Green Cleaning Your Toilet

A topic that doesn’t come up much in conversation is cleaning the toilet. Let’s face it, cleaning the toilet really isn’t any fun. It’s a time consuming project that requires focus and dedication (to do it right). It also often requires cleaners that are toxic and bad for the environment. Many of the most common commercial cleaning products can irritate the eyes and skin just from their fumes. In fact, according to Scientific American, almost 10 percent of all toxic exposures in the U.S. come from household cleaning use.

The worst offenders contribute to indoor air pollution, are harmful if touched or inhaled and are poisonous if consumed. Many of them are banned in other countries because of the toxic solvents in their ingredients. But the good news is that there are many safe products on the market that are both safe for consumers and for the environment. But the even better news is that there are products (both manufactured and organic) already in your home that you can use to clean your toilet. These products are just as effective as the commercial “green” brands – and much cheaper.

Ready to start a conversation about these surprising alternative cleaning products? You’ll be surprised at how interesting the subject is once you discover how common, convenient and “clean” they are!

  • Kool-Aid – Most households with young children already have several packs or containers of Kool-Aid on hand. It is a little-known fact that certain flavors of the classic drink mix are ideal for cleaning toilets. Both lemon and orange flavored Kool-Aid mixes are an easy, inexpensive way to clean the toilet – and the dishwasher as well. It’s the citric acid in lemon and orange flavors that allow the powder to clean so effectively. Just pour a package of Kool-Aid into the bowl and let it sit overnight. The next morning you can simply wipe away any stains. After flushing all that is left is a pleasant odor.
  • Lemons – One of the reasons that many cleaning products contain a lemon or “citrus” odor is, in addition to the pleasant aroma, lemons have well-known cleaning capabilities. If you have a toilet that has issues with mold and mildew, the ideal green cleaner is pure lemon juice. Simply cut a lemon in half and scour the inside of the toilet bowl (and any surrounding areas with mold/mildew). Let the lemon juice infiltrate the stains for at least half an hour – then simply wipe them away. It will leave the porcelain glowing and smelling great.
  • Coke (and similar sodas) – The ingredients that make up a regular can of Coke are acidic enough to slowly dissolve meat and other organic compounds. It is this factor that also allows the popular soft drink to thoroughly clean a toilet. One 12 ounce can of regular Coke can remove toilet rings, lime scale and can effectively deodorize. Just pour an entire 12 ounce can into the toilet and let it sit overnight. The next morning you’ll be able to easily wipe away stains. Similar soft drinks including Dr. Pepper and Pepsi offer similar cleaning benefits.
  • Mouthwash – Most brands of mint-flavored mouthwash are ideal for cleaning toilets. Try buying a generic brand at a dollar store (instead of the brand name in your cabinet) for maximum savings. Experts advise pouring about ¼ cup of mouthwash into the toilet bowl and letting it sit for half an hour. Just scrub the bowl thoroughly afterwards and flush. The mint mouthwash will not only clean and sanitize the bowl, but it also acts as an efficient deodorizer.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar – Most DIY sites will mention this potent combination as a go-to toilet and sink cleaner. It’s been used for years by savvy homeowners who prefer inexpensive, green alternatives for their cleaning. Separately pour ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup white vinegar into the toilet bowl. The combined ingredients will immediately start bubbling; effectively targeting any stains in the porcelain bowl. After about fifteen minutes take a scribe brush and clean away any stains remaining.

Keep toxic, harmful chemicals out of your home with these common household products. Also, make yourself aware of the worst offenders and get rid of them immediately. Make sure that when you do clean your toilet, you never flush anything except for toilet paper. Remember that if you ever have any problems with your toilet or sewer line, Metro has the professionals who can help. Call us today at 423-616-1025 or 706-516-1980 to schedule an appointment.

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