An unkempt toilet starts to look unhygienic very quickly. It also begins to smell rancid and horrid brown stains start to plague the bowl!
It’s not exactly the sight and odour you want to be greeted by when you pop to the loo. So, how often should you clean a toilet to keep it hygienic and looking good?
Find out all the details below!
How Often Should You Clean a Toilet?
A toilet is used multiple times a day by various users. So, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that a toilet is like some sort of festival for germs and bacteria! Which is why it needs to be cleaned regularly, and more importantly, kept clean and safe!
Interestingly, a toilet bowl is home to around 3.2 million germs per square inch on average. The toilet’s seat is covered in approximately 295 bacteria per square inch, and the flush handle has roughly 83 bacteria per square inch.
And although you may never be able to remove 100% of the bacteria from your loo, you can keep the number of germs mentioned above at bay by regularly cleaning and disinfecting the toilet. In turn, you can keep yourself and your family safe.
A toilet should be cleaned thoroughly on a weekly basis (at a minimum)
This type of weekly clean includes:
- Wiping the toilet seat
- Cleaning the toilet bowl
- Removing dirt from the rim of the toilet bowl
- Cleaning the outside of the cistern (inside the cistern can be cleaned yearly)
- Cleaning the toilet’s lid
- Removing and disinfect the flush handle
- Wiping down the exterior of the toilet
- Cleaning the floor around the toilet (to remove drips)
A toilet should be maintained on a daily basis
Every single day you should do the following:
- Clean the toilet seat
- Disinfect the flush handle
- Lift the toilet seat and wipe the rim of the toilet bowl
- Wash away any marks in the toilet bowl
At a minimum you should keep a multipurpose cleaner or some disinfectant near the toilet, so toilet users can spray and wipe the handle and seat clean pre and post use.
When someone is unwell, clean your toilet after every use
If a member of the household is sick, you should clean the toilet after every single use to limit cross-contamination between members of the house.
Make sure you keep a bottle of disinfectant near the toilet, so you can quickly wipe the seat and the handle down.
How Do You Clean a Toilet?
Follow the steps below to clean your toilet thoroughly. This type of cleaning should be done on a weekly basis (at a minimum).
If you actually stick to cleaning your toilet on a weekly basis, and you do daily cleans, you’ll find that you take very little time to deep clean your loo because it’ll be fairly clean anyway!
What you need:
- Protective gear
- Toilet cleaner
- Multipurpose cleaner
- Disinfectant spray
- Toilet brush
- Stain remover
- Floor cleaner
- Mop and bucket
- Air freshener
Steps to follow:
- Pop your protective gear on – gloves, eye protection and a mask.
- Open a window so there’s lots of air circulating the room.
- Flush the toilet before you start to clear it out quickly.
- Pour some toilet cleaner into the toilet bowl and leave it to rest there (follow the instructions on the pack) – try and get as close to the toilet’s rim as possible, so you get better bowl coverage.
- Use a multipurpose cleaner/disinfectant to wipe the outside of the toilet down – start from the top of the toilet and work towards the floor (cistern, handle, lid and base of toilet).
- Go back to the toilet seat and give it a thorough clean with some disinfectant spray.
- Make sure you lift the toilet seat up and clean underneath the seat as well.
- Don’t forget to clean around the hinges.
- Grab your toilet brush and start scrubbing under the rim of the toilet.
- Work down towards the depths of the toilet bowl and clear out the u-bend.
- Clean and remove any stains from the toilet bowl (you can use different products, like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to do this) – for an in depth guide on how to remove stains from a toilet bowl read our guide.
- Do a final check of the toilet and mop up any product residue.
- Clean the floor around the toilet with a multipurpose cleaner/floor cleaner and a mop.
- Add a toilet freshener to make sure the toilet smells fresh.
What Are the Best Toilet Cleaners?
There are many different toilet cleaners you can buy, and most of them can be bought from your local supermarket. Here are some examples to get you started, Duck Toilet Bowl Cleaner Liquid, HG Toilet Renovation Kit and Harpic Active Fresh Toilet Cleaning Gel.
Some of these cleaners come with a twisted neck, so you can clean your toilet easier, others have a more pungent odour, while some products are less toxic in nature.
For more recommendations, see our guide to the best toilet bowl cleaners.
Do You Have to Clean a Cistern?
Yes, you should clean a toilet’s cistern. You should aim to clean your toilet’s cistern on a yearly basis, but you should keep an eye on it regularly.
If you spot a potential problem or damage, you need to treat the issue immediately. Waiting around for the problem to get worse, may end badly and expensively for you.
Cleaning a cistern isn’t actually difficult and you can maintain it with minimal effort. Find out how to clean a cistern in our article.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!