Home Remedies for Cleaning Toilets

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No one wants to sit down on a less-than-white toilet seat or peer into a bowl filled with unsightly stains. It’s hard to make a toilet a desirable part of the bathroom, but with home remedies for cleaning toilets – you will at least have the pleasure of enjoying a sparkling, sanitary experience.

Toilet Cleaning Home Remedies

With the threat of leaving behind brown, black, green and red stains, there is a range of factors that play a role in your need to clean a toilet. Common culprits include clogged toilet drains, feces and urine stains, mildew and mold growth, rust, mineral and hard water stains, and limescale. Luckily, there are a lot of home remedies for cleaning toilets that don’t rely on harsh cleansers and chemicals. Popular treatments for your porcelain throne include:

a) Mouthwash:

When you’ve run out of toilet bowl cleaner, try pouring ¼ cup of mouthwash (made with alcohol – like Listerine) into the bowl. Let it stand in the water for 30 minutes, and then swish the toilet brush around before flushing. Not only should the mouthwash leave your bowl sparkling clean, but it will also disinfect the germs.

b) Plastic Bag:

When cleaning the toilet, wrap your hand in a used plastic bag to protect your skin when you have to reach tight places and get down and dirty with your toilet.

c) Can of Soda:

Your typical can of soda can help remove dirt and odor from your toilet – just pour in, let it sit for one hour, and the scrub. Follow up with a flush.

d) Vinegar:

Mineral and hard water deposits can collect inside your toilet that create unattractive stains. To remove stubborn water lines in your toilet, remove water until it is below the stained line. Soak paper towels in vinegar and firmly stick the towels to around the inside of the bowl – make sure that you cover the stain. Let the vinegar soak for a couple of hours and then remove the paper towels. Follow yup by scrubbing with a cleaner.

e) Pumice Stone:

After emptying the water level until the liquid is below mineral and hard water stains, gently rub a moistened pumice stone across the discoloration. If you rub too hard or with a dry stone on dry stains – you will leave scratches on your porcelain.

f) WD-40:

Remove grime and lime stains from your toilet bowl by spraying on WD-40 for a couple of seconds, and then swish clean with a nylon toilet brush. Ingredients in the WD-40 work to dissolve the gunk that can accumulate inside your bowl.

g) Alka Seltzer:

The citric acid found in Alka-Seltzer tablets can be used to effectively clean a toilet bowl. With the power of the fizzing action, drop a couple tablets into the bowl and let it stand for 20 minutes. When you return, swipe clean with the toilet brush, and then bask in the shininess.

h) Denture Cleaning Tablets [1]:

A few denture cleaning tablets dropped into your toilet bowl can help clean. Do not flush the toilet for the rest of the night, and wait to scrub stains until the morning. Follow up with a flush to rinse the inside of the bowl.

i) Lemon Juice:

The acidic nature of lemon juice not only kills germs inside your toilet bowl, but also leaves a fresh scent after you are done cleaning. Use lemon juice and a scrub brush to treat heavy rust spots. Spray on the juice on the bowl, and wipe down once or twice a week to continue buildup.

j) Borax and Lemon Juice:

Treat stains on the toilet bowl with a thick paste made out of lemon juice and Borax. Apply the paste to stains, and leave on for 15 minutes. Follow up by scrubbing away. When trying out this remedy, don’t forget to wear rubber gloves.

k) Vitamin C Tablets:

Some people swear that dropping a couple of chewable vitamin C tablets into your toilet bowl can help clean the inside. Let the water sit for one hour, and then clean out the bowl with a scrub brush.

l) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide contains cleaning agents that can treat a dirty toilet. Add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and one cup water to a spray bottle. Spray all the surfaces of the bowl with the solution and leave on for five minutes. Rinse the cleaner by flushing the toilet.

m) Orange Tang:

There have been whispers that orange Tang powder crystals can treat a dirty toilet. Pour one or two tablespoons of Tang into the toilet bowl – swishing around the inside. Allow the Tang to soak for one hour or overnight, and then flush to rinse.

n) Bleach:

Pour around one cup of bleach into the toilet bowl and swirl around to distribute. Allow to soak overnight before flushing the toilet.

o) Borax and Vinegar:

When hard-to-remove mineral and hard water deposits are lingering in the inside of your toilet bowl, you may find assistance in a paste made out of Borax and white vinegar. Mix the two ingredients until you form a thick paste. Empty the water in the toilet to below the stain (after turning off the water source to your toilet). Then, apply a generous layer of the paste to stains, and let sit for a few hours before scrubbing clean.

p) Washcloth:

To remove the gunk that can accumulate underneath the hinges of your toilet seat, slide a washcloth in between the spaces to clean.

q) Old Toothbrush:

To clean the lid hinges and other small parts of a toilet, use an old toothbrush as a small scrubber to get into tight spaces.

r) Cola:

To remove brown rings and stains from a toilet, pour a 12-ounce can of cola into the bowl and use the toilet brush to swish around the inside. Leave in the cola for one hour to address mineral stains. When you finally flush the toilet, loosened stains should wash away. To remove any mineral deposits that are lingering behind, scrub the sides with the toilet brush.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 151.