When I was a little girl, my mom would never have thought to use a natural toilet cleaner. She cleaned the bathroom with the strongest, and most caustic, cleaners she could find. She thought they did the best job of cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing and so we scrubbed and wiped using Comet powder, bleach, and that bright blue toilet cleaner that almost seemed to glow on its own. Did it work? Yes, of course it did, but at what cost to our health, and to the environment?
Moms (and Dads!) these days are looking for more natural ways to clean their home; not only to help keep their kids and pets safe, but also to help Mother Nature heal.
Finding A Natural Toilet Cleaner That Works
The primary goal of a natural toilet cleaner is to clean the toilet (obviously!). That means it needs to clean, disinfect and deodorize effectively. It also, of course, has to be non-toxic so that your children, or pets, will be safe should they come into contact with it. Lastly, it needs to be environmentally friendly. You’ll be flushing the cleaner down the toilet eventually so it needs to be easy on the environment, with no phosphates or other harmful chemicals.
Here are four natural toilet cleaners that I use in combination to keep my bathroom clean and smelling fresh.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is the workhorse of my bathroom. Baking soda and vinegar make a great natural toilet cleaner because of how they work individually and how they work together.
Baking soda is a natural scrubber. It’s gritty enough to help with the mechanical scrubbing of cleaning a toilet, yet soft enough to not damage the porcelain that toilet bowls are made of. It’s also a great deodorizer; isn’t that why we all have a container of it in our fridges? It naturally absorbs odors without leaving any telltale scent behind.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Its acidic nature (it is, in fact, acetic acid) means that it denatures the proteins in bacteria, effectively killing them and leaving the toilet disease free.
But together!! Together then combine to become a cleaning powerhouse with an impressive bubbling action that removes stains, disinfects, and deodorizes quickly, simply, and effectively and yet leaves no toxic waste behind. In fact, all that is left behind is water and carbon dioxide (ok, technically, there is also a little sodium acetate left behind but it is minimal and also completely non-toxic).
Water and carbon dioxide?! How is this even possible?!
The science-y nature of it is my favorite part. The gaining and losing of atoms resulting in a powerful foaming reaction that cleans and disinfects even the dirtiest of toilets.
How To Use Baking Soda and Vinegar To Clean Your Toilet
- Spray the toilet bowl with vinegar. This will give a vinegar base for the reaction and will wet the porcelain so that the baking soda will stick.
- Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet bowl. Sprinkle the entire bowl and drop some into the water also.
- Spray with a little more vinegar. The reaction should start right away but adding a little more vinegar will ensure that the foaming starts.
- Wait for foaming action to subside. The foaming is an indication that the reaction is proceeding. Wait for it to finish doing its work.
- Use toilet brush to finish cleaning. Scrub the toilet bowl to remove any stubborn stains.
- Flush to rinse. Simply flush the toilet to rinse. The remnants of the reaction are water and carbon dioxide so there is no worry about flushing harmful chemicals.
DIY Toilet Bombs
A toilet ‘bomb’ works on the same principle as baking soda and vinegar; in fact, its ingredients are also baking soda and an acidic component (in this case citric acid). The difference is that the ingredients are combined with essential oils and dried into little ‘bricks’.
They make a great natural toilet cleaner ‘refresher’ for in between the deeper cleaning that toilets regularly need. Simply drop one into the toilet and watch the foaming action take over. The baking soda and citric acid will remove any ‘toilet ring’ and the essential oils will leave a nice, fresh scent behind. Easy peasy.
Patti over at Hearth & Vine has a great DIY post on how to make your own toilet bombs. They’re super easy to make and will definitely save the day for those times when you just need to do a quick ‘freshen-up’.
DIY Bathroom Spray
Once the inside of the toilet is clean, it’s time to tackle the outside. I also want to use a natural toilet cleaner here – I may not be flushing the remnants down the toilet but I also don’t want to leave any toxic chemicals behind. I just don’t like the smell and I worry about children and pets being exposed to things they shouldn’t be.
I found this DIY bathroom spray over on Jillee’s blog One Good Thing. It combines dishwashing soap and vinegar in a spray bottle to conveniently tackle all types of bathroom surfaces. The two together are a powerful cleaning solution that has worked for me in the bathtub, shower, sink, countertop, and toilet. Seriously, I use it everywhere!
Reusable Disinfectant Wipes
They’re convenient, right?! Those little containers of disinfectant wipes – just quickly grab one and swish-swish it’s taken care of.
But….they’re disposable, and not bio-degradable, and filled with all those toxic cleaners that you’re trying to avoid.
These reusable disinfectant wipes are the answer! Shannon from Home Made Lovely shows how easy it is to make your own natural bathroom wipes using dishwashing soap, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils. Keep them in a handy jar and they will be just as convenient as the disposable wipes without any of the worry about the environment. Win-win!