Every so often I get the joy of sharing subjects very close to my heart. This is not one of them.
How to use Dr. Bronner’s products to clean toilets is a common question I get, and hopefully a regular task for all of us.
As I say in the video, toilet bowl cleaner was the last conventional cleaning product I gave up in my green transition. I liked the color, I liked the smell, I liked the peace of mind. Yeah, it sounds like I was a little too cozy with my toilet bowl cleaner.
Even though cleaning ingredients don’t have to be listed on a label and rarely are, the required hazard statements you find readily on bowl cleaners give you enough of an idea that this is not-nice stuff. Go ahead and read a few. I’ll wait.
Eventually, I couldn’t ignore the fact that toilet bowl cleaner is one of the harshest of household cleaners. All it would take is one “Oops” from me, or a kid or a dog getting somewhere they’re not supposed to, which happens, and I’d have a real problem. Plus I have a septic system which relies on helpful bacteria and enzymes to work. Killing them all with bleach is entirely counterproductive.
There is more than one way to do this. Do you prefer Sal Suds? Castile Soap? Pick whichever method, whichever product you like best and gets the task behind you.
To begin with, if you’d like, turn off the water to the bowl and empty with a flush. This is entirely optional. Many household toilets have a valve at the wall that you can twist. Emptying the bowl lets the cleaner sit on the walls of the bowl without being diluted in the water.
Method 1: Make an All-Purpose Spray with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (1/4 c. [60 mL] in a quart [1 L] of water) or Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner (1 Tbsp. [15 mL] in a quart [1 L] of water) with 20 drops Tea Tree essential oil (optional). Spray the bowl thoroughly and brush with a toilet brush.
Method 2: Squirt a very small amount of the undiluted Castile Soap or an even smaller amount of the Sal Suds directly on to the toilet bowl brush. Brush the bowl thoroughly.
Boost for Methods 1 or 2: For extra scrubbing, sprinkle baking soda onto your toilet brush before scrubbing.
Method 3: Science up a batch of GIY Soft Scrub with the Castile Soap. Squirt that around the bowl, under the rim and brush well.
Whichever method you choose, once you brush the bowl, let cleaner sit there for about 10 minutes for maximum effectiveness. Then give the bowl a final scrub, turn the water back on if you turned it off, and flush.
Let’s wrap up with a little relevant middle school humor. Welcome to my world.
The police station toilets were stolen. Investigators have nothing to go on.
Ok. I’ll stop.
Why do you never hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the P is silent.
Hello, I wanted to ask if it is safe to pour some dr. bronner’s castile soap into my toilet if I already use the blue ty d bol liquid that hangs inside the tank? Can they mix safely?
Hi Sherry- I recommend not mixing brand name cleaners. While all of our products are clearly on the label, some ingredients in other brand name products are propriety and there’s no way to know for certain if there would be an interaction.
Hi, can it be used in the toilet tank as well? I want to mix it with some vinegar and baking soda
Hi Jess- You can put the Sal Suds or Castile in the tank, but I don’t see the benefit of doing this. There isn’t much way that the tank gets dirty, and one flush of the toilet would transfer it all into the bowl anyways. Combining vinegar with baking soda in the tank will cause a fizzy reaction, but this does not have any cleaning powers.
Interesting… sounds great
LOLOL!!! I needed that this morning. Now I’ll go clean my bathroom…..thanks! 🙂
I found this site because I wanted to confirm I hadn’t made a regrettable mistake by cleaning a toilet using Sal Suds a few days ago. I was too lazy to go upstairs to get the bottle of purchased green toilet cleaner and I thought, why not, Sal Suds is great and it’s the pine scent I like anyway. It did the trick. This will simplify my shopping list, because I don’t see the point in buying pre-diluted products.
Hi Deb- I’m glad you found my blog! Sal Suds cleans just about anything that can get wet. Check out the Cheat Sheet for a whole slew of uses and dilutions: https://www.lisabronner.com/sal-suds-dilution-cheat-sheet/
The music in the video is so loud I find it difficult to hear what’s said.
Hi Emm- I’m so sorry to hear that and will take the volume of the music into consideration in future videos. I hope you found what you need in the written post.
[…] I clean toilets a different way every week. Variety is the spice of life, right? […]
Is the sal suds all purpose cleaner gentle enough to use as a cleaner on a glazed bathtub?(landlord asked if we could do that)& it’s also strong enough to tackle hard water in the toilet?
Hi Melissa- Sal Suds is gentle enough for a glazed tub. You can mix up an All-Purpose Spray with 1 Tbsp. Sal Suds in a spray bottle with a quart of water. Spray and wipe with a damp cloth. Sal Suds is find to clean hard water build up too. For stubborn stains, sprinkle a little baking soda on a brush for scouring action.
[…] Toilet Cleaning with Dr. Bronner’s […]
[…] Toilet Cleaning with Dr. Bronner’s […]
Is the Sals Suds an enzyme cleaner? Thanks for the video!
Hi Denise – No, Sal Suds is not an enzyme cleaner. It is a mild detergent surfactant – which means it bonds with dirt and grime and carries it away. It doesn’t break down elements as enzymes do.
Will this solve the toilet bowl ring, because that just never seems to go away with more eco-friendly products : / Help!!!
Hi Jennifer- Because toilet bowl ring is mineral deposits, go with one of the scrubbing options of either baking soda or GIY Soft Scrub. Let it sit for the full 10 minutes, then scrub again.
I can see how these three methods work without water in the bowl but what about if you have to leave the water in, wouldn’t the soap get too diluted to work well? Besides tea tree oil is there another essential oil that would disinfect as well?
Hi Diane- If you leave water in the bowl, perhaps use a tad more soap. But because our soaps are very concentrated, they work very well. No other essential oil has the same microbial properties as Tea Tree, but it’s the soap that is really doing the cleaning here. Soap latches onto germs, dirt and grime and washes them away.
Thanks Lisa. Love these tips. Sal Suds is my go to kitchen and dish soap, and Peppermint Castile Soap replaced all body washes in my shower years ago. Haven’t used them for toilet cleaning but will be trying this for sure!
Love the video! I’ve been using Sal Suds and tea tree oil for some time now. No more chemicals in our household. Thank you Lisa.
Definitely going to try this! I’ve been looking for a safer bath cleaner. Thx Lisa!
Love all you products! My question, is tea tree oil poisonous to dogs. I have four little ones and read where tea tree oil in a diffuser poisoned a pet. Thanks Chris
Hi Chris- At too high of a concentration, it would very well make a dog ill. But the essential oils in our soaps is 2% – a very small concentration. Our soaps are further diluted when used for housecleaning and then wiped off with a damp cloth. I don’t know about the diffuser, but really strong scents can be impactful to pets.
Argggggg, the jokes are baaaaaad! However, I am considering giving up my toilet bowl cleaner for sal suds. Like you, I am also a bit too fond of the hazardous blue chemical goo I buy from the hardware store but have been loath to give it up. I will give sal suds and shot and see how that works out. Thanks again, Lisa.
Hi Lisa! I was wondering if you have ever mixed Sal Suds and hydrogen peroxide, or if that even makes sense from a “green” perspective. I wanted to investigate the addition of hydrogen peroxide for its disinfectant properties. Thanks so much!
Hi Beth – There’s nothing hazardous about mixing Sal Suds and hydrogen peroxide, but hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) so readily doffs that extra oxygen atom and becomes just water. It is that released oxygen atom that is the active ingredient in hydrogen peroxide. However, when mixed with Sal Suds, the oxygen release happens much faster, likely too fast to have as good of an impact as hydrogen peroxide on its own. So I would use them separately. You can use hydrogen peroxide first for its stain fighting ability, or after for its disinfectat ability. Always keep in mind that it is a bleaching agent, so spot test on fabrics first.
(Here is a super long video I made about the reaction between Sal Suds and hydrogen peroxide, which makes the so-called “elephant toothpaste.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GJTT6WjHG0&t=341s)
I’ve made the soft scrub recipe and like using it. However it dries in the cap and I have to use a toothpick to unclog it each time I use it. I have it in a pull too squirt bottle like dish soap comes in. Think I’ll try the spray you talked about instead. Thank you.
Hi Meinaz- If the soft scrub thickens up, add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out. I’ve also put it in a wide-mouth jar and scooped it out. But you’ll love the All-Purpose Spray – you can use it for countertops, sinks, baseboards and more.