Cleaning the toilet may be one of the least appealing jobs around the home, but one thing’s for sure: keep putting it off and what’s actually an easy task will only become harder.
We’ve come armed with everything you need to know on how to clean a toilet and get that porcelain seriously clean and sparkling.
Before we go through how to clean a dirty toilet and make it sparkle instead, first make sure you know what you need to get the job done:
- It’s best to use a brush with plastic bristles for toilet cleaning – wire brushes can damage the enamel surface of your toilet.
- Always start with a clean toilet brush and toilet brush holder.
- We recommend keeping a pair of rubber gloves solely for toilet cleaning use, to avoid any cross-contamination.
- Make sure you keep one dry cloth available!
- Rim block isn’t essential, but it will help with omitting some odours and stains.
- Remember – it’s important to keep your brush and sponges clean as well so you’re not spreading more bacteria.
How to disinfect toilet bowls and toilets for a deep clean
A neglected toilet needs a bit more TLC than a regular clean. Here’s how to clean a stained toilet and get it looking good as new.
- Wash down the outside of your toilet with a sponge and hot water to help dislodge any dirt, wiping it and drying with a cloth or kitchen roll.
- Spray some toilet cleaner over the entire toilet: the lid, seat, outside and base. Leave it to work.
- Use a liquid toilet cleaner and dispense under the rim of the bowl, leaving it to work for at least twenty minutes, or overnight if it’s safe to do so – this is the best way to deep clean a toilet bowl.
- Scrub the bowl thoroughly using the toilet brush to dislodge any stains. Flush and rinse the brush. If stains are still present, repeat this step again.
- With a cloth or kitchen roll, wipe off the disinfectant spray from around the seat, base, lid and back of the toilet until the entire toilet is squeaky-clean and dry.
How to get rid of toilet stains
So now you know how to clean a toilet, but do you know how to remove toilet stains? Read on for our top stain-busting tips that will tackle the most common of toilet stains.
How to clean toilet stains: Hard water
- Pour one cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl, swish the solution around with the toilet brush and leave to sit for a minute.
- Add one cup of baking soda and another of vinegar.
- Leave the solution to fizz for about five minutes, then scrub the toilet so the solution reaches all the stains.
- Finally, flush the toilet and you’re done!
How to remove toilet stains: Yellow stains
Yellow toilet stains are the most common stains – caused by the accumulation of pigment in urine residue – yet the most difficult to remove. Luckily, the strong cleaning powers of bleach can blast away those unpleasant yellow stains.
- Pour bleach around the toilet bowl, and leave it to work for a couple of hours.
- Once you see that the stains have disappeared, flush away the bleach.
- Leave the bleach on overnight if the staining is particularly heavy.
How to clean toilet stains: Limescale
This mineral deposit forms stubborn stains that can be tricky to remove, and often requires a specialist product. If you don’t have any, you can use vinegar just as effectively. Read our top tips to learn more about how to remove limescale from your toilet. How to clean a very stained toilet bowl: Removing brown toilet stains
Those unsightly brown stains in your toilet bowl are caused by mineral compounds in hard water, notably iron oxide or rust. As acid-based cleaners dissolve rust, a really good and natural cleaner is vinegar.
- To treat stains at the bottom of the bowl, pour in two litres of vinegar and leave for a good few hours before flushing.
- If the stains are near the rim, mix some vinegar and borax (or salt if you don’t have any) into a paste and apply to the marks with an old toothbrush.
- Leave it on to work for at least a few hours or overnight if you can, before flushing away.
Use a water-soaked pumice stone to gently remove any stubborn stains in your toilet bowl.
Answers to your top toilet cleaning questions
How to clean a dirty toilet brush
The best way to clean toilet brushes and other tools you may have used is to rinse them, and any holders, in a hot water and bleach solution for one hour. This should be done at least once a week to avoid any bacteria build-up, and before you use the brush to scrub the bowl. For more information, check out our handy guide on how to clean a toilet brush and toilet brush holder.
How to keep the toilet bowl clean
As with most household chores, cleaning the toilet is easiest if you maintain it as part of a routine. A deep clean can be done once every two weeks and a regular clean weekly.
Make sure you have clean apparatus (toilet brush and cloths) and give the bowl a quick scrub on a regular basis or wipe down the seat every couple of days with antibacterial wipes. Using a rim block will help keep your toilet clean, fresh, and hygienic in between more thorough cleans.
How to clean a toilet with natural ingredients
If you prefer to limit the number of chemicals you use around your home, then there are several natural alternatives available.
- Baking soda and vinegar are great natural cleaning agents that are perfect for wearing away tough stains from the toilet bowl. Combine them into a paste and apply to any stains with a toothbrush or add one cup of each to the toilet bowl and let work for five minutes.
- Alternatively, mix one cup of white vinegar with half a teaspoon of tea tree essential oil and use as a cleaning spray.
For more tips on how to disinfect a toilet naturally, check out our article on eco-friendly bathroom cleaning ideas.