Think Twice Before Cleaning Your Toilet Seat With Bleach

While bleach is a powerful disinfectant and is often used in bathroom cleaning, scrubbing your toilet seat with it isn't a great idea. Because chlorine bleach is corrosive, a chemical reaction can occur between it and the surface of a toilet seat. This will cause the color of the seat to permanently turn yellow. Besides fabric, bleach will discolor plastic and other materials, especially if it's not diluted. Using bleach on a surface that comes into regular contact with your skin can also cause irritation, and it's best to use a more gentle cleaner.

While cleaning your toilet with bleach every once in a while probably won't hurt the seat, continuously using this product or not diluting it are likely to make your toilet seat a gross yellow color. If bleach has already stained your toilet seat, there's not much hope of reversing the damage. To return your seat to its nice, white finish, you may need to paint it.

How to paint your toilet seat

While yellowing on toilet seats caused by urine can be cleaned, bleach stains won't come off, even when you scrub them. To get rid of the spots, you could buy a new one. Toilet seats at The Home Depot, for example, start at around $8 and go all the way up to $190.

But if you'd prefer to tackle the problem with a DIY project, you could paint over the toilet seat's yellowed areas. To cover the stains, start by rinsing the seat to remove any leftover bleach and then thoroughly clean it. This may be easier if you remove the seat from the toilet first. Once the seat is dry, using fine-grit sandpaper over the stained areas will help the paint stick to the surface better.

After the seat has been sanded, remove any dust by quickly cleaning it again with water. Now you'll be able to spray the area with primer, but make sure it's suitable for the material of your toilet seat. Once the primer has dried, paint the seat any color you like, wait for it to dry, and reattach it to your toilet.

Cleaners that are safer for toilet seats

To avoid changing the color of your toilet seat, try cleaning it with soap and water rather than bleach. It's best to use either an antibacterial soap or dishwashing liquid. While gentle cleansers will help protect your toilet seat, using abrasive tools, like certain sponges, may scratch the surface. Paper towels or a designated toilet-cleaning rag will help to keep your seat looking polished and beautiful.

If you prefer all-natural cleaners, try combining equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Simply spray the solution onto the toilet seat, allow it to sit for 30 minutes or so, and then scrub it with a cloth and water. Lemon juice is another good, natural product for cleaning your toilet seat that'll also leave your bathroom smelling fresh. For difficult stains, you can apply a paste made of baking soda and water or vinegar.