Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean Your Toilet (Inside and Outside!)


Yes, cleaning your toilet is a dirty job; however, not cleaning it is even worse! It’s highly unsanitary and rather nasty to look at, let alone use. On the other hand, even a toilet that ‘appears’ clean may have bacteria present in and around it; hence, regular cleaning is a must! Whether you choose to clean your toilet on a daily basis or include in your bathroom cleaning routine, there are simple measures that you can take to keep it sanitary which is truly what matters most!

So, what’s the most effective way to clean/sanitise a toilet and maintain that level of cleanliness and hygiene? Well, we’ve got all the information you need in the form of a simple step-by-step guide! Read on.

Step 1: Douse the Interiors with a Cleaner

In order for a cleaning product to work more efficiently, it requires some amount of standing time. This helps to break down stains and effectively kill bacteria. To achieve these results, a toilet bowl cleaner that contains a combination of hydrogen peroxide and bleach is generally advised; however, there are many more eco-friendly alternatives available on the market that will get the job done (you just need to find a reliable one and stick to it). Now to begin the cleaning process, pour the product around the rim and top of the bowl interiors so that it drips down to the bottom. Be generous when dealing with a badly stained toilet bowl as the cleaner will not be of much help if used miserly.

Step 2: Wipe the Seat and Lid with a Disinfectant

You can use a store-bought disinfectant to clean and sanitise the seat and lid, or a natural, homemade cleaning solution. The latter is generally recommended to avoid any skin reactions as these are the parts of the toilet that your body comes in contact with. Rubbing alcohol, vodka and white distilled vinegar are all safe, eco-friendly ingredients to use; however, the level of effectiveness will depend on the amounts used. In other words, you require a lot of the ingredient in order for it to act as a disinfectant. Regardless of what disinfectant you choose to use, the process remains the same:

  • Pour the disinfectant in a spray can
  • Spritz the top and bottom of the seat and lid (enough to wet the entire surface)
  • Allow it to stand for 5-10 minutes
  • Dampen a scrubber with warm water and wipe over the surface using enough pressure to remove dirt or stains (if any)
  • Rinse the seat and lid if needed

Step 3: Scrub the Tank and Exteriors

While the cleaner is still working its magic on the interiors of the bowl, turn your attention to the exterior and tank. For this, you can use a regular bathroom cleaner that is effective in removing grime and hard water stains. Use the tips below for an efficient clean:

  • Make your cleaning solution in a basin (the strength of the cleaner will depend on the level of dirt and grime on the surface)
  • Wet the tank and bowl exteriors with water
  • Dip a slightly abrasive scrubber or medium-bristled scrub brush in the solution and begin cleaning the tank and exteriors. Use separate cleaning tools for this.
  • Rinse the cleaning tools and re-dip as and when needed
  • Use an old toothbrush to clean any narrow or hard-to-reach places
  • Finish off by splashing the tank and exterior with water to rinse off the cleaner

Step 4: Clean the Bowl Interiors

By now, your toilet bowl cleaner will have served its main purpose; all that’s left to do is begin the scrubbing process. For this, use a good toilet brush and start from the rim, working your way to the bottom. Dampen the brush before your begin as this will help spread the cleaner around as opposed to wiping it up. Rinse the brush at intervals (outside of the bowl) and continue scrubbing every inch of the interiors until you are satisfied with the results. Finish off by pouring water around the interiors; splash the rim (and exteriors again, if needed); and lastly, pull the flush to complete your toilet cleaning!

Tips to Keep Your Toilet Clean and Sanitary:

  • Spray the seat and lid with a disinfectant every alternate day (if not daily) and rinse it off after a few minutes; leave the seat up to dry off
  • Leave the toilet cleaner in the bowl overnight for a quick and easy clean in the morning
  • Splash the exteriors with warm-hot water after you shower; the heat helps to remove/dissolve dirt before it can harden
  • Soak a clean rag in vinegar and wipe down the bowl exteriors and tank to sanitise surfaces; rinse off after a few minutes
Karen Saunders


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here