How to Make Citric Acid Toilet Cleaner {DIY Toilet Bombs!}

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Ditch the blue goo from the store and make this fizzy citric acid toilet cleaner! I’ll show you how to make a DIY toilet cleaning powder and homemade toilet bombs!

diy toilet cleaning bomb on lavender next to mason jar.

One of my favorite ways to clean toilets without harmful chemicals is by using this zero waste toilet cleaner! It is totally plastic-free and can be made with things you may already have on hand. It’s non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive.

Why you’ll love this citric acid toilet cleaner recipe


  • NATURALLY FIZZY: There is a chemical reaction that happens between the citric acid, baking soda, and water, which makes this cleaner fizz up for extra cleaning power.
  • COMPLETELY SAFE: The baking soda and citric acid in this homemade toilet cleaner are completely safe to use. They’re even edible!
  • ZERO WASTE: If you’re trying to reduce your plastic usage, this is a great option! You can easily find baking soda in paper packaging & citric acid comes in a bulk container.

What is citric acid?

Citric acid is basically the same acid that’s found in lemon juice and other citrus fruits, although it isn’t just dehydrated lemon juice. In fact, companies ferment different types of mold on starches or sugars.

It’s commonly used to make sour candies extra sour or to make preserves more acidic without adding any liquid.

Why is citric acid used for cleaning?

Citric acid is one of the best natural cleaning products! Why? Well, when you combine baking soda, citric acid, and water, it fizzes up just like your favorite soft drinks.

When combined in the water, baking soda and citric acid release carbon dioxide, which streams out in the form of bubbles. (They also create a trisodium salt called sodium citrate.)

All that fizzing naturally cleans your toilet with less effort. I do recommend using a brush to scrub the toilet lightly, as the toilet scrub would only clean where the water is and not under the rim.

Bonus – all those bubbles release the scent of the essential oils in your citric acid toilet bowl cleaner, making your bathroom smell great!

Like using any acid, citric acid can etch stone surfaces, so only use it on a porcelain toilet bowl or stainless steel surfaces.

How to Use Citric Acid to Clean Toilet

This post has two recipes for you using this helpful natural cleaning product! Below, I’ll guide you through making a simple toilet cleaning powder (perfect for busy people who don’t have time to press and mold toilet bombs), but I’ll also show you how to make your own fizzing toilet bombs!

diy toilet cleaner powder recipe

Recipe #1: How to Make Citric Acid Toilet Cleaner Powder

This easy DIY toilet bowl cleaner literally could not be easier to make. I often like to use this toilet cleaner in powder form instead of the cleaner bombs because it’s so low prep!

  1. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid into a jar.
  2. Shake well or stir. 

Tip: Add essential oils to the toilet!

It’s extremely important that you store this toilet cleaner powder in an airtight container without essential oils. They will cause the powder to harden and solidify, making it impossible to sprinkle. I like to store a silica gel packet in my jar to keep it soft and powdery.

How to Use:

  1. Scoop 1 – 2 tbs into the toilet and drop 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oils.
  2. Wait 10-15 minutes for the fizzing to stop.
  3. Use a toilet brush to scrub the toilet rim and bowl.
  4. Flush.
two homemade toilet cleaning bombs and instructions on how to clean toilet with citric acid.

Recipe #2: How to Make Toilet Bombs

Want to prep a jar of ready-to-go toilet cleaning bombs? Follow these specific steps!

Equipment

To make your own DIY toilet cleaner, you’ll need:

Ingredients

Baking soda: Baking soda is easy to source at any local grocer. It’s also inexpensive, versatile, and environmentally friendly, so we always have it on hand for cleaning or baking! Azure Standard also sells it in bulk for easy pickup at your next drop!

Citric acid powder: Citric acid may be a new ingredient for you! Citric acid is generally regarded as safe by the FDA. It is often found in food products and is a great boost for natural cleaning!

You may be able to find citric acid locally, but I’ve typically ordered it online. It is easy to find on Amazon (packaged in plastic), or you can add it to your Azure Standard order (packaged in compostable paper).

Essential oils: These are entirely optional, but add a really fresh scent. Plant Therapy is a great option, and you can order them directly from Amazon!

DIY Toilet Cleaning Bombs: Step by Step Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together baking soda, citric acid, and essential oils. Stir well.
  2. Spritz with water from your spray bottle, stirring until you reach a wet sand texture. It should clump when you squeeze it with your hand.
  3. Use two pieces of your mini bath bomb molds to compress the powder. Repeat.
  4. Allow the molds to dry for at least 2-3 hours, pressing down to make them firm.
  5. Remove your fizzy toilet bombs and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.
step by step instructions for how to make toilet bombs.

Best Essential Oils for Toilet Cleaning

Add your favorite refreshing essential oils to make this natural toilet bowl cleaner even more refreshing. I prefer to use really bright and refreshing scents!

  • Grapefruit essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Orange essential oil
  • Lemongrass
  • Tea tree oil
  • Eucalyptus

Storing Suggestions

Both the powder and toilet bomb cleaners should be stored in an airtight container like a silicone bag or glass jar.

Do not add essential oils directly to the powder, or it will harden. You do want to add the oils to the toilet bomb mixture as you want that to harden!

Tips & Variations

  • The mixture will fizz up slightly while you’re adding water. Just keep stirring and it will be fine!
  • For extra fizzing power, increase the citric acid to 3/4 cup. You will need to add more water, but only add enough until you reach that wet sand consistency.
  • Use different essential oil blends to change up the scent.
  • If you let the toilet bombs dry out overnight, you may need to tap or wiggle the mold to get it off. I had to use a butter knife and it helped to tap the molds first.
  • You can try other molds, like an ice cube tray, but it’s important to press the molds or they will fizz and become very crumbly.
  • If you don’t have citric acid, you can get a similar effect using 1/4 cup of each baking soda and white vinegar. I typically use a quarter cup of each. Let them fizz, then scrub with a toilet brush before flushing.

Other Uses for Citric Acid Toilet Cleaner

This citric acid-based cleaner can be used around the house anytime you need some extra scrubbing power!

ZERO WASTE GARBAGE DISPOSAL CLEANER

To clean your garbage disposal of any gunk or build-up, you’ll first want to run it with a low stream of warm running water for about 1 minute.

Then, turn off the disposal and add 2 tbs of the mixture (or 1 toilet bomb) into your garbage disposal with the water still running. Allow it to fizz up and foam for a minute, and then turn the disposal back on. Let it run for another 30 seconds to a minute and you’re done!

ZERO WASTE SINK CLEANER

Make your kitchen sink sparkle and shine with this easy DIY toilet bowl cleaner.

If you’re noticing your bathroom sinks are draining slowly or collecting gunk, it’s time for a cleaning!

Close your drain with the stopper, add about an inch or two of water, and put about 2 tbs of the toilet cleaner powder or 1 toilet bomb in the water.

Let it fizz up for a few minutes, then come back, scrub the mixture around, and rinse!

eco friendly cleaning book

Set up a simple cleaning routine

Learn the 3 stages of cleaning & the handful of super simple products I use to keep my house clean from top to bottom. It’s easy, inexpensive, and safe for the environment. Switch to a stress-free, eco-friendly cleaning routine today!

FAQs

Can I use citric acid to clean a toilet?

Yes, citric acid is a fantastic cleaner that can help break down soap scum. It also reacts with baking soda when it hits water, making it fizz up. 

Can I add essential oils to homemade toilet cleaner?

Yes! If you are making the toilet powder, add them directly to the toilet bowl. If you are making homemade toilet bombs, they can be stirred directly into the mixture before pressing them.

How much toilet cleaner powder do you need to use?

I would recommend using about 2 tablespoons. If you don’t have an extra tablespoon to keep in the jar, check to see if you have any extra scoops from protein powders, etc. We usually have a couple of random scoops on hand, and this 33 cc (about 2.25 tbs) one from our collagen fits perfectly.

How do you sanitize a toilet naturally?

Now that we’ve got the toilet bowl sorted, how do you actually sanitize your toilet? Remember that there are different levels of cleaning.

The first step is to wipe off the toilet with warm, soapy water using a cleaning rag.

Let that air dry, then wipe on a layer of hydrogen peroxide. It needs to rest for 10-15 minutes to funny sanitize the toilet.

Another option is to use Force of Nature cleaning spray. You make this cleaning solution by electrolyzing salt, water, and vinegar in a little appliance. It can be used to clean, sanitize, or disinfect, and it’s more powerful than bleach without the toxic fumes!

See my full Force of Nature review here.

Are homemade toilet cleaning bombs safe for septic systems?

Natural cleaning products like citric acid and vinegar are typically considered safe to use for septic tanks. For more information, read this post to understand proper use.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Toilet Easily

After you fizz your toilet bowl clean, the last thing you want to see is a hard water stain. Don’t worry!

The easiest solution I’ve ever found is to scrub your toilet bowl with a ceramic-safe pumice stone. You simply rub it over the stain, and they’ll disappear. Be sure to dip the stone in the water before scouring to ensure a scratch-free surface.

The only con is that the stones come individually wrapped in plastic. As soon as I find a plastic-free alternative, I will share it right away!

Related Posts

homemade toilet bombs on lavender.

DIY Toilet Bombs

These homemade toilet cleaning bombs make it easy to clean your toilet instantly! They take a little time to set up, but you can make a bunch at once and store them in a jar for easy natural cleaning. Plus, they're fun!
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Drying Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 toilet bombs

Equipment

  • small bowl
  • Spray bottle with water
  • spoon
  • Mini bath bomb molds (or 2 ice cube trays)
  • Airtight container for storage (large glass jar or silicone bag)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 20-30 drops essential oils
  • water, as needed from spray bottle

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, mix together baking soda, citric acid, and essential oils. Stir well.
  • Spritz with water from your spray bottle, stirring until you reach a wet sand texture. It should clump when you squeeze it with your hand.
  • Use two pieces of your mini bath bomb molds to compress the powder. Repeat.
  • Allow the molds to dry for at least 2-3 hours, pressing down to make them firm.
  • Remove your fizzy toilet bombs and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.

Notes

  • The mixture will fizz up slightly while you’re adding water. Just keep stirring and it will be fine!
  • For extra fizzing power, increase the citric acid to 3/4 cup. You will need to add more water, but only add enough until you reach that wet sand consistency.
  • Use different essential oil blends to change up the scent.
  • If you let the toilet bombs dry out overnight, you may need to tap or wiggle the mold to get it off. I had to use a butter knife and it helped to tap the molds first.
  • You can try other molds, like an ice cube tray, but it’s important to press the molds or they will fizz and become very crumbly.
  • If you don’t have citric acid, you can get a similar effect using 1/4 cup of each baking soda and white vinegar. I typically use a quarter cup of each. Let them fizz, then scrub with a toilet brush before flushing.
Keyword citric acid toilet cleaner, diy toilet bombs, homemade toilet cleaner
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to leave a star rating!

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Happy cleaning!

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3 Comments

  1. Wow, this is new to me, I’m definitely going to try this recipe out. It looks so simple, and I love the idea of it fizzy up, although I bet my kids would be keen to try it out on the toilet just to see if they could make it really bubbly, so may have to keep it somewhere, where they won’t waste it 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    Love the fizz & scent. Only issue is that after a week or two, it solidifying like brown sugar. Wondering if you know a way around this?

    1. This is due to the essential oils! You can keep them out of the mixture and add them separately. I also keep silica packets in my jar that I keep from other purchases. Hope this helps!

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