​3 Steps to a Truly Spotless Toilet (So Your Guests Won't Judge You)

​3 Steps to a Truly Spotless Toilet (So Your Guests Won't Judge You)

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Shifrah Combiths
Dec 20, 2017
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

I hate to admit it because I consider myself a nonjudgmental person, but I have been known to say that "you can always tell how clean a person is by how clean their toilet is." Which is why the first thing I rush to clean when people are coming over is the toilets they might use. Here's how to clean your toilets absolutely spic and span-ly so no one will think any less of you.

Let's run through a stellar sample toilet-cleaning session:

1. Clean the Toilet Bowl

First, squeeze your toilet bowl cleaner around the inside of the toilet bowl so that it can start running down the inside of the bowl and do its thing. For rims that need extra attention, try saturating a paper towel with white vinegar and stuffing it up under the rim. Let this sit while you're cleaning the rest of your toilet and then scrub with a small cleaning brush.

Ring stains can be addressed with a wet pumice stone, used where the water touches the toilet bowl. Wet on wet prevents scratches on the porcelain. Some people also swear by Coke to remove ring stains. Pour a can into your toilet bowl, let it sit for at least an hour, scrub with a toilet brush, and flush.

Another beverage-as-cleaner trick for literally lifting calcium and lime deposits from your toilet bowl is using blue or purple Gatorade. Again, pour a bottle in, let it sit, and then scrub and flush. You can watch a video of the Gatorade at work here; it's oddly mesmerizing.

White vinegar or hydrogen peroxide can be used to disinfect the toilet bowl. Pour in, let sit, and then flush. Caution: Avoid using bleach when cleaning your toilet, as many household cleaners, especially toilet cleaners, contain ammonia. Mixing ammonia and bleach creates chloramine, a deadly gas.

2. Clean the seat and lid

While the toilet bowl is receiving its beauty treatments, clean the seat and lid of the toilet. I like to use disinfecting wipes that I can toss in the garbage for this part. Start with the cleaner parts of this area, such as the underside of the lid, then move on to the seat. Don't forget to clean around the covers of the screws that hold the lid on. Do this when the lid is open and when the lid is closed so you can best access all the corners. Finally, clean the underside of the seat. and the top rim of the toilet bowl.

3. Clean the outside of the toilet

Don't use a disinfecting wipe for this part because if you have any hair or fur or dust, the cleaning wipes just kind of swirl the dirt around rather than picking it up. Instead, spray an all-purpose cleaner or a vinegar and water solution all around and wipe down with a rag or paper towel, top to bottom.

Pay special attention to the base of the toilet bowl. This is where the most hair and dust and, sorry, mis-aimed urine tends to collect. Clean with cleaning spray and a rag, making sure to clean around the round knobs. Follow up with a swipe from a disinfecting wipe.

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