I want to caution you about recipes you find on the internet written by bloggers with unknown education and experience. Basically, people like me.

I found a Toilet Bowl Cleaner recipe (hereinafter referred to as “cleaner”) on one of those natural living websites. Interested in trying less toxic cleaning products, I decided to give it a try. It was a simple recipe calling for 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of castile soap, 2/3 cup of distilled water and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide.

most of the ingredients

The blogger indicated it would make 3 cups. I prefer frugal recipes and this doesn’t qualify because Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap (Certified Free Trade) was $16.19 for 32 ounces via Amazon. That amount will make the recipe four times at a cost of $4; add the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, distilled water and this recipe is just not frugal. Another Dr. Bronner’s, without the “organic oils,” was available for $14.02 which would bring it under $4 but that’s still too much for a cleaner. Perhaps, if I had looked through all 20 pages on Amazon, I might have found a cheaper brand of castile soap.

All of this went into a 25 ounce dishwater soap bottle; 3 cups = 24 ounces, right?

I shook the bottle vigorously until the ingredients combined and the baking soda dissolved. At least I thought it dissolved. Maybe it didn’t. I got distracted and didn’t return to the cleaner bottle until the next morning. I found the cleaner bottle hideously deformed. The baking soda had separated from the other liquids so I gave it a few more of those vigorous shakes and opened the lid on the bottle. KA-BLOOM.

I picked myself up off the floor, wiped the baking soda fizz from my face and narrowed my eyes at the bottle. I couldn’t help but think that the blogger who published this concoction was guilty of foisting illegal science experiments on the unsuspecting. Just call me Gullible. Clearly, something in the bottle didn’t like something else in the bottle. I decided that stuff was never going into my toilet. It’s one thing to be blown off my feet but quite another to have a hole blown in my porcelain fixture.

It continued to foam at the mouth of the closed lid for another day or so until it had off-gassed whatever was in the bottle that didn’t like being hemmed up. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the baking soda didn’t like closed quarters but, really, I’m not a science buff. Once the off-gassing subsided, I figured it was safe to open the lid, which it was, and I gave it a squeeze in the bathroom sinks and tub. I can report that it cleans really great.

I question whether the expensive castile soap is necessary. I have successfully removed all kinds of laundry stains with just two of the ingredients in this recipe — baking soda (52 cents) and hydrogen peroxide (33 cents). It qualifies for frugal and works better than Shout, Shout Advanced and OxiClean. Pour a little baking soda on the stain, squirt it with the hydrogen peroxide and let it soak several hours or overnight in the sink or a bucket. I have removed all sorts of mysterious spots from clothing and kitchen towels. Throw it in the washer after the overnight soak and voila, no stain!