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How to clean a toilet in 7 steps

Find out how to clean your toilet to professional standard, including your bowl, cistern and base using our step-by-step guide.

It’s the job no one wants to do, but it’s one of the most important cleaning tasks in the home. A clean toilet is not only better for the health of those that use it, but it also helps to prevent expensive blockages and subsequent damage.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to clean toilet stains, as well as how to clean a toilet seat, cistern and even your toilet brush.

How to clean a toilet

Cleaning your toilet is a normal every day task. Some people struggle though to know how to clean a toilet with stains that just won’t budge.

There are several things that you’ll need in order to clean your toilet properly:

  • A stiff plastic brush (not metal as will scratch enamel)
  • Bleach (ideally with an angled nozzle top to get under the rim)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Old toothbrush

How to clean toilet stains

If you’re looking to know how to clean a very stained toilet bowl, then follow this step-by-step process to bring your toilet bowl up looking good as new:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Remove as much water as you can from the inside of your toilet bowl. Turn off the localised water supply to the toilet if you can. This will expose right down into the U bend.
  3. Take your bleach, place the nozzle under the rim and squeeze as you move the bottle around the bowl. The coating will then flow down to the water and all the way around the enamel.
  4. Leave the bleach to work its magic for 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, come back to scrub the bleach away with your soft plastic brush. Go all the way down and into the U bend if you can.
  6. Turn the water back on and flush a few times to rinse the bowl and see it gleam.
  7. On the toilet’s exterior, use either bathroom cleaning spray and a damp cloth or antibacterial wipes.

While cleaning your toilet may seem like a fairly straightforward job, using an experienced professional will get you the best results. Some stains are hard to budge, so you may need a professional with all the right gear to get the job done and completely remove the stain.

Enter your postcode in the free search tool below to get quotes from local bathroom cleaners.

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How to clean a toilet seat

how to clean toilet seatOne of the most overlooked places in the house when it comes to cleaning is the toilet seat. It’s one of the most important areas to keep clean since bacteria and other germs can build up over time. Even worse, those germs can then be easily transferred to your hands.

There’s an easy way to keep your toilet seat clean, but also a more thorough way to clean your toilet seat (which is recommended).

The easy way is to simply wipe your toilet seat and lid down with disinfectant wipes, spray the hinge with bathroom cleaner and use an old toothbrush to scrub the awkward areas (don’t mix up your old toothbrush with your current one!).

The proper way to clean a toilet seat thoroguhly is as follows:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Remove the seat from the toilet and lid.
  3. Create your washing liquid – aim for a ratio of one part bleach to twenty parts water, or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Ether sit the toilet seat in the solution or apply the solution to the seat and scrub lightly with a soft plastic brush. Let the bleach and water mix sit for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  6. With the seat removed, use the opportunity to thoroughly clean the hinge areas on the toilet.

How to clean a toilet cistern

how to clean toilet cisternThe most efficient way to clean a toilet cistern is to use an antibacterial cleaner with enzymes, or you can use a household bleach solution (one part bleach to twenty parts water):

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Turn the localised water supply to your toilet.
  3. Flush the toilet.
  4. Pour the antibacterial or bleach solution into your toilet cistern and leave it overnight.
  5. In the morning, turn the water back on and flush your toilet.

Rather let a professional do clean your toilet’s cistern?

That’s definitely a sensible way to clean it; making sure you don’t muck up your toilet’s insides!

Enter your postcode in the free search tool below to get quotes from local bathroom cleaning specialists.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

How to clean a toilet siphon

If your toilet isn’t flushing properly or has trouble refilling after use, then you may need to clean the siphon. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Turn off the localised water supply to the toilet.
  3. Flush the toilet.
  4. Pour vinegar into the cistern.
  5. Scrape the jets under the rim to remove any blockages.
  6. Add baking soda to the cistern.
  7. Turn the water back on and flush.

If your siphon is particularly dirty or clogged, you may need to repeat these steps more than once. However, with a little bit of effort, you should be able to get your siphon clean and your toilet working properly again.

If not, then your toilet may need unblocking, you can find out how to do this in our toilet unblocking guide and discover the cost of letting a professional do it in our toilet unblocking cost guide.

How to remove limescale from a toilet

how to clean toilet stainsLimescale build-up is a common problem for people who live in areas with hard water. Knowing how to remove it can be tricky.

Here are a few methods you can try:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Boil water and pour it over the limescale build-up, then use a brush to scrub the areas.
  3. Pour vinegar over the limescale and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a brush to scrub it off.
  4. Use a commercial cleaner specifically designed to remove limescale.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to rinse the area thoroughly afterwards to remove any remaining chemicals or vinegar. If limescale build-up is severe, it may take a few tries before it’s completely removed.

FAQs about cleaning a toilet

How do you clean the bottom of a toilet?

Knowing how to clean toilet bowl stains is a key life skill and can transform your experience, and your guests’ experience, of using your toilet. Here’s how to clean the bottom of your toilet:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Turn off the localised water supply to the toilet and flush it.
  3. Pour one cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl.
  4. Swish the solution around with the toilet brush and leave to sit for a minute.
  5. Add one cup of baking soda and another of vinegar.
  6. Leave the solution to fizz for about five minutes.
  7. Scrub the toilet so the solution reaches all the stains.
  8. Flush the toilet.

How do you clean a toilet brush?

There are a few ways that you can clean a toilet brush.

One way is to put on your rubber gloves, pour bleach onto the brush and then rinse it off. Another way is to fill a bucket with hot water and dish soap, and then soak the brush for a few hours.

Whichever way you choose, make sure to clean the brush thoroughly, because if you don’t clean it properly it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause your toilet to become dirty again very quickly, and it can also be dangerous for your health.

If in doubt, hire a professional bathroom cleaner to take care of it.

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