I’ve been adventuring outside my kitchen comfort zone again! This time in the field of house cleaning, or more specifically bathroom cleaning.
I came across this homemade toilet bowl cleaner a while ago, but I was waiting until my store-bought bottle of bowl cleaner ran out to try it. Well, my cleaner ran out and I couldn’t wait any longer to clean the toilet (let’s face it, nobody likes cleaning the toilet), so I finally tried this homemade cleaner.
My conclusion: it’s not any more difficult to use than a store-bought cleaner, it’s way cheaper, and it uses supplies you probably already have around the house. And, for all you moms out there, it is non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about using harsh chemicals around your kids (or pets). Sounds like a keeper to me!
1 cup baking soda [softens water, cleans, deodorizes, scours]
1 cup white distilled vinegar [cuts grease; removes mildew, odors, some stains, and wax build-up]
spray bottle (optional)*
*I recommend using a heavy-duty spray bottle because they provide a strong spray stream. It can be found in the cleaning supplies aisle of the grocery store.
Similar homemade bowl cleaner recipes are all over the internet. Some just leave the water in the bowl and have you dump the cleaner into it. But to me that seems a bit counterproductive because the water dilutes the cleaner.
Others have you flush the water out of the bowl before cleaning by either: 1. turning off the water valve and flushing until there is no more water in the bowl, or 2. pouring a bucket of water into the bowl to flush the bowl water out. I’m not really a fan of either of those options because it seems like such a waste of water. So, I found another option that doesn’t waste any water: plunging the bowl water out. (I would link to the site where I discovered this idea, but I can’t find the link anymore.)
Adapted from the Bathroom of: One Good Thing by Jillee
Use the plunger in the toilet as you normally would, but instead of dislodging a clog you will be pushing the water out. Try to get out as much water as you can; all of it may not plunge out but you can get most of it out.
Sprinkle baking soda all around the inside of the bowl (even up under the rim), then either spray or pour vinegar into toilet. There will be some bubbling, which is a harmless chemical reaction.
Note: I recommend setting the sprayer to heavy mist to spray the bowl, otherwise the vinegar will wash the baking soda into the water at the very bottom of the bowl. But use the stream setting to spray up under the rim.
When the bubbling has subsided, scrub the toilet with toilet brush. After scrubbing, spray another light mist of vinegar all around inside of bowl. Leave vinegar and baking soda in the toilet for a few hours or even overnight.
Scrub the toilet one more time, then flush to rinse away the cleaner.
Before & After
I apologize for the gross Before photos, but they are necessary for an effective Before & After comparison.
Check out the bottom left photo; Tiger made a cameo appearance!
- You may see a little dirt in the hole at the bottom of the bowl after it had been cleaned. That came off the plunger, which had been outside, and it was easily flushed away.
- It is possible to plunge more water out of the toilet than shown in these photos. I have used this cleaner again since the first attempt pictured above, and I was able to plunge the water completely out of the bowl with some only remaining in the hole at the bottom of the bowl.
- It’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars to get a sturdy, long-handled plunger and toilet scrubber. Russell and I bought the cheapest ones available at Target when we first moved into our house; they get the job done but I have to work a lot harder.
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