DIY Toilet Bombs that Clean, Disinfect, and Deodorize

DIY Toilet Bombs Bowl Cleaner

There are things that are still taboo in today’s society, and the odor left in the bathroom is one of them. Certainly not a pleasant subject, but something we’ve all had to deal with from time to time. Here’s a way to make a toilet bomb that will eliminate smells in the bathroom, and not just cover them up.

Whether your toilet is a little stinky or stale, a homemade toilet bomb is a really quick way to freshen it up. Dropping one toilet bomb into your commode will not only deodorize, but also clean at the same time. This is a simple project, and a good one to get kids involved with.

Natural Toilet Cleaning & Deodorizing Bombs

Ingredients & Supplies

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid (find it with canning supplies in your local store, or buy it here)
  • ½ cup borax or cornstarch
  • water in a spray bottle
  • gallon size zip-top bag
  • 25 drops essential oils (see good options for deodorizing/disinfecting below) – find pure essential oils here
  • mold of your choice (plastic Easter eggs that come apart, a plastic measuring spoon, or silicone molds all work)


  1. Place all dry ingredients into the gallon bag. Seal the bag, and knead to combine ingredients.
  2. Open the bag, spray 2-3 times with water, and close the bag. Mix and knead the bag until all the moisture is absorbed. Repeat this step a few times. (Don’t overdo it with the water – if too much moisture is added you’ll end up with a very weak, crumbly final product.)
  3. You’ll know it’s ready as soon as you squeeze the bag and the mixture stays clumped together inside the bag when you let go. It should be roughly the consistency of pie dough.
    • If the bag expands and looks like it’s going to burst, let some air out. This is normal as carbon dioxide develops from the mixed acid and alkali.
  4. Add 25 drops essential oil and mix again.
  5. When it’s the right consistency, pack into desired molds.
    • If using a measuring spoon (like the pictured toilet bombs), pack mixture into spoon and turn the toilet bombs out onto a sheet of parchment paper to dry.
    • If using plastic eggs, push the mix into both halves of an egg. Lightly spray the exposed parts with water and stick the halves together.
  6. Leave the bombs to dry for a day or two and then unmold. The bomb will be fragile at first, but will harden considerably over the next few days. Dry on top of a refrigerator or some other out of the way place.
  7. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid until ready to use.

To Use

Drop one bomb into the toilet and wait for the fizzing to stop. The hard working ingredients will be released into the bowl, both deodorizing and cleaning. Flush and you’re done! (You shouldn’t need to use the toilet brush, but some nasty stains may require a little scrubbing.)

DIY Toilet Bombs Bowl Cleaner 1

Additional Notes

  • You can add color for fun. Simply add a few drops of food coloring one of the times you spray with water.
  • Essential oils are volatile and evaporate quickly. If your bombs lose their scent, you can refresh the essential oils any time. Just add a few drops of essential oil to the bombs. The oil should stay with the bombs since they are sealed in a container.
  • You can also use several types of molds with good results – silicone and flexible plastic being the easiest to work with. Greased mini muffin tins also work.

Essential Oils for Eliminating Odors & Disinfecting

The purpose of the essential oils is to eliminate odors and to disinfect surfaces. While many essential oils are great for both, there are a few that stand out:

  • lemon essential oil
  • lavender essential oil
  • peppermint essential oil
  • tea tree essential oil (use carefully around cats as it can be dangerous to them)
  • rosemary essential oil
  • eucalyptus essential oil
  • bay rum essential oil (men love this one)

Note: All of these pure essential oils can be found here.

I sometimes use a single oil, such as lavender, but sometimes a blend like lemon/lavender/peppermint is nice. If you’re just using these toilet bombs to make your toilet and bathroom smell nice, use whatever oils you like!

Looking for more cleaning and deodorizing recipes for the toilet? Check out these other articles:


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    • Citric acid used in the dishwasher gets my dishes sparkling. It’s a fantastic natural cleaner.
      Great recipe. I’ll probably just ball mine up like cookie dough since I don’t have a good mold. It should be easy enough to work with bare hands.

      • Thanks Brenda! Yes, you should be able to mold it with your hands. I do it all the time. I’m going to try a bath bomb mold, but most of them are too big.

    • Enza, the citric acid reacts with the baking soda and creates a fizz, much like a bath bomb. It helps to get the cleaner into corners and places you can’t reach.

    • Citric acid is a water softener for those that have very hard water. It is a wonder in the dishwasher for film. Because you use it to make jams and jelly, it is safe in a very small amount.

  1. When I try to find homemade ant control remedies, all I get are business listings. I don’t like this. If I want terminix, I will look them up! Boo!

    • Every spring I buy a large bottle of cinnamon (ground) and sprinkle it where ever I know ants appear in the spring. Give it a couple of days and they will be gone. If you sprinkle around the outside of the house where they come in, you have to redo it if it rains.

  2. Thank you for your recipes. They come at just the right time in my life – very busy. These recipes are much needed! Thanks again.

  3. How do you get it to clean under the rim? Can you put it in the tank (reservoir) or is it too corrosive?

    • I’ve never tried to put the cleaner in the tank Chris, but I don’t think it’s too corrosive. It won’t stay in there long enough to attack anything, like rubber gaskets. I let the entire thing sit in the bowl for a while, then use the same liquid to swish under the rim. It will still disinfect and deodorize just as well. Flush and you’re done!

  4. I was so happy that I got my tablespoon shape and then 30 mins later the while thing ran together. What did I do wrong? I only put enough water to mold.

    • It sounds like you had too much water Karen. It only takes a bit, just enough to make it damp. Try it again with less water next time. If you let the “monster”, as I call it when it gets too loose, dry out, you can just break pieces off and use them. They may not fizz as much, but they will still work very well. When I have a batch that doesn’t work, I just let it dry, crumble it into pieces and put them in a jar with an old laundry scoop. Half a scoop and you’re done!

      • darn-I can never get the right amount 🙁 But yay, I can still use it-thanks so much!

        • Don’t worry Karen, it took me some time to get it right too. Try stopping before you think it’s right and knead it a bit more. Then you can add more water if you need to.

  5. It is kind of hard to tell – what size measuring spoon did you use? About what size are the finished bombs?

    • You can use any size measuring spoon Patricia. It’s just for molding the bombs. And you can make the bombs any size you want. The eggs from Easter baskets are a good size. I make mine a bit smaller since I have a low flush toilet that doesn’t use as much water. I’d say anything from a tablespoon to 1/4 cup would be good.

    • Joyce, I would think that it’s a binder. Helps hold everything together. Baking soda and citric acid alone might be too dry and crumbly.

      • That’s exactly right Brenda, it acts as a binder. I’ve tried to do them without the cornstarch and yes, they do end up crumbly. They seem to need something that has a but of gooiness (not sure if that’s a word, but it fits!) to stick it all together.

    • I’m not sure, Barbwarman, but it might. Like I just said to Joyce, it works as a binder. So something else that is gooey as well, like potato starch, may work. You could also try arrowroot powder, since it works much in the same way. I’ll be trying a few different ideas to see how they work.

  6. Thanks for the great idea! Quick one – is Australia our corn starch can be made with wheat or corn. For something like this does it matter which one is used?

    • Hi Amanda, As long as it’s a starch and not a flour, it will be fine. I’ve tried several starches now, including kudzu starch (put that plant to work!) and they all work great. There is some difference in texture, buit enough to be really noticeable or not work.

  7. rats, I forgot the cornstarch! Maybe mine won’t set up well. I did them in the plastic easter eggs. I assume if I did them correctly, they should just pop out when completely dry after a few days?

    • They could still work, Samantha. I’ve never tried them without the cornstarch. Yes, they should just pop out. The plastic eggs are a great idea! Let us know how they turn out.

      • It did work, they were awfully hard but fizzed up nicely in the toilet!

  8. I’m so happy to have found all your ideas. I’m trying to get away from chemicals and you are making it easy! Thanks Debra…..

    • Thanks so much SuZ! I’m trying to stay away from chemicals too. I’ve used bleach in the past, but I’ve come to detest it, so I won’t go that route again. There are a lot of recipes that my Grandmother and and others have used. I want to get back to that kind of a life.