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I’m going to warn you the earth science teacher in me is going to come out in full force today. I know I am blessed. I am personally surrounded by more fresh water than probably 99% of the people on the planet. Within ten miles of me are creeks, ponds, an aquifer (underground lake), Lake Neahtawanta, Oswego River and Lake Ontario.

What’s not such a blessing is what gets dumped into these water sources. I’ve toured the sewage treatment facility — gross. I put drains and toilets together for a reason: it is easy to watch the “bad” stuff get swept away never to be thought of again. Unless of course you pause and think for a moment where does water come from. Basically, all the water we have on this planet is the same water that has been here for millions or billions of years. You could have in you right now: dinosaur pee — the sweat of your favorite rock star — the tears of your grandmother.

The water in your toilet and the water that goes down your drain will eventually become the water that you pour into your glass to drink. So to clean my toilet bowl, I use baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda) that I scrubbed around with a brush — I take a cheap bottle filled with white distilled vinegar and spray that around — the two will bubble up having made carbon dioxide gas (the stuff we exhale) and I flush. Sometimes I just use one or the other. Note that if your toilet bowl brush has metal on it, the vinegar will cause it to rust. The outside of the toilet, I use vinegar just as I would any other spray cleaner.

Drains — about once a month — I put about 1 tablespoon of baking soda down the drain, followed by maybe 1/2 cup to cup of vinegar (I don’t really measure). It will bubble. I then follow with some boiling water. This is best done to keep your drains clear. If you let the drain get clogged then you will probably have to manually snake it. You can adjust the frequency as needed.

Vinegar is a weak acid so you obviously want to use the same precautions as spraying any other substance. Vinegar does have a strong odor but it dissipates very quickly. As noted before NEVER use vinegar and bleach together.

I hope those that are following this series of posts are checking out the comments for previous post — there have been some great suggestions shared. I hope they continue with this post. I know some people cannot use vinegar so I hope those that can’t will share what they do.

If saving money isn’t enough reason to switch to these less toxic options — I share with you a TED talk (less than 10 minutes) to help change your mind. If we want to keep amazing creatures around (including ourselves) today is a good day to change.


Bloggers who have blogged about their non-toxic cleaning strategies: Kathyrn, Sonda, Michellina, and MCSgal. If you have as well let me know I’d love to share a link.