58 Responses to “The Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever”


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  1. That’s the best use of coke I’ve heard yet!! I have a fancy micro fiber cloth with silver threads for my bathroom cleaning. I start with the sink and end with the toilet, no cleaner just water. And I have a scrub mitt for the tub and tiles.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Microfiber cloths … I want to love them, but I can’t. For some reason, no matter HOW soft and not-dry my hands are, they always feel like they’re scritching and scratching all over my hands. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

      I like your method. Maybe some day when I get over my HJs, I will try it!

  2. First, thanks for coming to visit.

    Second, I LOVE this recipe (probably mostly the second one, that I actually have most of the stuff for).

    Third, we’re on well-and-septic here, and I fight an unending battle to keep the toilets free of build up, so I’m trying the Coke thing next time I clean.

    Of course, it’s hard to say when that might be….

    • Crunchy Betty

      Haha. Yeah. Coke is … an amazing thing.

      Fiance works in a kitchen and comes home with grease on his jeans a lot. We went through a TON of washing and scrubbings with all kinds of things, and then I remembered Coke. Sure enough, soaking them in the sink in Coke overnight cleaned them up completely.

      It would be amazing if it wasn’t so scary.

  3. Jan

    Cool recipe!!
    That coke story though? all kinds of ewwwww.
    and believable.
    double blech.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Which part is ew? The fact that Coke strips rust from a toilet … or the part where I thought about cooking soup in the, um, pot?


      • Jan

        LOL! The coke ;)
        AND how much you want to bet we’re ALL going to throw some coke in our toilets. Y’know, just to see.
        I’ll make an odds chart.
        Or something.

  4. I want to make the first (best) but for now will settle for the second version. My hubby and I think that’s the best use of coca cola we’ve heard of and it’s a lot cheaper than all those expensive toilet bowl cleaners! I am still laughing! “Don’t drink that! We need it to clean the toilet with!” :P

    • Crunchy Betty

      Broken record here, but if you DO try the second one, let me know how it goes. I tried it once last night, and it worked really well for me. But the other one is just … sigh. So perfect.

      You have no idea how scared I am of still being broke when I run out of essential oils. What will the world come to then?

  5. Years ago, my mom had a male friend whose house we’d hang out at and play UNO. I remember sitting around the table one night as he told the story of how he got out of having to go to Vietnam, and it was by drinking gallons and gallons of Coke on an empty stomach for days and days on end. It gave him ulcers and he didn’t pass the medical test. Maybe he’s full of _ _ _ _ , maybe not, but I always remember that story. Especially when my husband has his fifth Coke of the day, then complains about stomach pains.

    • Crunchy Betty

      I like this story. I will remember it always, even if it’s just a bunch of hooey.

      All this Coke talk is making me seriously commit to kicking sodas at all.

      But not coffee. Never coffee.

      Let’s have it. Soon.

  6. LOL…I have heard that about coca-cola.

    And yes, it does make me nervous.

    Which is why I mostly drink Fresca.

    Did you know they still made Fresca?

    Yes. I am a 70’s throwback.

    • Crunchy Betty

      You are on a Fresca tear today. I heart me some Fresca, really. Let’s make homemade Fresca. I don’t know how, but it has to be easy. Club soda, grapefruit, sweetener. Done. Right?

      And you’re a 70’s throwback of awesomeness. I’d like to see you in some bell bottoms and a ‘fro. Rrowr.

  7. Mimi

    Oh my gosh!!!! Just cleaned the shower with “The Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever.” Wow, wow, wow….just fantastic! I made a paste on a scrubber sponge and all the grunge, soap scum, and stains just disappeared. The BEST thing was the fresh, minty smell…didn’t miss that chemical odor at all and scrubbed the shower without holding my breath ;))

  8. Yes, yes, yes I’m making this!! I just made your face scrub – and tried it – and I LOVE IT!! Thanks for always being so “right on” with the homemade options. I love that once you have the basic ingredients, you can make almost anything yourself!

    My kids are die-hard pepsi fans…I think it’s still some sort of rebellion thing. Next time I’m at their house, I’m pouring one in their toilet (which is never the cleanest thing) and then I’m going to show them…maybe that will break their “Habit”.

  9. JWJ

    love your recipes but what is washing soda?

  10. Jennifer

    Hey just wondering what all the oils are for? Just for smell or is there a purpose? Can I make the first recipe without all of the essential oils?

    • Crunchy Betty

      Well, they do add a yummy smell, but they also offer extra cleaning and disinfecting power, as well. You can make it without the oils, no problem, though. It’ll still work just fine! (Although it might leave a bit of a residue, so just be sure to rinse well with hot water.)

      Let me know how it works for you!

  11. Sassy Stephanie

    Ok, first…what the heck is washing soda?

    Second, where in the heck do I find washing soda?

    Third, you are my new girl crush. I love your blog!

    My hubs came down with cancer at the ripe old age of 38. Long story short…kicked it’s arse and now we are TOTALLY changing the way we do things up in heeerre. I’m currently on the hunt for a crunchy dishwasher soap. Made some of your ACV toner for myself and my preteen girl who is totally into natural beauty. Next up, we are trying coco oil for her curly strawberry blonde locks!

    I am thumbing through your posts. I have all of the EOs but need a few things. I’ve been using your “second best” but now I’m anxious to try your “best” cleaner. Thanks for all you do and put into your site! You rock. You rock out loud.

    Ok, I will stop talking now!

    • Crunchy Betty

      Oooh. First – LOVE YOU!

      Secondly, I did blog a dishwasher detergent recipe (that I ALWAYS use to this day), basically it’s this: 1 c. washing soda, 1 c. baking soda, about 1/8 c. VERY finely grated castille soap. Two things about it: I HAVE to have vinegar in the rinse well, or it leaves a bit of a film. The other thing that really helps with film is running the tap water until it’s hot before starting the dishwasher. Don’t know why it works, but it does.

      Washing soda? It’s somewhat like baking soda, and you can most likely find it in your local (biggish) grocery store in the laundry aisle. Look for the borax. It should be next to it. If not, I get my washing soda from http://www.alice.com sometimes – it’s the cheapest I’ve found.

      SO glad you’re here. Promise you’ll stick around. PROMISE.

      • Sassy Stephanie

        Yay! Everything is in and I made my first batch! Off to scrub something!!

        BTW….any ideas of how to boost my “won’t kill me Windex” (which is water and vinegar)? Tea tree oil? Combo of EOs? Do you use a liquid cleaner?

  12. Sassy Stephanie

    But of course, darhling! I’ve just placed an on-liney for a new gallon of liquid castille! Can’t wait to put it to work!!

  13. Juanita


    I just tried the second best cleaner this morning in a bathroom used by my three-year-old with a soap-and-toothpaste-on-the-counter obsession, a nearly two-year-old potty-training boy, a cloth diapering baby and mama, and the bath crayons they got from their Granny. As you can imagine, it is a pretty gross room that I try to avoid cleaning if I can because, eeewww.

    I had so much fun cleaning, today, though. It smells “like a candy” per my daughter, exfoliated my hands, cleaned everything with almost no effort, and was super easy to make.

    It may only be the second-best recipe, but I heart it! (And the rest of your blog!)

  14. Candice

    You’re my new love, you know that? I found you via Stumble Upon. I’ve been looking for some more natural ways to do things ever since I had my daughter back in June. All those chemicals just don’t seem right around my little girl.

    May I ask where you buy your essential oils from? I’ve seen them sold in some health stores in my area, but the prices are atrocious. Although I hear they aren’t cheap… I’m still comparing prices.

    You make me excited to clean, and I NEVER thought I’d say that. EVER.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Yay, hi! I was just going through weekend comments, and smiled SO big at all of yours. Yay for StumbleUpon!

      I get my essential oils from a few different places, but mostly from a local natural foods store that seems to have the best prices (other than Mountain Rose Herbs online … where it pretty much equals out when you count in shipping).

      It really just depends on what oil you’re getting. Like, say, eucalyptus? I’ve found it for less than $5 a bottle. But rose absolute? Ridiculously expensive, unless you get it cut with jojoba oil.

      For things I’m going to use for cleaning (like lemon, peppermint or eucalyptus), I’ll usually get the NOW brand. But if I want something very specifically beauty-related (especially to go in my moisturizer), I’ll shell out the extra bucks for top quality. They last so dang long, anyway, it all equals out in the end.

      Good luck! And SO glad you’re here!

  15. christy

    mine turned out more dry than pasty and mushy.  is that ok?  I followed the directions to a “T”.

    • Alyssa

      Mine turned out the same way as well. The bowl I mixed it all in became very warm after adding the vinegar, so I was afraid to add more. Any suggestions?

  16. Srgunnell

    I’ve followed directions exactly.  Mine is the consistancy of shortening, not the I’ve been on the counter soft version, but the I’ve been in the freezer version. If you can get it smooshed enough with your sponge it does clean very well.   hhhmmm what went wrong?  Used Dr. Bronners soap, maybe should have diluted it rather than straight?

  17. Just made mine this weekend, and it was much drier and harder than I expected it to be…and Alyssa, mine was warm too, but it cooled down after 30 minutes or so.  I added a ton of extra castille soap, but that didn’t make a huge difference.  I guess it’s a scrub and not a spray, huh?

    • Gwen

       Mine turned out so hard it was like cement. I did use the optional vinegar. I tried adding warm water to no avail. I’ll try the recipe again, this time without an acid.

      • Bri

        Mine was usable at first then turned to cement.  I was hoping I could use some later because that was a lot of cleaner.  I didn’t have to use very much and so had a bunch left over.  

  18. Guest

    Mine is also dry. Did you guys add anything to it or is it fine the way it is?

  19. Midnightsun1143

    Yes, I believe this is supposed to be more of a scrub.  Mine was a little dry so I just added a little more liquid to the mix to make a smoother paste.  Just a word of caution:  castille soap is neutralized by acids (ie vinegar or lemon juice!)  So I would either use the castille soap or the lemon/vinegar, not both!  I used the second best recipe with out the soap because I needed to scrub the grime off of the bathtub.  It was amazing!  I just scooped some up with my scrub brush and the mild buildup came right off!  I would assume the first recipe would be perfect if you leave out the optional vinegar.  

     If you want to know a little more about the acid and castille soap, check out Dr. Bronner’s blog : http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292

  20. twoqueerhippies

    Mine turned out perfect! But I also don’t follow recipes very well. It was almost a half a cup of this over a half a cup of that and what ever Bronners I Had left. Also added vinegar. Maybe the right amount, maybe not. Who knows. It was close. I love the way my kitchen smells right now!! (I used Lavender Bronners and some lemongrass EO. That was it.) 

  21. JosieB

    It only says that they cannot be mixed directly, a mistake I have previously made, but if they are mixed into the mixture at different times, the base from the baking soda and borax will primarily react with the acid from the vinegar. All in all, it’s ok to use vinegar and castille soap in the same solution. 

  22. Suzanne

    i just mixed the washing soda and baking soda then added the castille soap a little at a time until it got to a consistency i liked. then mixed in some Tea Tree Oil. after i scrubbed the tub with that paste I sprayed a white vinegar and water mixture i already had and scrubbed a little more. worked pretty well. 

  23. MrsJLU

    For this recipe keep, and if so what do you store it in?

  24. we don’t have anything called castille soap here in sweden. =/ 

  25. salvadora

    you are awesome

  26. SueW

    I just made this cleanser and followed the recipe exactly but, it was really stiff and lumpy. I had to thin it out with some warm water which worked but it remained full of baking soda lumps that refused to dissolve or break down while scrubbing. I even took the back of a metal spoon & a fork to break them up when it was still dry, (before adding the wet ingredients), but it clumped up anyway.
    As far as the cleaning ability I’d give it a 5 or maybe a 6 out of 10. It smells great though. Kind of like all natural toothpaste. I have 2 bathrooms with loads of ceramic tile so this recipe did one bathroom, (shower, sink & toilet). I think I’ll try the “2nd Best” recipe for the other bathroom and decide which formula I liked better. I like the idea of using salt, it’s a good scrubber for other things like rescuing a rusty cast iron skillet.

  27. SueW

    Okay, I’ve now made and used the “2nd Best” homemade bathroom cleaner and I like this one way better. First of all, it’s a lot more fluid thus making it easier to use, especially on the vertical surfaces. I think the salt really helped scrub the film from the tiles and the tub. Even the chrome faucet is shinier. I did swap out the castile soap for my all natural dish soap instead, which has a lovely almond scent. Between the scent of the dish soap and the lemon juice, all I kept thinking about while scrubbing the tiles was the desire to bake some cookies as soon as I was done! This rinsed off much easier too, unlike the first recipe that had to be sponged off when simple rinsing didn’t work. This recipe, however made considerably less in quantity than the 1st one so I will definetly double up next time. Also, the lemon juice plus the salt quickly reminded me that one of my cats clawed me yesterday on the heel of my hand and in between my fingers! Ouch! Well, the wounds are good and clean now.
    I will make this recipe again for sure.

  28. julie

    I tried the coke, let it set over night. All it did was stain the toilet.

  29. Maggie

    Ok, question: I don’t like liquid castile soap…it’s a personal foible. I think it’s because I don’t make my own liquid soaps yet and I’m super cheap…but I do make my own cold-process castile bar soap. If I grind it up in the food processor with the other dries (ala homemade laundry detergent) and use the vinegar to get the right consistency, do you think it would leave a film? I shall tinker with this…

  30. Maggie

    Ok, question: I don’t like liquid castile soap…it’s a personal foible. I think it’s because I don’t make my own liquid soaps yet and I’m super cheap…but I do make my own cold-process castile bar soap. If I grind it up in the food processor with the other dries (ala homemade laundry detergent) and use the vinegar to get the right consistency, do you think it would leave a film? I shall tinker with this…

  31. Sparkle

    Crunchy Betty, thank you. I tried the first one. I did not read all the way through and thought I had done something wrong so added water until it would kind of “goop” out of the nozzle of an old honey bottle when inverted. When I added vinegar, I squealed with delight like a little kid when it re-created the old “volcano experiment” (was that really in 2nd grade?)! But let me tell you, I like this stuff (with or without the vinegar). My bathroom (and, yes, even kitchen) porcelain and fixtures all sparkle their “thank you! We have never been so clean (since the last time you cleaned us with this stuff)!” And it smells fresh! The first batch lasted two months of once-a-week and when-partcularly-needed cleaning (I just kept adding water to, and shaking, it). We have a very small bathroom and a very small kitchen. This stuff Rocks! Thanks!

  32. Robyn West

    Thanks Crunchy Betty-this is a great recipe(Best Home made Bathroom Cleaner Ever) I have been using for a while now since I decided I needed less chemicals in my life!

    I don’t measure exactly and I dilute soap with a little water to make mixture less thick)

    Last a while too…appreciate all the tips and advice:)

  33. Sarah

    On the Bronner’s website, they say that not to mix vinegar and castille soap directly because they react badly. Just wanted to pass the link on because I was surprised when I found it out, since plenty of sites say to mix the two for DIY cleaners: http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292

  34. Aussiechick

    Something went wrong with mine. I didn’t have the exact ingredients so had to improvise: First batch double quantity baking soda as I had no washing soda, eucalypt scented liquid soap, vinegar, no essential oils (don’t have any). It was just the right consistency and worked a treat. Second batch I did with baking soda, washing soda, same liquid soap and vinegar – and ended up with hot rocks. It started as a warm paste, but by the time I made it to the bathroom to actually use it it had completely set, the consistency of concrete, and was hot to the touch. I may just stick with my first version in future.


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