I Put 3 Popular DIY Bathroom Cleaners to the Test—and There Was a Clear Winner

<p>Ashley Chalmers / The Spruce</p>

Ashley Chalmers / The Spruce

Like many of us, I’m on a quest to be more environmentally friendly. It’s something that can be tricky with a busy family of four, but the best hacks I’ve found are the ones that seamlessly replace one item with something naturally less wasteful. It’s one reason I’m an official convert to wool dryer balls, after all.

Recently, I decided to venture into the world of DIY cleaners. I love the idea of one reusable spray bottle to replace all the plastic containers involved in traditional cleaning packaging, and cutting back on aggressive chemicals in the name of more natural options was appealing, too.

I decided to start with my bathroom, where, of course, most of our germs live. To get started, I turned to the internet and searched for some great DIY shower-cleaning recipes. As it turns out, there are tons of recipes out there—but one in particular is my new official favorite.

For all three options, you’ll need a reusable spray bottle, a microfiber cloth, and a sponge.

Option 1: Distilled White Vinegar and Dish Soap

<p>Joy Kim</p>

Joy Kim

This recipe I found on Jill Nystul’s blog, One Good Thing, is by far the most popular. You can find variations of it everywhere, and it’s incredibly easy. All you need are the following ingredients:

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Water

  • Dishwashing liquid

The two key things for this particular combo are that your vinegar is warm so that the dishwashing liquid mixes in more effectively, and that you let the solution sit for thirty minutes before scrubbing it down.

I followed the instructions and yes, I can confirm: my glass shower screen was instantly streak-free and perfectly clean. This combo is incredibly easy to make and decidedly effective on limescale and soap scum.

Less ideal? As Jill warns in her post, my whole bathroom and bedroom smelled like vinegar. Also, my metal shower fixture got super cloudy. So, I moved on to the next recipe.

Option 2: Citric Acid Powder and Essential Oil

<p>Naked King / Getty Images</p>

Naked King / Getty Images

I found option two on the blog Planet Friendly Living, and my interest was immediately piqued by the use of citric acid powder. I can't remember every really using it before, so I wanted to see if it was as effective as white vinegar.

This recipe calls for the below:

  • Citric acid powder

  • Warm water

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Essential oil

For my essential oil, I went with tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties. It does have a strong smell, but in my opinion, it’s still better than vinegar. If you wanted, you could go for something even softer-scented, like lemon or lavender.

After mixing the correct proportions, I sprayed down my shower, rinsed, and wiped. I liked that this recipe was less time-intensive—there was no waiting around, and it didn’t make my metallic fixtures all cloudy. I sprayed it on my mirror and was delighted to see an instant streak-free shine there, too.

For my needs, this one beat out the first solution.

Option 3: Castile Soap and Baking Soda

<p>Ashley Chalmers / The Spruce</p>

Ashley Chalmers / The Spruce

My third attempt comes from Farmhouse On Boone, and I loved that it calls for Castile Soap. I’m a long-time fan of Dr. Bronner’s, so I was curious to see how this worked.

  • Baking soda

  • Castile soap

  • Water

  • Essential oil

Unlike the other two, this isn’t a spray. This all adds up to a paste, which is a little less user-friendly—but it still worked great. I used it to spot-treat some problem areas with stubborn limescale build-up, and it chipped off a decent amount.

Best of all, it also smells great.

The Winner

For me, Option 2 was the best all-over option. I loved that it worked on pretty much anything, and you can adjust the essential oils for a better-smelling solution than the first option.

Having said that, Option 3 might become a new staple for targeted problems with limescale and soap scum, while Option 1 is great for those deep cleaning days where you’re tackling everything and have the time to go all-in on an all-over shine.

Read Next: How to Make Your Own Homemade Bathroom Cleaner That Actually Works

Read the original article on The Spruce.