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Updated June 14, 2022
Toilets are some of the most important parts of our household. They’re used daily and are key to a hygienic and functioning household, but because of their important and consistent uses, they also get dirty very quickly. Exposure to hard water stains can quickly discolor toilets and other porcelain surfaces, as can the build up of other bacteria or biological materials in your toilet bowl or tank. Nothing is quite as unsightly as a stained or dirty toilet, so you’re going to want to read our expert guide of cleaning suggestions to learn the best ways to scour your toilet clean. Our team has tested out several major cleaning solutions in order to provide you with the best way to clean toilets, and help you keep your toilet in top shape.
Before You Begin – Materials Needed
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Rubber Gloves
- Bar Keeper’s Friend
- Lemon Juice
- Toilet Brush
- Disinfecting Wipes
- Commercial Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Naval Jelly
General Cleaning Solutions
Regular routine cleaning for your toilet is an essential part to catching stains before they happen and to help keep your toilet sparkling clean for regular daily use.
One of the best ways to keep the exterior of your toilet clean is to keep a container of disinfecting wipes on hand. These handy, presoaked wipes come with a cleaning solution already soaked into the material of the wipes, so you can just pull one out and get right to work. These are great for removing dust or other debris from the surface of your toilet and keeping rust and stains from accumulating on the exterior of the toilet right away.
For the interior of your toilet, you can apply your favorite commercial toilet bowl cleaner. Make sure to spread evenly around the interior of the toilet bowl and let sit for about ten minutes. Scrub clean with a toilet brush and then flush to rinse away the remaining cleaner.
Heavy Duty Bowl Cleaning
Your heavy-duty bowl cleaning routine should involve a tougher cleaner like Bar Keeper’s Friend. A simple but powerful powder that’s perfect for the interior of your porcelain toilet bowl, Bar Keeper’s Friend combines well with water to create a thick scouring paste that can remove all kinds of dirt, grime, and stains in just a few minutes. Spread the powder evenly over the entire interior of the toilet bowl and allow it to sit for a few minutes until it congeals into a paste. Using rubber gloves and a toilet brush, scrub the interior of the bowl thoroughly until all stains, dirt, and discoloration are gone, and flush to rinse.
Scrubbing Out Dirt, Scum, and Mineral Stains
When you’re cleaning out your toilet, you might notice particularly challenging stains, dirt, or mineral remnants that just won’t let go of the toilet surface. Scrubbing out particularly challenging dirt and grime, remaining scum, or other mineral stains is fairly easy to accomplish as long as you have the right tools to ensure a thorough, proper cleaning is done.
Start by pouring lemon juice in the bowl of your toilet, making sure to coat all visible stains. Let sit and then scrub off with a toilet brush. If there are particularly challenging rust stains, you can swap out the toilet brush for a pumice stone Apply pressure and rinse by flushing to remove the lemon juice remnants.
Cleaning Your Toilet Tank
Toilet tanks need a cleaning less frequently, but it’s still helpful to give them a nice full-body scrub every now and then. Start by thoroughly draining your toilet tank. If you have hard water that’s left orange or brown rust stains all over the interior of your toilet, you can apply a layer of naval jelly to all the stains. Let that jelly sit and begin to remove the stains from the tank for about fifteen minutes, then flush out the tank interior. Repeat until all remnants of the jelly (and hopefully also the stain) are gone.
Next, reach for a pumice stone and scrub at the inside of the tank. Cover the entire surface and give it a good scrub with lots of pressure to scrape away mineral build up. If you’re facing serious build up, you can also pour white vinegar into the tank, scrub it around the toilet tank walls, and then continue to flush until empty and clean.
All Natural Cleaning Methods
If you’re hesitant to commit to the heavy-duty chemicals that are found in many commercial toilet cleaning products, you can create your own powerful at-home cleaners with common ingredients found in your kitchen. Begin by pouring white vinegar into your toilet bowl. Allow to rest overnight, as the vinegar will begin scouring away dirt and microfilm without damaging your porcelain. Rinse in the morning and scrub with a toilet brush, then rinse again to make sure that all the vinegar has been flushed.
For heavier duty stains, mix baking soda and vinegar together until it forms a paste, then coat the interior of the toilet bowl in the paste, paying special attention to areas with stains. If you need to, drain the toilet bowl first so that your paste can sit on the most discolored of areas.
Allow the paste to sit for half an hour before scrubbing clean with a toilet brush. Rinse and flush as needed until your toilet bowl is back to its usual shining self. For either of these methods, you can use a pumice stone for additional pressure and grit.
Toilets continue to be an important part of our daily routines, so the longer you can keep your toilet clean and in top condition, the better off you and your family will be. These durable, heavy-duty, and long-lasting cleaning methods will help keep your toilet cleaner for longer and will make sure that the cleanliness of your toilet lasts a long time and maintains its sparkling clean look both inside and outside. Scour your toilet crystal clean and keep it that way with these expert cleaning tricks!