The 12 Best Toilet Cleaning Hacks That'll Make Your Bathroom Sparkle

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Let's confront the uncomfortable truth: a dirty toilet is a complete turn-off. Imagine, instead, a picture of immaculate white porcelain and an environment where repulsive odors are banished into oblivion. Isn't that a nirvana we all strive for? To achieve this, you'll need to clean your toilet properly, which shouldn't be difficult or pigeonholed to a lone cleaning method or product. After all, the enemies in your lavatory are multifaceted, including mineral deposits, bacteria, rust, and off-putting stenches. From a baking soda and white vinegar combo and DIY cleaning bombs to scrubbing with a pumice stone or removing stains with a carbonated beverage, every tip and trick below is a proven weapon against those silent threats to your haven of hygiene.

These toilet cleaning tips aren't just about aesthetic satisfaction — they're also beneficial for removing germs that could make you or your family sick. If you test out one of these 12 ideas, get ready to step away from the traditional "scrub and rinse" method and into the world of straightforward, practical, and innovative hacks that will make your toilet-cleaning routine a breeze. However, before you try some of these hacks, you may want to shut off your toilet's water supply. To do this, turn the shut-off valve (typically found to the left of the toilet) clockwise, then flush to empty out most of the water. Once your porcelain throne is clean, simply turn the valve back the other way and flush again to return the flow of water.

1. The astonishing vinegar and baking soda solution

White vinegar and baking soda often lead the charge for natural cleaning solutions. This hack is about more than just the fizzing reaction (though there's some satisfaction in it). Acetic acid empowers vinegar with a potent force capable of cutting through grime and neutralizing foul odors. Conversely, baking soda is slightly abrasive, which means that it can wrestle tough stains away. Together, they form a paste that you can easily spread across your toilet bowl. Let the mixture sit and work its magic for 30 minutes, then scrub the surface with a standard toilet brush before flushing the lifted grime away.

2. The stunning toothpaste trick

Next on our list of the best toilet cleaning hacks is using toothpaste to tackle stubborn stains. Toothpaste's abrasive ingredients, which are used to remove plaque from your teeth, also shine equally in reviving the luster of your bathroom fittings. Pump a non-gel toothpaste around the inner surfaces of your porcelain throne, then gently scrub it with a brush and let it sit for a couple hours. Finally, rinse the treated surfaces with clean water and marvel at the new sparkle. While the paste won't disinfect your toilet, it will make it spotless and keep your bathroom smelling minty-fresh.

3. The citrus wonder, coupled with salt

In the world of natural cleaning products, the citric acid in lemons rarely goes unmentioned. Here, we spotlight its ability to deal with water stains, bacteria, and mineral deposits in toilets. The process is pretty straightforward: Cut the fruit in half and sprinkle a generous amount of salt inside the toilet bowl, then apply a little elbow grease and use the lemon half as a scrubbing tool. Squeeze the other half around the bowl, scrub with a brush, and then flush. You'll end up with a sparkling toilet bowl with the added advantage of a refreshing citrus aroma in your bathroom.

4. DIY toilet cleaning bombs

Despite their name, toilet bombs aren't dangerous explosives but rather simple and effective cleaning balls that are made out of baking soda, citric acid, and essential oils. Mix baking soda and citric acid together, then spray diluted essential oils onto the mixture. Continue spraying until the mixture has a texture like wet sand that's doughy enough to form into balls. Let the balls air-dry for several hours before tucking them into an airtight container. When your toilet demands a cleanse, just drop a bomb into the bowl and watch it fizz as it munches away at the grime, then flush.

5. Cleansing with Coca-Cola

Locked within Coca-Cola cans is phosphoric acid, a potent cleaner that can remove stubborn rust rings and limescale. The acids help weaken the hard mineral deposits that form the stains, making it easier to eliminate them — though they won't disinfect the surface. For this method, pour the soda into the toilet bowl over the stains, let it sit overnight, and then flush in the morning. You can also apply the beverage with a spray bottle. However, one of the toilet cleaning mistakes to avoid is using this method too frequently, as Coca-Cola can leave behind a sticky residue that might attract bacteria in the long run.

6. Borax for mold stains

Borax, a naturally-occurring mineral, can break down mold stains and even toilet rings. However, safety is paramount when handling this respiratory, skin, and eye irritant, so begin by donning protective gloves and goggles. Next, flush the toilet to wet the bowl. Once the water subsides, sprinkle borax directly onto the wet bowl. Let the compound sit overnight, giving it enough time to perform its deep-cleaning magic on the stains. As the new dawn arrives, gear up with a toilet brush and scrub enthusiastically. Finally, flush the toilet several times to send the defeated mold stains and borax residue into the abyss.

7. The effervescent Alka-Seltzer method

While typically your hangover or upset stomach hero, Alka-Seltzer also makes for a worthy toilet cleaning agent thanks in part to its citric acid content. These tablets fizz mightily, and as they do, they break down dirt and stains in the toilet bowl. All it takes is a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets dropped into your toilet bowl. Wait for 20 minutes to let the solution soak and loosen the grime. Once the bubbling subsides, finish off with a good scrub and flush. What remains is a sparkling and immaculate toilet bowl.

8. Using fizzy denture tablets

From sustaining oral hygiene to conquering toilet grime, denture cleaning tablets like the Efferdent Retainer Cleaning Tablets on Amazon are multifaceted champions of cleanliness. The application process is simple. Simply drop one or two tablets (depending on the level of staining) into the toilet bowl water. Allow the tablets to dissolve and effervesce overnight, during which the ingredients will work to break down stains. In the morning, flush the toilet to rinse away the dissolved tablet solution and loosen the dirt, revealing a cleaner and fresher toilet bowl. If you're targeting stubborn stains, scrub the bowl with a brush before flushing.

9. The unusual duct tape hack

Duct tape comes in handy for an often overlooked territory of the toilet bowl: the rim jets. Begin by drying under the rim and covering the jets with pieces of duct tape. Next, pour a liberal dose of vinegar into the toilet tank, then flush the toilet to usher the vinegar-laced water into the duct tape-cloaked rim jets. Patience becomes your ally as you grant the vinegar an overnight vigil in its war against mineral deposits and stains. Come morning, remove the duct tape "curtains" (to let out the vinegar solution and dissolved grime) and top off the procedure with a celebratory flush.

10. Tea tree oil is a toilet freshener and disinfectant

Tea tree oil, lauded for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, can also eliminate odor-causing bacteria. When you combine at least 20 drops of it with 1 cup of baking soda (a natural deodorizer), you create a natural toilet cleaner that works on multiple fronts. Mixing these two should result in clumps that can be broken up and stored in a container. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the mixture around the wet toilet bowl, scrub, then let it sit for a while, after which you add 8 tablespoons of white vinegar. Another rigorous scrub and final flush will ensure a sanitary and shiny toilet bowl.

11. The vinegar and paper towel combo for stains

This technique for cleaning the toilet involves drenching several sheets of paper towels in vinegar and placing them on any stains in your toilet bowl. Vinegar works its magic by disintegrating hard water deposits and stains, and using it with a paper towel ensures direct contact with the targeted area. Upon removal after 10 to 20 minutes, the paper towel will have lost its original white color, indicating that it has absorbed a significant amount of the stains. A final flush will wash away the lingering vinegar. If stubborn stains remain, scrubbing with a damp sponge laced with baking soda may suffice.

12. The power of a pumice stone

Has everything else failed for a rusty toilet? Meet the unassuming beauty kit staple that pulls double duty as a trusted cleaning ally for your bathroom: a pumice stone. Begin by wetting the pumice stone in the sink, then gently scrub it against the stained sections of your toilet bowl and flush. While this should be coupled with another disinfecting method, the stone's mild abrasiveness will diligently shred through hard water buildup and stubborn rings. The Powerstone Pumice Stone Toilet Cleaner that has a handle on Amazon stands tall among the gallant warriors for this endeavor.