Cleaning Guides

How to Clean a Toilet

Cleaning the toilet is probably the least desired chore right after cleaning the oven. Still, a dirty toilet looks bad, smells bad and is a breeding ground for numerous germs. The sooner you tackle this issue, the better.

So, if you

  • just moved into a new property and toilet looks like it has never been cleaned
  • plan to use bleach, but wonder whether there’s a more eco-friendly option
  • Have no idea what cleaning products to use
  • wonder how often you should clean the toilet

Then read along…

Table of Contents:

Prepare for toilet cleaning

The market is full of products for toilet bowl cleaning, but you can also make your own eco-friendly one in case you have small kids or pets. It’s really easy- just sprinkle some baking soda in your toilet bowl and pour 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar. Some might wonder, does vinegar and baking soda clean toilets? Yes, you will witness some fizzing, but don’t worry. Leave the solution to do its job, until you clean the rest of the toilet.

And if somebody asks what is the best way to clean a toilet, this is how. You leave the solution to do its magic in the toilet bowl while clean the rest. You clean all parts of the toilet, so it can trully sparkle, although the bowl would certainly be the hardest.

Always use a separate set of rubber gloves and sponges just for toilet cleaning. Never use them on any other surface in your home. To make sure you don’t mix them up with the kitchen pair, buy them in a different colour.

How to clean a dirty toilet

Whenever you hear or read the sentence how to clean a stained toilet, you usually think of the toilet bowl. It’s no wonder, as that part in particular gathers the most debris in the form of mineral deposits, residue, and particles from cleaning products. It becomes quite an eye-sore in time, doesn’t it?

While the bowl certainly is the centrepiece of any toilet, it’s hardly the only thing which gets dirty. Many people also ask how to clean a yellow toilet seat or how to clean a toilet rim and those are all relevant questions. The truth is no toilet can be truly clean if you only clean one part of it. You need to clean it in its entirety.

With that said, let’s start with…

Clean toilet exterior

  • Start from top to bottom.
  • Spray the tank, and handle with an all-purpose disinfectant (either a commercial product or one made out of equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle).
  • Wait several minutes for the solution to do its job and then wipe it away.
  • Spray the lid top afterwards.
  • Spray the top edges on the outside of the bowl, then continue downward to the bottom edges where the bowl meets the floor.
  • If the floor around the toilet is also in need of cleaning, now is the perfect time to take care of it.

Clean a toilet tank

If you want to clean the inside of your toilet tank before moving to the seat and bowl, this is what you should do.

  • Remove the tank lid and see if you have mineral buildup.
  • If yes, pour 4 cups of white vinegar inside and allow it to soak for about an hour.
  • Drain the tank by shutting off the water supply and flushing the contents of the tank.
  • Now that it’s empty and not refilling, scrub the inside with a brush.
  • Switch the water back on and allow the tank to refill, when all the gunk has been removed from the tank walls.
  • Flush it several times to rinse out the crud.

Clean a toilet seat

After the tank and bowl exterior, make sure not to skip the seat. It may not look that dirty, but it is definitely germ-ridden.

  • Spray the lid on the inside as well as both sides of the seat.
  • Don’t miss the hinges and any hard to reach areas.
  • Spray the rim of the bowl as well.
  • Wait several minutes and wipe away the all-purpose disinfectant.
  • Use an old toothbrush to better clean around the hinges, if necessary.

Clean rim jets

If you feel your toilet doesn’t flush as strongly as it used to, the problem might be clogged rim jets. Because these tiny holes are located under the rim, out of sight and hard to reach, we always ignore them until they stop working. This is how to clean them of mineral build-up.

  • Heat a cup of white vinegar. Not boiling hot, rather coffee hot.
  • Pour the vinegar into the overflow tube of the toilet tank and wait about 30 minutes
  • Flush the vinegar
  • Chip away the mineral build-up from the rim jets with either an old metal hanger or a hex key.
  • Flush every now and again to clear away the debris

Clean the toilet bowl

    If your bowl is really stained, then the best way to remove limescale from the toilet is by emptying the bowl beforehand. This allows the cleaning solution to come into direct contact with the stains and limescale, so it will be much more effective than if diluted in water.

    • Pour white vinegar into the bowl – White vinegar is naturally acidic, which gives it great cleaning power. Measure out about 1 cup (240 mL), then dump it into the toilet bowl;
    • Let the vinegar sit overnight – This will help break down the tough limescale deposits;
    • Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl – Sprinkle enough baking soda into the toilet to cover the whole surface of the bowl;
    • Scrub the toilet bowl – use the toilet brush and scrub as much as you can;
    • Rinse and repeat – once you’re done scrubbing the bowl of limescale, flush the toilet. Ideally there should be no more limescape, but if there is, you will have to repeat the process.

    Vinegar and baking soda are fine to flush down your toilet as they are eco-friendly products.

    In case your bowl has rust coloured rings from mineral build-up, you can scrub the porcelain with baking soda or a specially designed commercial product. Another eco-friendly option is to scrub the deposit with a pumice stone. Don’t worry – it won’t scratch the porcelain, just dampen it before scrubbing.

    Hire a professional

    If you cringe at the thought of having to clean your toilet instead of going out with friends, why not hire Fantastic Services? The technicians we work with are highly experienced and always bring their own cleaning products and tools. Your toilet will look good as new, and while we’re at it, we might even clean your whole bathroom, should you want it.


    • Always use a separate pair of rubber gloves and sponges for your toilet. Never use these in your kitchen under any circumstances.
    • Start from top to bottom. First the water tank, then the toilet seat, then the bowl. The bowl needs to be cleaned both outside and inside.
    • Do not forget to clean the seat hinges
    • You might have to clean the rim jets if you think your toilet doesn’t flush as strongly as it used to.


    Do you have some tips on how to clean the toilet more efficiently? Do share by leaving a comment!

    Image source: Shutterstock / VH-studio

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