Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipe – Non Toxic

A super duper easy recipe for making your own non-toxic and natural toilet bowl cleaner that really works. Bonus is that you won’t have to call poison control when your cute little toddler decides it might be a tasty drink!

My Merry Messy Life: Non Toxic Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

I love making my own cleaning supplies. First of all, they are WAY cheaper than the toxic, and very pricey non-toxic products you buy in the stores because most of the cleaners are of mostly water. Secondly, I’m not exposing myself or my family to all of the toxic chemicals readily found in nearly all of the products, eliminating the need to rush to the emergency room if one of my kids decides to take a swig of one of the cleaners (see my guide for getting started on making your own here).

I’ve almost completely switched over to making my own cleaning and beauty products at home to get rid of toxic chemicals in my house, but have been holding out on the toilet bowl cleaner. I’ve tried just sprinkling in some baking soda or borax, but wasn’t terribly happy with the results. I wanted something that cleaned just a bit better and a recipe finally came to me!

Non-Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipe gets the toilet squeaky clean!

There aren’t too many artistic pictures one can take of the crapper.

But first, I’d like to share what the EWG* (Environmental Working Group) rates my old favorite toilet bowl cleaner – Lysol Power. They (a team of scientists) test cosmetic and cleaning products and give them a grade based on the toxicity of their ingredients and my old, go-to toilet bowl cleaner gets a big fat F (read the report here). That’s bad, folks, bad! The first ingredient, Sodium Hypochlorite, gets and F for “developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, damage to vision, cancer, kidney and urinary effects, nervous system effects, digestive system effects,” among other things. I know this has splashed in my eyes several times as I scrub the bowl with the brush, so that’s pretty scary considering it causes vision damage.

That’s more than enough to convince me to make my own! And here’s my recipe. Just mix all the ingredients in a squirt bottle (I used an old body soap bottle). I use it just like I would the old stuff and squirt it around the top of the bowl, then scrub with a toilet brush. The castile soap works great to get it shiny and clean (have you been properly introduced to castile soap yet? It totally ROCKS, so much so that I wrote a whole post about it!), the baking soda is excellent for scrubbing without scratching the finish, and the essential oils leave a wonderful scent behind and help to disinfect. This recipe makes 16 ounces, or 2 cups.

Non-Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipe - Ingredients

Ingredients used in this recipe – Baking soda, castile soap and essential oils

The Recipe!

  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap – there are many different scents like lavender, almond, peppermint and more! (where to buy) (read more here about why I like Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps the best)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (I buy the huge bag (where to buy) since I make so many things with baking soda
  • 8-10 drops of essential oils to kill bacteria and freshen – I like to use lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, orange, Thieves or Purification (where to buy high quality essential oils)

Mix all ingredients in a 16 oz. or larger squirt bottle and gently shake or swish.
Squirt in the toilet bowl and use a brush to scrub it clean.

 To see all of my recipes using organic castile soap, click here.


How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. popped by for hookin on humpday and pinned this recipe for future use. I can’t wait to try it! I use those fresh brushes and feel like I am just throwing money away.
    BTW, the note on your artistic photo gave me a much needed giggle!

  2. This is essentially the same recipe I use– except mine has more baking soda (3/4 cup or so) and less castile soap (2 Tbsp.). It works great!!!!

  3. Susan Rooney says:

    I never really thought about what I was buying to clean my home with, until this year when I became really nauseated after using a certain cleaning product. It took most of the afternoon to feel better and my stomach to settle down. So I started to read (alot) and was shocked and immediately began making changes – the money saved is incredible and no more worries about what I or my family is being exposed to ! Thanks for your “recipes” !!!!

  4. I LOVE, LOVE LOVE Dr. Bronner’s castile soap!! Is there no end to it’s uses??!!

  5. I’d love to try this cleaner, sounds terrific! We have extremely hard water & it has left an etched ring in my bowl. The only way to remove the ring is to get in there with a pumice stone. Just wondering if this new cleaner may help…Thanks girls!

  6. I have used baking soda and vinegar for just about everything, and castile soap is great. I love making my own stuff, and am making my own hand lotion, soap, detergent, fabric softener, lip balm and anything else I can think of. I love your blog.

  7. Just an FYI. Aldi’s has the cheapest price I have ever found on baking soda – usually $.55 or less per pound box for store brand. I have used it exclusively for years now. I just can’t find a bulk price to beat it. Just thought the budget conscious would appreciate the benefit of my frugal tidbit.

    I do HAVE to try this cleanser – I think I have every ingredient on hand too! That makes it better that I don’t need to acquire anything else to try it. Thanks for keeping it simple.

  8. Maria Camacho says:

    I made this and so far this is the BEST recipe for toilet bowl cleaner, thanks!

  9. Can this be used with Septic Systems? My husband said to check.


    Patricia Harkness

    • I’ve only ever had a septic tank and have used it countless times with no adverse effects, but I can’t make any guarantees. It’s such a natural solution, I’d be shocked if it caused any harm to your tank.

  10. I have a eucalyptus tree (for some reason, it loves the spot I planted it in and is now 8 ft high) and was wondering if I could use the leaves from it for the fragrance, rather than using my small supply of essential eucalyptus oil.

  11. How long are homemade cleaners good for? I have thought about making my own cleaners but don’t use that much cleaner (only cleaning up after 1 🙂 ). Thanks!

    • I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve made mine many months ago and they still work great. It is important to get them in a dark, cool spot (like under the kitchen sink) as sun and heat will break down the chemicals over time.

      • Solutions like this should be kept in a glass bottle rather than plastic as over time, essential oils can cause plastic to degrade. A great source for steam-distilled, pure oils is doterra.com
        They are the only ones I use.

      • Exactly the info I was looking for! I loved trying this cleaner a few months ago. I absolutely love how the bathroom smells after using this cleaner!! Since I like making big batches of cleaners, I was curious if this would last after awhile. Thank you!

  12. Wow! I can’t wait to try this out! I’ve never heard of castile soap, so I’m very anxious to try it.
    I also work at a Sam’s Club and we have the 13½ lb. bags of A&H baking soda for only $6.87. It was over $18.00 on Amazon. Thanks for the posting….can’t wait to dive into your website! Ü

  13. Do you think it could be used for RV/ Travel Trailer toilets? I would love to have something to clean the yuckyness that 4 kids leave behind in our camper toilet, but I know that most normal toilet cleaners are not only harmful to kiddos and pets, but would destroy the toilet since it isn’t ceramic like household toilets.

  14. Will this remove heavy bown stains in a toilet?

  15. Christine says:

    I make my own shampoo with castile soap, water, baking soda, and essential oils – tea tree, lavender, clary sage and cedarwood (for their beneficial to hair properties.) It’s hilarious to think that I can wash my hair and my toilet with the same recipe!! I may adjust the oils in the toilet recipe though, just to make it more anti-bacterial.

    • Christine, Can you share your shampoo recipe? I have all the ingredients, even all the essential oils, that you mentioned. I’d love to try making my own shampoo! Thanks!

  16. Pebble Tedford says:

    Maybe I’m not reading this right, but how does adding water to the toilet bowl LOWER the level of water?

  17. Do you have to use the oil or is it for smell purposes? I am very new to the crunchy lifestyle.


  18. I am jumping on the “Green Train” a little late lol, but I am all in now! I am starting to make anything and everything I can at home with all natural/organic, safe/nontoxic ingredients and now I am asking myself, “What the heck took you so long!?” 😉 Anyway I just cleaned my toilet tonight first with vinegar and baking soda and then I mixed up your toilet bowl cleaner recipe and I don’t think my toilet has been this clean in a very long time. So goodbye Lysol! :p Thank you for the recipe! I have been looking at all of your green solutions and they all look great! I am I sure I will be back 🙂
    Olivia recently posted..I ♥ FallMy Profile

    • Olivia, it is never too late to go green and non-toxic :). Our bodies are so resilient that what you’re doing now will still be helpful. So glad you like the blog and thanks for stopping by! That’s awesome that the cleaner worked so well – thank you for letting me know!

  19. LOVE your site. I just bought the ingredients to make your favorite cleaning products. I found this toilet bowl cleaner, but for some reason I get an error and can’t see the recipe — only the ingredients. Can I find it elsewhere on your site?

  20. Apologies, I see only the comments — not the ingredients.

  21. Apologies again — new to this. When I scrolled back up, everything appeared.

  22. Thanks for sharing the recipe/formula with us. You’re right that we have to be serious about what we are exposed to; however, if a toddler should decide this is a tasty drink then a call to Poison Control is a MUST. Essential Oils should NEVER be taken internally.

  23. I’ve been hankering for a toilet bowl natural cleaner, and I’m so happy I’ve found one. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find liquid castile soap anywhere (I’m from Europe). Any advices on how to replace it, or with what? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • In Europe, cool! We lived in France for two years right after we were married – one of the best times of my whole life! Anyway, Dawn Dish liquid detergent is pretty mild and fairly non-toxic. You could try that or Seventh Generation’s liquid hand washing detergent.

      • France is beautiful. I’ve been to Paris and around (Ile-de-France) and it was extraordinary. Unfortunately, we don’t have Dawn Dish, or 7th Gen soap either. But I’m getting the bigger picture here on what to use – if it’s to use for anyone, it’ll be Frosch’s hand soap (they’re eco-friendly, and cruelty-free). Thanks a bunch! :))))

  24. Just tried this recipe & I am hooked! I thought you were kidding when you said super shiny! Not! It worked so good I decided to use it on my sink and tub as well. VERY happy with the results! I used lemongrass, orange, peppermint & tea tree oils & love the scent! SO glad I found your site! Can’t wait to try some of your hair recipes. I too am blessed/cursed with natural curly hair that I have a hard time taming. Thank you!

  25. Thank you so much for sharing! This was my first attempt at homemade toilet bowl cleaner and I have no need to try anything else! Works GREAT!!! 🙂

  26. You can also get the large bag of baking soda from Costco.

  27. And the soap can be purchased at Target in unscented for all of us with sensitivities.

  28. Would this also work as a shower/tub cleaner? Excited to try it!

  29. deutsche Reiniger für Küche says:

    I believe that it is non toxic, but I also think that it does not implement main task- to kill bacteria and mirobe 🙂 For that reason I would choose to buy, but not make it by myself :))

    • Well, that’s the power of essential oils. If used in the proper dilution, they do kill bacteria and mildew and mold. They are very powerful and effective, but the cleaning industry would certainly not want to you know that.

  30. Sara,

    This is all great! I have been searching the web the last few months and have switched over all of my cleaning products as well! The one problem I am finding is how to properly and safely dispose of the toxic ones I am replacing? I dumped out half a bottle of lysol and realized omg I am not helping the earth by doing this!!!???!! Any help would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • Yeah, I don’t think there’s a great solution for that. At least, I haven’t come across one. I threw mine in the trash – I figured it was the last time I’d ever do it, so I didn’t feel too badly about it. Pouring down the drain just sends it right back out into the public water supply, which isn’t great.

    • Check with your city. Most cities have a place to safely dispose of chemicals and paints. May or may not be a fee.

  31. finally got around to making this recipe and it works great! will definitely be a staple cleaner for me.

  32. Thank you, I have been looking for an ez home made toilet cleaner for years. Yes years. I us mostly vinegar and baking soda to clean but the toilet was always a challange. This works great, better then eco store bought brands and it’s cheap. I try not to us chemicals and have an almost paper free home (I still have toilet paper) I find not only is it better for you, but better for my bank account. I am looking forward to trying some other recipes.

  33. I tried your receipe today.Mine became very liquidy. Did I do anything wrong?I put some in squirt bottle and some in spray bottle. Both are working. Please help

    • Yep, it’s liquidy, Sandy! That’s how it’s supposed to be. You probably didn’t do anything wrong. It still works really well, though – natural things are a different consistency than toxic ones. You get used to it after a while, but it is strange at first.

  34. FYI – Fruitful Yield has gallon containers of Bonner’s Castille Soap.
    Also, Kirk’s bar castille soap has been around forever. It’s a nice mild bar soap for hand washing.

  35. I still can’t remove the stains from the water filling the bowl or the faint line that is at the water level in the bowl. Regular chemicals or your above formula. Any helpful hints??? I really do NOT like seeing them. Just feels/looks like I have a dirty toilet and I just cleaned it. Doesn’t look like rust. I am assuming it is hard water deposits. Thank you!

  36. I already use most of the supplies you are discussing and love them and I’m learning a lot from what I’m reading here, as well as getting some new recipes. I have a question though–my husband and I recently purchased a camper. Because of the rubber seals etc. you cannot use anything that will harden the seals over time. Also, I use a chemical in the “black” tank that I am told is essential . I use an all purpose liquid for campers, but I never feel like the toilet is clean and I’ve been afraid to use anything other than that recommended due to the chemical in the tank. Does anyone know if the baking soda/vinegar combination is ok to use in campers? Any interaction with the tank chemical/non hardening to the seals etc.?


  37. Just tried this recipe tonight since I had all the ingredients and it worked great! The toilets have never looked so super shiny since they were brand new. It’s bizarre to be excited about having a clean toilet but I am. lol
    For places I want to really disinfect I use a cotton ball pad and a little rubbing alcohol. A local show did a comparison of that method and the wipes out of the canisters. The lab results came back saying that for the wipes they had to be rubbed on a spot for a full 5 minutes to do what the manufacturer claims. Who does that??? A swipe of rubbing alcohol killed germs instantly. I use it for the handle and the areas that one touches lifting the lid and rim.
    Castile soap is also great for cleaning the kitchen sink. Especially if something has been in it that is greasy. Just a couple of drops out of the bottle and a quick wipe and rinse makes it shine.

  38. Hi Sara, I can’t wait to try this and I too have an empty bottle of Bronner’s ready to be used (as well as the other ingredients) however, I just want to be sure it’s okay to put the essential oils in the plastic? I read that it’s not a good idea but since it’s mixed with other ingredients maybe it’s fine?

  39. I’m just sad there isn’t a printable for this one like your other ones.

  40. Bleach is the common name of “Sodium Hypochlorite”. Calling it by a chemical name makes it sound scarier, but the truth is it’s just bleach. It’s corrosive, harmful, and unpleasant. But it’s super commonly used, and it really doesn’t cause the majority of people any problems in diluted doses. The thing is, it’s not necessary, and natural home-made cleaners are better 🙂 Thanks for the recipe. But please don’t scare people by using chemical names they haven’t heard of.

  41. The town I live in is nicknamed Lime City because of all the lime quarries in the area. Needless to say our water is so hard it comes out of the faucet in chunks! And yes, I have a good water softener, but still have lots of lime, calcium and rust deposits My tub has a “dimpled” bottom, supposedly to help keep you from slipping. Both tub and toilet have awful hard water deposits that I cannot seem to clean off, and were put in new about 6 or 7 years ago. I have used CLR, LIME AWAY, and every other cleaner the plumber, hardware store, and other people have recommended, to no avail How will this cleaner do in this situation?

    • Oh wow, I don’t know as that is some serious serious lime, Lynn! Sorry it’s so rough there. On another post I have, a lady just commented that she used vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (half and half) with a teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil and her hard water stains came out.

  42. I don’t like the smell of the common toilet cleaners and I also don’t like the fact that they are full with toxic ingredients. Thanks a lot for sharing this natural way of cleaning! Cricklewood Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  43. Hi Sara, wondering if this would be good for scrubbing my stainless steel kitchen sink…. Trying to find a natural alternative to Comet and Barkeepers friend!! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. This would work fine, but would get a little pricey, especially using a teaspoon of EO! I use 3 parts citrus infused white vinegar and 1 part Ajax dish soap. (NO phosphates.) I keep it in an empty dish soap container. If I need extra scrubbing I sprinkle in some baking soda.

    • Yes, you’re right, Carol! I wrote this recipe when I used much lesser quality essential oils, so it took a lot to get the same power and scent that Young Living essential oils offer. So, I just adjusted the recipe 8-10 drops should be sufficient for 16 oz.

  45. I’m a big fan of natural and DIY cleaners. I have a list and I’m definitely adding yours to it. Thank you for sharing it. I’m definitely showing this to my friends.

  46. Thank you for this great recipe. I’m a beginner at making my own cleaning products and this one seems to work perfectly good. I can’t wait to try it!

  47. Natassia says:

    Would this recipie work also with Dr Bronners Sal Suds?

  48. Hi! Amazing! How many toilet cleans is one batch good for? Also, would this be a good solution to cleaning sinks or could it be too abrasive?

    Thanks so much, this site is great 🙂

    • Hi Kristy! Oh, this lasts me a long time, I’m not sure exactly, but it lasts a while and I clean 3 toilets about every week or so. Emphasis on “so!” LOL And no, the solution isn’t abrasive at all. Baking soda is an excellent scrubber because it doesn’t scratch surfaces.

  49. I want a solution I can put into jar/vase to keep near the toilet and submerge a toilet brush in for daily cleaning. Is there a way to dilute this solution and still have it be effective? thanks!

    • Oh absolutely! If it is exposed to light and air, the essential oils in it would dissipate and not be effective for removing microorganisms, but it would still work to clean off dirt and yucky bits.

  50. Mary Eleanor Dixon says:

    As soon I saw this formula for a toilet cleaner, I had to use it ASAP! It was easy enough and if there wasn’t so much of a deposit of minerals on the water line it might have been fine. I scrubbed enough that it should have been shiny clean but it wasn’t. The parts that didn’t have the deposit turned out just fine but otherwise, I need to come up with another solution before I lose what I have left of sanity. I’m about ready to get a new toilet!

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