cleaning toilet

How to Clean a Toilet

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Nobody enjoys cleaning toilets, so it is important to know how to clean a toilet well so future cleanings are simple. In this article, we will deliver professional advice about how to clean your toilet so you never have to be embarrassed by the state of your restroom.

How to clean a toilet

We will also talk about the best method to clean a toilet bowl and other tricks for a spotless pot. If you could use some help, our expert cleaning service would be happy to help you on a regular basis or tackle the job before your next gathering. Give us a call!

What Do You Clean a Toilet With

When getting down and dirty cleaning your toilet, you’ll want more than just elbow grease and a basic cleaner. If you’re going to go through the trouble, invest in these products to make the job easier and more effective. 

Toilet Cleaning Supplies

Toilet Cleaning Supplies

The right tools will go a long way when cleaning your toilet. Having the right tool for each task and knowing when to use them can make bathroom cleaning a breeze.

For the exterior of your toilet, you’ll want to start with a dry cloth to remove any dust or debris (a paper towel works well). Next, follow up with disinfecting wipes to clean and disinfect exterior surfaces, especially the toilet seat and handle where guests come into direct contact.

For the interior, you will want a sturdy toilet cleaning brush and an appropriate cleaning solution to clean and disinfect the entire bowl. 

Buy Cleaning Products That Disinfect

While some homemade cleaning concoctions will suffice for a quick toilet cleaning, store-bought products specifically designed for toilets and porcelains will almost always do a better job. No matter what you decide to buy or use, be sure it can both clean and disinfect.

Don’t Buy a Cheap Toilet Brush

Look at your toilet brush as an investment. Sure, you could save a few bucks buying one at the dollar store, but chances are it won’t do a very good job, and you’ll have to spend more time cleaning your toilet as a result. Investing in a sturdy and effective toilet brush is well worth it to save you time and frustration. 

Best Way to Clean Toilets

To minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning the toilets in your home, follow these steps for a squeaky clean, and germ-free commode. 

Begin By Wiping Down the Toilet

The first thing you want to do is wipe down the toilet with a dry cloth. This will remove any dust and debris clinging to the exterior surfaces. If you don’t, wet cleaning wipes and chemicals can get gummy and leave even more of a mess. Pay special attention to horizontal surfaces like the tank lid and seat lid where dust is likely to settle.

Decrease the Water Level

If you really want to get in there, you can lower the water level for better access and less splashing. To accomplish this and feel like a real plumber, you can either:

  • Turn the water supply to the toilet off and flush
  • Manually manipulate the stopper in the reservoir and flush
  • Pour water into the bowl until it begins to empty on its own

Any of these will reduce or eliminate the water in the bottom of the bowl so you can more easily apply cleaner and scrub. 

Apply A Disinfectant To the Bowl Interior

When ready, apply your toilet bowl cleaner to the interior surface. Use as much as needed for full coverage.

Be Patient

Read the instructions for the cleaner to see how long you should wait once applied. For homemade solutions, check directions online or leave as long as you think it will take for maximum effectiveness. 5-30 minutes is typical. This gives the chemicals time to break down and loosen toilet grime so you can easily scrub it away.

Scrub the Bowl Thoroughly

Once your cleaning chemicals have had time to work, scrub the bowl thoroughly with a sturdy toilet brush to remove any stuck-on dirt, water stains, or cleaning agents. Once water is restored, flush twice to rinse thoroughly. 

Disinfect the Exterior

Next, use a wet disinfectant cloth to wipe down the exterior, especially the seat and toilet handle, for sanitary surfaces. 

Disinfect the Toilet Brush and Brush Holder

Before returning your supplies to their hiding place, disinfect them with rubbing alcohol or a similar product to kill lingering germs and accelerate drying. Storing a wet toilet brush in the back of a closet is asking for mold and mildew.

Clean Your Toilet Water Tank

You probably don’t need to do this every week, but consider giving your toilet tank some attention on occasion. Avoid abrasive chemicals that might damage plastic or rubber parts, but try to remove any mineral buildup or gunk that collects over time. Note that the water in the tank is not contaminated by the dirty toilet bowl water and should be relatively clean. 

Things to avoid

Always be careful using chemicals on expensive appliances or in enclosed spaces. Ventilate the area, read the warnings, and avoid mixing chemicals. For additional safety, consider wearing rubber gloves, a facemask, and eye protection. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet

Most pros agree that including your toilet as part of your weekly cleaning routine is a good idea. I also clean my toilet anytime I expect guests who may need to use the facilities. 

Keep Your Toilet Free From Stains These Tips

The only thing worse than having to clean a toilet is having to clean a dirty toilet. By following these pro tips, you can do a thorough job that will make regular toilet cleanings a cinch.

If you don’t want to learn how to clean a toilet, our professional maid service can handle it for you, along with other household tidying tasks. Contact us today for a free estimate!

Read our house cleaning checklist article for tips on cleaning your whole house.


Does baking soda and vinegar clean toilets?

Combining baking soda and white vinegar creates a mild chemical reaction that can help with many household cleaning tasks. For lightly dirtied toilets, this basic cleaning solution may be adequate, though store-bought toilet cleaners will generally do a much better job at cleaning and disinfecting. 

How do you clean a badly stained toilet bowl?

Depending on the kind of tough stain you are dealing with, different products may work better than others. For example, rust stains can benefit from different chemistry than organic waste discoloration. In any case, there are cleaning products on the market designed specifically for each. Be sure to follow the instructions, as many ask you to apply, and let soak for up to 30 minutes before scrubbing away and flushing to rinse. Skipping the soaking period will limit the effectiveness of a less clean toilet bowl.

Can I leave vinegar in the toilet overnight?

Vinegar is a very mild and relatively natural reactant. It should not harm porcelain over an extended period, especially if diluted with water. 

What is the most hygienic way to clean a toilet?

It is important to use products that disinfect in addition to just cleaning. The nature and frequent use of toilets make them prime targets for mold and other yucky things to grow. Whether you’re using a store-bought chemical or a homemade concoction, be sure it has disinfectant properties. 

What do professionals use to clean toilets?

When cleaning toilets, most professionals will use a commercial toilet cleaner, much like what you will find at your local grocery or drugstore. These products are designed to disinfect and clean porcelain toilets for the best results. Similarly, a professional-grade toilet scrubbing brush is designed to clean all the nooks and crannies of your porcelain throne. 

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