Toilet Cleaning Mistakes You've Been Making This Whole Time

Cleaning the bathroom isn't exactly the most appealing chore on our to-do lists, but someone's gotta do it, right? What's worse: An unclean bathroom isn't just unsightly. It's potentially dangerous.

Although your toilet seat isn't the dirtiest spot in your house, it's still a hotspot for germs. A 2011 study by NSF International found that 27% of toilet seats contained mold and yeast, according to Time, which could make you and your loved ones sick. You also have to take into account the aerosol effect: When you flush a toilet while the lid is still up, it expels bacteria from the water and bowl to other surfaces in your bathroom up to several feet away, potentially landing on your toothbrush, bathroom sink, and other frequently used items. So you want to make sure that your toilet is as clean as possible (and that you always close the lid).

It may seem like a simple and intuitive task, but there are several mistakes one can make while attempting to clean a toilet. To ensure that your efforts aren't in vain, here are errors to avoid when polishing the porcelain throne.

Don't make these errors when cleaning your toilet

For those seeking a more natural way to clean, lemon juice can work wonders around the house — thanks to its natural acid content — and lend a fresh scent to your home at the same time. However, lemon juice is not ideal for cleaning the toilet. "Acid wears down the rubber used in toilets and other parts of your bathroom, like your sink, so avoid [it] at all costs," Abe Navas, general manager of Emily's Maids, tells BestLife

In addition to keeping the toilet bowl and seat clean, it's important to also keep the exterior spick-and-span so that bacteria doesn't have a chance to thrive in the damp space. This includes the base, tank, lid, and handle as well as your toilet brush itself. If you're throwing a still-wet toilet brush back into its holder immediately after cleaning the toilet bowl, you're creating a breeding ground for bacteria (via Taste of Home). To fix this, give your toilet brush time to dry before popping it back into its holder. Or, if patience isn't your forte, consider purchasing a toilet brush with a replaceable head.