How to Clean a Toilet: 6 Tips & Tricks

No one likes to talk about toilet cleaning. In an episode of Frasier, the two elitist brothers decide to tackle the task to impress their father, but soon find themselves stymied. They wind up calling a plumbing company, run by two men who turn out to be the very brothers who bullied them throughout high school. Naturally, hijinks ensue.

As fun as the movie sounds, toilet cleansing is never a fun job. It’s a dirty one, but a necessary one. If ever a job sounded like hard, blue collar work, it’s that of a plumber. Pop culture often makes jokes about them – from Dan Aykroyd’s crack-exposed repairmen on Saturday Night Live to Mario and Luigi. To be honest, however, it’s a noble profression. Any job other people don’t want to do, those that are willing to roll up their sleeves and take care of should be lauded.

If you don’t want to shell out the cash to pay a company to handle your business, you’ll find yourself more than capable of doing this task. Here are six tips and tricks if you want to learn how to clean a toilet:

1. Assembling Your Tools

Obviously, before you’re cleaning a toilet, so you’re going to want to have a good set of tools at the ready. This will include wrenches of varying sizes, a scrubber, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, bleach, your preferred brand of bowl freshener and rubber gloves. Rubber gloves are especially crucial for sanitation. Ideally, you’re going to want to keep a pair of gloves exclusively for the toilet.

Keep them in the bathroom, label them or make them a different colour than your other gloves so you avoid accidentally using them elsewhere in the house. For deep-clean jobs, it may be wise to wear eye-protection. If you’re averse to using harsh chemicals, they can easily be substituted with hydrogen peroxide. It needs to sit for at least 30 minutes to have an effect, but it’s a cheap, easy and safe way to handle cleaning.

2. Scrubbing the Bowl

If you want to clean a toilet, scrubbing should be an obvious step. Before you even attempt anything toilet related, you want the water and inner-bowl as clean as possible. Use the scrubber to wipe away any stains or mineral deposits that are obvious. Lysol is usually enough to handle any lingering residue, but if it’s been a while, you may want to use something more effective. By the end of the scrub, flush. You’ll want the bowl as white as a perfect set of teeth.

Here’s a fascinating tip – if you have a severe ring of rust around the bowl, simply drop in two tablets of Alka Seltzer and let it sit for 15 minutes. Gatorade also has the same effect. Just scrub away and you’re done. There are a ton of do-it-yourself toilet cleansers that are both effective and even make your toilet smell wonderful. Try rubbing a grapefruit with salt and scrubbing. If you really want to geit under the rim, soap and borax applied to a toothbrush or pipe cleaner can take care of it nicely.

Once a year, vinegar and duct tape can be applied to the syphon jets to keep them flowing nicely.

3. Keeping Your Brush Clean

Ideally, you don’t want to have to keep shelling out for a new toilet brush all the time, so maintanance should be regular. Pour some all- purpose cleaner in the brush holder to keep it clean and sanitized between use.

4. Cleaning the Lids

Now that the inner-bowl is pristine, like a showroom model, you’re going to want to take care of the main points of bodily contact – the top and bottom lids. This is fairly self-explanatory and can be handled with all-purpose cleaner and some rags. However, if you’re not into constantly rewashing rags until they’re threadbare, paper towels might be ideal.

5. Give the Body a Quick Wipe Down

Very simple, just spray a bit of all-purpose and wipe away any built-up dust or dirt around the bowl. Start at the top so that any residue can easily land in the bowl and be flushed away. Clean around the base.

If you live with men or are one and have bad aim, you’d be amazed how yellow your paper towel can get. Hard-to-see or reach areas can be taken care of with pipe cleaners or a toothbrush. Once your done, sanitize all tools with hot water and soap.

Other issues can involve tightening screws, but usually the fix is simple.

6. My Toilet Bowl Won’t Refill After Flushing

This is usually just caused by the stopper being misaligned with the hole in the tank. Simply lift the lid and toy with the stopper holder until it’s positioned correctly. Oftentimes, you don’t even have to do that but instead just jiggle the handle. If that fix doesn’t work, however, you may have to call in a plumber for a deeper inspection.

For more severe issues, well, that’s what we have plumbers for.