How to (naturally) Clean Your Toilet
To naturally clean your toilet, means throwing away toxic toilet cleaners and bleaches, and switching to more natural products. Without getting too icky, cleaning up your diet and cutting down on alcohol will make the job easier. Securely wrap and bin all toxic chemicals. Also see biodegradable bathroom cleaners, all-purpose cleaning brands and make your own cleaning products.
Never mix any cleaner with bleach and avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing/babies. Read why you should not harm spiders (most will die if put outside) and use humane methods to deter ants, mice etc.
Avoid essential oils and Borax/alternatives near pets (close toilet lids, after cleaning). See toxic houseplants to avoid near pets (plants don’t clean the air, this is a 30-year old myth – just brushing a tail against a lily or sago palm can harm). Avoid using disinfectants near pets (if they walk on floors cleaned with them then lick their paws, Erin Heights Vet Hospital says Dettol destroys bacteria walls) and Veterinary Poisons Information Service says Zoflora can cause ulcers).
- If You Care Fair Trade rubber gloves are lined with natural cotton (use a separate pair for the dishwasher). These are packed in recycled cardboard, with nontoxic glues and vegetable inks. Air-dry and store away from sunlight, avoid use with corrosive substances). Use with biodegradable cleaning cloths.
- Bio-D Toilet Cleaner (also in bulk size and big bulk size) is sold in recycled plastic bottles, often found in health stores and farm shops with refill stations. Safe for cess pits and septic tanks, with lemongrass oil.
- ElmKind Peppermint Toilet Cleaner (Devon) is made with organic ingredients, sold in an aluminium bottle with stainless steel pourer, for easy use. The 500ml refill concentrate makes 5 more bottles (most councils take plastic spray tops in housing recycling). A minimum 5% profits help animal welfare and ocean clean-up.
- Instead of pumice stones (which can damage enamel), to remove mineral deposits add 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda (not food grade) to toilet pan, then add 1 cup of cleaning vinegar (not food grade). Then add another cup of vinegar and leave for 30 minutes, without flushing. Do not use vinegar on stone/unsealed grout/waxed surfaces (dilute well and wear gloves). Add a little cleaning vinegar to laundry, to remove ‘pee smell’ of soiled laundry or bath mats, for boys or men who miss their aim!
Zero Waste Toilet Brushes
- Eco Living Toilet Brush Set includes a sustainable beech wood brush and vintage-style metal holder (or use the steel bucket version or just buy the brush). Made in Germany, this is durable and effective, and composts at end of use.
- Toilet brushes with plastic bristles can shed hairs that end up in the ocean, and harm marine wildlife. Flush Brush has a permanent handle and silicone head (this stops microplastics going down the pan when you use it). If you use a plastic brush, choose a long-lasting one like OXO Good Grips and Joseph Joseph.