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4 All-Natural DIY Cleaners That Leave Your Toilet Sparkling — For Less

Find them right in your pantry!

Let’s face it, most of us don’t love to clean, and when it comes down to it, the bathroom is probably the room we dread cleaning the most. Not only is disinfecting the dirty toilet an unpleasant chore, but inhaling all the chemically-laden products we need to use to do it can leave us feeling worse. The good news? While we have yet to find a better alternative to scrubbing a toilet to get it clean, we have found a way to do it more naturally, safely and for less. Keep scrolling for 4 cleaning expert-approved DIY toilet bowl cleaner options using things you likely already have at home that clean as well as the store bought ones!

1. DIY toilet bowl cleaner: A vinegar and baking soda “fizz”

vinegar and baking soda for toilet bowl cleaner
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This 2-ingredient DIY toilet bowl cleaner, perfect for removing stains from the toilet, comes straight from your pantry! The first ingredient is vinegar. You might already know that vinegar is a powerful, multi-purpose staple in any household. thanks to its acetic acid, which makes it a potent disinfectant and deodorizer. (Click through for more uses for vinegar).

The second ingredient? Baking soda, a great disinfectant and deodorizer, and it will help whiten your toilet bowl for a clean, fresh sparkle! (Click through for more baking soda hacks).

To do: Pour 2 cups of white distilled vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes so it can work its magic. Then add 1 cup of baking soda. “This will create a fizz that will help lift any stains and grimy areas,” says Tonya Harris, founder of Slightly Greener and author of The Slightly Greener Method. Important to note: “Vinegar and baking soda neutralize each other, taking away any cleaning properties, so be sure to let the vinegar sit for 30 minutes before adding baking soda. If needed, you can repeat.”

To boost the cleaning ability and leave a fresh scent behind, consider adding an essential oil! “Try lemon essential oil for freshening or tea tree essential oil for a little extra cleaning boost,” adds Harris. Just add in 10-20 drops of the oil when you pour the vinegar into the bowl. (Click through for more ways to incorporate essential oils into your cleaning routine).

2. Toilet “bombs”

Toilet pods are a diy toilet bowl cleaner

When your toilet is in need of a cleaning, but you’re short on time, the last thing you want is to be furiously scrubbing at stains with a toilet brush. A better way: Use a simple cleaning bomb that can be prepared in advance.

Just combine ¼  cup of citric acid, 1 tsp. of castile liquid soap and 1 cup of baking soda. Then pour the mixture into the wells of an ice cube tray and let harden at room temperature for 24 hours. Simply drop a cube into the toilet once a week and flush for sparkling results. “The ‘toilet bomb’ will fizz, releasing scrubbing bubbles that remove buildup,” shares cleaning and DIY expert Jess Kielman of Mom 4 Real.

3. DIY toilet bowl cleaner: Washing soda

Though combining all-natural ingredients can certainly boost cleaning power, some are powerful enough that you can use them simply on their own. One 5-minute cleaning option: Washing soda. “It’s similar to baking soda but a bit more alkaline—around 11.5 pH,” says Enereyda Morales, a cleaner for Dallas Maids. “To ‘activate’ it, pour one cup of washing soda and a cup of boiling hot water into the bowl.”

After 5 minutes, while the water is still warm, grab your toilet brush and scrub the bowl. Washing soda is frequently used in laundry detergents for its ability to break down stains, so it will do the same on the porcelain. Tip for tough stains: Leave the powder in the toilet for up to 20 minutes before pouring in the hot water.

4. Citric acid

Another powerful, all-natural cleaning agent you’ll want to consider keeping handy? Citric acid. “It’s a natural acid found in citrus fruits and does a great job on hard water stains and build-up,” shares Guadalupe Gutierrez, a cleaner for Tidy Casa. The powder, found in the baking aisle (or quite possibly your pantry!), is known to kill bacteria and mildew as well. To use it, sprinkle a tablespoon into the toilet bowl. Add some hot (but not boiling water) and leave overnight. Citric acid helps break down stains and discoloration for great results.

Watch the citric acid method in action in the TikTok from @my_plastic_free_home below:

Related: Dodge the Side Effects of Commercial Cleaners With These DIY Cleaning Recipes

What *not* to use to clean your toilet

Though any of the above tricks will reveal a clean toilet, you might decide to whip up your own combination DIY toilet bowl cleaner. If you do, be sure to never combine bleach and vinegar, as this combo creates dangerous fumes that can be harmful and toxic.  

“This means don’t mix a bleach-based cleaner with a vinegar-based DIY cleaner,” advises Harris.

For more bathroom cleaning hacks, keep reading!

8 Easy Ways To Make Your Bathroom Smell Good + The TikTok Trick You Should Never Do

Experts Caution Against Using Baking Soda and Bleach for Mold — The $2 Toilet Bowl Cleaner To Use Instead

Hate Those Chalky Spots That Kill The Shine on Your Faucets? Us Too! *This* Lemon Juice Solution Works Better Than Pricey Cleaners

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