DIY Toilet Cleaning Fizzy Bombs
I love to make homemade cleaners but I’ll admit that making simple sprays for general cleaning has been much easier than coming up with a good homemade toilet bowl cleaner. I’ve tried a couple different homemade liquid mixtures for toilet bowl cleaning in the past, but had a continuing problem with the ingredients not staying mixed together. So now I’m taking a new approach – Fizzy Toilet Bombs!
The DIY fizzy toilet bombs are a homemade toilet bowl cleaning tablet that you can just toss in the toilet, let it fizz and dissolve, and then give the toilet a quick scrub with a brush. So far I’ve found it to be a super easy and natural way to get a clean and fresh toilet bowl with minimal effort.
But there is a little bit of trickiness to this recipe. You need to add enough liquid to the dry ingredients so that you have a fizzy reaction when it’s dropped in the toilet – BUT – not so much that things fizz and get sticky and will never dry into usable tablets when you’re making them. I learned through several failed batches to go really easy on the amount of vinegar that’s added to the two other ingredients (baking soda and citric acid). Let’s take a closer look:
How To Make Homemade Toilet Cleaning Tablets
Here are the two little tools that will make this recipe go well for you: a spray bottle and a melon baller. Here’s why . . .
This recipe begins by mixing together a 1/2 cup of baking soda and a 1/4 cup of citric acid. (Citric acid can be found by the canning supplies in stores). Once those are mixed together I add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture too. I like Eucalyptus and Tea Tree for this recipe.
Then, just a bit of vinegar is added to moisten the mixture to hold it together, and to create the fizzing reaction when they are used. This is where you need your spray bottle. You want to add just a couple sprays of vinegar, diffusing it lightly onto the mixture. (If you just pour the vinegar in, it will cause the mixture to fizz too much). I set my spray bottle as far towards a “misting” option as opposed to a “streaming” option too. You will probably only need one or two sprays.
This is also why I like to use a melon baller tool for this recipe. Once I have added the little bit of vinegar, I do a test using the melon baller to form a tablet. I pack some in, and then plop it out onto my hand. If it sticks together, you’re good! You only want enough vinegar added to hold things together and no more. As soon as the mixture holds together in the shape of your tablet, stop adding the vinegar. Again, you will probably only need one or two sprays of the vinegar.
I then use the melon baller to form the rest of the mixture into little tablets to be used as fizzy bombs. I drop them onto wax paper to dry out. They will still expand a bit more and be a little sticky on the bottom before they are completely dry. I usually get about 26 tablets from this recipe.
What Didn’t Work For Me
One of the little tricks I often see for this type of recipe is after the liquid is added, squeeze some of the mixture in your hand to see if it holds together to know if you’ve added enough liquid. When I tried this approach, I ALWAYS used too much vinegar. I’d keep squeezing and squeezing, and thinking, well I guess I need a bit more liquid. Nope! I could never find the sweet spot and always overdid it with this approach. That’s why packing the mixture into the thing I was going to use to form tablets worked much better. If it was holding together in that shape, then I knew that I was good!
I also didn’t have any luck using molds. It was too hard for me to know when things were totally dry, and too hard to get them popped back out of the mold. Once I started using a melon baller instead of molds, the whole process became a lot easier too! (It’s probably possible to use some other sort of small spoon if you don’t have a melon baller.)
Having the tablets all laid out on wax paper also helped me monitor them as they were drying, something I felt I couldn’t do as well when they were in molds. They will expand a bit more and get a little lumpier looking as the drying time goes along. After several hours go by, I move them around a little bit. If they are still sticking a bit to the wax paper, I know they aren’t thoroughly dry yet. It will probably take at least 8 to 12 hours for your tablets to totally dry out. I usually just let them set for an entire 24 hour day to be sure they are good and dry.
Simple and Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaning
So yes, I had to learn from my mistakes, but once I got everything figured out, I found this to be a really simple and natural way to clean the toilet bowl. You can store your fizzy bombs in a jar with a lid, and just toss one in the toilet bowl when you want to clean and freshen it (let it fizz and dissolve, and then give the bowl a quick scrub with your toilet brush).
I’ve always felt like store-bought toilet bowl cleaners are one of the strongest chemicals to have in the house too, so I’m loving that this is a very safe and natural option to have around.
Yes, now that the trial and error is over, I’ve discovered that it’s actually kind of fun to make your own toilet bowl bombs! (printable recipe below)
DIY Fizzy Toilet Bowl Cleaning Bombs
- Mixing Bowl
- Spray Bottle
- Melon Baller
- Sheet pan lined with wax paper
- 1/2 cup Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup Citric Acid
- 7 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (optional)
- 7 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)
- 1 or 2 sprays of White Vinegar
- Combine the baking soda and the citric acid in a mixing bowl.
- Add in the drops of essential oil if using and mix to combine.
- Put a small amount of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the baking soda/citric acid mixture one or two times and mix.
- Do a test by packing some of the mixture into the melon baller and seeing if the mixture will hold together when popped out. If not, add another spray of vinegar until the mixture will hold together in the shape you are using to form your homemade tablets.
- Continue to use the melon baller to shape the homemade toilet cleaning tablets, placing them on the wax paper lined sheet pan as you go.
- Let the homemade tablets dry for 12 to 24 hours, or until they are hard and no longer sticking to the wax paper. They will probably expand a bit more during the drying time.
- Store in a covered container to keep moisture out.
- To use: Toss one or two tablets in the toilet bowl. Let the tablet fizz and dissolve and then scrub the toilet bowl with a toilet brush and flush.
If I can give a tip for making these where you won’t get a bunch of fizzing while making. And I learned this when I was learning how to make bath bombs. Do not mix in the citric acid until you’ve mixed everything else together. If you mix the baking soda and all of the wet ingredients together first, and then mix in the citric acid, you have less chance of it fizzing up and no longer being usable. Hope this helps!
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Wish I’d seen this earlier today. I made some from another recipe and they didn’t emphasise how little water/vinegar was needed so my bombs expanded as they were drying 🙈 I also jarred them too soon as they didn’t advise and they seemed dry….queue an explosive lid shooting into the air a few minutes are putting the lid on! 🙈🤣
I’ll try your way next time!
Bev, I just came across your site today. Love the homemade cleaning supplies. Can you use the toilet bowl bombs on a septic system?
Thanks in advance
After doing some research I believe that Yes, they would be safe for septic as they contain no strong or harsh chemicals that could kill the helpful bacteria in the septic system.
Nice idea but did you try to make the balls with just the soda and citric acid then spray the the vinegar in the toilet before dropping the balls in? Would save all the trial and error. Just a thought
You’re welcome . . . I think you’ll like them Bill!
Are these OK for use in a septic system? will they interfere with the enzymes we have to add? Thanks!
My research showed that the items in this mixture are natural items that are safe to use in a septic system. My understanding is the main thing to avoid with septic tanks is too much bleach or other strong antibacterial, and this mixture is a milder option that does not have those strong chemicals.
In the soaping community, these are called “Fizzy Toilet Fresheners” and use Witch Hazel rather than the vinegar to hold them together until molded. The goal is to have the mixture feel like slightly wet sand. They are basically bath bombs without the extra oil and Polysorbate. I use a small flower mold to make them pretty and store in an empty (repurposed) Yankee Candle glass jar. I use lavender and tea tree as the scent or some citrus scent.
Thanks for that info Cathy! I might have to try a batch with the witch hazel instead of the vinegar and see how it goes.