Cleaning your home is a skill, and knowing how to clean a toilet is the most important one of all. Hint: The space around the toilet bowl is one of the dirtiest in the whole house. According to a household germ study done by NSF International, 27% of toilet seats and 14% of handles reached an unhealthy level of dirtiness. But it’s not just the grime that should get you to clean bathrooms; sloppy toilet-bowl cleaning may lead to bigger concerns. “A dirty toilet can cause plumbing issues,” says Ben Goldzweig, owner of Gold Plumbing in Cleveland. “If there is heavy calcium buildup, it could clog up the little holes on the inside of the toilet bowl, as well as the toilet jet hole at the bottom, and cause flushing problems.”
That’s why toilet cleaning is not something you should slack on. With proper cleaning products and tools and a bit of elbow crease, you can have a sparkling clean toilet bowl in no time. Here is how.
What is the best cleaner to use on toilets?
For a toilet that just needs a refresh, Goldzweig recommends a homemade formula of one cup of white vinegar and one cup of baking soda followed by two more cups of vinegar to create a fizzing cleaner. Use the toilet brush to get under the rim and over stains above the water line. Let this sit for about 10 to 30 minutes to break down the stains.
While white vinegar and baking soda are typically solid players when it comes to cleaning tips, this DIY hack doesn’t always cut it when it comes to serious toilet-bowl stains. You need a stronger all-purpose cleaner to get rid of hard water stains and calcium buildup, and particularly something with hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Make sure you use a bathroom-specific disinfectant and follow the directions on the bottle.
Start by coating the toilet-bowl interior entirely in the Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach. Start by squirting the cleaning solution along the top rim of the bowl, letting the cleaner trickle down, toward the toilet water. Next, grab a toilet brush and physically scrub the solution onto the surface. The bristles should create a light lather. With a handheld brush, get deep under the rim of the toilet. The underside is where those little water holes, are and this step will help prevent calcium and mineral buildup. Let the cleaner sit for about five minutes, then flush and the mess will be gone.
If your toilet bowl is really stained—think that gross ring or icky marks—it needs a deep clean. In this case, a basic toilet cleaning product may not be enough, and you will need to use undiluted bleach. As a one-stop cleaning solution, pour one cup of bleach around the bowl. Then tackle every inch with a toilet brush or a handheld scrub brush. Let it sit for five minutes, then flush.
How do you clean stained toilets?
You can start with a disinfecting toilet cleaning solution, or you can make your own by adding a spray nozzle to a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. This will allow you to spray all over the toilet bowl and get under the rim, and you can even spray the toilet brush when you’re done. Tempting as it may be to put cleaning products in the tank, skip this step, as doing so could void manufacturer warranties, Goldzweig warns.