Many bathroom cleaners are full of toxic chemicals which are not only bad for us, but also don’t biodegrade. So once they rinse down the drain, this causes algae bloom which chokes oxygen out of the water, harming fish and marine wildlife. Here are some better options. Never mix any cleaner with bleach. Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing/babies. Read why you should not harm spiders (most 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). Avoid using disinfectants near pets (pets lick their paws). Erin Heights Vet Hospital says Dettol destroys bacteria walls and Veterinary Poisons Information Service says Zoflora can cause ulcers).
If you live with pets, be careful when using houseplants. Some are highly toxic (even brushing a tail against a lily, sago palm or cheese plant can harm). See toxic houseplants to avoid. Houseplants don’t ‘clean the air’ (a 30-year myth).
- 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 cloths.
- Bio-D Bathroom Cleaner (no added fragrance) is sold in health stores and farm shop, sold in recycled plastic bottles (the company often has refill stations and sells bulk versions for industry). In a spray form, use it on glass, ceramics, perspex, chrome and most non-porous surfaces (not for gold-plated taps).
- Elmkind Grapefruit & Palmarosa Bathroom Cleaner (Devon) is made with organic ingredients, sold in an aluminium bottle with spray head (most councils take plastic tops in household recycling). The 500ml refill concentrate makes 5 more bottles. A 5% profits go to help animal welfare and ocean clean-up charities.
How to (naturally) Clean Your Toilet
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.
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 cleaners and make your own cleaning products. Avoid essential oils and Borax/alternatives near pets (close toilet lids, after cleaning).
- 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.
- 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!
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.