Zero Waste Tip: Make your own natural toilet cleaner

DIY Toilet Cleaner

Most toilet cleaners contain chlorine and other harmful chemical ingredients. But did you know that you could make your own natural, no nasty toilet cleaner with the added benefit of it being plastic-free? Here’s a quick and simple recipe for effervescent tablets that will descale and clean your toilet in only 5 minutes.

You can make this zero waste toilet cleaner with a few basic ingredients:

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a natural mineral found in rocks and has many uses as a natural cleaning agent. Sodium bicarbonate descales, removes odours, de-stains and can be used as an abrasive. It's commonly used in natural deodorants and even toothpaste. 

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a powerful descaler. It removes soap and water stains, plus it kills bacteria and fungi. Just what you would expect from a toilet cleaner. Citric acid is used in many cleaning products, but you would also find it in food. The combination of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate gives you the effervescent effect. 

Lemon and grapefruit essential oils

Essential oils have many uses and each oil has its own beneficial properties. Like lemon juice and citric acid, lemon essential oil is also fungicidal and bactericidal. Grapefruit has a similar effect and it is a good deodorant too. Of course, these oils will give your toilet cleaner an extra fresh scent as an added bonus.

You could add grated lime or lemon zest to your ingredients too. This looks great, gives an extra fresh scent and is the ideal way to dispose of citrus peels that you would otherwise throw away. You could use orange peels and add orange essential oil to your toilet cleaner too. All citrus fruits are suitable for this, so experiment!

The recipe

To make your toilet cleaner effervescent tablets:

Mix the sodium carbonate with the citric acid in a bowl

Add the essential oils and optionally the zest of citrus fruit and knead with your hands (if you have sensitive skin, it is best to use gloves)

Add a few drops or sprays of water to make it stick together more

Do not add too much water at once as this will cause the mixture to fizz

Fill your moulds or toilet block holder and press well

Leave to dry for a few hours and you're done!

Store your effervescent toilet blocks in a sealed glass jar. You can keep them for up to 3 months. If you have roommates, label your jar so that everyone knows that these effervescent blocks belong in the toilet and not in the bath!

To use your natural, home-made toilet cleaner:

Throw one or more of your homemade effervescent tablets into the toilet or hang your homemade toilet block in your toilet. The combination of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid makes it immediately effervesce in contact with water. The less water you have added, the longer the tablet or ball will continue to fizz. The effervescence enhances the descaling effect and allows the cleaner to work well.

The DIY basics for making your own cleaning products can be found at Droguerie Ecologique and Ecodoo. If you want to use other essential oils, take a look at the Tisserand range.

Looking for more green cleaning tips? Check out the Big Green Smile blog.