I know, its a bit personal isn’t it?
But if you’re trying to live a self sufficient life you don’t want to waste lots of money on commercial cleaners. And, if you’re trying to live a ‘greener’ more sustainable life you certainly do not want to use harsh chemicals if possible. Similarly, anyone with a bio-digester water treatment system knows that the addition of bleaches and similar products will stop the bacteria doing their magic on your waste. You can go out and buy commercial ‘green’ cleaning products but you don’t need to. We find them overpriced and never that ‘green’ unless they’re just natural products we could source ourselves. So what natural cleaning products to use when cleaning the toilet?
When cleaning our conventional toilet we avoid bleach completely to ensure the bio-digester keeps on doing its thing. I don’t like using chemical agents that give off fumes which smell dangerous and sting my eyes. So this is how we clean our toilet (I say ‘we’, but you know who I mean!).
- Firstly a daily ‘spritz’ with white vinegar to which a few drops of tea-tree oil are added keeps it shiny and fresh smelling at all times. For those of you, like us, saving water by not flushing after each pee this is a really good tip. A squirt of vinegar neutralizes any urine odour and the essential oil gives you something nice to smell! Don’t worry your w.c. won’t smell of vinegar for long as the smell soon dissipates taking the urine odour with it.
- For the regular weekly clean I first use a microfibre cloth with water and soft soap to clean the cistern, seat and outside of the toilet. Any mild liquid detergent will do. Washing up liquid is my second choice if we haven’t got any soft soap. The microfibre cloth is very gentle but efficient producing a lovely sparkle!
- For those hard to get to bits around the seat hinges a tiny amount of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and an old toothbrush does the job easily.
- When you need to get stuck into that most glamorous of tasks – cleaning the toilet pan, don some rubber gloves and grab a pumice stone. I find most of the pan needs just a quick once over with a cloth and liquid detergent / soft soap. But, the limescale build up really needs something more drastic. A pumice stone and some bicarb paste will easily remove the limescale without damaging the ceramic toilet. A stainless steel dish pot cleaner is also good but make sure its soapy to reduce the risk of scratching the toilet.
- If you really don’t want to get your hands in there I hear a bottle of cheap cola left overnight in the pan will remove any build up too. There’s one reason not to drink too much cola!
Cleaning you loo without harsh chemical cleaners is perfectly possible and easy. You save lots of cash and remove the risk to you of inhaling all the nasty gases which come off limescale removers and bleaches. You also reduce the risk to the smaller members of your household of consuming anything toxic.
Microfibre cloths are the generic (cheap) version of e-cloths. They’re great for cleaning all manner of things with little or no detergent. Best of all they can be washed and reused. The one allocated on toilet cleaning duty at our house gets a hot soapy soak and then goes in the washing machine to be laundered before it’s needed again.
Bicarb is often available in large packs from the pharmacy, so ask for it to be ordered if all your local store sells are small pots for use in baking.
For the vinegar, white distilled is recommended by all the ‘eco-cleaning’ books but we use white wine vinegar as that’s what is cheapest and most widely available here.
After years of using chemical cleaners you will find cleaning your toilet in a cheaper and more environmentally way a bit more ‘hands on’. We have got a bit lazy with cleaning and just expect the ‘product’ to do all the hard work while we just wipe it away. Don’t be put off, this isn’t hard work at all and only takes a few minutes. It’s just that it isn’t a miracle cleaning solution like a bottle of bleach and toilet duck might be! You will need to be the one providing a little elbow grease to help the cloth, soap, bicarb and pumice do their thing.
If it all sounds too difficult get yourself a compost loo. No water, means no limescale so cleaning that one is much more simple.
So I’ve told you how we clean ours… How do you clean yours?
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Enjoyed reading this post. Will forward the link to my wife … just kidding. I was in Spain and Portugal some years ago and had a fantastic time. Love both countries and of course the people … so friendly.
The people are fab. Think you’ll be in trouble if your wife reads the comment though! 🙂
You mean I need to CLEAN them?
Ha ha, just kidding.
So many awful cleaning jobs (including this one) can be made so much easier if we would just do them more OFTEN. The Big Guns (like bleach, and heavy scrubbing) are mostly caused, in my experience, by letting things go for too long.
No, I don’t like to hear this either. Nor am I very good at practicing what I preach! But one can always ASPIRE, can’t one?
Almostgotit’s last blog post..Silverfinger
You’re a woman after my own heart! I aspire to keep on top of all the nasty cleaning jobs regularly. Sometimes I even manage it too!
Spent some time reading your blog (good value) and am curious what part of Spain you live in. Sounds great. I dream of living some where like that but my wife and children’s opinion is … we can drop you at the airport.
Rodney, oh dear! We live in the Southern part of Catalonia about half an hour from the Ebro River. We are up in the mountains and we love it. I guess it is not for everyone though.
Great tips here (as usual), BUT there is no way I’m not flushing after using the toilet.
Kylee you must have a lot more water than us! Water shortages stopped me being squeamish about other people’s wee in the toilet. Though I must admit we are the ‘lid police’, no-one is ever allowed to leave the lid up! 🙂