Whole Home Detox: How to Clean A Toilet (Without Chemicals)

One question a get a lot regarding my home detox is “How do you clean your toilet without chemicals?”

For years I used to think I needed to assault my commode with a deadly concoction of chemical cleaners.  I think my signature cocktail used to be some overly concerned mixture of 409, Scrubbing Bubbles and Comet.

How to clean a toilet without toxic chemicals

Gah.  I scare myself.

Baking soda and vinegar are all I use these days get that puppy sparkling.

How to Clean A Toilet Naturally

How to clean a toilet without chemicals

Of course, there is more than one way to clean a toilet naturally, but I’m going to give you the simplest and most effective version.  ‘Cause I really don’t need any additional reasons to avoid cleaning the toilet.

First, I grab my giant bag of baking soda  from Costco.

Cleaning a toilet with baking soda

I scoop a generous 1/4 cup right into the toilet bowl.  I s’pose you don’t have to use that much, but I like to.

Baking soda for toilet cleaning

How to clean a toilet bowl with baking soda

I try to sprinkle it around so that it sticks to the sides of the bowl a bit.

How to Clean A toilet with baking soda

Then, I grab my giant bottle of vinegar and pour a couple of bountiful glugs right on top of my baking soda.  No measurement here folks, just pure generosity.

Cleaning a toilet with vinegar

How to clean a toilet bowl with vinegar

The mixture should get all bubbly and fizzy like a science project.  (Ooooooooooo.)

Don’t be scared.  It’s all-natural ‘n stuff.

Baking soda and vinegar for toilet bowl cleaning

For a little extra disinfectant power, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil right into the bowl.  (I ordered this one from Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can also get it on Amazon.com).   It’s not a must, but will boost the disinfecting power of the vinegar a bit.

Tea tree oil for toilet bowl cleaning

Tea tree oil for toilet cleaning

Now I let it set for 5-10 minutes while I run off and do other things.

Usually, I take this time to wipe down the outside of the toilet with all-purpose cleaner.   I spray it on the seat and let it set for a bit while I clean the rest of the toilet.

All purpose cleaner for toilet cleaning

Again, if you want a little extra disinfecting power, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to the all-purpose cleaner as well.  (If you’re going to do this, you should technically use glass spray bottles because the essential oil can break down the plastic over time.  I don’t have glass bottles, but I add EO to my plastic spray bottles anyways….because well, I’m a rebel like that.)

When my 5-10 minutes are up, I grab my toilet brush and give the bowl a real good scrubbing. You might have to repeat the process if you have a super icky toilet that hasn’t had much attention lately.  Mine gets cleaned at least every two weeks, so once will get the job done. (It’s our only bathroom, so this toilet sees 100% of our bathroom traffic).

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Now enjoy your sparkling clean toilet, you domestic goddess.  (Or god, we don’t discriminate here).

Now I know what you’re going to say:

“HUFF.  Your toilet isn’t even dirty!  Your life is perfect.”

Duh, no…and no.  (Did you really think I was going to post pictures of my dirty toilet all over Pinterest?)

Oh, and…

Lest you think me overly crunch, you need to know that I don’t always clean my toilet naturally.

Folks, there are few things in the world that will send me into militant sanitary mode faster than someone tossing their cookies in my vicinity, or specifically, my bathroom.   When it comes to threats of gastroenteritis, you can forget cute, labeled bottles of vinegar and tea tree oil.  I break out the big guns: liquid chlorine bleach, foo’.

That’s right.  My home has technically been detoxed, if you don’t count the bottle of emergency bleach in my garage.

If there has been throw-up in my toilet, I will not, I repeat, I will not hesitate to rapidly annihilate those foul Norovirus germs with a generous, caustic dose of bleach from my emergency stash.  Oh-ho-ho, yes.  YOU. WILL. DIE.

Clorox

(Norovirus is a germ that has proven resistant to almost all means of elimination aside from a bleach solution.)

We-hell then. On to happier times.

It really is amazing what good ol’ vinegar and baking soda can do for a well-loved commode!

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Take your toxic toilet cleaners to a nearby hazardous waste facility this weekend and replace them with vinegar and baking soda.  More room in your cabinet, and less of your budget spent on cleaners. (Keep an emergency stash of bleach if you must…and I MUST.)

Pretty cool, huh? Did you know that you only need four inexpensive ingredients to keep your house clean?  In case you were on a roll, here are some other easy, DIY cleaning recipes:

Magic Tub and Shower Cleaner

Simply Amazing DIY Granite Cleaner

All-Purpose and Glass Cleaner

How to Clean A Glass-Ceramic Stovetop Naturally

Best Non-Toxic Dish Soaps

 

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  • Rebecca

    The bleach confessional is hilar!
    I could do this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Maria

    Love it! I’m kind of the same. I stick to green cleaning methods/products but if I really need to, I will pull out the bleach!

  • Wzy

    Way to go! I am gonna make mine now. I use vinegar for cleaning everywhere else, but thought it too gentle for the toilet. Don’t have tea tree right now, but cedar leaf oil which I’ve read kills bacteria and most fungal spores so I think that’ll work. : )

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Great tip on the cedar leaf! Thank you!

  • T Jean

    Daily, mine gets a health squirt of the dillutet Castile soap we use for almost everything and a good scrub. My service pup (27″ @ the shoulders) preferred the recently filled bowel as his beard collects more dirt than I thought possible and turns the water dish to mud with a few laps. The baking soda and vinegar routine weakly but any sign of GI bugs and it bleaching it gets. I worked as a biologist before my SCI/TBI injury, so I use the least noxious way to get the job done. Nothing less than ripping those little beasties apart is good enough for me when using a water based commode.