Sharing our Science-based Formulation Expertise with You

Creating a Powerful Toilet Bowl Cleaner Formula: A Deep Dive into Key Ingredients and Their Roles

In this article, you will read:


The importance of an effective toilet bowl cleaner cannot be overstated, as it not only ensures a clean and hygienic bathroom but also contributes to a pleasant environment. This article provides an in-depth look at the key ingredients in toilet bowl cleaner formulations and their respective roles. By understanding the functions of these ingredients, you can create a powerful and efficient toilet bowl cleaner tailored to your specific needs.

Primary Cleaning Agents

A. Hydrochloric acid (HCl)

  1. Function and effectiveness: HCl is a strong acid that effectively dissolves tough stains, such as hard water deposits, rust, and mineral buildup. It is a common ingredient in toilet bowl cleaners due to its ability to penetrate and break down stains quickly.
  2. Safety precautions: When working with HCl, it is crucial to use appropriate safety equipment, including gloves and safety goggles, and to work in a well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of inhaling fumes. Always add acid to water, not vice versa, to avoid a dangerous exothermic reaction.

B. Alternative cleaning agents

  1. Citric acid: Derived from citrus fruits, citric acid is a natural alternative to HCl. It effectively removes hard water stains, calcium deposits, and rust without being overly harsh on surfaces.
  2. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda): A mild abrasive, baking soda can help remove stains without scratching surfaces. It is an eco-friendly and gentle option for cleaning toilet bowls.


A. AEO-9

  1. Function and effectiveness: AEO-9 is a nonionic surfactant that helps loosen and remove dirt, grime, and stains. It is compatible with various other cleaning agents and contributes to the overall cleaning performance of the product.
  2. Environmental considerations: AEO-9 is biodegradable, making it a more environmentally friendly choice compared to some other surfactants.

B. Other common surfactants

  1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): A widely used anionic surfactant that creates foam and helps lift away dirt and grime. However, it can be harsh on sensitive surfaces and may not be as eco-friendly as other options.
  2. Cocamidopropyl betaine: Derived from coconut oil, this zwitterionic surfactant is milder and suitable for sensitive surfaces. It is also biodegradable and has low aquatic toxicity.

Thickening Agents

A. Yeser® Aslan O/12

  1. Function and effectiveness: Yeser® Aslan O/12 is a specifically optimized POE (2) Oleyl Amine. It serves as an excellent thickening agent for many inorganic or organic acidic formulations, particularly for strong acidic systems. It significantly improves the product’s wall-hanging performance, making it a great choice for hard surface cleansers.
  2. Applications in acidic systems: In hydrochloric-based toilet bowl cleansers, Aslan O/12 helps build a thick and stable body within a very low (1.0-3.0) pH range, ensuring better contact between the cleaner and the surface.

B. Alternative thickening agents

  1. Carbopol 674: Carbopol 674 is a crosslinked polyacrylic acid polymer that can be used as an alternative thickening agent in acidic toilet bowl cleaner formulations. It helps increase the viscosity of the product, allowing it to cling to surfaces for a longer duration. Carbopol 674 is stable in acidic environments and compatible with various acidic cleaning agents, making it a suitable choice for toilet bowl cleaners.
  2. Alkyl amine ethoxylates: Similar to Yeser® Aslan O/12, other alkyl amine ethoxylates can also serve as thickeners in acidic formulations, particularly in strong acidic systems. They help build a thick and stable body even within a low pH range, ensuring better contact between the cleaner and the surface.

Please note that it is essential to verify the compatibility and stability of the chosen thickening agent with the specific acidic formulation before incorporating it into the product.

Deodorizers and Fragrances

A. Pine fragrance

  1. Function and effectiveness: The addition of pine fragrance to a toilet bowl cleaner not only imparts a fresh and pleasant scent but also helps neutralize unpleasant odors. The refreshing aroma of pine can contribute to a cleaner-smelling bathroom environment.
  2. Natural alternatives: Essential oils derived from pine or other coniferous trees can be used as a natural alternative to synthetic pine fragrances, offering a similar refreshing scent while being more eco-friendly.

B. Other popular fragrances and essential oils

  1. Lavender: Known for its calming properties, lavender essential oil can add a soothing and relaxing aroma to toilet bowl cleaners while also providing mild antibacterial benefits.
  2. Eucalyptus: With its strong and invigorating scent, eucalyptus essential oil can help combat unpleasant odors and create a revitalizing atmosphere in the bathroom.
  3. Tea tree: Tea tree essential oil not only adds a fresh, clean scent to toilet bowl cleaners but also possesses antimicrobial properties that can contribute to a more hygienic bathroom environment.


A. Purpose and types of colorants used in toilet bowl cleaners: Colorants are added to toilet bowl cleaners primarily for aesthetic purposes, providing a visually appealing product that may also help users identify the product more easily. Common types of colorants used in toilet bowl cleaners include water-soluble dyes and pigments.

B. Environmental and safety considerations: When selecting colorants for your toilet bowl cleaner formulation, it’s essential to consider their environmental impact and safety. Opt for biodegradable and non-toxic colorants that do not pose a risk to aquatic life or human health.

Formulating a Custom Toilet Bowl Cleaner

A. Balancing ingredient proportions: Carefully adjusting the proportions of each ingredient is crucial for creating a powerful and effective toilet bowl cleaner. Consider the specific requirements of your product, such as the desired consistency and cleaning power, when determining the right balance of ingredients.

B. Adjusting for specific requirements and desired consistency: Depending on your needs and preferences, you may need to adjust the formulation to achieve the desired consistency, cleaning performance, or scent intensity. Experiment with different ingredient ratios to find the optimal formulation for your toilet bowl cleaner.

C. Safety precautions and best practices: When formulating a toilet bowl cleaner, always prioritize safety by using appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves and safety goggles. Work in a well-ventilated area and follow proper handling and storage guidelines for each ingredient to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.


Understanding the key ingredients and their roles in toilet bowl cleaner formulations is crucial for creating a powerful and effective product. By carefully selecting and balancing cleaning agents, surfactants, thickeners, deodorizers, fragrances, and colorants, you can develop a custom toilet bowl cleaner tailored to your specific needs and preferences. With a thorough understanding of the functions and interactions of these ingredients, you can create a high-quality, efficient, and eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner that leaves your bathroom looking and smelling fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A. Can I use natural ingredients in my toilet bowl cleaner formulation?

Yes, you can incorporate natural ingredients into your toilet bowl cleaner formulation. For example, you can use citric acid as an alternative to hydrochloric acid, baking soda for gentle abrasion, and essential oils for fragrance and antibacterial properties. However, keep in mind that natural ingredients may have different cleaning abilities and may require adjustments to the overall formulation.

B. How can I ensure my toilet bowl cleaner is eco-friendly?

To make your toilet bowl cleaner eco-friendly, choose biodegradable surfactants, thickeners, and colorants. Additionally, opt for natural alternatives to synthetic fragrances, such as essential oils. It’s also essential to ensure that your formulation does not contain harmful chemicals that could pose risks to aquatic life or human health.

C. Can I use a homemade toilet bowl cleaner on any surface?

While many homemade toilet bowl cleaners are designed to be safe for various surfaces, it’s essential to test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire surface. This will help you determine if the cleaner is suitable for the specific surface and avoid potential damage.

D. What safety precautions should I take when formulating a toilet bowl cleaner?

When formulating a toilet bowl cleaner, always wear appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves and safety goggles, to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries. Work in a well-ventilated area to reduce exposure to harmful fumes, and follow proper handling and storage guidelines for each ingredient. Additionally, ensure that you adhere to any local regulations regarding the use and disposal of chemicals.

E. How can I increase the effectiveness of my toilet bowl cleaner?

To increase the effectiveness of your toilet bowl cleaner, ensure that the formulation contains an optimal balance of cleaning agents, surfactants, thickeners, and deodorizers. Adjust the proportions of these ingredients to achieve the desired cleaning performance, consistency, and fragrance intensity. Experiment with different ingredient ratios and combinations to find the ideal formulation for your specific needs and preferences.

Written by:
Jun Xie
Jun Xie
Jun is the head of R&D at Yeser Chemicals. He holds a master's degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology. After joining Yeser Chemicals in 2013, he has been dedicated to researching and developing new coconut-based green surfactants and their safe uses in Home & Personal care products. In addition to serving as the Head of R&D at Yeser Chemicals, Jun is the director of the Guangdong Green Surfactant Engineering Technology Research Center and a member of the Standard Committee of Guangdong Daily Chemical Chamber of Commerce.

Yeser Chemicals is a leading producer of CAPB, CDEA, CMEA, EGDS, and other various Coconut-derived surfactants.

By self-manufacturing and 3rd-party toll-manufacturing, we provide a long list of safe ingredients, including surfactants, conditioners, thickeners, etc.,  used in Home & Fabric Care, Personal Care, and Cosmetics.

Have A Demand? Or A Question?

Share this post with people

You may also enjoy

Get In Touch

And find out how we can bring your business to the next level.

No.8, Petrochemical No.3 Road, Shatian Town, Dongguan city,  China

Room 1005, No. 408, Guangyun Road, Jiahe Street, Baiyun District, Guangzhou City, China

A Dedicated Supporting Team Standing By