Toilet Cleaning 101

It can be hard to find the motivation to tackle arguably the grossest fixture in your house. But I promise regular cleaning will decrease the bacteria build-up and the ‘ick’ factor. There’s a reward in knowing you’re keeping bacteria from spraying around your bathroom with each flush.

Safety pit stop: There are a few rules about bathrooms around here. Always wear gloves, and run your fan or open a window. We don’t mix chemicals here! Read your labels. Wipe with warm water when changing from one chemical to another. 


Your first go at the toilet exterior will be a disinfecting run. Simply wipe the whole area down with our WBT recipe (1 gallon of water, ⅓ cup of bleach, 1 teaspoon of powdered Tide®). Pay special attention to high-touch areas such as the flushing handle. It is especially important to protect yourself with gloves and glasses while using bleach. We also find that Microban24® and Scrubbing Bubbles® work great for toilets.


Liquid Bar Keepers Friend® is the ultimate toilet bowl cleaner! Use a scrub brush with firm bristles to scrub away at any build-up. The product will need to sit if there are any tough stains. Give it time to work but if it isn’t working, flush the Bar Keepers Friend®, swish around some vinegar,  and allow it to sit for another go. If you have orange rings in your bowl from your water, Iron Out® will take those right off. Pro Tip: Reduce the water level in the toilet bowl by pouring a bucket of water down the toilet, which will prevent the product from being too diluted so it can do its job!


Okay, this might be the nastiest part, but it’s totally worth it. If you’re serious about cleaning your toilet, you can’t just clean the parts that show. You also need to cleanse all of the hidden parts (which often contain even more germs, bacteria, and filth than the exposed surfaces).

If possible, remove the toilet seat. Your shower or tub is a great place to clean and rinse the toilet seat. Plop it in there, grab a fresh cloth and a scrub brush, and get to work. Scrub your toilet seat with WBT. Rinse and dry the seat in the tub.

If your toilet seat is not removable, make sure to lift any covers and scrub thoroughly around the hinges.
Pro Tip: Have an old toothbrush in your toolkit to get into small areas.


Gather the toilet brush and plunger. These things need a proper and strong disinfectant (bleach) and a good rinse. (They’ve seen things…and we want to give them a thorough purge so they’re ready to spring into action the next time duty calls.) 

Again, your shower or tub is the perfect place to rinse these items. Start by wiping the handles with WBT. Pour bleach over the plunger and scrub brush to disinfect (over the toilet or drain.) Rinse well. See if you can take apart these bathroom tools to thoroughly scrub away the germs. If either of these are stainless steel or have rust, use Bar Keepers Friend ® for a cleaner finish. Pro Tip: Line the bottom of your toilet brush holder with a paper towel for easier future clean-up.


Now that everything is disinfected, use a cleaning scrub brush with WBT to reach smaller surfaces and remove any leftover grime on the exterior of the toilet. Try your best to get the backside of the toilet!

Pro Tip: Spray bolt covers with degreaser (yellow Mr. Clean®) and use your scrub brush to get the gunk out from underneath.

Clean your crack.

The seam between the toilet and the floor is often missed. Be sure to scrub well with WBT and absorb the residue with a paper towel. It may take a couple of tries to get it clean! 

If you have a big crack….between your toilet and the floor.…do yourself a favor and apply a mildew-resistant bead of caulk all the way around the perimeter. This will seal the gap, which makes it easier to clean in the future. (It also prevents any odor leakage.) Read the instructions on the caulk tube, but it usually takes 24 hours to cure.


If your toilet supply valve and connected parts are metal, they’re prone to rust and other build-up. Liquid Bar Keepers Friend® works like magic when applied with a scrub brush to reach small areas. Allow the product to sit until the stains lift, then wipe away the product with a microfiber cloth to make them look brand new! (Prepare to be AMAZED!)

Surrounding areas.

Seeing as you’re already on your hands and knees, this is an excellent opportunity to use a rag with WBT to wipe down germy areas surrounding the toilet. This may include baseboards, the wall behind the toilet, and the cupboards facing the toilet.

Make it shine.

We like to make things sparkle and streak-free around here so once everything is clean, polish with Windex® and a microfibre cloth. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference this makes in the appearance of clean porcelain.

Keep it clean, queen

The first time you tackle your bathroom for a deep clean, prepare to be disgusted. (Especially if it’s your kids’ bathrooms. Toddlers, teenagers – it doesn’t seem to matter. They’ll destroy a perfectly good bathroom and then look at you like, “What, did I do something wrong?”) But once you get past this initial clean, it’s simply a matter of staying on top of things.

Cleaned weekly (or at least once every couple of weeks), your bathrooms won’t produce nearly the same gunk and grime. The process gets easier over time. Plus, when you have a clean bathroom, you’re more likely to take care when using it.

For a list of our favorite products, click here.
– Katie @ GoCleanCo

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