Hear me out: you don’t really need a totally separate cleaner for your toilet.

We’ve been sold this message that we need a different kind of cleaner for every single surface in our home, but that’s not really true. (I’m pretty sure it’s just to get us to spend more money.)

One thing I usually recommend as a way to save money and have to worry about less ingredients is to just use less products.

You don’t need a separate cleaner for your toilet… You can just use a safe all-purpose or bathroom cleaner!

That’s why my favorite toilet bowl cleaners listed below are not toilet bowl cleaners *specifically*—they’re just great all-purpose cleaners.

Or, you can always just make your own DIY toilet bowl cleaner for super cheap (which is my last recommendation below).

That said, I know that some folks just prefer to use separate cleaners for their toilet… You might like the drop-in tablets or the bottles with the curved shape that makes it easier to get under the rim of the bowl.

I get it! That’s why I’ve included some recommendations for those below as well. 👍

This guide contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. As always, we only make recommendations that are genuine.

Toxic Ingredients to Watch Out for in Conventional Toilet Bowl Cleaners

I likely don’t have to tell you that a lot of the toilet bowl cleaners sold in stores today can contain pretty harsh ingredients.

(You’ve probably experienced it before: you’re cleaning in a small, confined space and then all of those fumes start to irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, maybe even giving you a headache.)

Toilet bowl cleaner can be one of the most toxic types of cleaning products in your home, and unfortunately, it can be easily consumed by pets or kids:

  • many pets drink from the toilet
  • a colored liquid can be more appetizing for a child
  • if the cleaners are stored under the bathroom sink, it’s easier for little ones to get to

So that said, some ingredients commonly used in toilet bowl cleaners you’ll want to avoid when possible include:

  • Ammonia
  • Antibacterials (including “quats” and things that end in “cide,” which are usually pesticides)
  • Bleach
  • Fatty alcohols (This is common in conventional toilet bowl drop-in tablets and the automatic tablets you hook on the side of the bowl, which is part of what makes many drop-in toilet bowl cleaners unsafe.)
  • Formaldhyde releasers (such as methenamine)
  • Hydrochloric acid (which is different than hypochlorous acid)
  • PEGs & other ethoxylated ingredients
  • Undisclosed “fragrance
  • Unnecessary dyes (like the ones that turn your toilet water blue)
eco friendly toilet bowl cleaners on The Filtery.com

No antibacterials?! But I need to disinfect my toilet! It’s gross!

I hear you.

In general, I don’t recommend antibacterials in the home. Although they certainly have their place (like in medical facilities, for example), we’ve come to overuse them as a society.

One of the biggest problems with antibacterials and disinfectants is that they contribute to antibiotic resistance. This is become a serious problem that leads to millions of deaths each year.

Depending on the specific ingredient, other problems associated with antibacterials in general include aquatic toxicity, microbiome disruption, endocrine disruption, reproductive harm, cancer, asthma, and skin/respiratory irritation.

A regular cleaner (which is really just soap) will clean your toilet perfectly well. But, I get that some folks may still want or need to disinfect for various reasons. That’s why I recommend Force of Nature as a safer disinfectant. It uses hypochlorous acid, which is a non-toxic, EPA-registered disinfectant that’s been used in medical facilities for decades.

My Thoughts & Recommendations on the Best Natural & Eco-Friendly Toilet Bowl Cleaners

Alright, let’s get to it. Here are the brands I recommend trying out for yourself:

1. Branch Basics Bathroom Cleaner

non toxic toilet bowl cleaner brands Branch Basics on TheFiltery.com

Type: Liquid spray
Price: $67+ for a Starter Kit; $55 for a Concentrate refill
Scented? No

I’ve been using Branch Basics for years now and it’s hands-down one of my favorite cleaning brands.

While Branch Basics doesn’t necessarily have a “toilet bowl cleaner,” they have a Bathroom Cleaner that I’ve been using to clean my toilet for a long time now.

It’s a liquid spray cleaner, which I personally like because I can easily spray all over the toilet bowl and into any nicks and crannies.

Basically, how it works is: you get a bottle of *The Concentrate,* and then you just add water to dilute that into different bottles for different areas of your home. So you the Bathroom Cleaner is going to be more concentrated than the All-Purpose Cleaner, which is more concentrated than the Streak-Free Window/Mirror Cleaner. You get the idea.

There are markings on the bottle that show you exactly how much Concentrate and water to put in, making it super easy. But technically, you could make your own concentration if you wanted something even stronger!

Branch Basics Review on TheFiltery.com

The Concentrate is made with minimal ingredients, which are all safe, plant-based, and free from things like endocrine-disruptors, allergens, and more.

Plus, it’s MADE SAFE certified (which is one of the best certifications for safe ingredients) and Leaping Bunny certified Cruelty-Free as well.

What I like:

  • It works really well to get rid of dirt, scum, etc.
  • It’s truly an all-purpose product that you can use for everything in your bathroom and most surfaces in your home (no need to buy a bunch of different products!).
  • Even though a bottle of the Concentrate is pricey, it goes a really long way.

What I don’t like:

  • Expensive to get started

Use code THEFILTERY for 15% off Starter Kits.

P.S. Hot Tip: If you’re dealing with any bad stains, you can use the Branch Basics Oxygen Boost Powder to deep clean your toilet bowl:

  • Just sprinkle 1 scoop (or more if needed) of the powder around your toilet bowl before bed.
  • Let it sit overnight. 
  • Scrub lightly in the morning, flush, and wipe down the seat and base using the liquid spray cleaner as normal.

2. Meliora

Type: Liquid spray and/or powder scrub
Price: $5.49+
Scented? You choose (Home Cleaning Scrub Powder comes in Unscented and Peppermint Tea Tree)

I’ve been using Meliora Cleaning Products for years as well.

Similarly to Branch Basics, they don’t carry a toilet bowl cleaner specifically, but you can use their All-Purpose Cleaning Spray and/or the Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub (powder) to clean your toilet easily. (I usually use the All-Purpose Spray for a regular clean and then add the scrub powder if I want to do more of a deep clean.)

Here is a toilet cleaning guide straight from the Meliora team in case it’s helpful!

Meliora’s products come with several third-party certifications too, including MADE SAFE® and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free. It’s also made in the USA (Chicago!).

What I like:

  • Low-waste and almost plastic-free!
  • It’s more affordable to get started.

What I don’t like:

  • Hmm… Can’t think of anything!

Use code THEFILTERY10 for 10% off.

3. Force of Nature (Disinfectant)

non toxic toilet bowl cleaners on TheFiltery.com

Type: Liquid spray
Price: $70+ for Starter Kits; $24+ for refills of the Activator Tablets
Scented? It does not have any added fragrance, but it does have a mild smell to it. (Smells a little bit like pool water!)

As I mentioned, if you really want or need to disinfect your toilet, I recommend using Force of Nature. It’s registered with the EPA to clean 99.9% of germs, bacteria, & viruses.

Instead of toxic chemicals like triclosan or quats, it uses a combination of hypochlorous acid (a disinfectant) and sodium hydroxide (a degreaser).

This is another one that’s not necessarily a “toilet bowl cleaner,” but rather an all-purpose cleaner that has a ton of different uses around your home—toilet included.

It comes with a few certifications, such as Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free and the Clean Label Project Purity Award.

What I like:

  • If you want or need to disinfect, this is one of the safest ways to do it.
  • Relatively low-waste (the small activator capsules are plastic though).
  • Simple, minimal ingredients.

What I don’t like:

  • There’s a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never used it before.
  • Kind of expensive to get started (you have to buy a Starter Kit with an activator machine).
  • Even though this is a safe disinfectant, I still don’t love to overuse disinfectants in my home. That’s why it’s not my sole cleaner.

Use code THEFILTERY30 for 30% off your own Starter Kit or bundle. 

4. Mama’s Suds

Type: Drop-in tablet
Price: $16.50
Scented? Yes – essential oils of tea tree, organic peppermint, & lemon

I mentioned above that many conventional drop-in toilet bowl cleaners are unsafe because of various toxic ingredients like fatty alcohols, formaldehyde-releasers, undisclosed fragrance, unnecessary dyes, and more.

(And I would argue that the “automatic” tablets that hook onto the side of your toilet are even worse than the drop-in kind because they’re constantly releasing these chemicals into the air and water.)

Ingredients aside, I personally don’t really like the drop-in tablets in general. I think using a spray or a gel bottle (like the Rosey one below) is better for letting the cleaner sit around the entirety of the bowl.

All that said, if you prefer the drop-in tablets, Mama’s Suds is one of the best options for a safe toilet bowl cleaner!

These toilet “bombs” (as they call them) are made with minimal, all-natural ingredients: sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda), non-GMO citric acid, water, and essential oils of tea tree, organic peppermint, and lemon. That’s it!

I like how Mama’s Suds gives you some suggestions for other uses for their toilet bombs as well:

  • to keep diaper pails fresh
  • washing machine cleaner
  • garbage disposal cleaner
  • masking odors when going to the bathroom in public! (drop it in the toilet before you go)

What I like:

  • Plastic-free
  • Made by a mom-owned & operated small business
  • Can double as a natural toilet tank tablet!

What I don’t like:

  • May not be sufficient for extremely hard water

5. Blueland

Type: Drop-in tablet
Price: $18+
Scented? Yes – Lemon Cedar

Blueland is another pretty good option for eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner tablets. They’re made from 9 ingredients and nothing weird such as undisclosed fragrance or fatty alcohols.

It’s free from plastic bottles, making it a great low-waste option. It comes with several third-party certifications, including EPA Safer Choice, Cradle to Cradle Certified™, and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free.

What I like:

  • Low-waste
  • There is a light citrusy-musky smell, which is actually kind of nice. It’s not overpowering. (And all fragrance ingredients are disclosed, too; it’s just lemongrass oil.)

What I don’t like:

  • No fragrance-free option (Lemon Cedar is the only option).
  • Contains SLS (This can be irritating for some folks. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem for most people since the toilet bowl cleaner isn’t really coming into contact with your skin, but some people may choose to avoid it.)

6. Rosey by Thrive Market

Type: Liquid gel in a squeeze bottle
Price: $3.99 for 24 oz
Scented? Yes – Eucalyptus & Tea Tree

If you really like the gel toilet bowl cleaners with the curve-shaped bottle, this is basically the only one I’ve been able to find that I feel comfortable recommending at this time.

Like the other safe toilet bowl cleaners featured here, this one is made from minimal, eco-friendly and non-toxic ingredients.

It works really well and leaves a very “clean” smell in your bathroom. It was a little bit too strong for me (not so strong that I won’t finish the bottle though), but I know some folks may like that!

What I like:

  • I personally like toilet bowl cleaners with this shape of bottle because of how easy it is to get the cleaner underneath the rim of the toilet bowl.
  • More affordable.

What I don’t like:

  • Single-use plastic bottle!
  • You have to be a Thrive Member to buy it.
  • The smell is a little strong.

7. Easy DIY Recipe

Type: Liquid (you can either put it into a squeeze bottle or a spray bottle—whichever you prefer)
Price: Cheap!
Scented? You choose – you can add essential oils if you want, or don’t.

This recipe comes from Julie Eigenmann! In a squeeze bottle or spray bottle, just mix together:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/8 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup castile soap, like Dr. Bronner’s (alternatively, you can use non-toxic dishwashing liquid)
  • Optional: you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils if you want

Shake before each use.

That’s it! 🌿

What I like:

  • Easy to make using what you (probably) already have at home
  • One of the most affordable options for a natural toilet bowl cleaner
  • Very customizable in terms of how much you make and what scents you use

What I don’t like:

  • DIY just isn’t everyone’s thing!

P.S. PRO TIP for hard water: If you have super hard water, you can get rid of stains and buildup with just vinegar. This video does a great demonstration showing you how.

Grab a Plastic-Free Toilet Brush

The next time you need to replace your toilet bowl brush, here are a few places you can get a plastic-free one:

Hot Tip:

If you decide to go with the Force of Nature cleaner, you can use that on your toilet brush. You can just spray the disinfectant right on the brush and you can either rinse it off or not.

I hope you found this article helpful on your search for safe & natural toilet bowl cleaners! To get more tips, tricks, news, and more delivered to your inbox once a week, sign up for my newsletter, Filtered Friday.

About Abbie

Abbie Davidson is the Creator & Editor of The Filtery. With almost a decade of experience in sustainability, she researches and writes content with the aim of helping people minimize environmental toxins in an in-depth yet accessible way.

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