When I was younger I never thought one of the things I'd be talking about most as an adult was how I clean my loo. But it seems like a very hot topic and one I talk about a lot.
So let's dive into loos...not literally!
Most toilet cleaners contain the same basic ingredients, although some use more bleach, while others are palm oil free, vegan-friendly or organic.
Almost all toilet cleaners come in plastic bottles, although many companies are making moves to reduce single-use plastics with either recycled plastic content, concentrates, refills, even going packaging-free
So what should you be looking out for and how can you make your own environmentally-friendly toilet cleaner?
Toilet cleaners usually contain chlorine bleach to kill off bacteria and microbes. Many mainstream toilet cleaner makers portray the toilet bowl as one of the dirtiest places in the house and we need to use these deadly chemicals to keep ourselves safe.
Chlorine bleach (aka sodium hypochlorite) is a corrosive toxic chemical; it is an eye and respiratory irritant. Plus in waterways chlorine bleach can become toxic organochlorines (compounds rarely found in nature and which can take centuries to decompose).
But industry insiders say that chlorine bleach traces are present at such low concentrations in wastewaters, that there is no real possibility of the formation of trace toxic by-products.
In October 2015, the UK Government banned the testing of ‘finished’ household products on animals and introduced a ‘qualified ban’ on testing the ingredients on animals. But it’ll make little difference to animal welfare because no animals have been used for testing ‘finished’ household products in the UK since 2010: it’s usually the ingredients not the ‘finished’ products that are tested on animals.
Shop-bought or DIY?
Ethical Consumer have rated all companies selling cosmetics on their animal testing policy. Companies will score a best rating if they have a policy not to test on animals, have a fixed cut-off date and are not selling to markets, such as China, where animal testing of products is required by law.
All the toilet cleaners we sell are Ethical Consumer Best Buys but we also actually make our own toilet cleaners so here are a couple of 'recipes'...
💚Pour 1 cup of borax substitute into the toilet before going to bed. In the morning, scrub and flush. For an extra-strength cleaner, add 1/4 cup vinegar to the borax substitute.
💚Flush some soda crystals down the pan to clean and freshen it and to prevent blockages. Soda crystals can also be used to clean toilet brushes.
💚White vinegar will clear limescale from the toilet bowl. Just add it to the bowl and leave it overnight before flushing away. A natural disinfectant can be made by mixing two parts water to one part vinegar or lemon juice.
💚Brush as much water down the toilet as you can then add a kettle of hot but not boiling water in, sprinkle the citric acid into the bowl and leave as long as possible. Add another kettle of hot water then brush, flush and watch your toilet gleam!
NB: please check the safety and toxicity information that comes with these chemicals because they can be skin and respiratory irritants