Do you know anyone that likes to clean toilets? Not me, that is for sure. On the other hand, proper sanitation is very high up on my list of priorities so having a spotless bathroom is more than just a nicety, it is a must!
One of my goals these past six months has been to create a chemical free home, utilizing only natural ingredients to perform basic home and personal cleaning tasks. Many I have already shared with you and some are a work in progress. My latest success, though, is DIY toilet bombs.
First off, let me say that this is not a joke. Toilet bombs are fizzy little balls of baking soda and citric acid that are combined with a bit of water and optionally, some essential oils to keep toilet bowls sparkling with a minimum of effort.
Why is this important to preppers? Let me give you three reasons.
1. Maintaining a healthy home that is toxic free will help ensure your own personal good health. Who wants to inhale dangerous chemical compounds that will compromise your immune system and make you sick?
2. Part of being prepared means stockpiling supplies that you can use when traditional grocery stores become inaccessible. With just a few ingredients, you can create your own cleaning supplies and drop your dependence upon traditional grocery distribution systems.
3. Saving money. The more you can save on cleaning supplies, the more you have left over for things such as food and medicine.
How Does a Toilet Bomb Work?
The way they work is that after your initial toilet bowl cleaning (that, to be honest, may take some elbow grease), you simply drop a toilet bomb into the bowl, let it bubble and fizz until dissolved, then wait about 20 or 30 minutes to let it do its thing. Give the bowl a quick swish with your toilet brush and you are done.
As a bonus, depending on whether you choose to use essential oils or not, you have a nice, sweet-smelling bathroom.
How to Make Toilet Bombs
1. Mix the baking soda and citric acid in a bowl.
2. If you are using the optional essentials oils (highly recommended), add them now and mix like crazy using a fork. At this point, the mixture will be very dry.
3. Take your spray bottle of water, and start misting the mixture, while continue to mix and fluff things up with your fork.
4. When the mixture barely starts to clump. pick up a small amount with your fingers. If you can form a loose ball, you are done. If not, keep misting and mixing.
Note: If you add too much water, your mixture will start to fizz. This is not the end of the world but stop immediately. You want the fizzing action to happen in the toilet bowl and not now.
5. Take a spoonful of the mixture and portion out into single use sizes. You can lay these out on cutting board, or stuff into an ice cube tray or silicone mold. This is the one I used and it was the perfect size for one batch.
6. If you are using a mold, gently pat the mixture down into each compartment to keep things nice and tidy.
7. Let your toilet bombs dry overnight then place in an airtight container for storage. I like to use mason jars but any type of container will work.
On cleaning day, drop your toilet bomb into the bowl, let it bubble and fizz until dissolved, then wait about 20 or 30 minutes to let it do its thing. Give the bowl a quick swish with your toilet brush and you are done.
If you have procrastinated and the toilet is extra dirty (or your water has a lot of minerals in it), there may still be a ring at the water line. After much trial and error and a lot of scrubbing, I discovered that a pumice stick will not scratch the bowl and that it will work like magic to eliminate those annoying water line marks. You will not be disappointed.
Which Essential Oils are Best to Use in Toilet Bombs?
That is a personal call. I prefer Melaleuca (or Tea Tree) because of its antimicrobial, antiseptic, and disinfecting qualities. Plus, I happen to like the smell.
Other options include some of the citrus oils or even the same combination of peppermint, lavender, and rosemary that you find in Miracle Healing Salve.
In addition, I use essential oils from Spark Naturals (get 10% off with discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL) but any brand will work. If you are using a bargain brand (such as essential oils from Now Foods), you may want to increase the number of drops to 50 to 60 to get the desired results.
A Word About Citric Acid
Citric Acid is a commonly available compound made from citrus fruits. According to Wikipedia:
Citric acid exists in greater than trace amounts in a variety of fruits and vegetables, most notably citrus fruits. Lemons and limes have particularly high concentrations of the acid; it can constitute as much as 8% of the dry weight of these fruits.
Citric acid is an excellent chelating agent, binding metals. It can be used to soften water, which makes it useful in soaps and laundry detergents. By chelating the metals in hard water, it lets these cleaners produce foam and work better without need for water softening. Citric acid is the active ingredient in some bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. A solution with a 6% concentration of citric acid will remove hard water stains from glass without scrubbing.
Food grade citric acid is used as a flavoring and preservative in food and beverages, and as a substitute for fresh lemon juice.
For my trials, I purchased a small, one pound container of citric acid but going forward, plan to purchase it in bulk, 5 to 10 pounds at a minimum, so that I can stockpile a reasonable quantity for long term storage. I plan to use it not only for DIY cleaning products, but also as a flavor enhancer.
The Final Word
I am extremely proud of my efforts to keep toxic chemicals out of my Arizona home. Something I plan to do when I get home to Washington is to clean out all of those old chemical based cleaning supplies that have been sitting under the sink, unused, for the last four years. I have been too frugal to waste them but that is foolish. I have no use for them in my current life and want to completely detox my home.
As far as I am concerned, it is never too late to take steps to live a cleaner, healthier, lifestyle.
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to the items mentioned in today’s article.
24-Cavity Silicone Brownie Squares Baking Mold: By now you should know that I am a big fan of silicone baking molds. For the first time, I purchased a real cheapie and it has performed just fine. In addition to making DIY Toilet Bombs, I have used this to bake brownies. Just be forewarned that they bake very quickly. I paid $8 for mine but as of this writing, it is only $6.99 with free prime shipping.
Now Foods Citric Acid, 1 -Pound: I used the NOW Foods brand of Citric Acid in my trials but now that I know that the toilet bombs work, I will order in this bulk, 2-pound package and save myself some money.
U.S. Pumice Pumie Scouring Stick, 2 Pack: This is the hidden gem from all of my trials and research. I had scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, trying to remove the water ring that was present when we moved in. Not wanting to use chemicals, I used baking soda, vinegar, Sal Suds and other natural ingredients in various combinations. Nothing worked until I tried this pumice stick. All I can say is WOW.
Home Basics Bronze Toilet Brush with Holder: This is the toilet brush I use.
Spark Naturals Essential 4 Pack: This 4 pack includes some of the most popular essential oils for everyday use, including lavender, peppermint, melaleuca (tea tree), and lemon. As a kit, these oils are already discounted but as an added bonus, you get an additional 10% off with discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
NOW Foods Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals. For healing purposes, I feel they are superior. On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price plus they can be purchased at Amazon.com. Here are a few to get you started: NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil, and Now Foods Lavender Oil.
Fluidmaster 400CR Toilet Fill Valve and Flapper Repair Kit: No discussion of toilets would be complete without mention of a repair kit. This is one of those items you don’t think of stockpiling but believe me, we now have a couple in reserve for emergency purposes. Why fuss with adjusting a tank valve when you can replace the whole thing for less than $12 and 10 minutes of your time?
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