7 Steps How to Clean a Toilet Properly? Best Way to Clean a Toilet

How to Clean a ToiletVisiting a dirty toilet is dangerous to your health. You can easily contract common bacteria and viruses such as strep throat, bacterial vaginosis, or even staph infections. To avoid contracting such diseases, you should keep your toilet clean at all times. We will discuss here the best way to clean a toilet!

Harmful Toilet Cleaners:

-Hydrochloric acid
-Chlorine bleach
-Sodium hypochlorite
-Sodium hydroxide

Safe & Natural Toilet Cleaners:

White Vinegar
-Lemon Juice or Citric Acid
-Essential Oils
-Baking Soda

Cleaning the toilet is unpleasant, but you don’t have any other choice. Even though it seems easy, most people don’t clean the toilet properly; thus, they don’t eliminate all the germs and bacteria on the toilet. For better hygiene, you have to clean the whole toilet tank, bowl, and seat.

7 Steps: How to Clean a Toilet Properly?

Cleaning a toilet can be a very unpleasant task, but our toilet cleaning guide will help you to do it effortlessly. The steps that we’ve featured in this guide will not only save you time and energy but as well as ensure that you’re left with a sparkling and hygienic toilet.

clean the toilet

Page Contents

Step 1: Gather the right supplies

The first step in cleaning your commode is by gathering the right supplies. Things that you will need for proper cleaning and disinfecting your toilet include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Use a toilet brush to scrub
  • Toilet cleaner/vinegar
  • Eye protection
  • Rags or paper towel
  • Sanitary wipes
  • All-purpose disinfectant spray cleaner

Gathering the right cleaning tools will make the process as smooth and fast as possible. Before you buy a toilet cleaner, ensure that it won’t damage your toilet’s surface. Apart from gathering the right tools for cleaning, get rid of everything around your toilet. This is because you don’t want the cleaning solution to splash and affect the items around the toilet.

Step 2: Put on protective wear

After gathering all the needed tools, put on protective wear, this includes gloves and goggles. If possible, put on protective clothing as well. These will protect you from contracting the dirt from the toilet and the dangerous cleaning solution.

Step 3: Add cleaning solution or vinegar

cleaning solution or vinegarBefore applying a cleaning solution or vinegar inside the toilet bowl, flush the toilet to drain water properly from the bowl and tank with the lid closed. This helps to prevent the water from splashing. Then turn off the water supply to the toilet. Next, add the toilet cleaner to the rim and allow it to drip slowly as it soaks for several minutes. At this juncture, you can take a break as most dirt, grime, stains, rings, and mineral deposits may take time to break up.

Step 4: Clean the exterior of the toilet

Clean the exterior of the toiletInstead of remaining idle as you wait for the cleaning solution or vinegar to soak, you can start cleaning the toilet’s exterior. Use a disinfectant spray to clean the exterior surface. Begin by applying it at the top to avoid dripping on already cleaned areas. Start with the tank lid, tank, handle, and tank edges. Additionally, clean the sides, front, and base of the toilet bowl before moving to the edge where the bowl meets the ground.  

Step 5: Clean the toilet seat

Clean the toilet seatOne of the overlooked sectors of the toilet is the toilet seat. Despite being part of the toilet that comes into contact with people, many people don’t clean it thoroughly. Remove the toilet seat with the help of a screw and spray the toilet cleaner inside the lid, seat, and toilet rim.

When you’re done cleaning, rinse the toilet seat and lid, and then damp clean cloth, rag, or towel in water and use it to wipe away any remaining bleach or chemical.

Step 6: Clean the interior of the toilet

Clean the interior of the toiletAfter a few hours, clean the interior of the toilet. Start by cleaning the bowl from top to bottom. Using your toilet brush to scrub it into the bowl would be effective in cleaning the surface. Scrub the rim until you get rid of the bacteria and dirt hiding inside. Afterward, scrub the bowl using a toilet brush to clean from top to bottom. Finally, wash the toilet’s drain hole at the bottom of the bowl. When done, flush the toilet to finish the job. For hard and tough stains, you should use a pumice stone or some other abrasive tool.

Clean the interior of the toilet

If the stains, grime, and rings don’t disappear, try using something else like vinegar, baking soda, or cola. These are very effective in getting rid of rings, stubborn stains, and grime.  Repeat the same procedure by allowing them to soak before scrubbing.

Step 7: Use a disinfectant to clean the area around the toilet

disinfectant to clean the area around the toiletBy now, the area around the toilet may be very messy. To ensure the entire bathroom is sparkling clean, you should also clean and disinfect the surrounding area. If you had items on top of that toilet that you wanted to return, you might have to change the gloves. Put on clean gloves and disinfect the items before returning them to the lid of the toilet. You don’t want to take chances.

disinfectant to clean the area around the toilet

Last but not least, don’t forget to clean the toilet. Dust and dirt may accumulate in this area as a few people take time to clean the spot. If possible, disinfect the area together with the floor surrounding the toilet. Your job is done, and you can now clean and disinfect all the tools you used in cleaning the toilet.

4 DIY Homemade Toilet Cleaners (Safe & Natural)

  • ½ cup baking soda+1 cup white vinegar+ ½ teaspoon tea tree essential oil
  • ¾ cup borax+1 cup white vinegar+5 drops of lemon essential oil+10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Distilled water+Vinegar (5%+)
  • Alcohol (95%)+30-45 drops essential oil+3½ teaspoon distilled water+½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide

How often should I clean the toilet?  

Cleaning and disinfecting your toilet regularly will maintain high levels of hygiene. The chances of getting germs will be greatly minimized. It is vital to clean the toilet regularly if you have a sick person in the house. If possible, clean after every use to disinfect.

Related article: Easy steps to Stop a Toilet from Running

Usually, you should give your toilet a deep cleaning at least once or twice a week. That’s if not many people use the toilet—moreover, the time you take to give your toilet deep lean matters. Please don’t rush to clean your toilet when giving it a deep clean. Besides, you should wash and disinfect the tools used to clean the toilet after a deep clean.   

Cautions to undertake while cleaning the toilet

  • Wear protective or latex gloves not to come into contact with harsh cleaning products and bacteria. When done cleaning, remove the latex gloves and disinfect and clean reusable gloves immediately.
  • Avoid using sponges when you scrub the toilet. This is because damp sponges can create an ideal environment for bacteria to breed. If you must use sponges, wash them immediately after you finish cleaning. Please put them in hot water with bleach to get rid of all the pathogens. Replace the toilet fill valve with a new one if it is damaged.
  • Always wear eye protection when cleaning the toilet. Most toilet cleaning products have bleach and other chemicals in them. These can bother and even damage your eyes.
  • Use the right toilet cleaning agent on your toilet surface. Different manufacturers recommend different cleaning products. Some toilet cleaning products are very abrasive and may end up damaging your toilet finish.
  • Always work in a properly ventilated bathroom to avoid suffocating. The cleaning agents may produce a strong smell that might choke you.
  • Avoid using toilet bowl cleaner disks or tablets, which are usually dropped into the tank or hung inside the toilet bowl’s rim. These have a high chance of damaging your porcelain; pets may drink from the contaminated water and get sick.
  • If you use different commercial cleaning products, avoid mixing them, as they can produce an extremely toxic vapor that might suffocate you.


If you follow the steps above, you will end up with a clean and hygienic toilet. You don’t have to use up a lot of hours cleaning your toilet if you can save time and clean it the right way. Don’t forget to use suitable cleaning agents as per the toilet manufacturer’s recommendation. Always keep your toilet clean at least once a week or twice a week if your bathroom is busy.

Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.


  1. Good article. I’m 58 and never realized how ineffectively I was cleaning our toilets. I appreciate this information.

    One question – 2nd paragraph under Step 7 begins with a confusing sentence. “Last but not least, don’t forget to clean the toilet.” I think maybe a word is missing. Will you please clarify? Thank you!

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here