That's free of caustic chemicals and fumes. 

By Caylin Harris
August 01, 2019
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Cleaning your bathroom (and especially the toilet) is likely at the bottom of your list of favorite things to do. But the result, a nice clean bathroom, is totally worth it. Make the process a little easier by ditching those chemical cleaners. Not only can the fumes make you feel lightheaded, but these products can be pricey, too. Save some money with a homemade toilet bowl cleaner combination that’s free of caustic chemicals and features some pantry staples you likely already have on hand.

To get the best, pro-approved toilet cleaning tips, we reached out to cleaning guru Becky Rapinchuk of Clean Mama for her easy DIY recipe for homemade toilet bowl cleaner. She broke it down for us in just three steps. 

What You'll Need:

  • Castile soap 
  • Baking soda 
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (optional)
  • Toilet bowl brush 

Follow These Steps:

  1. Dump a bucket of water into the toilet to manually lower the water level. Why is this necessary? You want as much of the interior toilet exposed as possible, and lowering the water level keeps the cleaner from getting too diluted before you’re able to scrub. 
  2. Squirt Castile soap, (Dr. Bronner’s is a favorite of mine) under the rim of the toilet like you would a toilet bowl cleaner. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda. It gives the soap a little extra scrubbing power, thanks to its slightly abrasive texture. Using your toilet bowl brush, scrub the toilet bowl, then flush.
  3. To disinfect, Rapinchuk keeps a bottle of hydrogen peroxide with a spray top in her bathroom. Not only will it work to sanitize the rest of the toilet, but it can disinfect the toilet brush. After you’ve cleaned the seat, place the brush between the bowl and the seat, so it’s suspended over the inside of the toilet. Spray the brush with hydrogen peroxide and let it dry before placing it back into its holder.

How to Clean Tough Toilet Bowl Stains:

If you’re dealing with tough stains or mineral deposits (that annoying ring caused by hard water) here are some super-powered, store-bought solutions that are worth ordering. 

Pumice Stone: For hard water stains, you'll want to scrub with a pumice stone. Rapinchuk recommends the Pumie ($11, amazon.com), a pumice stone with a handle that takes the "ick" factor out of the equation. 

Oxygen Whitener: If you want to boost the cleaning power of your homemade toilet bowl cleaner, try this chlorine-free bleach, which is usually a combination of sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, citric acid, and essential oils (such as Molly's Suds, $12, amazon.com). Rapinchuk adds three tablespoons to the inside of her toilet and lets it sit for fifteen minutes. 

We tried it! I tested out this gentler, but still effective method myself with fantastic results. Not only did I love that I got to use my big bottle of Castile soap—its uses are endless—but it was really nice to not feel like I should be wearing a respirator while cleaning the bathroom. Harsher chemical cleaners in such a small space make me feel absolutely awful, so it was refreshing to get a freshly scrubbed toilet without using them!

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