If most of us ever stopped to think about the ingredients in the products we use to clean our bathrooms and clean ourselves, we might have a moment of truth. The yummy-smelling hand soap by the sink, for example, might be loaded with chemicals that are thought to promote allergies, disrupt hormones, increase the risk of certain cancers, and wreak all sorts of havoc in your life. Some of the household cleaners we use to get our bathrooms sparkly clean may be bad for both us and the environment. What’s a health-savvy, environmentally-conscious girl to do?
Fortunately, there are green bathroom alternatives to everything we use in the bathroom. Let’s take a look.
A company called SeekBamboo is a leader of the Zero-Waste bathroom movement. Their line of toiletries includes plastic-free dental care accessories, organic bar soap, natural shampoo bars, and vegan conditioner bars. If you’re looking to replace your shampoo and conditioner with something a little friendlier to both your scalp and the environment, look no further than their chamomile shampoo bar and citrus hair conditioner bar. These chemical-free bars are made from all-natural ingredients, leave hair shiny and build-up free, and arrive in Zero-Waste packaging.
Looking to try a new bath soap, too? Try the charcoal soap from SeekBamboo, or check out offerings from brands such as Tom’s, Dr. Bronner’s, Crate 61, Booda Organics, and others. There’s something exciting about shopping for a new soap to use in the shower! Alternatively, you can consider making your own.
We already know that it’s important to wash our hands, but what kind of soap should we use? The classic Dr. Bronner’s brand offers a line of organic sugar soaps in pump-dispenser bottles, perfect for the bathroom sink. Fragrances include peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, and tea tree; there’s an unscented version, too.
Ditch the fluoride toothpaste loaded with chemicals and switch to a clean, green, tooth-cleaning machine. Actress and vegan activist Alicia Silverstone recommended the Himalaya Neem & Pomegranate brand; if you’re looking for something with even less packaging, try the toothpaste tablets or natural tooth powder from SeekBamboo.
Antiseptic mouthwash doesn’t just kill bad bacteria; it kills the good guys, too. That may be why regular mouthwash users continue to use mouthwash. When you kill everything in there regularly, you could end up with chronic bad breath. You can either skip using mouthwash altogether and just floss more often; alternatively, there are a few friendlier mouthwash brands out there.
It’s nice to burn a scented candle in the bathroom, but many of the most popular commercial varieties contain ingredients that are harmful to us when the candle is burned. Look for eco-friendly, non-toxic candles. The scented varieties will likely be made with essential oils rather than artificial fragrances.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
What about cleaning the bathroom? The toilet bowl cleaner you buy at the store might do a great job, but at what cost to the environment? And those fumes can’t be that great for you. In Clean & Green: The Complete Guide to Nontoxic and Environmentally Safe Housekeeping, the author recommends leaving borax in the toilet bowl overnight. If you’d rather clean the bowl right away, she recommends a mixture of 1 cup of borax and 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice. Cream of tartar, vitamin C capsules, and baking soda also work.
Your washer and dryer may or may not be in the bathroom, but it’s a common household product worth re-thinking. There are “clean” laundry flakes available from companies like Booda Organics, SeekBamboo, and others, and Dr. Bronner’s makes its famous Sal Suds liquid soap.