How To Properly Clean And Disinfect Your Toilet

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When it comes to cleaning the toilet, if there’s something we love about it, it must be procrastinating and sitting on it comes a close second. Generally, it’s the least favorite household chore. There’s no question that hygiene wise it’s unavoidable and has to be done! Besides that, a well-maintained commode holds it’s glam and lasts longer. Remember your once gleaming toilet? Is it just a shade from what it used to be?! We’ll help you restore that shiny look and show you exactly how to do it with our thorough step by step instructions and tricks.

Table of Contents

So Why Should You Clean the Toilet?

Well, if questioning yourself. It’s probably gross, long overdue, and bacterias are hosting a party. To make it worse, you might even have incoming guests, and you definitely don’t want to find yourself in such a predicament. Ring the alarm! Harmful bacteria and viruses quickly settle in bathroom surfaces and overlooked toilet areas. All the contacts made with the toilet eases the spread from person to another, and it can cause a person to become infected. All of that goes against the cleanliness and the health of your environment, screaming for attention. Moment of honesty. None is making a second visit to a dirty toilet with heavy odors, and with that said. Grab a pair of gloves on, and let’s get dirty!

Essentials You’ll Need to Clean Your Toilet

To focus on the task and get it done quickly while being efficient, you’ll want to organize yourself and gather the following supplies within reach. 

  • Sturdy pair of rubber gloves
  • Toilet bowl cleaner or powder containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide
  • Bristle toilet brush
  • Disinfecting spray and a pack of wipes
  • Microfiber towels or paper towels
  • A bottle of all-purpose spray cleaner

Important Dos and Don’ts


  • Opt for natural cleaners if you have a septic system. They can be just as effective and environmental-friendly. Good bacteria needed to break down the waste are unable to survive with the usage of bleach. 
  • Beware of damaging your eyes and causing irritation for precaution, wear eye protection when using bleach or other chemicals.
  • Before applying another solution, for maximum effectiveness against germ reproducing, always wipe over your toilet with a disinfecting wipe.
  • Let fresh air in and keep the area well-ventilated with an open window or door when possible—turning the fan on works great as well.


  • If your all-purpose spray contains vinegar, keep in mind that you should never mix it with bleach as it can create lethal chlorine gas damaging your lungs and eyes.
  • A dripping toilet brush should never be placed in its holder. Once you’re done, ensure there’s no excess water on it and always let it drip out. A good trick is putting it in a sandwich between the lid of the toilet and its rim.

How to Properly Clean a Toilet

Step 1: Clear Away Any Litter

Now that you have gathered your equipment, most importantly, suit up in protective gear. Clutter away the toilet lid and its surroundings. Start by removing obstructions, such as storage bins, towels, toilet paper, and any other excess items that might fall into the bowl during the cleaning process. Those items are going back there once you’re done cleaning, so you might as well give them a good rinse and dust-off to avoid marks on your sparkling clean commode. That’ll save you extra cleanup and avoid excess mess from splashing around the toilet. Ventilation is vital. Make sure to let fresh air in by opening a window.

Step 2: Add Toilet Bowl Cleaning Solution

Before getting to the bowl, you’ll need to drain the toilet. Turn off the water supply so the toilet doesn’t refill after being flushed. Avoid splashing by flushing the toilet with a closed lid. Open the lid. Then start applying your choice of toilet bowl cleaner as close as possible to the rim so it can slowly work its magic as it runs to the bottom. Preferably use bleach to remove limescale if you live in an area with hard water. As you close the lid, allow the cleaning solution to sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes and move on to the exterior.

Step 3: Clean the Exterior With a Disinfecting Spray 

With a dust rag, wipe down any rubbish or dust. That’ll help prevent dripping on already clean surfaces. From top to bottom, spray with your all-purpose disinfectant on the toilet, including hidden areas and the flush handle. As you clean from the cistern to the toilet’s base, pay extra attention to the seat and the rim as well. Give the rim’s surface a good spray with your solution and wipe it clean with a towel. Clean the underside of the seat as well before disposing of the towel. If your seat hinges, make sure to tackle the in-between areas with an old toothbrush for thorough cleaning. Finally, rinse the toilet’s seat and rim and wipe away water residue from the sitting surface with paper towels or dry cloth.

Step 4: Give the Toilet Bowl a Scrub

All the gunk and stains are usually formed under the rim. That’s why you’ll want first to start scrubbing the bowl under the rim. All the stains and debris should be softened by now from the toilet bowl cleaner, essentially making it easier to scrub and clean. If you’re dealing with hard water stains, flush the toilet first and get them dissolved by pouring some baking soda or commercial cleaner. You can also check our thorough guide here or use a pumice stone to scrub the stains away gently. Once you’ve scrubbed the bowl all the way down to the drain hole, the water supply should be turned back on. Let fresh water to clean off any excess cleaning solution or debris by closing the lid before flushing. 

Step 5: Finish With a Rinse

Now that you’ve completed the toilet cleaning give it a good rinse. Wipe down the toilet seat to remove any remaining cleaning chemicals or solvent cleaners. Give your brush a good rinse as well. Let it sit in a bucket filled with bleach and water while following the manufacturer’s instruction. Place it back to its stand so it’ll be ready to be used again. Finish up by moving the items back on or around the toilet and bagging the trash for disposal.


The best way to keep your toilet bowl clean is with daily maintenance. It’s essential to pre-clean the surface with disinfecting wipes before applying your disinfectant to truly neutralize the germs. In between deep-cleanings, you can keep the toilet fresh by pouring baking soda throughout the week. Before flushing, use a brush to help spread the disinfectant around. The outside of the toilet bowl is just as important! Ensure that all the germs and bacteria are erased from the toilet seat with disinfecting wipes or spray. Spray out through spots known to harbor bacteria and germs, such as the toilet’s flush handle and toilet hinges. After the solution has worked for 5 to 10 minutes with a clean microfiber cloth or paper towels, go over the surface and wipe it dry. With a little bit of daily attention, you reduce the risk of germs being passed around your family. Besides that, you’ll save yourself time spent deep cleaning your toilet, so make it a routine! 

Toilet Cleaning FAQs

How often should you clean your toilet?

If multiple people share the bathroom, it’s best to go over your toilet every week with your all spray cleaner, which will work against germs’ reproduction. That’ll also save you time on your deep-cleaning sessions, which should be performed once to twice a month, depending on how busy it gets there.

Cleaning a badly stained bowl?

Scrub the toilet’s bowl with a stiff-bristle toilet brush and tackle under the rim area. Suppose you’re dealing with stubborn stains likely caused by minerals in your water work against them with a pumice stone. A few strokes with a pumice stone will undoubtedly make those stains less difficult while being scratch-free for your porcelain as pumice is a softer stone.

How to remove hard water stains from a toilet?

These types of stains often require different approaches as they can be quite stubborn from all the mineral deposits from hard water. An excellent way to start is a combination of vinegar and baking soda topped with elbow grease. Add a ratio of 1:2 baking soda and vinegar to the bowl and sprinkle some more baking soda to cover the stained areas in the bowl. Follow up with more vinegar until the mixture starts to fizzle and foam. The start of fizzling is when the limescale buildup begins to break down. Allow 30 minutes to dissolve as much as possible before starting to scrub the stains away. If this method didn’t do the trick for you, there are some other alternatives that you can check in our guide here.

Once You’re Finished!

More often than not, your whole bathroom is due to be cleaned, so don’t just stop there! But don’t worry! Whether you decide to go one fixture at a time, starting from the bathtub or clean your whole bathroom, we’ve got you covered! Perhaps your grout and showerhead need some cleaning love too. With our guides, we’ll help you learn how to clean them and save you precious time effectively. 

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