Don’t be that host that is having some friends over or the in-laws with a disgusting toilet. There is nothing worse than having to use a petri dish when nature calls, so this topic necessitates a quick lesson on how to properly clean a toilet.
Back in my fraternity days, the younger guys were stuck cleaning bathrooms before college football game days. Sadly, the expectations for cleaning the fraternity house bathroom were very high. In fact, there was a cruel check the older guys used called the “marshmallow test.” No not this marshmallow test, I’m talking about the unscientific and unsanitary version.
After the freshman or pledges were finished cleaning the bathroom, the expectation was one of the brothers should be able to take a white marshmallow and wipe it on any surface. Whoever cleaned the restroom was then expected to eat the marshmallow. As you can imagine, the toilet and surrounding area where the go-to spots with the marshmallow and in my time enduring this torturous experience, I quickly learned how to turn a “well-used” toilet into a sparkling dinner plate.
Just for clarification, I would never actually recommend you eat anything that has been wiped on any bathroom surface…
This guide lays out the best way to rejuvenate toilets, beyond the typical toilet brush and cleaner.
A general rule of thumb and something I strive to live by when cleaning toilets, clearing clogs or just in general is that chemicals are bad. Less is better. When I can, I try to use bleach or vinegar as opposed to cleaners that are full of chemicals that I have never heard of.
And when I can, I’d rather use a bit of elbow grease instead of looking for the lazy way out.
Bleach (concentrate and a diluted solution)
Pumice Stone / Scouring Stick
Step 1: Clean the surround area of the toilet. This is the area you will be working, so let’s make it clean and sanitized. Flush the toilet
Step 2: Pour a half cup of bleach concentrate into the toilet and let it sit for 30 minutes. Use toilet brush to scrub off the easy stuff.
Step 3: While you wait, remove the toilet seat by loosening the nuts underneath the toilet.
Step 4: Clean your toilet seat using appropriate cleaners for the seat – I use the bleach solution.
Step 5: Clean all grime, dust and dirt on the outside of the toilet using your diluted bleach solution and your scouring pad.
Step 6: Inspect the toilet tank. If there is mold or growth, you can scrub it with water – do not use bleach or any chemicals, as it could deteriorate seals and internal hardware.
Step 7: If the 30 minutes is up, flush the toilet.
Step 8: Inspect the inside of the toilet bowl. If there are still stains or mineral build-up, hit it with your pumice stone.
Step 9: Spot check the toilet, rub it down with a final diluted bleach solution to make sure everything has been sanitized.
Optional Step 10: Wipe marshmallow along the toilet rim and consume to ensure sufficient cleaning has taken place.
If you want to see these steps in action, take a look at a case study I did to show you how it’s done. You can find it here.
Have any other suggestions? Please leave comments below. Thanks for reading!