Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner


Over the past few years I’ve discovered that it’s really pretty dog-gone simple to make your own cleaning products, and they work great too!

I’m now in the habit of always making my own homemade all purpose cleaner, my own homemade soft scrub, my own homemade window cleaner, and I even make my own Goo Gone!

But there’s one homemade cleaning product that I’m still working on adding to my collection, and that’s a good homemade toilet bowl cleaner.

The most popular recipe that I keep coming across all the time to make your own toilet bowl cleaner uses vinegar and baking soda.  I haven’t been too excited about that recipe ever since I read this article on the Crunchy Betty website that explains that vinegar and baking soda basically neutralize each other and what you’re really creating with all the fizzing that goes on is just a dilute solution of sodium acetate in water.  Not too impressive.

Instead I’ve been experimenting with a dry mixture of baking soda, borax, and salt that I shake in the toilet bowl.  It seems to work pretty good, but I was kind of missing a liquid cleaner that I could squirt up under the rim of the bowl.  It also seemed like I went through that dry mixture really fast.  It’s just too easy to dump a whole bunch in the toilet before you realize it.

So when I came across this recipe for a natural and non-toxic liquid toilet bowl cleaner on the My Merry Messy Life site, I decided to give it a try, and I’m liking it so far!  It’s a mixture of liquid castile soap and baking soda in water that you can put in a squirt bottle so it feels more like a traditional toilet bowl cleaner.

homemade toilet bowl cleaner


The recipe makes a 16 oz batch and I was thrifty and put mine in a recycled dish soap bottle.  I also used the Eucalyptus scent of castile soap which I LOVE in cleaners, I guess because it kind of smells like ole-timey Pine Sol.

I then finished up by adding in some tea tree essential oil for an extra disinfecting boost.

Here’s how to do it:

Update July, 2014 – After using this recipe for a few months I made a few small changes.  Read more here:  Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner:  The Update

Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Adapted from:  My Merry Messy Life


I combined the water and baking soda in a bowl first.  I did this because it was hard to get the baking soda in the bottle, and it also let me stir the baking soda around to get it dissolved.  I then transferred it to my squirt bottle using a funnel.  Next, I added in the castile soap (also using my funnel), and then dropped in the essential oil.

To use, squirt in the toilet bowl and scrub with a brush to clean.

NOW, I made mention above that I wasn’t too keen on mixing baking soda and vinegar because of what results from the chemical reaction.  I should note here that when I mixed the castile soap in with the baking soda/water, the whole mixture turned white!  Why?

I have no idea . . . but I’m hoping it’s a good thing.


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  1. Hiya! Just a random question you will probably find hilarious…I tried googling it but no luck, but anyway a couple of years back I used borax and washing soda individually as toilet bowl cleaners ( since I never got around to making the laundry powder) and anyway…I think a month into using the washing soda, I start to notice it looks like some left over powder on the very bottom of the toilet bowl..but never paid much attention to it…another few weeks pass by and on a clean toilet I take a closer look and prod at this “powder”….on go the gloves, and I pull out a literal “bar of soap sized” piece of what I could only assume was the washing soda!!!! Hard as a rock, it couldn’t even be broken by hand…needless to say I never used washing soda or borax as toilet bowl cleaners ever again!!
    Could this ever be an issue if you make your own washing powder for your machine?? I’d hate to think the blockage it could have caused in a smaller pipe…

  2. Do you make up any of the cleaning solutions in advance? For instance, could you have the baking soda/essential oils already mixed and store them that way, just adding mixing in a small bowl with water and soup when it’s time to clean? Just wondering as I’d like to not have to measure everything out each time I need to clean

    1. The main thing I make ahead is my vinegar & water cleaning mixture (a 50/50 mix). I make a gallon of it, and then just refill my spray bottle with it as needed. Most of my other solutions make 16 oz mixtures which lasts me several months so that works for me. I do keep a container of baking soda that I have scented with an essential oil, so that strategy would certainly work if you wanted to make that up ahead of time.

    1. You probably could substitute Dawn but it will suds more. I would try cutting the amount of soap by about half (maybe just 2 Tbl instead of the 1/4 cup).

  3. Am I correct in assuming that you don’t use this whole recipe for one cleaning? Just as needed and the rest will keep until you need it again?

    1. Yes, that’s correct. I shake the container each time before using and then squirt some around the toilet bowl as needed.

    1. I think you could substitute Sal Suds. Sal Suds is a concentrated cleaner, so you might be able to use a little less of it than the castile soap.

  4. living outside the u.s. ( Greece/Europe) what can liquid Castile soap be replaced with? I don’t think I have seen it sold here.. any ideas?.a.m.

    1. Castile soap is available to buy on Amazon so that could be an option for you. Another thought would be to substitute dishwashiing liquid for the castile soap.

    1. Yes, it will work without the tea tree oil, however I like to add it because tea tree is known to have good disinfecting properties that give it a little extra boost.