DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner
DIY toilet bowl cleaner. This inexpensive and efficient DIY toilet bowl cleaner will save you money and minimize your exposure to toxic fumes. It really works.
Something you may not know about me. I was a professional janitor — well Mr. Joybilee was, I tagged along. Cleaning bathrooms isn’t my favourite activity. But we did clean toilets professionally for 3 years, working in a commercial building. It’s one of the things you can do with a Master’s Degree if you want to be able to keep the power on and feed your kids. I learned how to clean a bathroom by cleaning a lot of bathrooms.
I cleaned 24 toilets, twice a week, every week. Our first week on the job, I ditched the commercial toilet bowl cleaner. It didn’t do an adequate job and left a green ring on every toilet bowl, no matter how often I scrubbed and rinsed. Commercial toilet bowl cleaner is toxic. There are warnings on the bottles. You need to minimize your exposure as much as possible. I held my breath while I cleaned. Toxic fumes do not equal a clean, fresh bathroom.
In my time there, I experimented looking for ways to clean toilets without getting assaulted by toxic chemicals. The method also had to be fast as I didn’t have the time to scrub every toilet for 5 minutes – 48 toilets plus sinks, mirrors, and floors is a lot of scrubbing to do every week. After several false starts, I’ve found a method that is efficient, nontoxic, even pleasant, that gets the toilet clean and fresh in just a minute or two of hands-on effort. I’ve brought that knowledge home to make my job at home easier and less toxic. After all, there are more creative activities that we’d all rather do than scrub toilet bowls.
I don’t want to sit there scrubbing with a brush, or a rag, hoping the mineral deposits will vanish. Instead, I’ve been using this easy DIY toilet bowl cleaner. You just drop it in the toilet, walk away and let it work, while you clean the other fixtures. Come back a while later and wipe it with the brush. It is sufficient cleaner for all but really tough mineral deposits. For those really tough mineral deposits use more citric acid. Citric acid binds with the minerals in hard water and lifts it off the porcelain toilet bowl.
Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner with real cleaning power
1 tbsp. of citric acid
1 tbsp. baking soda
Place 1 tbsp. of citric acid in your toilet bowl and allow to sit for 15 min, while you clean the mirrors, sink, and bathtub. Spritz the inside of the toilet bowl with lemon vinegar cleaner (or Thieves vinegar cleaner). Add 1 tbsp. baking soda to the toilet bowl. It will fizz. When the fizzing stops, swish the bowl with the toilet brush. Once you’ve brushed the bowl, use your citrus vinegar cleaner and an un-paper towel (*reserved for bathroom use, please) to clean the seat and the rim. Flush and you’re done.
Keep the ingredients separate until you are ready to use them. If you mix them early they will spend their chemical reaction needlessly, and you won’t have it for cleaning. This is why I don’t recommend the toilet pucks that you see online. To make the pucks, some of the chemical reaction is spent.
*Hint: I made two sets of unpaper towels in different colours so I never get them mixed up and use the wrong one in the bathroom.
When I clean the bathrooms at home, I do all 3 at once and add the citric acid to all the toilets that I’m cleaning at the same time. I try to do this when there isn’t a lineup for the bathroom. This way, as I move from one bathroom to the next, the citric acid has had a chance to work, and I can immediately proceed with the next step.
How are you reaching your goal of fewer chemicals in your home and less money out of your pocket?
Can you use a combination of lime and lemon peels?
Joybilee Farm says
Yes, any citrus peel will have antimicrobial activity.
Thank you for the post. I’m trying to remove hard water “rings” and one round of this for the minimum 15 minutes didn’t cut it. Any guesses from you or other readers how many go-arounds I might need? Or any other suggestions? Thanks!
Joybilee Farm says
Try using just the citric acid (1 to 2 tablespoons, and let it sit overnight before scrubbing out) Once you’ve cleaned them out, then regular maintenance with the toilet bowl cleaner should keep it looking good.
v p singh says
more time needed for descalling pour more citric acid in boiled water nd leave it for whole night in morning add one tea spoon baking soda in it,,,it will descale
Steven in South Africa says
Hi. Im a guy that moved into a new for me, house 6 months ago. For 6 months I have been trying to get rid of the toilet stains and I tried everything! A BIG thank you for your tips. I now have sparkling toilets.
Do you make up any of the cleaning solutions in advance? For instance, could you have the baking soda/essential oils already mixed and store them that way, just adding mixing in a small bowl with water and soup when it’s time to clean? Just wondering as I’d like to not have to measure everything out each time I need to clean
Joybilee Farm says
Yes, you just don’t want to mix the acid with the base in advance, because the chemical reaction is part of the cleaning power.
Tina J. says
I can’t imagine cleaning bathrooms can be someone’s favourite activity. I really like the way you write and explain things. Thanks for sharing your method. I can see how it would work.
It is amazing how powerful natural elements can be – both baking soda and lemon are excellent for cleaning tough spots like toilets.
our website says
I have a masonry jar of baking soda with tree tree oil in it & a spray bottle full of white vinegar. I sprinkle on the baking soda then squirt with vinegar. It works well but I’m excited to try out the soft scrub recipe, or pumice stone on stick that sounds great for those mineral stains! I use doTERRA essential oils in my cleaners. They are so pure we need to cut the amount in half for the cleaning recipes. I make all my cleaners. Love knowing I’m not poisoning my family. Took me years to really believe what I was seeing that when I used Clorox wipes we got a tummy bug right after every time.I started using water,vinegar,a dash or 2 of dawn dish soap in spray bottles for all my cleaning needs. It works great, it’s easy on the pocketbook and is not chemically dangerous.everything sparkles and smells great.
Joybilee Farm says
You should try the lemon vinegar cleaner instead of straight vinegar. The lemon oil from the peels really cuts grease and slime.
I have been using Bar Keepers friend for my shower. It honestly only gets cleaned every few weeks(new to homeschooling, working weekends, trying to get a handle on time management!) and seems to cut the soap scum. What is a good alternative to this product, to clean the soap scum?
Joybilee Farm says
Lemon peel vinegar cleaner will cut soap scum, and dissolve mineral build up. Have you tried it yet?
Angi @ SchneiderPeeps says
I can’t wait to try this. We have really hard water and our toilets are showing it. Also, I wish more stores would hire a professional cleaning service to come in once a week and do the deep cleaning. We have several stores that have remodeled in our area and have spent millions this past year. And just a few months later, their bathrooms are getting gross. It’s simple things like wiping down the walls or dusting the a/c vents. Thanks for the recipe.