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How To Clean A Toilet Without Chemicals (Video)

Toilet cleaning without any toxic or harsh chemicals is actually a pretty simple process. Learn how to remove the stained ring inside the toilet bowl, as well as how to easily maintain a clean toilet with just a few simple steps in this tutorial to get a clean toilet without chemicals.

how to clean a toilet without bleach
How to clean a toilet without chemicals.

*Keep in mind as you read this that I am just sharing my own personal opinions from thirty plus years of cleaning experience…both professionally, and in my own home, and no one is paying me to promote anything. There is a lot of conflicting opinions out there on the best way to clean a toilet, but this is just my favorite way to get the job done in my own home without adding a bunch of unnecessary cleaning chemicals & products in my home to have around my family.*

Natural Toilet Cleaning Supplies Needed List

Natural Toilet Cleaning Supply List

Below I break the toilet cleaning process up into two parts, deep cleaning the inside of the toilet bowl (teaching you how to remove the ring in the toilet bowl), and then below that I go into further detail on how to clean and disinfect your toilet with Vinegar.

Here are the supplies needed in order to complete a full scouring/deep cleaning of a toilet:

You can also use cleaning gloves, but they are optional depending on your preference, how nasty your toilet is, and preferred method of cleaning.

How to remove hard water stains in toilet

Some of you may find it strange that I believe that the first step to a clean toilet is actually to tackle the nastiest part first…which is cleaning inside the toilet bowl.

Toilet bowls are often the dirtiest part of the toilet because…well, frankly, the toilet bowl is where we take a load off…pardon me, I know my “hillbilly roots are showing” here…lol.

There’s no pretty way to say it, those #2’s are unpleasant no matter how politely we try to talk about them…

Especially when sickness has been in the house (make sure to check out what else you need to deep clean when there has been sickness in the home).

It gets even more nasty if a toilet is hard water stained, or has mineral build up that creates a ring around the toilet bowl. I have even seen some toilets that are only dirty looking (grayish even after being “cleaned” because they were previously cleaned improperly.

In case you’re wondering how that is even possible, you should be aware that you should NEVER USE STEEL WOOL TO CLEAN A TOILET…steel wool is much too abrasive and it creates deep scratches in the porcelain and so it’s nearly impossible to get a damaged toilet looking truly clean again after a steel wool incident.

Apparently it’s not super common knowledge these days to know how to get rid of a toilet ring…I’ve known since I was about seven or eight years old when my mom showed me how to do this, so I’m actually usually surprised when grown adults ask me how to solve their toilet ring problem.

So, let’s demystify the process of deep cleaning a toilet bowl, and I will show you the best way to get rid of a toilet ring for good!

What is the best cleaner for toilet bowl ring?

Let me introduce you to the best toilet bowl cleaning hack out there…which is just the use of a simple, odorless non-toxic product.

I have heard it called many things, such as a “toilet cleaning stone”, a “scouring stick for toilets”, a “cleaning pumice stone”, “pumice scourer”…and several other similar variations… but I typically just call it a “pumice stone for cleaning toilets”.

What is a cleaning pumice stone?

It’s exactly what it sounds like. It is a porous, abrasive stone, that you can use around your home to scrub various hard to clean surfaces to restore them to their formal glory.

Common items that can be cleaned with pumice are ceramic tiles, swimming pools, bbq grills, tile grout, toilets, sinks, bath tubs, and it can even be used as a rust and paint remover on metal tools (always test a small area first to make sure it’s not going to damage anything before doing the whole thing). What is a pumice stone

What is the best pumice stone to clean toilet with?

There are probably a hundred different product options out there for a pumice stone to clean a toilet with, but I always find myself using (and coming back to, if I have ever strayed) a brand that has been around since the 1940’s…and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… it was a great product back then and it still is today.

The cleaning stone brand that I use personally, and love, is made by a company called Pumie. They sell it at almost any grocery store out there, including Wal-Mart, or you can easily even get them on Amazon.

Another thing I thought I should mention is that Pumie also has a stone that is attached to a wand, which would be a great alternative product to use for those of you that are squeamish about sticking your hand into a toilet bowl. I rarely see them in stores, but here is a link to it on Amazon.

How can I naturally clean my toilet?

Now it’s time to show you how easy it is to clean toilet stains with it to get it pumice stone clean!

I know that some of you are going to be cringing hard at me cleaning without gloves, and by how gnarly this particular toilet is, but my bar for what I find gross is pretty low. I grew up as a farm kid, clean professionally for other people, and have changed thousands of diapers over the years, so very few things make me squirm… I just tie my hair up, push back my sleeves, and dive right in.

How to use a pumice stone to clean a toilet ring stain

How To Use A Pumice Stone For Toilet Bowl Cleaning

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Estimated Cost: Less than $10

Learn how to get rid of ring in the toilet (clean stained toilet bowl) with just a few simple steps.


  • Pumice Stone
  • Toilet Water
  • Cleaning Gloves (optional)


  • Toilet Cleaning Brush


  1. how to get rid of ring in toilet or hard water stains with a pumice cleaning stone step 1 Begin by assessing how much cleaning you are going to need to do. Lift up the toilet seat, close again and flush any presents your children, client, or significant other left for you, try not to gag ...and give yourself a pep talk if needed (please note that pep talks will add to the total estimated cleaning time 😛 ).
  2. how to get rid of ring in toilet or hard water stains with a pumice cleaning stone step 2 A how to get rid of ring in toilet or hard water stains with a pumice cleaning stone step 2 B Dip the toilet brush into the water and scrub inside the entire toilet bowl. Make sure to brush as far down as you can safely go in the bottom of the bowl, and go all the way around under the "lip" of the toilet bowl. Re-dip the brush into the toilet water as needed.
  3. how to get rid of ring in toilet or hard water stains with a pumice cleaning stone step 3 Set the toilet brush aside, close the lid and flush the toilet, then reopen and reassess how much scrubbing you will actually need to do with your pumie scouring stick (often the task is not nearly as bad as we thought it would be if you just remember to do the basic scrubbing with the toilet brush first, which was definitely the case with this toilet it actually only had minimal staining/mineral residue).
  4. how to get rid of ring in toilet or hard water stains with a pumice cleaning stone step 4 A how to get rid of ring in toilet or hard water stains with a pumice cleaning stone step 4 C Dip the pumice stone into the toilet water and start gently scrubbing the mineral deposits (a circular motion is typically best when possible). Make sure to scrub under the lip of the toilet bowl as that area often gets missed. Re-dip the pumice stone into the toilet water often for best results.
  5. When done scrubbing the hard water stains, close and flush the toilet once more to rinse the cleaning stone residue left in the toilet bowl. For particularly badly stained toilets, you may need to repeat steps two through five (this toilet only required me to do it once).


Do I need to wear gloves to clean a toilet?

This is one of those personal preference things. I typically only wear gloves when cleaning a toilet if I have an open sore or blister on my hands or wrist (to prevent infection), otherwise I just wash my hands and finger nails with soap and water, really well, just after. Also, if I'm cleaning for someone else and they expect me to use harsh/toxic chemicals to do the job I will also wear do so at your own discretion.

*If you have long hair, you will want to tie it up before you begin.

**I prefer to do this chore when no one else is around, to prevent any unintended damage to ears nearby #grouchycleaninglady #swearslikeasailor *

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Cleaning with a pumice stone is a great way to get out ones aggression…just kidding, we do gentle scrubbing…but it really is easy to get that toilet, shower, or even the sink (if they are made with porcelain) clean with just water and a silly, but awesome, little rock.

Cleaning a toilet with vinegar

So, once you have the toilet bowl clean, stain free, and under control, it’s a snap to clean the rest of the toilet with a simple vinegar/water mixture.

What vinegar water ratio is needed to disinfect when cleaning?

To use white distilled vinegar to clean and disinfect your toilet, you will need a 1:1 ratio (sourced here).

Simply fill your cleaning spray bottle up half way with water, and then fill the rest with vinegar (leaving enough head room for the sprayer/lid to attach back on) and you are ready for the rest of this cleaning tutorial.

How to clean a toilet with vinegar

How To Clean A Toilet With Vinegar

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Estimated Cost: Less than $10

Learn how to easily clean and disinfect toilets with white distilled vinegar.


  • Water
  • White Distilled Vinegar


  • Spray Bottle
  • Scrub Brush
  • Small Brush/Old Tooth Brush
  • Cleaning Rags


Before you begin, prepare your cleaning spray bottle by filling it half way full of water, and then top it off with white distilled vinegar (a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water is best). Then ventilate your room by turning on a fan or opening a window.

  1. Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 1 AStart top to bottom, and spray down the entire toilet with the vinegar/water solution (a mist setting on the spray bottle is best). Make sure to spray extra around the problem areas (where urine collects) which are where the seat attaches to the toilet, the underneath side of the toilet seat, and where the toilet connects to the floor.
  2. Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 2 A Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 2 B Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 2 CAllow the vinegar to soak and disinfect for about thirty seconds or so, and then use the small brush to scrub any crevices where urine tends to build-up.
  3. Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 3Use the scrub brush to scrub out any urine build-up between the toilet and the flooring, and make sure to go all the way around the base of the toilet (full circle).
  4. Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 4 A Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 4 B Grab a cleaning rag, and working top to bottom (we don't fight with gravity when cleaning) start by wiping down the lid of the toilet, followed by the tank and handle, and then wipe down the seat and base...don't forget to wipe the flooring around the toilet as well. Use a fresh rag as you go (I used five small cleaning rags to clean this toilet).
  5. Toilet cleaning and disinfecting with vinegar Step 5Repeat steps one through four as needed...but it should only be necessary to repeat anything on a very neglected toilet. Now enjoy your sparkling clean toilet!


How often should I clean my toilet?

How often it is necessary to clean a toilet is completely dependent on how many people are using it on a regular basis. It can also depend on whether or not the users are male or female. Female toilet users typically sit and so there is less urine splash, which means the toilet and surrounding areas remain much cleaner. I like to clean mine about once a week.

Either set up a cleaning schedule that you can stick to (that takes your personal situation into account), or you can become an "as needed" which case, a good rule of thumb, on when to know if it's time to clean your toilet again is just to use your nose. If you walk into a bathroom and smell urine, it is time for a toilet cleaning (this also applies if someone just showered and the bathroom now smells like urine).

*If a bathroom is particularly dirty you can use straight white distilled vinegar to clean with, but be cautious and definitely wear gloves as it is much more acidic and can burn your skin. Even if you do wear gloves though make sure to wash your hands well with soap and water when you are done.

**If you have long hair, you will want to tie it up before beginning.

***If there is any mess around the toilet area, you will want to start out by sweeping or vacuuming (only vacuum if the area is dry) all around the toilet and areas that will possibly get misted with the vinegar.

****You can use paper towels instead of rags, however, it is more "green" to use and wash cleaning rags for reuse.

*****If you would also like to disinfect your toilet tank you can add one cup of Vinegar to the toilet tank. Allow to sit until the toilet gets flushed next/overnight and it will disinfect everything on its way down too.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

See, cleaning the toilet with vinegar is actually quite a simple process and it is definitely my preferred method when you’re wondering how to clean a toilet without bleach.

Can you clean a toilet with just vinegar? You totally could skip the toilet pumice stone cleaning step if your toilet is not very bad on the inside of the bowl…and just make sure to spray the inside of the bowl down with your vinegar spray bottle and then use your toilet brush in there.

How to maintain a clean toilet

Now that you know how to basic cleaning job on that toilet, you should know that maintaining the clean is easy too.

Every couple of days it’s a good idea to get in the habit of “touching up the toilet” or even the whole bathroom in general.

You can simply do this by swishing the toilet with a toilet brush one day, or wiping down the seat/handle as needed.

Swishing the inside of the toilet bowl with a toilet brush, at least every few days, will help to prevent the mineral build up that causes the scaly looking ring inside the toilet bowl.

Similar to how your teeth get a build up if you don’t brush them regularly, the same goes for your toilet bowl…especially if you live somewhere that has very hard water.

How to maintain a clean bathroom

Another tip to keep that bathroom looking clean and fresh longer between deep cleaning is that I have gotten into the habit of using the steam after my shower as a tool for maintaining a clean bathroom.

I use the moisture from the shower steam, and a clean rag to wipe down the mirror, and the sink, spots on the floor (read about spot mopping here) and occasionally I even wipe down the outside of the toilet too with that shower steam moisture.

It really only takes me about one to two minutes out of my day (after my shower) to make sure my “bathroom maintenance gets done. Doing so greatly extends the time between needing to scour my bathroom, so I thought that I would share that little tip too.

It’s also a good idea to keep a vinegar/water spray bottle in your rest room all of the time. That way, when you have a spare moment you can just spritz your vinegar bathroom cleaner on your desired surfaces and touch things up (while sanitizing) any chance you get.

Toilet Cleaning FAQ’s

What is the best way to clean a toilet brush and holder?

I’m a big believer in not covering a subject if someone else already did a great job covering it with my same opinion…so, if you want to know how I like to keep my toilet brush and holder clean, head on over to and see what they have to say, they have a great tutorial on the subject.

How to clean a pumice stone?

Unless it’s your dedicated toilet cleaner stone, you really don’t need to clean your pumice stone after use beyond just rinsing it off and letting it dry out.

Should I use vinegar and baking soda to clean my toilet?

The vinegar and baking soda method to clean a toilet does work, but it requires a lot of patience, the toilet to not get flushed for several hours (which isn’t an option in a house with lots of occupants), and for you to remember to come back later and finish up.

I personally think that method is too time consuming and I would forget to do the following steps so I prefer to use vinegar and a pumice stone and just be done with the toilet cleaning process in under ten minutes total.

Well, that’s all I have to share with you all today and I hope that you learned something by me sharing my method on how to clean toilet without chemicals. If you have any other great pumice stone cleaning tips or a good natural toilet cleaning hack that you would like me to add to this post to share the knowledge, please make sure to leave a star review and comment them in the “how-to” card.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and supporting my endeavors to make people’s lives a little easier/better/more affordable. If you liked this post, or found it helpful in any way, please make sure to share it with your family, friends, and co-workers via social media…or you could even send them the direct link via email. Whichever way you choose to spread the love, I super appreciate it! ~Sarah

toilet cleaning hack cleaning the toilet with vinegar
How to clean a toilet without chemicals.

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*Please note that this post was originally shared to this blog on 02/24/2023, and has since been updated to improve user experience, add video instruction, as well as to make it as shareable as possible across the social medias.

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