Spring Cleaning: Bathrooms

I hate cleaning the bathroom!  Scrubbing toilets and showers are not my idea of fun.  This Spring Cleaning focuses a little more on clutter clean out ( potentially dangerous items too) and trying to change one thing greener.

So here goes – the Before Shots.

BEFORE: Under the sink


  1. Open the windows to get some fresh air in there.  Indoor air quality can be much worse than outdoor.
  2. Empty all cabinets and drawers and clean all surfaces.  I won’t go into details here, you know what to do.  Try using at least one, if not all green cleaners.
As you empty, collect the following into groups:


  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications:   The options for disposal were not impressive, but here is what I found.  Smart Rx advises: DO NOT FLUSH, DO NOT POUR DOWN THE DRAIN.  These methods can cause the medications to enter the water supply or endanger aquatic life as it may make it’s way to rivers, streams or oceans. Do this:
    • Pour medication into a seal-able plastic bag.  If medication is a solid (pill or capsule) add water to dissolve it
    • Add  kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or anything that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat)
    • Seal the plastic bag and put in the trash
  • Old Makeup:  containers can be recycled at any Origins.


  • Clean all hairbrushes and combs: Remove the hair, then soak brushes in mixture of warm water and baking soda, rinse, allow to dry
  • Clean Makeup Brushes: 
    • Fill sink with warm water and a few drops of tea tree oil (tea tree oil can be found at most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and GNC.  It is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal)
    • Put a few drops of castile soap on the brush (mild shampoo can also be used)
    • Gently rub the bristles between your fingers
    • Rinse in the sink
    • Rinse with clean water, pat dry, lay flat to dry
  • Toothbrushes:  If it’s been a while, replace them.  Remember to upcycle the old ones and any empty plastic toothpaste tubes with Upcycle It!  Please place toothbrushes in a separate bag.


The Results

AFTER: Under the sink
AFTER: Medicine Cabinet

I found way too many expired OTC medications.
Most of what I had under the sink, did not need to be here.

Note to self – clean makeup brushes more often!  

Personal Care Products

As you are doing all this, note how many different personal care products you use – this includes shampoo, conditioner, soap, makeup, deodorant, moisturizer, hair products, tooth paste, etc.  How many did you count?  I counted 17 for me.  I’m sure I’m missing some.
I just want to give you some food for thought.  Here are some disturbing facts about personal care products:
  1.  There are no real regulations for personal care products.  Companies are NOT required to test for safety before they hit the shelves. 
  2. All ingredients do NOT need to be disclosed.
  3.  Three common ingredients used in many personal care products have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and hormone disruption to name just a few.  These are parabens, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. Did you find these in your products?
  4. Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies and is really good at absorbing stuff.

So think about changing just one item.  I am continually working on this.  During this bathroom clean out, I got rid of the nail polish remover and most of the old polish.  

To find better alternatives, check out Skin Deep.   This website provides ratings for over 65,000 products.  

How did it go?  Did you make one thing greener?


3 Responses to Spring Cleaning: Bathrooms

  1. What A Card April 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I know I’m getting old because I’m actually jealous you have time to clean 🙂

    Have you seen The Story of Cosmetics? http://storyofstuff.org/cosmetics/

    Also, do you know about Preserve, based here in MA? http://www.preserveproducts.com/ I buy their toothbrushes, which come in a mail-back pack!

  2. The Greening Of Westford April 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    LOL! You are not old 😉

    I have seen The Story of Stuff. All of those videos are interesting.

    I love preserve! In fact, they are sold at Hannaford.

  3. What A Card April 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Thought of you today…Kiss My Face liquid castile soap is on sale at Donelan’s in Littleton this week. Okay, not actually on sale, but it comes with a $1.50 off hang tag (so it ends up being $5.49 for a 17 oz bottle). I picked up some Lemongrass Sage scented soap…I’m going to use it to make some homemade cleaners!

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