Man happy to clean toilet the best way.

The Best Way to Clean Your Toilet

One of our more glamorous topics, the scrubbing of toilets!  Indeed, it’s a dirty deed- but someone’s got to do it.  Are you looking for the best way to clean your toilet?   We’ll help you work smarter, not harder. Here’s our guide to winning the game of porcelain thrones.  

What you need


  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • All-purpose bathroom cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl acid (only for extreme cases)


  • Toilet brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponges, microfiber cloths 
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Pumice stick
  • Mop
  • Bucket

How Often Should a Toilet be Cleaned?

It’s common knowledge that toilets can be a hotbed for germs and bacteria.  The frequency of routine cleaning depends upon how often they’re used.  In busy commercial facilities and restaurants daily cleaning is needed.  For small office restrooms a few times a week should suffice.  

Of course, the lack of cleaning is the most common cause of discolored rings inside of the bowl.   If left to build up, toilet rings can become difficult to remove.  

Routine Cleaning of a Toilet

Let’s get started! Finish your coffee, then glove up.   First, flush the toilet, then swirl toilet bowl cleaner around the inside of the bowl as it empties.  Let the product dwell for a short time.  Next, grab a microfiber towel and all-purpose bathroom cleaner and begin wiping down the fixtures.  Including the flush handle, ADA grab bars, and the seat/lid.  Be sure to wipe down the outside of the bowl.  Periodically the foot, or base of the toilet will need cleaning too.  

For the removal of light discoloration consider a bathroom cleaning product with hydrogen peroxide.

After wiping down all surfaces, return to the bowl.  Grab a toilet brush and lightly scrub the bowl.  Don’t forget to clean under the rim.  Flush when finished.  

Action plan for Mold or Mildew stain removal:

Bowl stain removal might require a little elbow grease, so roll up those sleeves. Since black mold is a fungus and produces spores it’s best to wear gloves and a mask.

Mildew: Can be brown, grey or pink rings.  This is an early stage bacterial mold growth. It can develop in environments with high humidity and low light (the toilet bowl).  This can happen when a toilet goes unused for a time. 

Mold:  black spots.  Mold growth can feed off fecal matter and other microscopic organic compounds found on the toilet’s surface.  Older toilets with little to no surface enamel remaining can get mold growth down into the porcelain itself.

Black mold growth under the rim.

Tool: If you’re using a brush, use one with nylon bristles. Wire bristles will scratch and damage the porcelain.

Product: toilet bowl cleaner with bleach, such as Clorox with bleach.  You can use a chlorine bleach solution as well.  Commercial products work best here.  

Coat the toilet bowl with the Clorox bleach toilet cleaner.  Let it dwell for a time. The product requires a little time to kill the mold, and then emulsify and dissolve the problematic buildup. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on dwell time, then scrub the toilet bowl. Finally, be sure to flush. 

Note: never leave bleach in the toilet bowl for too long as prolonged exposure to the product can eat away at your toilet’s finish. Also, be sure to turn the bathroom fan on, and/or open up any windows because bleach products will emit noxious fumes.

Hard Water Stains

Mineral and rust stains in your toilet can be the green or brown rings you’re seeing.  Calcium, lime, magnesium, and iron are sometimes found in hard water.  They will build up and attach to nearly any surface.  Rust colored stains turn up when iron meets oxygen.  Green colored staining is lime scale buildup.  

Mineral buildup…no problem. You’ve got this.

Pumice Stone Instructions

After using one of the cleaning methods above, a pumice stone and a toilet brush can scrub away most stubborn stains.

  1. Take the pumice stone and scrub the stain. 
  2. Flush periodically to help to remove any debris. 
  3. Use a toilet brush to swish the water around and give it a final flush.

Going DEF-CON 5 on hard water stains: toilet Bowl Acid (Muriatic Acid)

At times, some stains just won’t go away… no matter how hard you try to clean them with green cleaning products.  To get rid of some hard water stains, you may need to level up your attack with an acid-based toilet bowl cleaner.   Muriatic acid is a powerful and corrosive chemical. It’s used to remove stubborn stains from a number of surfaces include stone, brick and concrete.  Use of these products requires numerous precautions. Ventilation and proper PPE (personal protective equipment) are a must.

Coat the bowl, let it dwell for a time.   Scrub and flush. Repeat if necessary.  

If you want an off-the-shelf solution, consider Lime-A-Way or CLR (which stands for Calcium-Lime-Rust)

Notes: Never mix muriatic acid with other cleaning products.  Always rinse or flush numerous times when complete.   Bowl acid can destroy the surface enamel of the toilet.  Do not overuse this cleaning method as the toilet bowl can become permanently damaged over time.  

We hope this provided insight into the best way to clean your toilet. Questions? Our service consultants can assess your toilets and advise on a proper cleaning plan. Contact us today!


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