Weekend Projects

Weekend Projects: Deep Clean Your Toilets

published Dec 10, 2021
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Woman in yellow rubber gloves cleaning toilet bowl with detergent
Credit: Shutterstock/Ekaterina Kondratova

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Now that I’ll never forget what a privilege and joy it is to have people over, I also have a renewed sense of what’s really important when I host. No longer am I concerned with a kitchen sink that has a few dirty mugs in it or a mantel that hasn’t been dusted. Frankly, am I even having people over who’d turn up their noses at a laundry basket in the living room? I’m not. If nothing else, the pandemic has made me extremely selective about how I spend my time and with whom.

All this isn’t to say that I don’t want my house clean and pleasant for guests. I do! But I won’t not welcome loved ones into my home if it’s not perfect. One thing that I always prioritize, though, is making sure the bathroom is clean.

Before entertaining kicks into high gear this year, devote some time to thoroughly cleaning your toilets. This way, when guests are on their way, you can give the bathroom they’ll use a quick sprucing up without the dread of having to also completely clean the toilet.

This Weekend: Thoroughly clean your toilets.

Of course, you clean your toilets regularly, but really deep cleaning them will make your whole bathroom feel (and smell!) fresher than ever.

Here are some toilet-cleaning tips:

Dust first. Use a dry rag, a duster, or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to dust your toilet before using any wet methods. This prevents dealing with that horrible “line” of dirt and hair that you’ll be pushing around with your rag if you don’t dust first.

Use a screwdriver. Unscrewing your toilet seat lid will allow you to get the muck that’s lurking around the screws of your lid. Often, this is the culprit of bathroom odors.

Get rid of stains with a pumice stone. Toilet stains from hard water are unsightly and make the bathroom feel dirty even if it’s not. Alternately, Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner does a fantastic job, without elbow grease. (Remember: Don’t ever mix bleach with acidic cleaners.)

Use a disinfecting wipe. I don’t often recommend a disinfecting wipe for general cleaning. Countertops after dealing with raw meat and bathrooms are my exceptions. A disinfecting wipe run all over the outside and inside of the toilet is an efficient way to get your toilets clean. Remember to clean top to bottom and cleanest to dirtiest.

Use baking soda or Bar Keepers Friend to scrub out your toilet bowl. Adding a powdered cleanser to your toilet bowl before scrubbing with a toilet brush ensures a shining bowl. (Again, remember not to mix cleaning products.) Dry your toilet brush by sandwiching it between the seat and the rim of the bowl, letting it drip into the toilet.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.