Happy Monday. And a very Happy Bathroom Cleaning Day!
Wait, were you expecting something a bit more of a pick-me-up: coffee (a homemade Frappuccino) or warm muffins?
Ah yes, I can see the confusion, but hold on, don’t go. I promise, today’s recipe will put an extra “hooray” in your Monday. Yep, Monday can and should be filled with double hoorays, especially when the day starts with homemade toilet bowl cleaner. A toilet bowl cleaner that will end every smell and stain that’s ever brought you down. And did I mention this toilet bowl cleaner only requires five natural ingredients? Oh yea, Monday just got a whole lot better.
I’ve been playing around with the idea of a toilet bowl cleaner for a number of months. I don’t mean to gross you out on this lovely Monday morning, but I need to be honest. The toilet bowl is probably the most neglected object in our entire house. It’s such a random little place to clean that a cleaner designed just for the toilet bowl, while desperately needed, has been way down on the “I need to figure out how to make this” list. Finally, I decided enough was enough. I was ready to take the plunge into creating a homemade toilet bowl cleaner.
My first recipe started out as toilet bowl cleaner tablets. How cool is that idea? The “lazy” woman’s approach to cleaning the toilet.
My genius idea came to an end when Piper noticed the experimental tablets on the top of the oven one evening and proclaimed, “Yummy! Cookies!” I immediately rushed over, “No, those are for the toilet.” The statement obviously went right over his five year-old head. Piper looked at me and with excitement added , “Oh cool, toilet cookies.” I could just picture the weeks that would follow– My kids, in the bathroom, secretly trying to taste the “toilet cookies” from the “cookie” jar. Sure, the homemade tablets were natural: baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and essential oils, but I didn’t want to take the risk of “toilet cookies” becoming a bathroom temptation. Yuck!
Today’s recipe is a result of a lot of trial and error, and lessons in chemistry, such as: vinegar and baking soda cancel each other out and result in basically a water solution. Anyway, I’m getting way too “sciency” for a Monday conversation. Here’s what you really need to know…
After much experimenting, I’m excited to finally share a DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner that fights odors and leaves even the dirtiest (cough cough) toilet bowls sparkling clean. Let’s take a look at the basic ingredients before we get back to the Monday morning coffee and whipping up a bottle of this homemade cleaner. I told you Monday was going to be amazing!
Baking Soda: Baking soda is one of the most effective cleaning ingredients available. This inexpensive ingredient can be used to raise my favorite banana bread and clean a toilet. Pretty amazing stuff! When used as a homemade cleaner, baking soda absorbs odors and scrubs away stains due to its abrasive properties. I use Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda for baking, but go with the cheaper bulk bag of Arm & Hammer for cleaning.
Castile Soap: One of my favorite multipurpose DIY ingredients. Castile soap is a concentrated vegetable-based soap with easy to recognize ingredients. I use castile soap for everything from homemade laundry detergent to hand soap and face wash. If you’d like even more cleaning power Sal Suds, castile soap’s big cousin, will provide the extra shine you’re looking for.
Essential Oils: Many essential oils are known for their natural cleaning power (antibacterial and antiseptic) which is why I add a couple of my favorite cleaning oils to this recipe. The essential oils also add an amazing fresh scent to the toilet bowl.
DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner
To make the toilet bowl cleaner:
- 1 cup water distilled or boiled water for long-term use
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup castile soap
- 15-30 drops lavender essential oil or grapefruit, tea tree, lemon, or orange.
For cleaning WITH the toilet bowl cleaner:
- hydrogen peroxide see notes section below–this ingredient is NOT added with the ingredients above.
- Using a small funnel, add the liquid ingredients: water and castile soap to a squirt container or bottle. Then, add the baking soda. Shake to combine the ingredients, except the hydrogen peroxide.
- Place the top on the bottle (make sure the squirt top is closed!). Shake the bottle vigorously until the ingredients are combined.
- To Use: I recommend squirting the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet bowl, scrubbing the toilet, and then spraying straight hydrogen peroxide (straight from the bottle with a spray nozzle attached). Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit for a few minutes before flushing. You can also use vinegar in place of the hydrogen peroxide. This will not only clean, but also disinfect the toilet bowl.
Free PDF cheatsheet
How to Make Your Own Homemade Bathroom Cleaners
7 All-Time Favorite Recipes
I’ve been using your recipe for several months and really love it. I had been using those Clorox disposable ones until they now fall apart when you use them. I really believe the toilet bowl is whiter than when I used the clorox ones. Thanks so much for sharing!
That’s awesome, Sandy!
you don’t say how much hydrogen peroxide to use.
Hey Milica, It’s found under the recipe in the notes:
Originally this recipe called for 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide in the mix. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, when combined, needs to be de-gased regularly to avoid a gas buildup (and an “explosion” of the ingredients when a bottle is opened). To avoid this possible issue, I’ve adjusted the recipe. Instead of adding the hydrogen peroxide (a great disinfectant) to the cleaner bottle, I recommend squirting the cleaner in the toilet bowl, scrubbing the toilet, and then spraying straight hydrogen peroxide (straight from the bottle with a spray nozzle attached). Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit for a few minutes before flushing. You can also use vinegar in place of the hydrogen peroxide.
This method allows the toilet cleaner can sit for days and days without needing to be opened, and you’ll still get the disinfecting qualities of hydrogen peroxide.
If use the vinegar instead of hp . can I mix it in the bottle with the others? Also, would it be 1/4 cup vinegar?
You can’t mix vinegar with baking soda, so it would be best to keep it separate.
I’ve been using this cleaner for a while. Overall I’ve been happy with it, but in recent months, I’ve noticed a mildew of some sort growing in my toilet bowls. (EWWWW gross… I knew.) I use everything in the solution except for the 25 drops of a specific oil. I found another recipe that used a mix of cleaning oils, so I had opted for that mixture of orange, lemon, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus. The last time I cleaned I finally broke down and sprayed my toilet bowls with some bathroom cleaner with bleach that we keep on hand for little kids pooping in tubs… It got rid of all of the mildew that was growing, and I was wondering if there is an essential oil that is particularly good for killing fungus. I don’t want to have to spray this bathroom cleaner all that much since I’ve mostly phased on harsh chemical cleaners in my household. Suggestions?
I would use vinegar. Straight vinegar sprayed on the area. Another idea is to use baking soda sprinkled directly in the area and then scrub with a toilet brush. Both should take care of the issue.
Hello – I am looking into “DIY cleaning products” in order to save the environment (and save money!). I am interested in your loo cleaner recipe. I am currently using a natural powder cleaner I would be happy to carry on with but it’s £13 which is very expensive! I’d be interested in whether you could recreate something similar.
Also what would you recommend for cleaning a glass shower screen? I’ve been using a mixture of – you guessed it, baking powder and vinegar… Thank you!
You can spray your toilet with vinegar and sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on top of it and then use a toilet brush to clean. I would just recommend diluted vinegar for you glass shower.
Let me know if this helps!
Hi, I made the bathroom toilet cleaner. But I found it difficult for the baking soda to dissolve in the squirt bottle. What do you recommend? Should the water be room temp or hot when making the solution?
Also how long does it keep? Hopefully a month as I have only one bathroom to clean weekly.
P.s. everything is sparkly white and smells great!
Hey Julie Ann, Warm water is best. It won’t fully dissolve in the water, but should create a “squirtable” solution for cleaning. It will keep for about a month, if using distilled water.
Hi thanks for your post! I tried it out and mine is about the consistency of cottage cheese. Is that what yours is like?
Hey Amber, You can water it down a bit more if needs.
Just curious, does this work for many of your readers? I’ve just scrolled through the comments and I don’t see too many people chiming in that this worked, or didn’t work, for them. Am I missing something?
Hey Raffi, I only share recipes that I’ve personally used and work for me.
Love the toilet bowl cleaner. Thank you for the recipe.
> vinegar and baking soda cancel each other out and result in basically a water solution
THANK YOU! So many home-made cleaning recipes have this combo thinking the foam/bubbles indicate that it’s doing something. Can’t wait to try this recipe.
Just one small question. Can you use this wonderful concoction to clean and sanitize stainless steel kitchen sink?
Hey Lucie, I would test it out in a small area first.
What strength of peroxide do you recommend? 3.5% or 35%?
3.5%, the kind you’ll find in most drug stores.
If you use hydrogen peroxyde to disinfect, do you think it could be replaced by alcohol? I have a bottle around and it shouldn’t explode, right?
I’m completely new to DIY and I must admit it feels quite intimidating 😉
Hi! I’m going to attempt this.
After scrubbing the toilet bowl cleaner in toilet do you flush, then spray OR spray over the cleaner?
Hey Belinda, Yes, correct. I scrub, flush. Then spray.
I tried this in a spray bottle. I guess the baking soda has clogged the stem. Ive tried taking everything apart and rinsing multiple times, still cannot get it to work. (Bottle was brand new). This will need to be a job for a squirt bottle. My solution will sit until I have an empty squirt bottle. Awesome recipe though! I added a couple drops of sal suds to the recipe, can’t wait to use it!
Hey Em, Thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, I agree. This is a solution for a squirt bottle versus a spray bottle.
I see that castile soap comes in a variety of scents, have you tried any of them with the scents already added. I was wondering if I could skip the step of adding in the essential oils if I went with a scented castile soap? thanks so much!
Hey Stacey, You definitely could for scent. My favorite is orange.
Hi Kristin. I’m new to making my own cleaners so was looking up the ingredients and their other uses, and have a query on Hydrogen Peroxide. My reading suggests it comes in concentrated solution or 3% solution. Which do you use? i.e. do you use the diluted solution?
Hey Carol, Yes, that’s correct. I use 3% and that’s what I recommend for cleaning products. The latter can only be found in special stores.
Can this be used immediately? How many cleanings does make?
Hey Wendy, Yes, it can be used ASAP. It will last about a month, depending on how much is used.
I can’t believe I don’t see this question…but Where did you get this squirt bottle? Besides buying a dawn container and trashing the dawn & rinsing it out! Thanks!
Hey Stephanie, This bottle was a “green” dish soap. I had the bottle from using the dish soap and washed it out for this. I can’t remember the brand right now–it was from a local health food store.
That seems good,I’ll try it. Thanks for sharing. I also wash men’s shampoo empty bottles – which has stronger good smell- and put them in a spray, and then spray toilet seats for daily cleaning and it works well. I deep clean them once a week.