You probably don’t enjoy scrubbing the toilet, but the gleaming, freshly-scrubbed bowl is rewarding. Out of habit, many people reach for their regular commercial toilet bowl cleaner to achieve the shiny porcelain look. A more green approach to shining the toilet benefits you and the environment. Whether you want to mix your own natural toilet cleaner or purchase a green cleaner, there are options available.
Commercial toilet bowl cleaners include several toxic chemicals, including hydrochloric acid, chlorine and ammonia. When flushed down the toilet, these chemicals enter the water system. Water treatment facilities might not remove all the chemicals from the water.
By choosing a more green method to clean your toilet, you eliminate the harsh chemicals, both in your home and the water supply. No commercial cleaners on hand mean no chance for your child to accidentally ingest the chemicals. Green cleaners might also benefit your plumbing system since some chemicals in commercial cleaners are considered corrosive.
You probably already have the materials in your pantry to make a nontoxic toilet cleaner. Add a cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda in the toilet for cleaning purposes. Give the cleaner a few minutes to work before scrubbing with a toilet brush. You can also use two parts borax to one part lemon juice as a toilet cleaner.
There are green toilet cleaner options available at the store. Reading the label helps you figure out which option is best. Many cleaners use words such as “natural”, “biodegradable” or “non-toxic” on the label, but that doesn’t mean they are safe for you or the environment. The Green Guide notes that a package must include a warning of “Danger” and “Poison” if it is corrosive, flammable, irritating or has the potential for serious negative effects. “Warning” and “Caution” on the label means there is less hazard. Look for a designation on the package from the EPA Design for the Environment program for a cleaner that won’t harm you or the environment.
Regular cleaning keeps the toilet bowl under control, reducing the need for stronger cleaners. Even a quick daily scrub with the toilet brush alone can prevent grime from collecting in the toilet. Never mix different chemicals when cleaning the toilet. If you just used a commercial toilet cleaner, don’t follow it with a homemade cleaner, such as the baking soda and vinegar combination, as it could cause a dangerous reaction.