How to clean your toilet

Are you struggling to find the time or will-power to clean your toilet every week? Want to know how best to keep it clean with the minimum of fuss? Want to make sure that you are cleaning the right way and with the right tools?

Then this quick guide to how best to clean your toilet is for you.

How often should I clean my toilet?

Toilet cleaning can become a major chore in our minds, a task that we dread, or argue about who is going to do. Yet with simple, regular routines and the right tools, cleaning the toilet is a breeze. As a very general rule, once a week is the minimum to be recommended for a basic clean. In fact, the very best way to not give your toilet too much thought is to build cleaning it into your weekly routine.

Make it a weekly clean and your toilet will never get so dirty or smelly that you can’t face the job! Leave stains any longer than this and they are likely to get stuck hard on and could start smelling. In addition, you should consider a deep clean every two months or so. This should include a scrub all the way outside the pan and a scrub out of your water tank.

Why do I need to keep my toilet clean?

Well, hygiene and aesthetics are important reasons, but perhaps the biggest driver for many is smell. Toilets get smelly if they are not regularly cleaned. This is especially true of your toilet seat. Toilet seats can be the dirtiest parts of our toilets. They are made from materials that are a more likely to harbour bacteria and, with their hinges and smaller moving parts, can easily hide deposits that start to smell if not regularly cleaned. So make sure you give every part of your toilet seat a regular going over: wiping away any stains and scrubbing the hinges with a small brush to make sure they don’t get gunged up.

Toilet bowls are nearly all made from porcelain china, which is an excellent material for hygiene. Its glazed surface is non-porous, non-sticky and able to withstand a fair bit of wear and tear (impervious to anything but a deep scratch through the glaze). So, counter-intuitively, it is this area that might need less attention. Just stop stains building up by using a toilet rim block and give it a regular, quick clean.

Which tools do I need to clean the toilet?

Brush. A toilet Brush is, of course, an essential. Brushes with a vertical extension for cleaning up under the rim of the toilet pan are worth getting if you can. Without this extra brushing capacity, it is likely that this potential nest of germs will never get a proper clean.

Cloth or sponge. A jiffy cloth or sponge is also required so that you can clean around the top of the pan and the seat. These areas are to be treated totally separately from the inside of the pan and cleaned with separate tools and a toilet seat cleaner (typically a cream cleaner).

Small brush: In addition to your main toilet brush, a smaller brush for cleaning the top of your toilet and especially getting into the hinges and harder to reach parts, is recommended. If you cannot find a specialist brush for this task, then a toothbrush is a very useful tool to have in reserve. If you have two old toothbrushes you can use one to help clean out the rim of the toilet bowl and one to clean the seat.

Scraper or Pumice Stone: An optional extra for the real professional. Use it to scrape away at very hard on stains, again especially used under the rim of your toilet bowl. Do avoid using anything too abrasive.

What are the Pros and Cons of different types of toilet cleaner?

DIY toilet cleaners: Homemade toilet cleaners can be effective and cheap, but are really only for those with time on their hands and the patience to ensure they get the mixtures and amounts right.

Foaming toilet cleaners: Foaming toilet cleaners are effective but require time to use and are really only for a deep clean, not for everyday use.

Toilet cleaning liquid and gels: Perfect for everyday and regular use. If you get a good toilet cleaner and use it regularly, then this should be all you need. For daily use we recommend Bref Fragrances that keep your toilet bowl shiny, hygienic and limescale free, while leaving a pleasant fragrance behind.

How do I clean my toilet? - technique

Like many household chores, a top-down approach is recommended: start by cleaning your toilet seat and then work your way downwards. This not only ensures that any dislodged dirt is wiped up, but also reflects the priority of cleanliness needs of your toilet. The toilet seat is the place where many germs and smells are likely to collect. Especially urine stains and smells, that just don’t stick further down the pan. Cleaning under the rim is the next important task and again addresses an area that is more likely to see a build-up of dirt and grime, protected as it is from much of the flushing water that keeps the rest of your bowl clean. Squirt some toilet cleaning liquid all around the rim and give it a thorough scrub with the toilet brush. The bottom of the bowl and water trap is the last part of the job. Just refresh the cleaning liquid in your bowl and scrub all the areas your brush can reach.

Finally, don’t neglect the hidden areas of your toilet, including round the back and underneath the cistern. Make sure all the pipes and fixtures are given a clean once in a while. It’s sometimes the bits you can’t see that get grimiest, if they stay neglected in your weekly clean.

Do you need some tips on how to clean your toilet? We’ve got the answers in our comprehensive guide. Learn the right way to do it and minimise the time you spend doing it!

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