Do you want to maintain a clean, green toilet basin? Are you on the look out for an eco friendly toilet cleaner that does just the job but without the harsh chemicals?
From toxic, heavily processed chemicals to plastic packaging, most toilet cleaners do come with a big environmental footprint. But eco toilet cleaners are growing in popularity as they come with a lesser impact on the environment.
I always felt a bit guilty pouring heavy chemicals down the toilet and into our waterways. It doens’t have to be this way though. Eco toilet cleaners and even plastic-free cleaners will work just as well as mainstream options!
Keep reading to learn more about some of our current eco friendly toilet cleaner favourites.
- Are toilet cleaners safe for the environment?
- What are the environmental and health effects of these chemicals?
- Can toilet cleaners be eco friendly?
- What to avoid when buying eco friendly toilet cleaners?
- But do eco toilet cleaners work?
- 11 Best Eco Friendly Toilet Cleaners
- Wrap up on best eco friendly toilet cleaner
Disclaimer: This blog post does contain affiliate links. If you go on to make a purchase I may make a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps me with the running costs of this website.
Are toilet cleaners safe for the environment?
Even though there’s no set formula used by all toilet care brands, you’re likely to see many of the same ingredients when looking at a toilet cleaner’s label.
Thanks to their cleaning effectiveness and strong antibacterial properties, harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach and hydrochloric acid are often the first ingredients to come up in toilet cleaning formulas.
Hydrochloric acid is used for dealing with the most stubborn stains and limescale, as it’s perfect for breaking down all residues.
Chlorine bleach, on the other hand, is a strong antibacterial agent that can deal with all types of toilet germs, as well as get rid of stains.
The effectiveness of these ingredients can’t be put into question, but most shop-bought toilet cleaners do come with environmental costs, as well as safety issues.
What are the environmental and health effects of these chemicals?
Both hydrochloric acid and bleach are known for contributing to air pollution. Issues like acid rain and chemical fog, as well as producing airborne particles, leading to health concerns for both humans and pets.
On top of that, chlorine bleach is considered harmful to aquatic life and as well as indoor environments. One study found bleach-containing toilet cleaners to be a source of VOCs.
The chemical, even though diluted, travels from your toilet bowl to our waterways. During this production process, bleach also ends up being released into surrounding canals. You can read more on bleach, its environmental impact and green bleach alternatives here.
Prolonged exposure to hydrochloric acid has been found to cause eye and nose irritation and even respiratory tract inflammation.
In addition to the dangers posed by these chemicals, the vast majority of toilet cleaners also come in plastic packaging. While the type of plastic used for these products is suitable for recycling after a thorough clean (read more on plastic recycling numbers here), recycling is far from a perfect solution to worldwide pollution.
Can toilet cleaners be eco friendly?
The good news is that yes, eco friendly toilet cleaners do exist!
Some of the best eco toilet cleaners are:
- Homemade DIY formulas
- Cruelty-free cleaners that haven’t been tested on animals
- Refill options
- Concentrated products
DIY toilet cleaner
This incredibly simple formula can clean your toilet just as well as shop bought formulas if you allow for some vigorous scrubbing and let the solution sit for around 20 minutes.
As many already know white vinegar is a highly effective cleaning ingredient with multiple uses around the house.
Another option is to pour four parts borax substitute to one part vinegar in your toilet at night before scrubbing and cleaning in the morning. This is a powerful eco cleaner!
Refill toilet cleaner
Refill stations are also becoming a more popular way to top up your toilet cleaner. This is great as the option to refill dramatically decreases the use of single-use plastic.
You can find refill stations at your nearest zero waste shop or sometimes in health food shops.
I’ve been recently using the refillable eco toilet cleaner from Miniml. The peppermint and spearmint cleaner smells fantastic and works really well. You can order refills online or visit a nearby refill partner.
Concentrated toilet cleaner
It’s also possible to buy concentrated eco versions of toilet cleaner. The reason this is an eco option is because the main ingredient in traditional toilet cleaners is water. This is a similar story to eco friendly laundry detergent sheets, which do away with adding water during manufacturing.
You can just add water at home, which significantly reduces carbon emissions during transport as well as high consumption of water during manufacturing.
But if you prefer to stick to shop bought bottles, there are plenty of options for effective cleaners and bacteria-killing products free of plastic and harsh chemicals.
What to avoid when buying eco friendly toilet cleaners?
Sticking to the list above will help you opt for a more eco toilet cleaner.
However, there are a few things that you should like out for when selecting a toilet cleaner for you to avoid!
Make sure you stay clear of:
- Cleaners that have been tested on animals
- Full of toxic chemicals
- Inclusion of palm oil
- Virgin plastic (go for post-consumer recycled plastic)
But do eco toilet cleaners work?
As toilets are naturally the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of germs and bacteria, it’s not surprising that many consumers find it hard to trust gentler cleaning solutions.
The reason why bleach is still one of the most popular ingredients for toilet cleaners, despite its harshness, comes down to its antibacterial power.
But you don’t have to use chlorine bleach to see results!
Eco toilet cleaners contain natural active ingredients designed to kill bacteria and clean your toilet in the same way that traditional cleaners work.
11 Best Eco Friendly Toilet Cleaners
So, what are the best eco toilet cleaners and plastic-free versions you can find on the market?
You can take your time researching and use our guide for the best online eco shops to discover new places to buy your eco goods online. But in the meantime, here’s a list of some of the best eco friendly cleaners for your toilet!
Bide sell a range of eco friendly cleaning products. As for toilet cleaners, they make non-toxic, eco toilet bombs made from 100% natural and vegan ingredients. For a refreshing smell, these bombs are infused with essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender.
- 100% natural ingredients
- Vegan friendly
- Non-plastic packaging that’s recyclable or compostable
The Miniml toilet cleaner is a fantastic eco friendly product. This cleaner is made in Yorkshire using biodegradable, plant-based formula. There are no artificial dyes or fragrances. I’ve been using the spearmint and peppermint eco toilet cleaner and it smells delightful.
Miniml operate a closed loop system for refilling all of their products. You can order this to be delivered to your home or visit one of their refill partners across the UK.
- Made in the UK
- Plant-based biodegradable formula
- Closed loop zerowaste system
Ecoleaf stock their toilet cleaner in both 5L and 20L bulk sizes. These are fantastic for refilling at home or at your local zero waste shop.
Ecoleaf use non-toxic, sustainable, plant-based ingredients that come packaged in 100% recycled plastic bottles. The whole of Ecoleaf’s product range has been certified as cruelty free and contains the Vegan society logo.
- Plant-based ingredients made in the UK
- Certified Vegan and cruelty free
- Bulk sizes made from 100% recycled plastic
Greenscents Loo Cleaner is a brilliant eco option. This cleaner uses 98% organic ingredients, including organic cider vinegar and neem oil and is available as scented or non-scented.
Greenscents have a 500ml version available in glass packaging with an aluminum top, or you can go big with a 5L or 20L refill option where the packaging is made from recyclable HDPE.
- Glass bottles available – all packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable
- Bulk and refill options
- Organic, plant based ingredients
Made without the use of bleach, sulphates or parabens, the Bentley organic eco toilet cleaner is a plant-powered environmentally friendly option.
The Bentley toilet cleaner is completely biodegradable, vegan approved and certified organic by the Soil Association.
- Soil Association organic approved
- Vegan friendly
- Plant-based ingredients
Handmade in Devon, the Planet Detox scrub is a brilliant eco toilet cleaner option. The scrub comes in powder form that can be sprinkled on your toilet. All natural ingredients are used, including essential oils and pumice powder, whilst being SLS and palm oil free.
There is no plastic with Planet Detox. Their 500g toilet cleaner comes in a paper bag inside a recyclable / compostable box, whereas their 1kg version comes in a paper wrapper.
- Plastic free, paper-based packaging
- Natural, vegan friendly ingredients
- Made in Devon
Mix Clean Green toilet cleaner is not only one of the best plastic-free toilet cleaners on the market but also one of the most sustainable when it comes to active ingredients.
This is a water-free cleaning powder featuring organic scents and citric acid to tackle limescale, plus a bio-surfactant made from 100% renewable resources.
And the best part? Once you’re out of powder, you can choose to order a plastic-free refill rather than ordering brand-new packaging!
- Water-free, non-toxic, powdered ingredients
- Free from palm oil, parabens and vegan friendly
MACK offers a toilet cleaning solution like no other: A fully biodegradable gel that sticks to your toilet and leaves no residue when flushed away, coming in plastic-free, recyclable cardboard packaging.
This is a pH-neutral formula based on citric acid and sodium carbonate, specially designed to lift grime and stimulate the growth of odour-killing bacteria.
- Plastic-free, cardboard packaging
- Biodegradable gel
- Vegan and cruelty free
The eco toilet cleaner from Bio-D is concentrated and 100% naturally derived. You can get a fragrance free version or one fragranced with essential oils. Bio-D use post-consumer waste plastic bottles and offer refill sizes. I’ve used the Bio-D eco washing up liquid and they produce high quality products.
The Bio-D eco cleaner is free from toxic chemicals is certified vegan friendly. This formula does contain sustainable palm oil.
- Post-consumer waste plastic bottles
- Vegan friendly
- Ingredients free from synthetic toxins
If you’re looking for a natural eco friendly toilet cleanner, Ecozone is a fantastic choice.
Ecozone toilet cleaner is completely plant-based with no petrochemicals, artificial preservatives or synthetic fragrances. I’ve also used the Ecozone eco washing up liquid before and that was brilliant.
These handy bombs are made of 100% natural ingredients, including citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, and either tea tree or lemongrass oil.
Non-toxic and easy to use, these bombs are perfect for giving your toilet a much-needed refresh in between deeper cleaning sessions, while still providing antibacterial and cleaning action through its essential oils, without any harsh chemicals!
- Plant-based ingredients
- UK made
- Not tested on animals
Ecover Toilet Cleaner features fully biodegradable and plant-based ingredients, including citric acid, sodium citrate, and lauryl glucoside, designed to tackle limescale.
While not plastic-free, Ecover’s bottles are made of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic, which allows them to be turned into resin to create new packaging once used.
The kicker with Ecover is that they are owned by SC Johnson who are not ethical with their other brands.
- Biodegradable, plant-based ingredients
- 100% recycled plastic bottles
- Available in bulk refills
Wrap up on best eco friendly toilet cleaner
As you can see, there are many ways you can keep your toilet clean and germ-free without using toxic chemicals that could put your health and the health of the planet on the line.
Natural ingredients like citric acid, found in virtually all chemical-free toilet cleaners, can take care of lifting dirt, removing odours, and keeping bacteria at bay.
And while not all eco friendly cleaning solutions come in biodegradable packaging, you can still find plenty of recyclable and plastic-free toilet cleaners that will get the job done!
Before you go
If you’re looking to run a more sustainable bathroom, one great swap you can make is with your toilet paper.
Switching is so easy and there are a number of good eco friendly toilet paper brands out there now.
If you found that useful, read more blogs here…
I’m the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about living a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life. Away from the laptop, I love spending time in nature and with my young family (plus Murphy the dog!). I write and send out the Eco Life Newsletter.