How to Clean a Toilet

It’s probably the worst part about taking care of your home: cleaning the toilet. But it has to be done. Luckily, tackling this task only takes a few minutes when you know how to do it. Learning how to clean a toilet properly will help you get this job done in a flash!

white toilet surrounded by cleaning products and yellow rubber gloves

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What can you use to clean a toilet bowl?

When tackling the toilets in my bathrooms, I like to use a few different cleaning supplies. It’s important to me that the cleaners are good at killing germs, but I don’t want them to be harmful, especially with young children in the house.

That’s why I like using a combination of earth-friendly products as well as some homemade cleaners.

For cleaning the outside and the seat of the toilet, I like Method Antibac Bathroom Cleaner. Not only does it kill any yucky germs on bathroom surfaces, but it makes my bathroom smell nice…and I don’t need to wear a mask while cleaning. You can also use a good all-purpose cleaning spray here.

To clean under the rim of the toilet, as well as the bowl, I use Method Antibac Toilet Bowl Cleaner, along with a sturdy toilet brush.

The toilet brush that I recommend is one that sits in a small bowl-like tray. The brush can then stay in its own little storage compartment behind the toilet when not in use. I don’t like putting a germy, wet toilet brush back into my cleaning caddy, so it’s handy to have a place to keep it.

Lastly, you’ll want some good sponges or cleaning cloths to use to wipe down the toilet. I prefer a cloth that I can wash in between uses.

If you have hard water stains in your toilet, plain vinegar and baking soda can help take them away.

I purchase all my cleaning products from Grove Collaborative, which delivers eco-friendly cleaning and household supplies right to your door. Not only do I find that these cleaners are less expensive when I buy through Grove, but I like the convenience of ordering online.

What is the best way to clean a toilet bowl?

To get started cleaning your toilet, simply spray the bathroom cleaner all over the outside of the toilet tank, the handle, the lid, seat, and under the seat.

Let the spray sit for a minute or so, and the wipe off the cleaner with your cloth. Make sure to clean the flush handle, as it can get pretty germy.

gloved hand cleaning the toilet seat with a sponge

If you have little ones in the house, you’ll want to make sure to check the underside of the toilet and the floor near the toilet. Sometimes kids don’t “aim” correctly, and you’ll find the need to clean a bit more.

gloved hand cleaning under the toilet rim with a toilet brush and cleanser

When the outside of the toilet is clean, you’ll want to turn to the toilet bowl. Using a good, thick toilet bowl cleaner, spray it under the rim of the toilet until the whole bowl is covered.

Using the toilet brush, scrub well under the rim, as well as down into the bowl itself until everything is clean. You can let the cleaning solution sit in the water for several hours or flush it away.

How do you get rid of limescale or calcium deposits in your toilet?

If you have hard water stains in your toilet bowl, you know that they are rather difficult to remove through general cleaning. You’ll need to try some vinegar and baking soda to get rid of those stains.

First, you’ll want to turn the water off to your toilet. Next, pour several cups of vinegar into the toilet water and let it set for a few hours.

After the vinegar solution has done its work, flush the toilet to drain out the solution, then take some baking soda on a damp scrubber sponge and scrub away at the stains. You should find that the vinegar has loosened them, making them easier to eliminate.

Depending on how bad the stains are, you may have to repeat this process several times, but it should work. Just remember to turn the water back on and flush away the baking soda when you’re finished.

How do I keep my toilet fresh in between cleanings?

Ideally, you should give your toilet a good cleaning at least once a week (more often if you have a big family). But in between cleanings, you might want to make a batch of these homemade toilet bombs to use in your toilet bowl.

Made of all-natural ingredients, you just drop one in the toilet bowl, wait for it to dissolve, and then flush it down. It makes your bathroom smell fresh and helps clear away bacteria.

white toilet with cleaning products sitting on the top of the tank

I hope this toilet cleaning guide is helpful! For more home cleaning tutorials, visit my How to Clean a House post.

Happy Cleaning!

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5 thoughts on “How to Clean a Toilet”

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    Great post, Erin. This reminds me I need to get a new toilet brush. Our old one was scratching our toilet and I threw it away when we installed our new toilet. But I keep forgetting to purchase one. I need to add it to my shopping list.

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