How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet

The porcelain throne is the hub of the bathroom, which makes it one of the germiest parts of your whole house. A 2011 study on household germs found that 27% of the toilet seats and 14% of toilet handles teemed with high amounts of mold, yeast, and other bacteria. That's why — whether you can visibly see grime or not — you should be cleaning your toilet more often than you think.

Expert opinions vary from cleaning your toilet once a week to biweekly to daily depending on how often it's used. Additionally, if you have kids or a particularly dirty job, you should clean it more often than you would if you were living single. However, there's a lot more to maintaining a commode than sloshing a dirty brush around a bowl of water. According to Carolyn Forte, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, your toilet should be disinfected regularly, too — especially when a household member is sick.

How to clean and disinfect your toilet

After establishing your cleaning schedule, you'll want to have a disinfecting toilet bowl cleaner on hand, preferably one that contains bleach. If the bowl is stained, coat its entire surface with the cleaner starting underneath the rim. If you're just doing a maintenance clean, a little dab will do ya. Licensed house cleaner and TikToker Alison's Cleanin says the worst thing you can do for your health and your wallet is overuse a chemical-heavy product.

Once you've scrubbed the bowl, remove any scum or bodily fluids from the outside of the toilet — the seat, tank, base, and handle — using a multipurpose cleaner. Then it's time to disinfect with something like Pine-Sol or Lysol, allowing the product time to sit and do its job. "Yes, a product can claim that it kills 99% of germs and bacteria. But it needs to stay wet to be effective, and if you're using it for a matter of seconds, it's not going to be effective," Carolyn Forte told Good Housekeeping. So, it's important to read the back of your bottle and wait the directed amount of time before wiping the cleaner away.

Do that once a week on average and every two to three days if anyone is sick, Forte said, and you'll be good to go.