7 Best Tips for Cleaning a Toilet

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated July 1, 2021
shot in white bathroom of white toilet and partial view of bathtub with white accents
Marlene Ford/Moment via Getty Images

Use these seven tips for cleaning a toilet to help you clean your toilet better and more efficiently

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While cleaning your toilet isn’t the most fun thing to do in the world, these seven toilet cleaning tips help you clean faster and keep your toilet looking cleaner for longer. Try these tips to clean smarter, not harder.

1. Sterilize Your Toilet Brush After Use

Always using the same toilet brush without sanitizing it or cleaning it will leave you cleaning the toilet more often than you need to. Leftover residue on the brush makes it likely to stain and leaves some nasty germs and bacteria that shouldn’t be there.

To help prevent stains and germs, use an all-purpose cleaner on the brush. Then, you can either keep it in the toilet until it dries or put it back into the toilet brush container. Just be sure to dump out the water that tends to build up in the container.

2. Tackle Stains Before They’re a Problem

While it’s not always convenient to do so, your future self will thank you if you tackle stains ASAP. Don’t ignore them until your scheduled cleaning date, or you’ll ultimately spend more time on the task.

3. Use Clear Nail Polish on Screws and Bolts

You can avoid the rust and residue that builds upon the toilet seat screws and bolts by applying a clear coat of nail polish to protect them from moisture.

4. Don’t Forget the Siphon Rings

While almost everyone tends to clean the toilet bowl itself, many people forget to clean the siphon jets. The siphon jets are under the rim and shoot down into the toilet to help flush and refill the toilet. Because these areas rarely get the cleaning attention they deserve, minerals and rust tend to build up here.

Use a foaming toilet cleaner so the cleaner sticks to the toilet bowl. From there, use an old toothbrush to scrub away any remaining build-up.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide Is an Excellent Sanitizer

Was someone recently sick in your house, and you feel the uncontrollable urge to disinfect literally everything? Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent sanitizer and will help kill off germs and bacteria. You can wipe down the seat, the water tank, and the bowl with hydrogen peroxide to ensure it’s safe for everyone.

6. Boiling Water Will Solve Most Toilet Clogs

You need to be careful with what you pour down toilet drains. Toilet pipes are typically made with PVC, and the toilet itself is made of porcelain. Using a chemical drain unclogger can ruin the wipes and crack the porcelain. 

Thankfully, hot water can help to break up clogs and blockages without causing damage to the toilet itself. Simply heat the water until it is hot but not boiling (boiling water can damage your toilet boil), and then pour it directly down the toilet bowl to break up the clog. For really stubborn clogs, you can try using baking soda and vinegar.

7. Don’t Forget to Clean the Tank

The toilet bowl isn’t the only place that needs attention. The tank on the back of the toilet holds water for long periods, which can cause it to collect rust and mold. 

To clean the toilet tank, you’ll want to use a mild cleaner such as dish soap or a window cleaner with a toilet brush and scrub the inside of the toilet of any stains and rust you find. Avoid using heavy-duty toilet cleaners, as this may ruin the components of the toilet. Investing in a water softener will help prevent these minerals from entering the tank in the first place.

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