How to Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean a Toilet Naturally

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Use everyday household items to clean your toilet that both deodorize and scour it -- without creating harsh fumes or paying a high price. White vinegar and baking soda, when combined, create a chemical reaction that neutralizes odors, removes stains and disinfects. Make enough for a single-use application or create fizzy cleaning balls for quick cleaning when you need them.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda, 1 and 2/3 cups
  • White vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Dish soap, 1/2 cup
  • Water
  • Squirt bottle
  • Toilet brush
  • Measuring cup
  • Tea tree oil, 10 drops

Step 1: What to Do

  1. Stir together 1 and 2/3 cups of baking soda, 1/2 cup of dish soap, 1/2 of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.
  2. Use a fork to stir the solution until all the lumps are dissolved.  
  3. Pour the solution into the squirt bottle and shake thoroughly.
  4. Flush the toilet bowl, if needed.
  5. Spray the solution into the newly flushed toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush.
  6. Flush again.

Tip

  • After 30 days, use the same baking soda that you've used in your refrigerator to neutralize odors.

Step 2: Clean One Toilet at a Time

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in the freshly flushed toilet bowl; then add 10 drops of tea tree oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar.
  2. Let
    the solution bubble and fizz
    for 3 minutes.
  3. Scrub
    the toilet with the toilet bowl brush and flush.

Tip

  • White vinegar and distilled white vinegar are the same.

Make Cleaning Balls

Take the time to make your own effervescent toilet cleaning balls to toss in the toilet as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda, 1 cup
  • Citric acid, 1/4 cup
  • Fork
  • Small glass
  • Hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon
  • Vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon, plus 10 additional tablespoons
  • Essential oil, approximately 15 drops (optional)
  • Spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Sheet pan
  • Spritz bottle
  • Water

Let's Get Fizzy

  1. Add 1 cup of baking soda to a mixing bowl and separate any clumps with a fork.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of citric acid. 
  3. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in a small glass.
  4. Slowly add the mixture in the glass jar to the baking soda and citric acid combination in the bowl.
  5. Gingerly mix together the liquids and solids until combined.
  6. Add 15 drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender, and mix.
  7. Scoop the mixture using a 1/2-teaspoon-size spoon, and, with one hand, mold into balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper.
  8. Spray the balls with a solution made of 10 tablespoons water and 10 tablespoons vinegar to help hold the balls together.
  9. Let the balls dry overnight and store in a sealed glass jar that is clearly labeled “toilet cleaner.”
  10. When ready to use, drop a ball in a freshly flushed toilet. Flush again after the ball has stopped fizzing.

Tip

  • If you can't find citric acid, look for sour salt in your grocery store's spice aisle. Citric acid and sour salt are the same thing.

Warning

  • Quickly pouring the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mixture into the baking soda will create an overflow of bubbles.

Stains

Should stains persist despite cleaning with both baking soda and vinegar, treat the stains with vinegar.

  1. Flush
    the toilet.
  2. Pour
    in 3 cups of white vinegar.  
  3. Let
    it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub vigorously with a toilet brush, then flush again. 

Tip

  • The acetic acid in vinegar easily breaks up rust, stains and mineral deposits in toilets.

Other Bathroom Uses

Use the cleaning combination of baking soda and vinegar in other bathroom areas.

  • Drizzle
    baking soda over tile and wipe clean with a wet sponge
  • Remove
    film from your bathtub by wiping it down with a vinegar-soaked
    sponge, drizzling baking soda and then rinsing clean.
  • Drizzle
    baking soda in your sink and wipe clean with a wet sponge.
  • Treat
    hard water stains in your sink by wiping
    with a vinegar-soaked sponge.
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