Among all of the annoying or disgusting chores we have to do at home, I think cleaning a toilet might be one of the worst. I don’t think anyone likes cleaning toilets.
But, even though you might dread it, cleaning the toilets in your house on a regular basis is one of the most important habits to form. Let me tell you why.
Why It’s Important to Clean a Toilet Often
The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in our homes! Plus, it’s a room that gets messy very easily. Between actually using the bathroom to washing your hands to showering, water and grime can build up easily. Not to mention if you don’t keep up on small stains and hard water, your cleaning job gets 10x harder.
It’s great to get into the habit of cleaning your entire bathroom once a week. If you aren’t in the habit of cleaning it once a week, it’s easy to lose track of how long it’s been since it’s been cleaned last. But, if you don’t have time for a full bathroom clean each week, you need to make sure you’re at least cleaning your toilet every week.
I’ve seen many people who don’t keep up on a routine actually ruin their toilets because the stains get so bad! It’s so much easier to do a quick, easy clean once a week than to do a deep clean once a month.
The Benefits of Having a Clean Toilet
The benefits of having a properly cleaned bathroom are endless! One of the biggest benefits is for your mental health. Walking into a clean, clutter-free bathroom has actual positive effects on our brains. It uplifts our mood and we don’t leave the room feeling overwhelmed with the thought that there is one more thing on our to-do list.
It’s also a huge benefit to always be comfortable letting a guest use your bathroom because you know it’s clean. Nobody has ever gone into a dirty bathroom without thinking about how gross it was, so give yourself peace of mind by providing a clean bathroom experience for your guests.
If you keep up a weekly cleaning schedule, then you won’t have to worry even if someone drops by unannounced! (I mean, you might have to worry about the rest of your home… but at least you’ll know your bathroom is clean!)
Professional Tips for Cleaning a Toilet
When cleaning the outer toilet, always work from the top to the bottom and from the cleanest part to the dirtiest. This allows you to avoid spreading urine all over the cleanest parts of the toilet.
Clean every crevice and every surface. Don’t skip anything just because it’s gross! I know it’s tempting, but if you skip parts of the toilet cleaning process this time just because it grosses you out too much, I promise it’ll happen the next time you clean too. Your toilet stains won’t be getting any better between now and the next time you have the guts to clean. If anything, it’ll just get worse! So just hold your breath (and close your eyes if you need to) and get it done.
This is why cleaning toilets weekly is so important, otherwise it’ll just be even worse the next time you try to clean the toilet.
Step by Step Instructions For Cleaning a Toilet
If you haven’t cleaned that many toilets in your lifetime, or if your toilet just doesn’t seem to be getting clean enough, here are my step by step instructions with some handy tips for cleaning a toilet.
1. Let the toilet bowl cleaner sit for a bit.
The first step is an easy one. When cleaning the toilet, the first thing you need to do is spray the toilet bowl cleaner in the inner bowl.
A good cleaner usually needs a bit of time to work its magic, so spray it first and let the toilet bowl cleaner sit for now while you work on the rest of the toilet.
2. Clean the outer toilet bowl.
Make sure you get every nook and cranny when you’re cleaning the outer bowl. And I truly mean every nook and cranny.
One area that most people forget to clean is the lowest part of the toilet down by the bolts that keep the toilet rooted to the ground. For some reason, urine seems to collect here and most people avoid cleaning here completely!
But, just like with everything else, if you avoid cleaning it this time because it’s gross, it’s going to be twice as gross the next time! Bite the bullet and get it clean. And then clean it every week after that too.
Continue cleaning up to the toilet seat, and make sure you get everywhere around the bowl. Lift up the toilet seat, scrub underneath, and make sure you get the hinges of the seat as well. The underside of the seat and lid often has urine stains, especially if you have any little boys in your house, so make sure you clean that too.
I always make sure to clean up to the very top. Just because the top of your tank doesn’t have urine or grime doesn’t mean you should skip that spot. It can get dusty and dirty – even if it’s just from germs we can’t see. So make sure to wipe down the front, sides, and top of the tank, plus anything else you can reach. Make sure to get the flush handle too!
I have found that Lysol wipes are one of the most effective ways to clean the outer toilet bowl. They are quick, easy, and won’t drip water onto your floor like a washcloth or scrub brush would.
If you don’t want to use wipes, you can try a disinfectant spray that doesn’t require a water rinse off or a wet sponge. Just make sure you avoid products that require water to either spread or rinse since that will just make your bathroom floor wet and dirty.
No one wants to clean the toilet if it just makes a bigger mess! That’s why I would suggest using Lysol wipes if possible.
3. Clean the inner bowl.
After the outer bowl is clean, scrub the inner bowl with a toilet brush. I’ll go over what the perfect toilet brush should look like in a moment, but make sure it can handle a vigorous scrub.
The toilet cleaner you sprayed earlier should be enough to get rid of most stains and grime, but if you haven’t cleaned your toilet in a while, you might have a water ring or other hard water stains that even the cleaner can’t remove.
If that’s the case, you may need to get more heavy-duty products. Look into toilet tank cleaner or more intense cleaners specifically designed for water stains. You can also use a pumice stone.
Buy a pumice stone cleaner with a handle, and it will work wonders on your water rings. Just make sure to be very gentle when you’re using it. Pumice stones can scratch the porcelain of your toilet, so I’d suggest submerging the stone in water until it’s nice and wet.
When the stone is wet, it becomes a bit softer and you won’t have to worry as much about it scratching the porcelain. Of course, you should still be gentle, but the pumice stone will almost become like a firm eraser, and you can gently erase that water ring right off!
Make sure you also clean up underneath the rim. This is where the water comes out when you flush, and a lot of people forget to clean there since it’s out of sight. Get your brush right up under the rim and clean all the way around.
Once you’ve cleaned the inner bowl, lay the toilet brush between the seat and the lid, with the bristled end of the brush hanging over the inside of the bowl. That way your toilet brush can drip dry without getting dirty water all over the bathroom.
4. Cleaning the Toilet Tank
One part of the toilet that is usually overlooked is the toilet tank. About 90% of people don’t need to worry about cleaning the toilet tank. But some people, like me, open the lid of their toilet tank and the walls of the tank are completely brown, but the water is still clear.
I tried to scrub the sides of my toilet tank to see if that would help and nothing helped! At one point I even tried the Clorox Bleach Tablets but that didn’t help either. Helpful tip: I learned from a plumber that the Clorox bleach tabs can ruin the inside parts of your toilet. Yikes!
So I was in search of a product that would clean the tank without corroding all of the parts inside. I was searching for products on Amazon and decided to try Instant Power Toilet Tank Cleaner. It worked AMAZINGLY on my toilets!
I just dumped about 1/4 of the bottle in my toilet tank before I went to bed and woke up and it looked like new!
For one bottle I was able to do all 3 toilets in my house plus I had some leftover for other times as needed.
What to Look For in a Toilet Brush
The first thing to look for in a toilet brush is a shorter handle. Nobody wants to see your stored toilet brush to the side of your toilet. You can make your bathroom look nice and tidy by hiding your toilet brush behind the toilet… but only with a toilet brush that has a shorter handle.
Plus, if you can hide the toilet brush behind the toilet, you don’t have to waste valuable space under the bathroom sink.
The second thing to look for in a toilet brush is black bristles. Nobody wants to stare at the yellow pee-stains on your white toilet brush. Not even you. So do yourself (and everyone else) a favor and get a toilet brush with black bristles.
Many toilet brushes come with an enclosed container to keep the brush in. But the problem with this is that the water is never allowed to evaporate and the toilet brush never dries out! Some toilet brushes even come in metal containers, which just leads to rust. So try to purchase a toilet brush that allows it to dry out.
The best toilet brush I’ve seen that meets all of these requirements is the $1 toilet brush from Ikea! So the good news is buying a new toilet brush won’t break the bank.
Must-Have Toilet Cleaning Supplies
Besides the all-important toilet brush, here are a few other things you should keep on hand for your weekly cleans.
- Toilet Tank Cleaner (for super dirty toilet tanks that won’t scrub clean)
- Pumice Stone with Handle (great for getting hard water rings off of the toilet bowl – remember to use it gently so you don’t scratch the porcelain)
- Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (for cleaning the outer bowl)
Now that you know exactly how to clean a toilet, find time each week to get it done. Remember: it will always be easier to do a quick clean once a week than struggle through a deep clean every month or two.
Plus, there’s nothing better than walking into a bathroom with a spotless, sparkling toilet!