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What’s almost never fun, but always important? Scrubbing your toilet! If you visit the porcelain throne while it’s dirty, you’ll be subjecting yourself to 40,000 germs per square inch, including E. coli, salmonella and staphylococci. Fortunately, it’s easy to clean! Take fifteen minutes once a week to keep this frequently visited room sparkling and clean.
Ventilate your bathroom. Open your doors and windows and then turn on the fan. Regardless of what product you choose in step #3, it’s important to always have air flowing when working with household cleaners.
Put on your rubber gloves and lift the toilet seat. Before you pour anything down the toilet bowl, flush the toilet twice to wet its sides. Household cleaners work best on a wet surface.
Choose your cleaning method. Note: Over-the-counter cleaners and bleach are dangerous when ingested, so if you have curious pets or children roaming around your home, you may want to choose a non-toxic option. Homemade disinfectant spray, lemon juice and even denture cleaning tablets are effective toilet cleaners. To learn more about alternative cleaner options, read: There’s More Than One Way To Clean A Toilet.
Apply a generous amount of your chosen cleaner into the toilet bowl. Let the cleaner sit for at least one full minute.
Grab your toilet brush, and scrub inside the toilet bowl. Pay special attention to the area directly below the rim, because that’s where bacteria tend to accumulate.
Flush your toilet to rinse the cleaner away. Keep in mind that if you’ve used bleach or another over-the-counter cleaner, trace chemicals will remain in the toilet. So, always keep pets and children away from toilet water.
If a calcium ring remains in your toilet, use white vinegar to remove it. First, turn off the water to your toilet. To do this, turn off the local shutoff valve (usually located on the wall behind the toilet) and flush the toilet until it’s empty, which can take a few flushes. Soak 5-10 plies of toilet paper in white vinegar until they are fully saturated, and then use them to cover the ring. Leave it overnight. The next morning, turn your water back on and flush. Goodbye calcium ring!
The bowl isn’t the only place you’ll find bacteria! Once you’ve cleaned the inside of the toilet, it’s time to focus on the outside. Spray the seat, underside of the seat and rim with disinfectant. Wipe the disinfectant into the toilet with toilet paper, and then let it fully dry before using the toilet. Tip: To make a non-toxic disinfectant spray, mix 2 cups of water, 20 drops of tea tree oil, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle.