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How To Clean A Toilet

It may not be the most glamorous job, but keeping toilets clean is essential. Make the process fast and simple by following the steps in this guide.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

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Dirty toilets don’t just look and smell bad; they’re also a haven for bacteria. Grab your rubber gloves and use these easy-to-follow instructions for how to clean a toilet bowl and toilet areas so they look clean, smell fresh and are germ-free!

Don’t put off cleaning the toilet bowl – regular toilet cleaning sessions and a product proven to kill germs, like Domex Ultra Thick Bleach*, will prevent stains and limescale from building up (which means less scrubbing for you!)

What to clean toilet with? You’ll need:

  1. Rubber gloves

  2. Sponge

  3. Toilet cleaner

  4. A household bleach, such as Domex Ultra Thick Bleach

  5. Toilet brush

  6. Cif Cream Surface Cleaner

  7. Wipe cloths or tissues

How to Clean a Toilet Bowl and Toilet

  • Put on some rubber gloves. You won’t want to be using these anywhere else in your house, so either use disposable gloves, or buy a pair in a different color so you don’t mix them up. You may also want to wear some old clothes for toilet cleaning.

  • Remove any items around the toilet. This was you can clean thoroughly (and so they don’t get splashed with cleaner).

  • Start with cleaning the toilet bowl. Use a thick household bleach, such as Domex, which kills germs dead and also tackles tough dirt and stains. For the most effective toilet cleaning, squirt the bleach up into the rim of the toilet and allow it to run down into the toilet bowl. Remember: Use biocides like bleach safely – always read the label and product information before use.

  • Leave the bleach to sit in the toilet bowl for 10 minutes. In the meantime, tackle the rest of the toilet.

  • Apply a disinfectant or antibacterial surface cleaner over the entire toilet and cistern. Work the product in using a cloth or tissues, wiping away any excess.

  • Pay extra attention to the handle during toilet cleaning, as well as the underneath of the toilet seat – these are spots where germs accumulate. You should also disinfect the base of the toilet and nearby floor, which can attract drips and stains.

  • Once done, go back to cleaning toilet bowl stains. Using a firm bristled toilet brush, thoroughly scrub the toilet bowl, including under the rim. Regularly dip the brush into the toilet water and bleach, and take care to scrub mineral deposits that can occur near the water level.

  • To finish cleaning the toilet bowl, flush the toilet as you continue to scrub. After that, add a little bleach into the remaining toilet water.

Safety Warning

Do not swallow; do not mix with other detergents or chemicals, particularly cleaners. Mixing may generate toxic chlorine gas. Ensure adequate ventilation when using it, as vapor may be harmful. Strongly alkaline and corrosive. Attacks skin and eyes so avoid contact. May produce severe burns. Wear protective gloves and eye protection when mixing or using. Do not mix with hot water. Store upright below 25 degrees celsius. Rinse containers with water before disposal.    

A person cleaning the bathroom
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How to Remove Limescale From Toilet

Tough limescale deposits can’t always be removed with conventional cleaners. Get rid of limescale in the toilet with the help of a few common household products:

  1. Vinegar. This mild acid will dissolve and soften limescale deposits to make them easier to scrub away. Pour into the toilet bowl and leave it to rest for at least 2 hours before scrubbing with a toilet brush. Lemon or lime juice can also be effective.

  2. Coca-cola. It’s likely you’ve never heard how to use coca cola to clean a toilet! Using coke to clean toilet actually works! Try it!  The acidic effect of the drink combats bacteria, while the bubbles loosen the limescale. Tip a bottle into the toilet, preferably overnight, then scrub as normal.

  3. Sandpaper. As a last resort, a super-fine grade sandpaper can be used to gently scrub away limescale deposits – however, this can damage enamel, so use very sparingly and always try it on a small, unnoticeable area of the toilet first.

*Domex kills germs such as:

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  • Escherichia coli

  • Staphylococcus aureus

  • Proteus vulgaris

  • Wear gloves and old clothing, and remove items from around the toilet.

  • Use a domestic bleach, such as Domex, to kill germs and combat stains.

  • Disinfect the entire toilet, including hard-to-reach areas and germ-infested handles.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on how to clean a toilet

Can I put bleach in my toilet tank?

Bleach is a great option for cleaning and sanitizing your toilet bowl, but we do not recommend using it for the toilet tank as it may corrode the internal components of your toilet.

How do you clean a toilet seat with bleach?

When it comes to learning how to clean a toilet seat with bleach – you want to do so carefully. Do not use bleach on wooden toilet seats as it may damage the material. You can use bleach to clean a toilet seat made of plastic but should remove the toilet seat from the toilet before doing so. Place the seat to soak in a solution of bleach diluted with water - do not use it neat. Leave the bleach solution for a few minutes before using a soft bristled brush to scrub and remove any leftover stains. Thoroughly rinse any bleach residue from the seat before fixing it back on the toilet.

Is Cif cream bleach?

Cif Cream is not a bleach. It is a surface cleaner. While some surface cleaners contain bleach, the Original Cif Cream does not.

Can you use dishwasher detergent to clean a toilet?

Using dishwasher detergent to clean a toilet is actually not a bad idea. The tablets are designed to dissolve hard water stains, which makes them the ideal candidate for cleaning your toilet bowl. You can also use them to scrub your shower.

Originally published