This Is the Easiest Way to Clean a Toilet

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Toilet cleaning is no one's idea of a favorite household chore. But it needs to be done, and it needs to be done well. After all, toilets—and bathrooms—can be pretty germ-filled places. Thankfully, toilet cleaning isn't a difficult task to master and you probably already have all the supplies you need. Keep reading to learn how to clean your toilet.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet?

It's no surprise that toilets can harbor germs and bacteria like few other things in the home. So toilets should be cleaned regularly—think weekly to semiweekly. And if you share a toilet with many people and it's used frequently, consider cleaning it twice a week.

What You'll Need

Before you begin cleaning your toilet, you'll need to make sure you have the correct supplies. Don't worry—you probably have most of these already on hand.

  • Commercial toilet bowl cleaner (optional)
  • Baking soda
  • Citric acid
  • Essential oil
  • White vinegar
  • Scrub brush
  • Washcloths
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle

Step 1: Clean the Toilet Bowl

The first step in cleaning the toilet is conquering its bowl. Use a toilet cleaner to douse the inside of the bowl, scrub it in and let it soak.

If you'd rather DIY a toilet cleaner instead of purchasing one, make one yourself by combining a 1/2 cup of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of citric acid and a few drops of an essential oil. Sprinkle this mixture all over the inside of the bowl, then slowly pour two cups of white vinegar over the baking soda mixture. Scrub the vinegar in and let it sit while you continue cleaning.

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Step 2: Clean the Exterior

While your bowl cleaner works its magic, get started on the exterior of the toilet. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dust and grime, then, if you'd like, spray the exterior with a disinfectant.

Once the surface dirt on your toilet has been wiped away, fill a spray bottle with some warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray the exterior of the toilet with the cleaning solution, taking special care to get under and around the toilet lid. Wipe it all away with a clean cloth.

When cleaning the toilet exterior, either clean the toilet seat last and immediately discard the washcloth, or use an entirely different cloth that's only used to clean the toilet seat. This keeps things safe and sanitary.

Step 3: Back to the Bowl

Time to turn back to the toilet bowl. Now that your toilet bowl cleaner has had a proper soak, flush it away. You may need to flush the toilet multiple times or take a scrub brush to any dried-on cleaner to fully remove the cleaning solution.

Step 4: Clean the Toilet Tank

The toilet tank can harbor mineral deposits, dirt, and grime, and needs to be cleaned occasionally. To do this, take the tank lid off and check inside for any build-up on the walls of the tank (it will probably look rust-colored).

If it looks dirty, pour 4-6 cups of white vinegar into the tank, depending on how much cleaning you think it will need. Let it sit anywhere from one hour to overnight. After this time has passed, flush the toilet multiple times to rid it of the vinegar water mixture.

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Step 5: Clean the Hidden Spots

Before you call it quits on your toilet cleaning, make sure you haven't missed any spots. Commonly forgotten spots include the toilet bowl underneath the toilet rim, the hinges behind the toilet seat, and the rims and ridges where the toilet plumbing hits the floor (this area in particular can hold a lot of dust and dirt, so don't miss it).

How to Keep Your Toilet Clean Longer

Your toilet will be a whole lot easier to clean if it's cleaned regularly, so try to build in a rhythm of a quick toilet-scrub-and-wipe when cleaning your bathroom. Another thing you can do to keep your toilet cleaned longer is by using a toilet cleaning tablet. Toilet cleaning tablets sit near the rim of the toilet bowl and release cleaning agents every time the toilet is flushed, thereby giving it a quick clean each time it's used.