Want some great tips to help you keep your child’s bathroom free of harsh chemicals and toxic fumes. Try some of these ideas and green alternatives to help the environment and your little one!
1. Ditch the Liquid Soap
Somewhere along the way liquid soap replaced good old fashioned bar soap, and we’re not sure why. What we do know is that bar soap lasts quite a bit longer and is a lot more eco-friendly with its packaging. The average bar soap is wrapped in a slip of paper or cardboard, which can be recycled or even better, composted.
Liquid soap containers can usually be recycled too, but a household typically goes through three containers before a single soap bar has dissolved. Most health food stores have an extensive selection of colorful, fragrant bars in delightful packaging. Your children will enjoy selecting a soap of their own and may be that much more likely to jump in water at bath time.
2. Find a PVC-free Shower Curtain
The majority of shower curtains are made of polyvinyl-chloride, otherwise known as PVC. The plastic smell can invade your bathroom for weeks and the toxic fumes can off-gas even longer. These shower curtains are sold everywhere – from high-end children’s boutiques to your local drug store. But regardless of the price tag, the fumes are equally toxic.
With the money you’re going to save using bar soap, splurge on an organic hemp shower curtain that will last a lifetime. If you’re stuck with a stock of the PVC version, recycle it, or spread it open outdoors until the smell of plastic is completely gone.
3. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Traditional cleaners are loaded with dyes, alkylphenolic compounds, organic solvents, phosphates, and fragrance. To avoid lining the bathtub and coating the counters with unhealthy chemicals, mix your own cleaning solutions. Vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will terminate the fiercest germ. And a little baking soda can remove the toughest layer of bathtub or toilet grime. Most moms consider a clean bathroom a top priority. Now cleanliness doesn’t have to come at the price of health.
4. Buy SLS & SLES Free Products
If your shampoo, bubble bath, or body soap produces rich lather or giant bubbles, beware. Chances are the product contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Ether Sulfate. The chemicals aren’t intentionally harmful, but during their production an accidental by-product called 1,4-dioxane is created. Dioxane has been attributed to certain cancers and detected in tumors. Unfortunately, companies will continue to use these ingredients as long as people associate cleanliness with bubbles. Opt for those without these additives. There will be fewer suds but a lot more safe.
5. Maintain Bacteria Free Bath Toys
Bath toys are breading grounds for bacteria, which defeats the purpose of the bath. Although most rubber duckies, dolphins, and sail boats have a small opening to squeeze out the excess water, the inside is still far from dry. If you are able to see the bacteria, feel a thin layer of slime, or detect the smell of mildew, it’s time to sanitize. To kill the germs and maintain the unsoiled clean toys, purchase a large jug of vinegar. Pour the entire contents into the tub and add hot water until all the toys are submerged. Let them soak as long as possible, preferably for 6-8 hours. If the bacteria is too dense to disintegrate, try soaking the toy in solid vinegar for a day and using a pipe cleaner to scrape out the remaining gunk.
6. Install a Bathtub Water Filter
Chlorine helps keep our water systems safe. Unfortunately it also causes us to smell like we’ve exited a swimming pool instead of a bathtub. Luckily there’s a solution in the form of a dechlorynator ball. These little devices are inexpensive and attach to the bath or shower spout to remove 80-90% of the chlorine before it soaks the skin. The filters are good for about 200 uses and the shell can be recycled. Since a baby’s skin absorbs chemicals and toxins more easily than an adult’s, it’s important to protect those precious bodies from the very beginning.
Do you have any tips or ideas for green bathroom practices?