Keeping your toilet clean shouldn’t come at the cost of indoor air quality or the environment. Harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach and ammonia can create fumes that are difficult to breathe and release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These ingredients can also be hazardous to aquatic life when they get flushed down the drain.
Luckily, there are now many non-toxic toilet bowl cleaners on the market that use plant-based ingredients and minerals to kill germs and break down mineral deposits. These green cleaners avoid synthetic fragrances and dyes to create a safer product for you, your family, and the planet.
Table of Contents
Quick comparison table of the best non-toxic toilet bowl cleaners :
|Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover
|Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
|Method Antibacterial Toilet Cleaner
|Mrs. Meyer’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner
|Plant-based with eucalyptus
|Plant-based with thyme oil
|Plant-based with essential oils
|Yes, kills 99.9% germs
|Yes, kills 99.9% germs
|Price per use
Best Non-Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Here is an overview of five top-rated eco-friendly toilet cleaners and their pros and cons:
1. Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover
The Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover is a unique non-toxic toilet cleaning tool. This reusable gadget has a textured stone head that physically scrapes away rust, limescale, and mineral deposits with zero chemicals.
- No harsh chemicals at all – uses manual abrasion
- Reusable for up to 2 years
- Pumice stone is all natural & biodegradable
- Requires scrubbing & elbow grease to remove tough stains
- Stone wears down over time with heavy use
2. Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System
This innovative toilet cleaning system uses advanced technology to deliver chlorine-free cleaning and disinfecting. Each disposable ToiletWand head has over 7,000 antibacterial micro-scrubbers encapsulated in a plant-based, bleach-free formula.
- Plant-based formula is safer & less irritating
- Micro-scrubber heads provide excellent cleaning action
- Angled design easily accesses under rim & curve of bowl
- Disposable wands create more waste compared to reusable tools
- Requires frequent wand head replacements
3. Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
A household name in disinfecting, Lysol recently answered consumer calls for safer ingredients with their new plant-based Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Harnessing the cleaning power of eucalyptus oil and aloe, it kills 99.9% of germs and busts through tough limescale buildup.
- Safer plant-based formula with eucalyptus oil
- Impressive disinfecting kills 99.9% of germs
- Gel clings to bowl walls longer for better cleaning
- Still contains some synthetic fragrance chemicals
- Scent may be overpowering for sensitive noses
4. Method Antibacterial Toilet Cleaner
With naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients, Method’s daily toilet cleaner uses thyme oil to eliminate odors and kill 99.9% of bacteria. The formula is EPA Safer Choice certified and never tested on animals.
- Plant-based formula with thyme oil disinfecting
- Safer formula is EPA Safer Choice certified
- Fresh mint-thyme scent with no harsh fumes
- Requires more frequent scrubbing than harsh chemical cleaners
- Bottle shape not ideal for toilets
5. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Featuring essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, and mint, Mrs. Meyer’s biodegradable toilet cleaner removes limescale and mineral buildup without chlorine or ammonia. The greener formula is EPA Safer Choice certified.
- Uses plant oils to cut through mineral deposits
- Biodegradable formula rated EPA Safer Choice
- Lightly scented with essential oils
- Can require more scrubbing than chemical cleaners
- Essential oil scent fades quickly
What is a Non-Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner?
A non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner is a formula designed to descale, disinfect, and deodorize the toilet without chemicals linked to health issues or environmental pollution. These cleaners avoid ingredients like chlorine, ammonia, synthetic fragrances, and dyes.
Instead, they use plant-derived compounds and minerals like citric acid, lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium bicarbonate to break down mineral deposits and soap scum. Many also contain essential oils or botanical extracts with antimicrobial properties to sanitize the bowl without harsh disinfectants.
Why Use a Non-Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner?
There are several benefits to switching to a non-toxic toilet cleaning formula:
- Improved indoor air quality: Avoiding chemicals like chlorine and ammonia prevents the release of hazardous fumes into your home’s air.
- Protect health: Fewer irritants means less chance of aggravating asthma, allergies, and sensitive respiratory systems.
- Environmentally friendly: Plant-based cleaners are biodegradable and less toxic to marine life. Using less packaging also reduces plastic waste.
- Safer around children & pets: Natural cleaners significantly lower the risks of chemical burns, ingestion accidents, and VOC exposure for kids and animals.
- Cost savings: While natural cleaners sometimes have a higher upfront cost, using less toxic products can improve health and reduce medical bills.
Overview of Popular Options
There are now many specialty brands focused on non-toxic toilet cleaners as well as conventional companies making the switch to greener formulas. Some of the most popular options include:
- Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover
- Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System
- Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Method Antibacterial Toilet Cleaner
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Toilet Bowl Cleaner
I’ll explore the pros and cons of each of these toilet cleaning products in detail later in this article. First, let’s look at the key ingredients to avoid when choosing a non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner.
Ingredients to Avoid
When evaluating the safety of a toilet cleaning product, watch out for these common conventional ingredients:
While chlorine-based bleach is an effective disinfectant and stain remover, it can create dangerous chloramine gases when mixed with other cleaners. The fumes from chlorine bleach can irritate eyes, skin, and respiratory systems.
Always avoid mixing bleach with vinegar or ammonia-based products in particular. The combo creates a toxic chlorine gas that can be fatal if inhaled.
Ammonia is another potent and hazardous cleaning ingredient. Its strong fumes can trigger asthma attacks, breathing difficulty, and other reactions.
Never mix ammonia with bleach-based products either. Doing so releases chloramine vapors that could be lethal if inhaled.
Phosphates like trisodium phosphate were once very common in cleaning products. However, phosphates can cause excessive algae growth when flushed into lakes and rivers.
This fast-growing algae blooms starve aquatic ecosystems of oxygen, leading to dead zones. Many states now ban phosphates to prevent these environmental hazards.
Many conventional toilet cleaners contain synthetic fragrances added solely for smell rather than cleaning power. However, these chemical scent mixes come with health hazards.
Artificial fragrance chemicals can disrupt hormones, aggravate allergies and asthma, and even cause headaches or neurological symptoms.
Now that you know what to avoid, let’s explore some of the best non-toxic toilet bowl cleaners on the market today.
Tips for Using Non-Toxic Cleaners
While non-toxic toilet bowl cleaners are safer, their plant-based formulas require some different cleaning techniques to be effective. Follow these tips when switching from conventional toilet cleaners to greener options:
Check Ingredient Lists
Carefully read all ingredient labels before purchasing a new toilet cleaner. Watch out for hazardous ingredients like chlorine, ammonia, phosphates, and anything too complex to decipher.
Prioritize cleaners with plant oils and extracts towards the top of their lists. And remember that “natural” on the label doesn’t guarantee safety – the specific compounds matter most.
Test on Inconspicuous Area First
When trying a new toilet cleaning product, first spot test it on an inconspicuous portion of the toilet tank or bowl. Check for any damage or discoloration to the surfaces after several minutes before applying it to the entire toilet.
This simple test can prevent possible damage or allergic reactions. It also shows how well the cleaner will work before committing to using it long-term.
Allow Longer Contact Time
Unlike instant-acting harsh chemicals, most non-toxic cleaners require longer contact with stains and buildup to effective. After applying the cleaner, allow it to sit and work for the manufacturer’s recommended time before scrubbing.
For tougher toilet stains, letting non-toxic gel or foam formulas soak for 5-10 minutes gives the active ingredients more time to penetrate and loosen the grime. Just be sure to ventilate the bathroom well during this longer contact period.
Use with Scrub Brush for Tough Stains
While non-toxic cleaners use plant power to breakdown deposits, some extra manual scrubbing is often needed to remove the loosened gunk. Use a stiff-bristled toilet brush, pumice stone, or abrasive sponge to dislodge stains.
Targeting stained areas with gentle circular scrubbing helps natural cleaners show their true cleaning potential without extreme chemicals. Pay special attention to the toilet bowl rim and curved surfaces near the drain where buildup tends to accumulate.
By checking labels, spot testing new products, and allowing proper contact time, you can unlock the cleaning effectiveness of non-toxic toilet cleaners. Their plant-based ingredients clean without the health hazards or environmental impacts of conventional options.
Now let’s tackle some frequently asked questions about making the switch to greener toilet bowl cleaners.
Are non-toxic cleaners as effective as chemical options?
While non-toxic cleaners generally require a bit more scrubbing effort, they can effectively remove stains, disinfect surfaces, and descale toilets. Key is allowing their active ingredients like citric acid or essential oils adequate time to work before scrubbing.
For convenient cleaning, products like the Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner Gel combine greener disinfectants with cling gels that stick to surfaces longer for maximum cleaning contact time.
How often should I clean the toilet with non-toxic products?
For the best results, fully clean your toilet bowl with a non-toxic cleaner once a week. Quick daily wipe downs focusing just under the toilet rim or on obvious new stains can tide you over between weekly deep cleans.
Since plant-based ingredients produce fewer fumes or VOCs, you can safely give them more time to work their magic compared to toxic chemical cleaners.
What is the safest DIY option?
The simplest non-toxic toilet cleaner you can make at home calls for just two ingredients – baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda fully coating the toilet bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Follow with a splash of vinegar and watch it bubble away grime. Scrub to finish.
While not the most heavy-duty cleaner, this non-abrasive DIY combo is extremely affordable and safe for everyday use.
Can I make my own using essential oils?
Yes, you can make a safe, effective DIY toilet cleaner from essential oils and citric acid. Try mixing 10-15 drops of antimicrobial oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, or lemon oil into a spray bottle filled with 2 cups water and 1⁄4 cup citric acid powder. Shake before each use to incorporate.
Always spot test DIY cleaners before applying them throughout your bathroom. And research oil safety before attempting any homemade mix.
Are non-toxic cleaners safe for septic systems?
When used according to package directions, non-toxic commercial cleaners and DIY natural options are generally septic-system safe. Their plant-based ingredients and minerals naturally break down without harming wastewater ecosystems.
Just take care not to dump large volumes of any cleaner directly into your toilet in one shot. Gradually applying the product to surfaces allows your septic system time to process the cleaner slowly.
Switching to non-toxic toilet bowl cleaners provides powerful cleaning without the dangerous fumes, health hazards, or environmental impacts of conventional options containing chlorine, ammonia, phosphates, and synthetic fragrances.
Top-rated green cleaners like the Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover, and Method Antibacterial Toilet Cleaner all offer plant-based formulas to cut through grime. While they require a few extra scrubbing sessions for really tough stains, these non-toxic products ultimately get the job done without toxic tradeoffs.