I think you tend to learn most of your main cooking and cleaning habits from whatever you saw your parents do (or not do) growing up. While I have been trying to make a lot of healthy changes in my life in recent years and opt for more nontoxic options, I never really relied on some of the more harsher chemicals to clean my house, and I'm pretty sure that's mostly because that's how my mom cleaned our home growing up. I clean most surfaces with simple soap and water whenever I can get away with it and only pull out the chemicals when something really calls for it (although I'm looking for natural solutions to those situations now too).
This house has the first tiled shower that we've ever had (usually it's the one-piece white plastic shower situation), and I've noticed that the tile and grout seem to have a much greater potential for mildew buildup than the other showers did. The shower also has a dark, multi-colored brown tile (not my favorite as you can imagine), which makes it extra hard to spot mildew buildup as it appears (I used Elsie's beautiful new shower for the pics in this post though – isn't it dreamy?). Thankfully, you can use a shower spray between each shower to help cut down on bacteria growing in the shower and have longer periods between more deep cleanings. And the best part of making this shower spray at home is that it's all natural too!
Natural Shower Spray, makes 2 cups
1 cup water
1 cup white distilled vinegar
10 drops tea tree essential oil* (You can add a few drops of lemon essential oil* to this too if you want a lemony fresh smell.)
spray bottle (you can use a cute plant mister or a larger spray bottle as well)
*Note: There is debate over certain animals (cats especially) coming in contact with too much of certain essential oils like lemon and tea tree. To be honest, there is a very wide range of opinions on what is safe or not safe, so make sure to look up what essential oils you want to use and see if they are OK for your pets. If you are nervous about using the oils in this recipe, then no biggie! Just use the water and vinegar and you will still have a wonderful natural spray that will just be a bit stronger on the vinegar smell.)
Add the water and vinegar to your spray bottle and then drop in your essential oils. Give the bottle a shake to combine, and you're ready to clean! Just spray the walls and door of your shower after each use to keep it cleaner longer.
The tea tree oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal & antiseptic, and the vinegar is a great disinfectant. So they work well together hand in hand. It's best to keep items with essential oils in dark colored containers to preserve them unless they are stored in a cabinet or a dark space when not in use. Like I said, this doesn't replace your routine deep cleanings (and you don't want to use vinegar on natural stone tiles as it can eat away the stone over time), but it should help increase the time between cleanings and allow less buildup in general. Do you have any natural shower cleaning tips that you love to use? xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman.