This Road Test got down to the nitty-gritty of cleaning: the toilet. It was the one area of the house I REFUSED to clean as a kid and always pawned off the chore onto someone else. I couldn’t imagine touching that thing! Eventually, I got over it (kind of one of those necessary evils).

Well, on our journey into the “natural” world I happened to look at the back of our standard, run-of-the-mill toilet bowl cleaner. It’s pretty scary. One of the warnings is “may cause irreversible eye damage.” Really? Just one little splash of that stuff and your eyes are toast. (Side note: have you ever looked up your cleaning products on Google to see if they’re safe? Many household cleaners call for haz-mat-esque cleaning if you spill the product. Haz mat? For all the things we keep under our sink and wash our clothes with? NO THANK YOU!)

So, I was off to find a hard-working toilet bowl cleaner that was all natural. After all, it is the toilet, it’s kind of the last thing you want to have a weak cleaner for. I decided that this product specifically needed more research. So, I headed off and read review after review for natural toilet bowl cleaners from major brands like Clorox Green Works, Method and Seventh Generation to the lesser-known obscure cleaners. The major winner out of the reviews was the Seventh Generation  and Method was a close second. (Surprisingly the Clorox Green Works didn’t have very good reviews nor is it very natural).

I headed to Target (since they carry both Seventh Generation and Method). I had two major deciding factors that would help me make the decision 1) the smell (after the Martha Stewart disappointment, this had to be a top factor) 2) price. The Seventh Generation had major headway in this area because I had a store AND manufacturer coupon for Seventh Generation products, but the smell was still a big factor for me.

Armed with coupons and the field narrowed down to two, C and I headed to Target. We looked at the prices of both and smelled both (we probably looked strange smelling toilet bowl cleaner). But luckily, in both arenas we had a clear winner. I had C smell both and his response to the Seventh Generation was “mmm…that doesn’t smell bad at all” (and really, that’s a big thing for this product category). AND to top it all off, we got a 32 oz. bottle for 99 cents after coupons!

[photo via Seventh Generation]

So does it work?

Absolutely! Garnered with the reviewers claims of a shiny toilet bowl, cutting through the hardest stains (though we don’t have any), etc. I had high expectations. And, I was happily reassured. I put the cleaner in and let it sit while I did some other chores and came back and had to do very little scrubbing. And yes, my toilet bowl was clean and sparkling! I’m not sure it exceeds normal Clorox or Lysol cleaners, but it’s definitely just as good (and it’s more natural AND smells better). I’d much rather have this around my house than the chemical-laden, irreversibly-damages-your-eyes kind.

Though, please note. This bottle does warn that it is a skin irritant. It contains d-Limonene, which is a naturally occurring item, but is irritating (and some people believe that this is an unsafe product). So, as it is natural, it is something you DEFINITELY want to keep away from children.

(Side note: one amazing quality of Seventh Generation as a company is they think that consumers have the right to know EVERY ingredient in their product. Most companies do not disclose what are in their fragrances because that’s considered a “trade secret,” so companies can hide anything they want in a fragrance. If you want to see Seventh Generation’s policy on this read it here.)

The final word on this product? It’s a new staple on my shopping list!