Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates:
Signup to win Cleaniquipment and a Cleanibox

How to keep your toilet smelling fresh and clean

A smelly toilet isn’t pleasant to deal with – but it may be easier to tackle than you think.


Deep cleaning your toilet every day just isn’t realistic. If you need a little help keeping your toilet as clean and hygienic as possible, invest in commercial products that do the job for you. Domestos toilet blocks clean the toilet bowl with every flush, keeping it clean and germ free, and saving you time too.

Has your cleaning regime changed during the Covid-19 lockdown?

A smelly toilet is one of the more unpleasant problems that come with running a household. As unpleasant as it might be, tackling bathroom odours and keeping your toilet clean is important for a hygienic home.

If your toilet stinks, don’t panic – we’re here to tell you how to keep your toilet smelling fresh, and restore your bathroom to its former fragrant glory.


Signup to win Cleaniquipment and a Cleanibox

Help – my toilet stinks like sewage!

If your toilet or toilet water stinks, you’ll need to arm yourself with suitable supplies to tackle the stench. Here’s what you need:

  • Thick, strong bleach – and plenty of it. Domestos thick bleach does the job well, and comes in a range of scents including Lavender Blast and Summer Fresh.
  • A clean toilet brush with plastic bristles
  • Disposable wipes for the seat, lid and exterior of your toilet
  • Toilet blocks which clean with every flush (add as a final flourish)

Limescale removers might also be useful for a deep clean, as they’re efficient at tackling persistent stains. Always wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves with dealing with bleach and toilet germs and remember to open a window to ventilate the room.

How to deep clean a toilet

When your toilet stinks, here’s what you need to do:

  1. To get rid of all stains in the toilet bowl, you’ll need access to the whole surface. Start by turning off the water valve for the toilet, and then flush to reduce the water level.
  2. Lift up the toilet seat and squirt the bleach around the rim and sides, letting it run down the bowl. Scrub with a toilet brush, spreading the liquid all around the bowl as you go. Set aside the brush and leave to work.
  3. In the meantime, shut the lid and use your disposable wipes to clean around the tank, hinges, all the parts of the toilet seat and the base as well. Remember to lift up the lid and clean both sides of the seat, as this area can be a key source of lingering odours.
  4. Grab your scrubbing brush again and give the toilet bowl a second scrub, focusing on key areas like underneath the rim and down into the u-bend. When finished, flush the toilet, using the fresh water to rinse the toilet brush.
  5. Toilet water stinks? Not anymore! Step back and admire your handiwork. The toilet should be gleaming by this stage, with a much more pleasant smell.

Alternative toilet cleaners

If you’re not keen on chemicals or you simply want to make use of what you’ve already got in the house, here are some more natural cleaning solutions to try:

  • Vinegar is a useful soaking agent for both odours and stains. Pour approximately 3 cups into the toilet bowl, taking care to cover as much of the sides as you can and then scrubbing with your toilet brush. A couple of cups of vinegar in the toilet every month can actually prevent limescale stains from reoccurring.
  • Cola also works well on dirty toilets, as the acidity kills bacteria and the fizzy bubbles help to break down limescale deposits. Pour the liquid around the rim and into the bowl and leave for an hour or overnight if you can.

While these techniques can combat toilet odours, they won’t leave your bathroom smelling clean and fragrant, so you may want to spray some air freshener afterwards.

Cleaning your toilet regularly will ensure stains and limescale don’t build up over time, saving you time and effort in the future. Never again will you think ‘my toilet stinks like sewage’! Two final tips – leave the toilet brush soaking in a soap solution or diluted toilet cleaner, and place some disposable wipes on the top of the tank for everyday use. 

  • Always wear rubber gloves when using bleach and keep the room well ventilated
  • To fit a toilet block, hook the cage over the toilet rim, making sure it's in the water flow. Don't remove the protective film, which dissolves over time. To replace, throw any leftover bits in the bin, then fit with a new block.
  • Wash hands after fitting.
  • Originally published