• Nathalie

The best toilets hacks

January 2021.

You want the easiest toilet routine, free of armful chemicals and synthetic perfumes?

Something efficient, fast and painless? I've got you covered with my 3 steps to sparkling clean toilet using natural and safe ingredients, for you and the planet!


In 2018, scientists at the University of Arizona showed that mobile phones can carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats - yet I've never seen anyone bleach their phone.


The pantry for this post is:

  • White vinegar: 8% acidity for everyday shores, food section of your general store

  • Citric acid: solid form. Citric acid is a safe acid from citrus fruits also used in cosmetology and as food preservative.

  • Any starch: corn starch (Maizena), tapioca starch, etc.

  • Fabric scraps/Cotton tissues

More detail on the products I purchase in the footer.



Tip 1, Spray

[Vinegar]

Spray your toilet with pure 8% vinegar and wipe with a wet cloth. Vinegar is a scientifically proven bactericidal. It may not kill viruses but it kills germs. Vinegar from 10 to 14% acidity are more efficient to dissolve limescale and hard water residues in your toilet bowl but 8% vinegar is way cheaper and cleans well.


For the rest of the room (floor, walls, sink): mix 1/3 vinegar with 2/3 water, spray and wipe it off. The strong smell will vanish within a few minutes.


Wave goodbye to single use wipes: dedicate fabric cotton tissues to your toilet cleaning you'll wash separately from the other cleaning cloths. You can cut them from old fabrics or kitchen towels.

Check out my Instagram for a more complex cleaning spray DIY including fresh lemon and thyme.

Click on the image for a more complex cleaning spray DIY

including fresh lemon and thyme.



Tip 2, Gel DIY

[Vinegar + Starch]

I find that some habits are hard to fight and I missed using toilet gel for an "extra clean" effect! So I was really happy to turn my multipurpose spray into gel.


For a 500 ml bottle

  • Vinegar 200 ml: vinegar's acidic pH will alkaline hard water and dissolve mineral deposit (calcium and magnesium naturally present in the water), if you use this gel for cleaning purpose only 8% acidity vinegar is enough, if you have a lot of hard water in the bowl, look for higher acidity or check out Tip 3.

  • Tap water 250 ml: inactive ingredient.

  • Starch 3 tablespoons: we use it here for its gelatinous properties (and the fact that starch is a mild abrasive helps too).


Step by step

Whisk the starch and only 50 ml of water from the tap.

Bring to boil 200 ml of water and cut the heat.

Pour progressively the starch in the hot water and whisk: *magic* happens.

Pour progressively the vinegar and keep in whisking.

Let it cool before you transfer it in an upcycled bottle.


I like to use just a few drops of essential oils for the smell -not for the properties- and it will be the only scent used in the toilet room. Read my post on essential oils.




Step 3, Hard water stains

[Citric Acid]

Depending on how hard the toilet tank water is, hard water residue could pile at the bottom of the bowl. In Hong Kong toilet water is sea water and can leave thick, rusty/brown water stains. For this particular issue I find citric more efficient than vinegar.


Sprinkle a cup of citric acid on water at the bottom of the bowl. Wait for 30 minutes to an hour and brush. Flush and start again if needed, especially the first time.


Precautions


Label everything you make and every product you buy bulk: + date of production/date of expiration.


Store everything away from children, pets and sources of heat. Do not ingest.



I hope you'll enjoy those simple tricks and recipes as much as I do. And as if their efficiency wasn't enough, I dare you to note the price of each item bellow and compare them to the prices of the products you usually buy. Keep in mind that my pantry items can multitask into an infinite number of recipe!


Footnote:


White vinegar: minimum 5% acidity. I never purchased "cleaning vinegar", they have different acidity levels, 5% is good enough for my home use.

In Hong Kong you can find glass bottled white vinegar in the sauce/spice section of supermarkets. In other countries like France the bottles are in plastic.


Baking soda: is a type of salt you'll find in the baking aisle or cleaning section.


Citric acid: depending on where you live this one is a little trickier to find, I have the luck to find it bulk in my local bulk store.

Check you supermarket salt section (under the name kosher salts), restaurant/baking supply stores, natural food stores, craft stores.


Starch: any type from the baking aisle will do. If you have expired starch you don't want to use for cooking, now is its time to *shine!*

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