Favorite bathroom cleaner?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I really like the "Comet" bathroom cleaner, although I don't like the fumes. But we have very hard water, so it's necessary to use some heavy-duty products to counteract the stains and deposits that build up. I alternate between using Comet to clean everything, and a spray bottle with bleach for the mildew spots in the corners. (And every day, we use the daily shower cleaning products.)

I've tried several enviromentally-friendly(ier) products that are supposedly as effective as the more caustic stuff - but they just didn't work as well. (And it's not just the psychology of a clean "smell" to the room either - I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and it didn't take off the hard water stains.)

Anyone else have a favorite bathroom cleaner? One that might not force me to hold my breath for several minutes while I clean the shower stalls?

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

I have used Scrubbing Bubbles for years. We have a resurfaced clawfoot tub, and the refinisher told us not to use an abrasive cleanser on it. Recently DH brought home Scrubbing Bubbles Mildew Stain Remover, and I have been using it on tub, shower, toilets, all the sinks. It does have bleach in it, but it doesn't overpower me. Sometimes I use vinegar by itself to dissolve stubborn hard water stains.

Emporia, KS(Zone 5b)

Lysol Toilet Bowl- it smells minty and it gets rid of hard water deposits on the sink and around the shower

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Hmmm. That's an idea. I use the Lysol toilet bowl cleaner for the toilet - never thought about using it anywhere else.

I've also used the "scrubbing bubbles" (I remember when that was a brand-new product!) but I just haven't had much luck with it with our hard water here. (I do use the vinegar trick a lot - I plug up the bathroom sinks and pour some vinegar in there, and let it set until the chrome is shiny, or at least until the deposits are loosened enough I can rub/scrape them loose and polish the sink.

With a septic system, I try to be mindful of using too many chemicals to clean my house, especially those going down the drain. But even so, I find I've got a couple products for the kitchen sinks (a little bleach in some water to soak the mats and the stoppers once a week, plus soft-scrub with bleach to clean the opposite sink; I try to switch sinks every week, so one gets soaked, the other gets scrubbed.) Then there's the ammonia in the mop water, although if the weather is decent, I take it outside to dump instead of sending it into the tank.)

I use a toilet cleaner (I used to just add a few tablespoons of bleach and scrub the toilet good, but the hard water deposits started forming around the rim - argh), plus a shower/tub cleanser for sink, counters, tub/shower and floor.

I don't know...I guess I'm being conscientious enough with the chemicals I release down the drains, since the septic guy said my tank looked great for a five-person family (this was after he cleaned out the roots that were clogging the line from the house - which is what made me think the tank was full and needed to be pumped ;o)

The only other chemical going into the tank is laundry detergent (homemade when I'm on the ball, otherwise a very mild detergent), with vinegar for fabric softener, and the once-a-week load of bleached load of towels, socks, and bath mats.

But back to bathroom cleansers - has anyone tried the C-L-R stuff? And does it work? (I've got some shower doors that are badly clouded from hard water stains....)

Albany (again), NY(Zone 5b)

Terry, have you tried Zud?


Does great getting rid of rust and other gunk, but doesn't seem as caustic as Comet? Pretty cheap, too, if I recall. I used it a lot when I had a white enamel sink that would get rust stains from pans or whatever.

Terry, I have hard water too. I don't know how you could do this for a large area, but hot vinegar does a much better and quicker job than cold. I took my shower faucets down and put them in hot vinegar and they looked new with no scrubbing. They looked brand new.

Emporia, KS(Zone 5b)

Wow- I still had to scrub a bit using Lysol...it was just more manageable. Maybe I should be trying hot vinegar instead of Lysol to clean the sink!!

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

The wheels are churning now....I think the next time I run a quart of vinegar through my coffeemaker, I'll try recycling the piping hot vinegar to soak some things that need it - thanks for the tip!

(Zone 9a)

Tilex soap scum works pretty good in the shower. I let it spray it and let it sit on the surfaces for 10 to 15 minutes, then run the shower on all hot for several minutes, then use a scrub brush where needed, and rinse clean.

McKinney, TX(Zone 7b)

I use grapefruit seed extract, vinegar, baking soda & water. I had to totally change the products I use for cleaning since we got our conure. I have to arrange for him to be out of the house for days if I have to use bug bombs or use oven cleaner.

Thumbnail by SandiTX
Bucyrus, OH(Zone 6a)

1 in 10 chlorine bleach solution. It's stinky, but it really whitens porcelain, and I know that it is killing any creepy crawlies that are exposed to it. There are now scented bleaches that aren't quite as strong smelling, but you'll still know you use bleach two days later.

Still, it works very, very well, especially for stains.


Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

what a sweet bird! is that his stuffed animal?

i would love to have that cleaner recipe. my mom can't handle cleaner fumes either. where do i get grapesed extract?


Saint Petersburg, FL(Zone 9b)

One of my new things is making my own cleaners. I learned to do this by reading on the Web. I am using a spray bottle with castile soap and tea tree oil in water for a general bathroom cleaner and vinegar and water for a daily shower spray (it does make the bath smell like pickles for a while though--LOL). It seems to work as well as what I was using before.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I use Simple Green for a LOT of my cleaning: toilets, counters, floors, etc.. It's non-toxic and biodegradable and doesn't smell TOO bad. I use Comet for scrubbing.

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

I just saw a neat tip on BHG TV this morning.
After you clean the sink, apply car wax, let dry and buff to a shine. The soap scum will not stick to the basin as much.
I'm anxious to try it, although the only car wax I have at the moment is in a spray bottle and you wipe it off without letting it dry. Think I'll try it anyway.

McKinney, TX(Zone 7b)

TamaraFaye, I got my gse from a health food store. I also use an avian germicidal detergent for other cleaning (one quart of it makes 32 gallons).

Here's a couple of links with great tips for safe cleaning in the home: http://www.eppa.ca/meetings/spring%20cleaning.html and http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm

Actually, the stuffed animal belongs to my oldest daughter. That pic was taken in the car on a trip to Galveston. I think we were on the ferry at the time. We usually take him with us if we're gone longer than a weekend, otherwise we leave him at my moms.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

We used to have a lady that came to clean our house that used lemon oil on the soap scum on shower doors. WORKS LIKE MAGIC ! I couldn't believe it. Then she would clean the oil off with whatever bathroom cleaner she was using at the time. Clear and clean as a whistle. I think, every other time, she just left some of the oil on there........made it hard for the soap scum to stick to the glass. The oil cuts right thru the fog on the doors.

Emporia, KS(Zone 5b)

where do you get lemon oil? I definitely need some of that!

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

It's in the furniture polish section at most any store that carries cleaning supplies.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

sbarr, I haven't tried Zud - I'll take a peek at it. Does it work better than off-the-shelf products?

ginlyn, we did the car wax trick with a walk-in shower where two of the walls were "cultured marble" - the installers gave us the same advice, and it did work well to keep the soap scum from accumulating. I never thought about doing it with sinks (wonder if it would keep my kids toothpaste dribbles from sticking? *grin*)

Lemon oil to cut soap scum - whodathunk it. Good idea, Peggy! I'll try that the next time I'm buying stuff. (Those shower doors are my arch enemies when it comes to cleaning this house.)

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

Remember the saying, " fight fire with fire"? I've found that after taking a bath, if you lather your cloth with the same soap that created the bathtub ring, it comes right off. You should do it immediately though, before it dries.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

I use 409 on just about everything. It really cuts through the soap scum in the shower. I also spray Tilex after every shower and use Chlorox drop-ins in the toilet.

I think I'm gonna try some of that lemon oil though......and maybe Softscrub for the stains in my white formica kichen counters. The 409 does a pretty good job on those, but the stains don't come out completely.

Noblesville, IN(Zone 5a)

My favorite bathroom cleaner is my Son. It works pretty well.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Does he do housecalls?

Lyndonville, NY

I just discovered the new Bam! I have a terrible hard time with keeping the bathtub sparkling, my dh works with some nasty stuff and both he and my son love working outside also. They get that "guy grime" going and it is hard to clean. The Bam, I just spray on and light wipe with the sponge and wash with shower head and its clean! Any light cleaning, I love 409! But the Bam even does the lime stains and toilet stains.

My 409 is my everywhere cleaner though, especially kitchen counter and stove.


Dillonvale, OH(Zone 6a)

Mr Clean Magic erasers :) I swear by those silly little things, and you can get a package of 2 for 2 bucks at Dollar General. I use them alot around the house, even washed the walls with them :)


Albany (again), NY(Zone 5b)

Terry - Re: Zud - It works just as well, but no fumes, etc. I first found out about it from my neurotic tenant when I lived in Texas and she'd whine about any fumes. Note, I'm not disregarding real environmental sensitivities, she was just neurotic and would whine about almost everything. She also thought my pagan housemates were sending evil spirits downstairs. LOL

Where I REALLY saw the difference was rust stains. Comet, you name it, nothing will get rust rings from pans, except this stuff.

I'm definitintely enjoying this thread, getting more ideas for when I move back to the US, which is hopefully this Spring.

Savannah, GA(Zone 8b)

I have enjoyed all of these coments. thanks for the reminders of these oldtime remedys. I did use zud and comet years ago. Then came along all the convient spray cleaners. I think I will go back to zud. On the shower tile, I used "Johnson's Wax", and it worked well. I have also used lemon oil. Many of the spray cleaners contain vinegar (windex). I thought soft scrub was the best thing since comet, and still use it. I use the gel formula, it is easier to rinse off. Like to use clorax clean up in the bathroom and kitchen. Strange how we get away from these inexpensive remedy's. Tilex is good for mildew in the shower.
Vinegar is great for so many things, but my husband can't stand the smell of it.

Conroe, TX(Zone 9a)

Anybody have a suggestion for getting soap scum off of fiberglass? I have one of the awful fiberglass shower/bath pieces. Most stuff is harmful to fiberglass if it works, doesn't work if it's safe on fiberglass.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Mine is fiberglass too and I use 409. It cuts through the soap scum well, but I do use a scrub brush too.

Conroe, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, mgh!

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)


Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

I have been trying to stay away from harsh chemical cleansers for a few years now. I just keep trying different things. I have been using baking soda to clean the sinks and tubs for quite a while but just bought some Borax and have been using it too. They both seem to work well and don't have the horrible smell like Ajax.

Everything I have is fiberglass too. A mixture of vinegar, water and some lemon juice has been working well to get rid of soap scum. The acid in the lemon seems to cut thru it better than just the vinegar. The smell isn't pleasant but it does go away quickly.
I've been using the after shower spray by Method and I think it is actually keeping it cleaner.

Hydrogen peroxide works well to remove some stains and mildew.

I'm currently using Borax, several Method cleaners, and TKO. As a backup I always have 409 because it does everything.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

The car wax trick helps for the fiberglass shower walls, but we have evil water and I can't find anything to get rid of the gray stains on the textured floor. Anyone else have that problem? Will try the hot vinegar.

We also have parrots so avoid anything that creates fumes. Have had some success with borax, vinegar, baking soda (make a thick paste and let it sit on sink stains for an hour or so), Dr Bonner's soaps (the lavender and peppermint smell nice).

When we moved into our new house, I vowed not to scratch my kitchen sinks and so far have avoided using any cleansers. I scrub them with hot soapy water and spray with a 1:10 bleach solution once a week or when needed. I use Zud or Barkeeper's Friend on the utility sink.

Also, believe it or not, I got some of those 'magnet' things you put in the toilet tank and they worked great - stopped the hard water scum and now I just scrub with the cleaner of the day.

Next purchase on our wish list is some type of water softener (not salt).


Emporia, KS(Zone 5b)

Are the grey stains on the floor in a basement bathroom? I always thought that was mildew that'd gotten underneath the linoleum somehow.

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Kathleen, "magnet" things? what magnet things?

I have really hard water and it's really quite difficult to keep the lime build-up out of the toilet.... I need something to help me get rid of lime build up and then we can go from there. :)


Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Re car wax, I have a fiber glass whirlpool tub. (Same size and shape as a regular tub). When we bought it, they sold us a wax for it - much like car wax, but not as heavy as any car waxes I've used. I don't use it regularly, but it does help. Most of the time, we just clean it with Mr clean in water and a toothbrush to get the grunge off around the jets.

Wish I could get 409 in Canada.


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Cleaning the fiberglass tubs with a scrub brush, especially in the corners, is really hard on 75-year-old knees. So now I run just a little water into the tub, make a paste with dishwasher detergent (dry form), and scrub with old broom! Still calls for elbowgrease, but at least I can work from a standing position.
After running the vinegar through the coffee maker, I put the used vinegar into an open glass bowl and into the microwave. After 5 minutes on high, the interior wipes shiny clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
To put a high shine on chrome faucets after removing the hard water deposits, I coat with a dab of toothpaste and polish with a soft dry cloth. Yuska

Emporia, KS(Zone 5b)

what kind of vinegar are all of you using? any kind?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

For cleaning, I use white pickling vinegar. It is 9% acidity and does the job faster. I buy it by the gallon in the regular vinegar section in the supermarket.
(I also use it to kill the roots of bermuda grass when I pull out runners in the brick walk.)

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