8 Common Mistakes When Cleaning the Toilet

Toilet hygiene is key in the cleaning routine. Mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria and scale are what multiply when you don't clean your toilet. Learn how to do it right with these tips.
8 Common Mistakes When Cleaning the Toilet

Last update: 17 March, 2023

The hygiene of the whole house is fundamental for the well-being of the family, but cleaning the toilet is particularly essential. The entire bathroom requires greater attention, but the most important task is the WC.

Doing it correctly is crucial. Cleaning the toilet is usually one of the most unpleasant tasks, but it’s necessary because it is the main source of bacteria.

In addition, the humidity of bathrooms makes them ideal for the proliferation of many types of bacteria and fungi that, sooner or later, can affect our health. Would you like to know what mistakes you might be making when it comes to cleaning this part of your house? Continue reading this article and discover the most common mistakes!

1. Making the toilet the first thing you clean

This mistake is one of the most frequent.

You may wonder why the order matters. The truth is that, as we said before, the toilet is the center of bacteria and, therefore, it’s best to disinfect it last. Start with what gets the least dirty and finish with the toilet.

2. Using the same cleaner as the rest of the bathroom

It’s not the same to clean the shower faucet or the mirror, for example, as the inside of the toilet. The latter requires more powerful products for bacteria and stains that do not come out so easily.

It’s best to use a special cleaner without forgetting rubber gloves to protect your hands (use them only for the bathroom) and a plastic apron, if possible. Also, soap and water (perhaps while adding a touch of bleach) are a good solution.

Another technique that never fails is to pour boiling water inside the cup to remove the plaque that has become stuck. Do this very carefully. Later, we will share some natural products that give excellent results in this task.

3. Believing that the cleaning product will do all the work

You can have the best cleaner in the world, but if you don’t brush hard when cleaning the toilet, it won’t do you any good. Do your share of the work: scrub the inside in all corners, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to take an hour. 10 minutes is enough.

Limpiar el inodoro.
Cleaning the toilet requires utensils that are only used there and not shared with the rest of the bathroom or house.

4. Mistakes when cleaning the toilet: Not using the right tools

In most cases, toilet brushes are not enough, as there are always corners that cannot be cleaned, such as the bottom or the inside of the upper edges. For this, it’s best to use a rag, an abrasive sponge, or even a small toothbrush. You will see how all the dirt comes out!

5. Forgetting to clean the outside

Germs are not only on the inside, although it is typical to omit cleaning the outside. When you flush, water is sure to splash.

For this reason, you need to clean the outside, including the bowl, lids, water tank, and button with a rag or scouring pad. Use a generic disinfectant or all-purpose cleaner in an aerosol container for convenience.

In this regard, performing even more thorough hygiene on a regular basis consists of disassembling the lids so that nothing is left out. In any case, start from the top so that the water falls on what you have not cleaned.

6. Using only one cloth for the whole bathroom

You don’t want to contaminate everything with the microbes from the toilet! Another common mistake is to clean the toilet and the rest of the bathroom with the same cloth.

To avoid this, use three cloths – two of them for the toilet. One will take care of the areas that have direct contact with the body and the other will take care of the rest. It’s best if they are different colors so you can tell them apart.

7. Not cleaning or replacing your toilet brush

Just as it happens with toothbrushes, you should change the brushes after 6 months, because they no longer work for their purpose.

As for cleaning, every time you use them, pour a little chlorine into the toilet bowl and insert it for a while. Another good alternative is to add baking soda with vinegar.

8. Combining products that shouldn’t be mixed together

Be careful! There are mixtures that can generate dangerous toxic gases. Mixing chlorine or bleach, for example, with some pot cleaners, vinegar, alcohol, or ammonia cause chemical reactions that can burn the eyes or the respiratory system.

Tips for cleaning the toilet properly

You know what not to do. Now let’s take a look at some tips that will be useful to perfect your toilet cleaning technique.

Keep what you need at hand

Organization is key in housework. In the bathroom, it becomes even more necessary because it prevents you from touching anything with contaminated hands.

Gather all chemicals, tools, and personal protective equipment before you start, for your health and to save time. Water, cleaner, soap, disinfectant, toilet brush, abrasive sponge, old toothbrush, absorbent rag or paper, rubber gloves, and plastic apron.

Remove anything on or around the toilet

Toilet paper, disposable wipes, towels, soap, air fresheners, decorations… remove everything on or near the toilet to make the process more complete. Also to avoid accidental falls, which are more common than you think.

Try natural products to clean the toilet

You don’t always have toilet cleaner on hand, but you do have lemon, two small spoonfuls of baking soda, and half a cup of white vinegar. Mix these three natural components that work as powerful disinfectants.

Another practical option is to make a mixture of vinegar, water, and salt. There are also those who choose dark sodas that have a superfast effect. The procedure to follow is the same in all cases.

Let the cleaner sit before scrubbing

One of the most valuable secrets for proper bathroom cleaning is to let the cleaner sit for a while to work (whichever one you use). If you have time, let the bowl soak for an hour or two beforehand. This way, the dirt will come out with less effort and everything will look shiny.

Ventilate the room when cleaning the toilet

If you have windows in your batnroom, open them to ventilate naturally during cleaning and allow direct sunlight to pass through. This will release any gases or vapors that may originate from the chemicals.

If, on the other hand, you don’t have a window, turn on the exhaust fan or keep the door open.

Clean all the bathroom fixtures

Cleaning all the fixtures and furniture in the room is a must, as well as the floors and walls. Pay special attention to the points that are close to the toilet, since they’re the most prone to receiving water drops when flushing.

The same happens with the towels, which are usually very close. Remember that splashes can reach up to two meters away. Pay attention to the location of toothbrushes!

Flush the toilet

All the dirt accumulated in the bowl should be flushed away right away. Flush the toilet water so that germs don’t re-attach.

A trick that many people use is to apply a bit of disinfectant with a pleasant fragrance to enhance the aroma of the bathroom.

Bol con zumo de limón
There are natural ingredients that have cleaning power. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon are all very useful.

Wash the tools thoroughly after cleaning the toilet

The hygiene of the brush, rags, sponges, and everything you use in your cleaning routine is paramount. Use bleach or soap with disinfectant to remove germs. If possible, let them soak for a long time and pour hot water on them. As for the cloths, take them out to dry in the sun before washing them.

Dry everything well

After you have done the job very well, you should dry each space with an absorbent paper or dry cloth. This way, you will notice more shine and you don’t risk leaving watermarks that will make it look like you haven’t cleaned.

Clean regularly and frequently

Many doubts arise about how often to clean the toilet. The fact is that it all depends on how it’s used.

Ideally, it should be cleaned once a week. However, if it’s a toilet that many people use, the dirt appears faster and the frequency should be higher. Do an additional washing!

Cleaning the toilet

Even if one of the toilets in your home isn’t in use, it’s still important to clean it. You should do this at least every two weeks, as standing water and moisture will do their thing.

Have you ever walked into an unused toilet and seen black stains? That’s mold.

On the other hand, when you finish cleaning the toilet, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly, even if you have worn gloves. It’s always better to be safe to ensure hygiene, so you’ll be ready to enjoy a disinfected and odor-free bathroom!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Abregu J, Matta G, Ríos D, Toribio J. Desinfectante, limpiador y aromatizante Eco Limpia. Lima: Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola; 2020.
  • Muñúzuri L, Giles J, Medina Y, Armenta A, Martínez S, Trejo T, Romero N. El gran peligro que representa los cepillos dentales cerca del inodoro. Rev Imp Odont. 2019; 4 (8): 37-41.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.