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How to clean your toilet without cleaning products

Person cleaning the toilet

Get ready to revolutionize your toilet cleaning routine with unconventional methods that deliver remarkable results. From everyday household items like vinegar to unexpected solutions like shaving cream and denture tabs, you can achieve remarkable results with minimal effort.

Getting Started

Safety First

Jess Farinha is a professional cleaner, organizer and founder of London House Cleaners, she says before you start, take some quick safety precautions, “Remember to always wear rubber gloves and ensure proper ventilation by opening a window or turning on the bathroom fan.”

cleaning toilet with rubber glove

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Remove the Toilet Seat

Although you won’t do this every time you clean the toilet, for a deep clean remove the toilet seat to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Removing a toilet seat is a relatively easy task, whether you’re dealing with a modern clip-on design or even an older model that requires unscrewing. Lift off the seat and reveal the hidden dirt and grime lurking beneath. Be warned, though, it might be dirtier than you expect! With the seat off, you can easily scrub and sanitize to your heart’s content, ensuring a thoroughly clean toilet.

Person removing toilet seat

Delah Gomasi owner and CEO of the house cleaning company MaidForYou says, “You’ll want to pay particular attention to the hinges of the toilet seat as this can harbor nasty surprises from splash back.”

Tackling Toilet Bowl Stains

Denture Tabs

For a pre-soak before cleaning your toilet, try using denture tablets, those effervescent pucks typically used to clean false teeth. Drop two to three tablets into the toilet bowl at least 30 minutes before cleaning to tackle tough stains. If dealing with hard water or heavy mineral buildup, leave the tablets in overnight. Once they’ve fizzed and soaked, scrub the bowl with a toilet brush.

Polident 3 Minute Denture Cleanser Tablets

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All-Natural Vinegar

“To clean a stained toilet bowl, pour two cups of distilled white vinegar into the bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and then flush,” says Aaron Christensen, a cleaning expert at home cleaning company Homeaglow.

white distilled vinegar

Price not available at Amazon

Cola

You might be surprised to learn that the classic fizzy drink, Coca-Cola, is not just for refreshment but can also tackle stubborn toilet stains like rust. Pour a can of cola into the toilet to cover the stains and leave it to sit for an hour or more. You may return to find the stains vanished without any scrubbing required. If some stains persist, simply use your toilet brush and with any luck, a flush will reveal gleaming white porcelain.

Coca-Cola Soda

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Hydrogen Peroxide

Interestingly, hydrogen peroxide isn’t just for first aid, it’s also a potent cleaner and sanitizer for your toilet bowl. Simply pour half a cup of peroxide into the toilet, let it sit for 30 minutes, then grab your trusty toilet brush to scrub away germs, bacteria and grime. A quick flush afterward will wash it all away, leaving your toilet sparkling clean.

“If your toilet stains are black, they are likely caused by mold or mildew. Try pouring a half cup of hydrogen peroxide into the bowl and let sit for 35 minutes. Scrub the bowl thoroughly and flush afterwards. If the stains persist, you may need to repeat the process,” says Christensen.

Amazon Basics Hydrogen Peroxide

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Shine and Deodorize

Baby Oil

Gently rub the baby oil onto the surface of the toilet flusher. The baby oil helps to remove dirt, grime and fingerprints while also leaving behind a protective layer that can make future cleaning easier. After wiping down the flusher with the baby oil, use a clean cloth to buff it to a shine. This simple trick can leave your toilet flusher looking clean and polished.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil

$6.69 at Amazon

Shaving Cream

Resourceful parents have discovered an unexpected solution to clean up those messes when kids miss the mark, plain old shaving cream. While it might sound unusual, spraying shaving cream on the affected areas, whether it’s the floor or walls around the toilet, spreading it out and allowing it to sit can work wonders on the stains. After a few hours, simply wipe it away for an easy way to keep your bathroom sparkling and fresh-smelling.

 Gillette Foamy Regular Shaving Foam

$1.29 at Amazon

Are you ready to say goodbye to stubborn stains and odors?

MORE: 16 clever toilet paper storage solutions for small bathrooms

About the Author

Fiona Tapp

Fiona Tapp is a British award-winning writer and former teacher living in Canada. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Popular Science, Parents, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and many more. In addition to travel, parenting, and education stories, she loves writing product reviews and gift guides which she produced for CNN Underscored for two years as well as for The Spruce, Reader's Digest, Forbes, and Brit + Co. More.

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