May 24, 2013

Myth or Miracle Cleaner Series: Clean Dreaded Toilet with Baking Soda

Homemade Toilet Cleaner Myth or Miracle Cleaner | Tried & Twisted
Welcome back to this month's series on Spring Cleaning using ingredients and supplies in your kitchen cupboard.

Cleaning the house with baking soda, vinegar, and other items from the pantry claims to have the advantage of saving money from all the household cleaners you won't need to buy and to be greener and more environmentally friendly than the toxic chemicals found in the average cleaner.

While most of the all-natural cleaning methods worked wonders, today I'll share about a dud: cleaning the toilet with baking soda.

The claim, according to blogs like Life Hackery, is that you sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda in the inside of your toilet and voila! It's shiny white, clean, and odor-free. With no scrubbing, you'll be able to wash away stains, grime, and dirt.

Such a claim just had to be put to the test!

Sprinkle 1 cup of Baking Soda on Toilet, but Does it Clean? | Tried & Twisted
Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda around bowl of toilet.

To test the process, I gave this cleaning challenge a tough contender. My toilet is the eyesore and shame of our little apartment. The flaw in renting is that you inherit all the defects of neglect accumulated over years of previous owners. And so we have a toilet that is not so pretty, with mystery stains around top of the bowl and at the bottom. Our best efforts of chemical treatments and scrubbing have not lessened the grime at all.

So, my hopes were high that this simple treatment of baking soda would help.

Homemade Toilet Cleaner Doesn't Work | Tried & Twisted

No such luck.

I left the baking soda sit for an hour, I even let it sit for two hours, and I couldn't spot any little change. I even tried to scrub the baking soda in, but still didn't observe any changes.

Rating of difficulty: 1 out of 5. Simple, but too simple to actually work.

Cost: Super cheap since baking soda is already in my cupboard and can be bought at discount generic brand prices or in bulk.

Green? If baking soda is safe enough to eat in baking recipes, you would think that it is safe enough for your water systems. However, some environmentally friendly guides suggest that baking soda is not a great green alternative because it is made through a chemical process or else is used from a non-reuseable source. 

Verdict:  The baking soda may have "cleaned" the toilet, but it did not whiten or remove the grime or stains simply by flushing. Frankly, I didn't even notice a change in odor. It still smells like a toilet.

Sorry folks, but this seems to be one cleaning mission that still calls for the heavy hitters.

Next week will be the final segment in this series. If you have heard an old wives tale or a claim of a homemade cleaner that works, please share the homemade cleaning claim with me. I'll pick one method to test out for the mystery segment next week. See you then!

Linking at: 
Natasha in Oz, Home Stories A to Z, Give Me the Goods Monday, I Gotta Try That


  1. I wonder if it's effective if you get to start from scratch - aka, you move into a new home with a new toilet. Perhaps then, you could do it. But the average person doesn't get a new house with a new toilet. (Heck, I'm thankful for our State College one that appears new!) When it comes to the toilet, I really don't have an issue bringing on the chemicals! ;)

    1. Whew! That's a relief that your new place has newer appliances! When I tested this cleaner, I tried to judge if it was whiter in the non-stained areas too and really couldn't notice any difference. Oh well! Back to the heavy duty cleaners.

  2. Have you tried a citric acid product such as If it is stained limescale, the citric acid will breakdown the limescale, however you may need to repeat the application.

  3. Baking sods is safe to clean washroom


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