple Bathroom Cleaning Guide: Mirrors/Glass

What you need:
– Warm water
– Microfiber cloth
– Small towel

All you need is water to get a streak-free mirror. Simply wet the microfiber cloth in hot or warm water and wring it out until it’s mostly dry. Wipe down the mirror or glass surface, and dry it quickly with another microfiber cloth or a small rag towel. The microfiber cloth works great for cleaning the glass because it doesn’t hold too much water or leave lint behind. However, if you are trying to stick to only natural fibers, a cotton cloth would work just fine.

Bathroom Sink and Tub

What you need:
– Liquid or solid castile soap
– Microfiber cloth
– Optional: small towel to dry

A half teaspoon or so of castile soap will do the whole sink. Wet the rag and squirt your castile soap straight into the plugged sink or onto the rag. Scrub and then rinse down the rag and the sink.

For the tub or shower, wet the surface slightly before squirting some castile soap into the bottom. I usually use as little as possible (about a teaspoon full) and squirt more if I need it. Then scrub the tub with the soap and the moist microfiber cloth.

I rarely, if ever, need anything other than the microfiber cloth and the castile soap, but if you have soap scum or mildew that just won’t budge, you can shake a little baking soda on the surface. It will not only help physically scrub the surface, but it will help break up the soap scum.

Toilet

What you need:
– Liquid or solid castile soap
– Microfiber cloth
– Toilet brush

Squirt a little bit of castile soap (less than a teaspoon) into the toilet bowl and scrub down the insides with the brush. When you are done, use the damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the toilet. Start with the seat, then wipe down the rim to the floor.

The castile soap will take away water marks, mildew, and discoloration. You might have to scrub a little harder if it’s really on there or let it the castile soap sit for a bit after you scrub some to get it all off.

Floor

What you need:
– Microfiber cloth
Homemade floor cleaner

Start with a damp rag and spray down the floor as you clean it with the floor cleaner. I like to work my way towards to the toilet (cleanest to dirtiest), but if that’s not possible, work your way out to the doorway.

Order of Operations

Before you get down and dirty, you need a game plan. I safely and effectively clean my whole bathroom with one or two rags with this method.

1. Mirror. Use a fresh microfiber cloth and clean your mirror.

2. Sink. Use the same rag and some castile soap to clean the sink.

3. Tub. Once the sink is wiped down and the rag is rinsed out, move on to the tub.

4. Toilet. As the dirtiest thing in your bathroom, this gets the last cleaning. When you are done, so is the rag. Do not use the rag again after wiping down the toilet.

5. Floor. New rag! If I am tag teaming the bathroom cleaning, the person who cleans the sink usually does the floor with the same rag while the other person washes the tub and toilet.