How to Clean a Toilet in 5 Steps

Kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses weekly with this cleaning method.

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A few minutes






Nobody likes to clean a toilet. Then again, there's nothing worse than a dirty, nasty, germ-filled toilet. Do these five quick and easy steps weekly for a bacteria-free bathroom.

Tools Required

  • Rubber gloves
  • Toilet brush

Materials Required

  • All-purpose cleaner/disinfectant
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet bowl cleaner

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Before You Begin

  • Remove anything in your way of cleaning the entire toilet: candles, tissue box, room deodorizer, etc.
  • Remove all fabric toilet lid covers and toilet rugs.

removing clutter from the back of the toiletJoe Cruz/Family Handyman

Step 2

Tank and Flush Handle

  • With an all-purpose cleaner/disinfectant, start at the top and spray the tank lid, flush handle and exterior of the entire tank. Wipe all surfaces dry with a paper towel.

spraying the toilet handle with clorox toilet cleaning sprayJoe Cruz/Family Handyman

Step 3

Toilet Seat

  • Spray the top of the seat lid, then open the lid and spray the inside of the lid as well as the top and bottom of the seat. Spray the area between the seat and the tank, too.

spraying the toilet seat with clorox cleaning sprayJoe Cruz/Family Handyman

  • Wipe all surfaces dry with paper towels.

cleaning the underneath of toilet seatJoe Cruz/Family Handyman

Step 4

Bowl Rim and Pedestal

  • With the toilet seat up, spray the rim of the toilet bowl and the outside of the pedestal with cleaner/disinfectant.
  • Wipe all surfaces dry with paper towels. (Do not discard paper towels in the toilet.)

cleaning the toilet seatJoe Cruz/Family Handyman

Step 5

Toilet Bowl

  • Before you start cleaning the bowl, flush the toilet.
  • Turn the toilet bowl cleaner upside-down and point the nozzle to the underside of the rim. Squeeze the bottle coating the underside of the entire rim of the toilet bowl with cleaner. Let the cleaner sit in the bowl at least 30 seconds.

cleaning the toilet bowl with clorox toilet bowl cleanerJoe Cruz/Family Handyman

  • With a toilet brush, scrub the entire bowl including the underside of the rim. Flush the toilet and repeat if necessary.
  • Let the water drip off the toilet brush and return the brush to its holder. Dry off the rim of the toilet with a paper towel and close the seat.

cleaning the toilet bowl with a toilet brushJoe Cruz/Family Handyman