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All-Natural DIY Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Borax and lemons OR baking soda and white vinegar are all you need to make homemade toilet bowl cleaner.

Borax and lemons OR baking soda and white vinegar are all you need to make homemade toilet bowl cleaner.

Ingredients for Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

There are actually two very good recipes you can use for cleaning your toilet bowl. If you make other homemade cleaners, you probably already have these ingredients in your home. Both will clean your toilet effectively, but I choose to clean my toilet on a regular basis with the first recipe, and then once a month, I use the second recipe and really scrub the toilet bowl to try to reduce the hard water stains I have.

Below are the ingredients used in the recipes and the cleaning properties that make them a good choice for cleaning one of the dirtiest objects in your home. All ingredients occur naturally in the environment, are safe to use around pets and children, and are bio-degradable.

IngredientCleaning Properties

Baking soda

Scours tough stains, neutralizes and eliminates odors

White distilled vinegar

Eliminates odors, removes stains, disinfects


Disinfects, eliminates odors, softens water

Lemon juice

Kills many different types of bacteria, removes and lightens many stains

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipes

Recipe #1: Baking Soda and White Vinegar

This first recipe is the easiest to use and most people have these two ingredients in their home at all times. You can even keep a small shaker bottle with baking soda and small spray bottle with vinegar in your bathroom at all times for quick and easy cleaning.

You will need EQUAL parts of baking soda and white vinegar. Most toilets will come clean with about 3/4 cup of each ingredient, but you can adjust if needed.

Pour the baking soda into the toilet bowl and get it all over the inside of the toilet by using a toilet brush. Then spray or pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub again with the toilet brush. (There will be some fizzing). Flush the toilet. NOTE: Spraying the vinegar works well at getting up under the rim of the toilet bowl.

Recipe #2: Borax and Lemon Juice

This recipe works better for people that have hard water or have stains in their toilet. Over time the Borax and lemon juice will help lighten and even remove the stains. You will need 3/4 cup of Borax and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (which is about how much juice comes from one freshly squeezed lemon).

Sprinkle the Borax into the toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. Let it sit for an hour. After an hour, pour in the lemon juice and scrub the toilet again and then flush the toilet.

You can also sprinkle Borax on a fresh-cut lemon (after you have poured Borax in the toilet bowl and scrubbed a little with the toilet brush) and scrub under the rim with the lemon and Borax powder. As you are scrubbing with the Borax and lemon, lemon juice will go into the toilet bowl and mix with the Borax in the water. Let it all sit for an hour before flushing.

As you will see in the photos below I have toilets with hard water stains. The stains and even worn-off enamel were there when we bought the house and even high-quality commercial cleaners would not remove them.

Over time, I have actually been able to lighten them and even prevent more stains by using the Borax and lemon cleaning recipe. I like to use the vinegar and baking soda for quick cleaning and then do the Borax recipe once a month.

Other Uses for Borax

Here are some other ways you can use Borax in your home:

  • Laundry detergent booster
  • Ingredient for homemade dishwasher powder
  • Kill and repel fleas in carpets
  • Clean carpet stains
  • Kill ants
  • Make homemade silly putty for kids (see video)

Cleaning the Outside of Your Toilet

Both lemon juice and white vinegar are great for cleaning the outside of your toilet. You can spray your toilet with either ingredient and wipe with a clean damp rag. You can mix vinegar and lemon juice together as well for a stronger cleaning spray. If you want to save money, you can dilute the lemon juice or vinegar with some water.

If you clean the outside of your toilet every day or several times a week, the diluted version works very well at keeping it clean, disinfected, and smelling nice. The lemon juice has a more pleasant smell than the vinegar, but the vinegar smell does go away after a few minutes.

Cleaning Schedule Poll

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


chrissieklinger (author) from Pennsylvania on April 09, 2013:

Bleach is an awful smell and can do damage to many surfaces. Glad you liked the article!

Cholee Clay from Wisconsin on April 09, 2013:

What a great and useful hub! I've been looking for better ways to clean that don't leave that awful bleach/chemical smell. I will definitely be trying this and cleaning my toilet more often. Amazing what common household items can do :)

chrissieklinger (author) from Pennsylvania on March 27, 2013:

The stuff has quite a history. The box it comes in looks very different now that might be why you haven't noticed it at stores. If you use it for as much as I do, getting it from Amazon is the way to go.

Judy Specht from California on March 26, 2013:

Amazing, I thought that Borax was totally gone. We were in Boron,California a year ago. It has a nice museum on the twenty mule teams and how they mine borax if you ever get there.

chrissieklinger (author) from Pennsylvania on March 26, 2013:

I have found it in the laundry aisle at the grocery store and Walmart. You can also order it on Amazon.

Judy Specht from California on March 26, 2013:

Where on earth do you find Borax these days?

chrissieklinger (author) from Pennsylvania on March 26, 2013:

I stay away from bleach, lemons and vinegar will kill germs and unless you have the flu going around in your house or major mold or mildew issues, you should be fine to cut back on the bleach. Thanks for sharing your story!

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on March 25, 2013:

Okay, so I wrote this hub on why I love to clean, and was found by a "Reality TV scout, and was featured on a show about cleaning. Eventually a Youtube was released showing me cleaning my toilet with bleach, and boy was I vilified for using bleach so much. I said all of that to say this, I probably need to consider using this method. Thanks for this hub, and I really will look into using these methods.

Very useful hub. Voted up, useful, interesting.