Let’s be frank: people rarely look forward to going near toilets, regardless of whether they own them or not. But visiting bathrooms just happens to be one of the unavoidable consequences of living in the Western world – so why not make this job a little less of a chore? You could, for instance, follow the example of many people who have been inspired to pour fluid ounces of Coca-Cola down the pan. Why would they do this? Well, as we’ll see, the effects can be surprisingly dramatic.
But besides this, there can actually be good reasons for finding alternative ways of keeping the toilet spick and span. For example, some might be wary of the harmful effects that abrasive cleaners can have on their health or the environment. Others may want to save money by looking for cheaper alternatives to specialized cleaning products.
The good news is that there are many common items that can easily be used to make cleaning the bathroom a little more… interesting. And what’s more, you can probably already find some of these ingredients around your home. That means you can achieve sparkling results in your toilet while expending very little time or effort. Seems too good to be true, right?
Well, it really isn’t. After all, it’s pretty much a given that many products devised for cleaning toilets contain hydrochloric acid. This substance can also cause burns when it comes into contact with human tissue. So given the number of times we visit bathrooms each day, using natural ingredients to clean them could offer more peace of mind.
Need an example? Well, baking soda is an abrasive cleaner that also neutralizes odors. And by combining it with Castile soap – which is made from olive oil – and water, you’ll potentially make an effective all-natural toilet cleaner. You could embellish the recipe further by adding essential oils such as lemon, tea tree oil or lavender for a fresh fragrance, too. Just finish the job with a spray of hydrogen peroxide and simply flush clean.
More stubborn stains can also be easily tackled using natural products. Hard water stains and rust are, for example, usually difficult to remove. But, according to online sources, using a simple concoction consisting of two cups of vinegar and one cup of baking soda will get your toilet bowl gleaming again in no time.
Blockages are often another major headache – but there’s supposedly a very simple, natural solution for these as well. The first step is to make sure the drainage pipe is empty of water. Then fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water has reached the correct temperature, just tip the contents down the toilet and then flush. This will, apparently, solve many of your problems.
Yet some blockages can be even harder to remove. Don’t despair, though, because there still may be an easy fix. You could try, for instance, adding some boiling water to the toilet bowl along with a half-cup of baking soda. Then leave this mixture for a few minutes before tipping in two cups of vinegar and another cup of hot water. Lower the lid to allow for a chemical reaction, wait for about 20 minutes, then flush.
How about those stubborn toilet bowl water marks? Well, these could perhaps be tackled using a pumice stone. To do this, first immerse the pumice in warm water before applying it to a wet toilet bowl. This last point is important: both the bowl and the stone should be soaked to avoid damage to the porcelain. Then you can just rub away the stain and flush the toilet clean.
For a toilet-cleaning method that requires less effort, however, there is an even simpler trick. Plain white vinegar is, in fact, incredibly useful for cleaning – and it’s kinder to the skin and environment. So douse some toilet paper in vinegar and rest it on top of the stain overnight before flushing it clean.
And if you’re concerned about all the nasty germs that can accumulate in a toilet bowl, well, there’s apparently an effective solution for that, too. People often say that hydrogen peroxide handles this job really well – and that it is better than the harsh chemicals of store-bought cleaners. So if you want to try it out for yourself, just add a half cup of it into the bowl and flush after a half hour.
While you’re at it, why not try making a fizzy toilet bomb? All you supposedly need is baking soda, corn starch, water and citric acid – plus essential oils if you want something more fragrant. Mix it all together and then toss it into the toilet bowl. This is a seemingly cheap and fun way to do the worst chore to a high standard.
But what about those parts of the toilet that some people might neglect? The flush handle or button, for example, might not necessarily get the attention from which it could benefit. Well, the internet reckons that the solution to this is a simple one: baby oil. Yes, just dab a few drops of baby oil on a soft, clean cloth and buff the handle out until it shines. Same for the porcelain.
Yet if you want the chrome on your toilet to maintain its shine, take preventive measures to keep it that way. By coating screws and bolts with a clear nail lacquer, for instance, the fixings could be protected from unwanted splashes. This could in turn keep them free of rust. As a bonus, this protection will supposedly keep the screws tight, stopping movement in the seat.
Another part of the toilet that might get neglected when cleaning is its siphon jets. Although you can’t see them on the outside of toilets, siphon jets should be tackled annually. To do this, you could safely secure duct tape over each siphon and add vinegar to the tank. Then flush, leaving the vinegar to collect in the duct tape around the siphons. The vinegar can then do its magic overnight.
What if you don’t have access to things like hydrogen peroxide and essential oils? Well, in these cases, there are other options. For one thing, people have suggested using half a grapefruit and some sea salt to make a sponge. All you apparently have to do is generously sprinkle the salt over the cut side of a grapefruit and then rub it over the wet surface of the toilet bowl. The fragrance will be divine, too.
Grapefruit supposedly doubles as a cleaning hack elsewhere in the bathroom, too. If grime has built up around the bathtub over time, for instance, use the same technique described above to get it gleaming once more. The whole bathroom will sparkle as well as smelling citrus-fresh, according to internet experts.
If it’s the stains on the grout between your bathroom tiles that are driving you mad, there are a number of ways to tackle them as well. A bleach pen can be handy, of course, but the unsightly stains can also apparently be banished with a mixture of one part water to one part white vinegar. Alternatively, you could try scrubbing them away with a toothbrush loaded with bicarbonate of soda.
And another everyday item that can be used as a cleaning product around the bathroom is a lemon. So if your faucets are looking dull due to water marks, you might be able to bring them back to a shine by rubbing them with a cut lemon. With more stubborn areas, though, the advice is to tackle them with bicarbonate of soda.
H2O can actually cause a surprising number of problems in the bathroom – especially if you’re in an area supplied with hard water. So if, say, your shower head becomes blocked with limescale, you could perhaps tie a bag filled with distilled vinegar over it. Then let it sit for an hour, remove and turn the water on to rinse. People advise adding bicarbonate of soda for excessive build-up, too.
Bicarbonate of soda is actually a pretty common ingredient in these natural cleaners. For instance, bicarb and vinegar is supposedly a recipe to beat mildew on the shower curtain. For this, throw the curtain in the washer and mix a half cup of bicarb in with your washing powder. Online sources reckon you should then set it to a low temperature cycle and, right before the rinse, throw in a half cup of white vinegar.
Using these hacks can also potentially save you from buying multiple products when one will do the job. For instance, a concoction of white vinegar, rubbing alcohol of 70 percent concentrate and water can tackle a number of different areas. This mix can clean, say, the shower screen, mirrors and windows all at once.
Speaking of shower screens and mirrors, a quick buff with black tea or cooking oil will apparently make them shine. Both of these substances can reportedly tackle limescale and grime as well. But prevention is better than cure, so why not wipe down mirrors and screens after every shower? And here’s a bonus tip: polishing the mirror with shaving foam will stop it misting up altogether, for a couple of weeks at a time.
Yet there are other ways to clean toilets that require next to no effort. For example, people say if you drop two tablets of Alka Seltzer into the toilet and leave them to fizz, they’ll get rid of grime. Four tablets with a vinegar chaser will supposedly shift drain blockages, too. But there’s a lesser-known pantry staple that also doubles as a handy cleaner.
Believe it or not, Coca-Cola can reportedly be an awesome solution for shifting stains from the toilet bowl. It’s believed that the acids in the beverage act as a cleaning agent, you see. And what’s more, Coke is often available to buy for under 50 cents a liter – so it could work out far cheaper than traditional cleaning products.
In fact, a 12-fluid-ounce can should be enough Coke to tackle light toilet stains. How does it work? Simply pour the liquid around the bowl’s rim, allowing it to run over all the grime and dirt. You could also empty the Coca-Cola can into a spray bottle and then spray an even application of the drink over the bowl.
Then soak paper towels or an old cloth with Coca-Cola and apply by hand to those harder-to-reach spots. As you tip the Coke into the bowl, though, it may appear to sink to the bottom. Don’t worry, this is fine – as everything will have been coated when you poured the drink into the toilet.
Next, just leave it; allow the Coca-Cola to work its magic in the toilet bowl. And the longer you let it sit, the better the results will be. In fact, if you make it the last thing you do before going to bed, you can supposedly leave it until the morning.
Then, when you wake up in the morning, simply flush the grime away. Any stains will apparently disappear before your eyes – or they should at least be loosened. For more stubborn areas, though, a second application may be necessary. But even with tough spots, there are ways to help it along.
For instance, after you’ve coated the toilet bowl with Coca-Cola, you could also give it a good scrub. The abrasion of a brush or scrubbing pad will then help loosen stains soaked in Coke. And if you take this action both before and after applying the beverage, the stains will be more easily tackled.
Here’s another tip provided via online experts: try heating the beverage first. You see, it’s generally true that most chemical reactions occur more rapidly at a higher temperature. So by heating the Coca-Cola – in an unsealed container in a microwave – before its application, the results may be more effective. Be warned, though: caution must be exercised while handling hot substances, and only microwave-safe containers should be used.
In addition to these techniques, a Coca-Cola cocktail could also be made using some of the items mentioned earlier. For instance, a solution of vinegar, baking soda and water could be applied and rinsed before using the Coke method for a more effective result. The same goes for a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.
And by mixing one part Coke together with two parts Borax (sodium borate) and one part lemon juice, cleaning apparently becomes far more simpler. Just pour the cocktail into the bowl, leave it for an hour and then scrub and flush. Yet it’s not only toilet stains that can be tackled with Coca-Cola.
Apparently, grease stains on clothing can also be blitzed using Coca-Cola. The idea is to combine a canful of Coke with your detergent and run it through your regular wash cycle. Or, perhaps, soak stubborn stains in Coke for a half hour before tossing it into the washer. The drink can be used for tougher jobs as well.
Yes, Coca-Cola can go some way toward removing stains from pots – and even lifting rust from nuts and bolts. So when corrosion builds up around your car battery’s positive and negative electricity nodes, you could simply crack open a can of Coke, according to online sources. And the drink’s uses also stretch beyond cleaning and into the back yard or porch.
So if you have an issue with slugs and snails – and don’t mind killing them – place a dish containing Coca-Cola out for them. The creatures will then reportedly be lured in by the drink’s sugar content, only to find that its acid will exterminate them. Coke can also apparently remove oil stains from paving and help break down compost. But what is it that makes Coke so versatile?
Well, the ingredients in Coca-Cola that make it a great cleaning product are phosphoric and carbonic acid. Phosphoric acid is a preservative that combats bacteria and mold, which can thrive in sugary environments. Carbonic acid, on the other hand, is formed when carbon dioxide is added to liquid to make it fizz.
The cleaning properties of Coke, then, are caused by its carbonation rather than its liquid makeup. So whether you’re a “full-fat” Coke, Coke Zero or Diet Coke person, it doesn’t really matter, as all should work. Other carbonated drinks may be used, too, but they tend to be more expensive.
You may also wonder, if Coke is capable of performing the same tasks as cleaning products, what it might do to your guts when you drink it. But the detrimental health effects of drinking Coca-Cola reportedly relate entirely to the sugar and caffeine content – and not the carbonation. In fact, it’s the phosphoric acid that apparently helps to make it more palatable.
So the next time you face the daunting task of cleaning the toilet, maybe rethink your strategy. Do you have a can of Coke in the fridge? If the answer is yes, you could perhaps crack it open, pour it down into the bowl and kick back while it works its magic. You’ll have a sparkling john in no time…