Cleaning a toilet is one of those essential jobs that can seem a little daunting, but with the right equipment and a few clever tricks, like knowing how to clean toilet bowls with coke, it’s a task that can be done quickly and easily. 

Whether you’re keeping things fresh at home or making sure your workplace is pleasant for everyone, our top five methods for how to clean a stained toilet will have everything sparkling clean in no time at all.

1. Do An Initial Clean

Before you start thinking about how to clean a badly stained toilet, you need to do a basic clean. Start by getting your equipment together.

You’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A clean toilet brush
  • A commercial cleaner (like bleach is not recommended for cleaning nor is it allowed in any commercial cleaning. It does not remove stains it simply bleaches them. or a good quality thick toilet cleaner) or natural toilet cleaners like baking soda and vinegar.

Always reduce the water level in the toilet bowl first to expose as much of the china as you can. Pumping the water away with the toilet brush until there is little or no water left. Then apply the toilet cleaner of your choice preferably one with a limescale remover in it and apply it to the top inside rim of the bowl allowing it to slowly run down and coat the bowl. Give it a good scrub with the toilet brush, then let it sit for about 30 minutes before flushing.

2. The Overnight Soak

White vinegar is your best friend for helping figure out how to remove stubborn stains from the toilet bowl, and an overnight soak is a great way to banish those grubby marks once and for all.

  • Pour around 120ml of white vinegar into the bowl and close the lid.
  • Leave for at least eight hours, or overnight.
  • If the stubborn stains are around the rim, then drape vinegar-soaked toilet paper over the rim, to ensure maximum contact between the vinegar and the stain. If any stubborn stains remain then use a green scouring pad and scrub at the stain. 

3. Grab A Coke

No, it’s not the time for a rest just yet – some of the trickiest stains like rust rings are easily removed with a dose of everyone’s favourite fizzy drink, and this method is great for when you need to know how to clean a very stained toilet bowl. Coke contains phosphoric acid, the same ingredient in toilet cleaners (makes you wonder what coke does to your insides doesn’t it!)

Lower water in the bowl with toilet brush as per the above initial clean instructions. 

  • Pour a full can (330ml) around the rim, making sure it fully coats the bowl
  • Leave the coke in the bowl for about an hour (more if you can), so the acids in the coke begin to loosen the stains.
  • Scrub with a clean toilet brush and flush.

4. How To Clean A Toilet With Baking Soda And Vinegar

If splashing coke down your loo seems a bit extravagant, then using baking soda and vinegar is a pocket-friendly alternative to commercial cleaners. As well as being just as effective, it’s kinder to the environment too and is a useful tip for knowing how to clean a dirty toilet. 

Baking soda mixed with vinegar creates carbonic acid, which is a super effective natural cleaner that’s perfect for when you need to know how to remove yellow stains from the toilet bowl.

Lower the water in your toilet bowl as per the above initial clean instructions. 

  • Pour about 240ml of white vinegar into the toilet bowl, and let it sit for about a minute.
  • Add three tablespoons of baking soda, then another two cups of vinegar.
  • Watch the bubbles fizz up.
  • Leave to sit for about five minutes.
  • Scrub with a clean toilet brush, being sure to get in all the nooks and crannies and down the u-bend. If the toilet brush is too large to get right into the bend use a green scourer. 
  • Flush the toilet, stand back and admire your work.

5. Polish Up With Pumice

As well as being brilliant for getting your tootsies smooth and soft, pumice is a great natural toilet cleaner that’s good at banishing stubborn stains, including those persistent limescale rings.

  • Start by soaking the pumice stone in warm water
  • Gently scrub the stain until it’s gone
  • Flush to rinse and you’re done

It’s vital that both the pumice and the stained surface are wet, to avoid scratching.

If you find that one method doesn’t work, either repeat it or try another method. You may find that using vinegar and baking soda or coke isn’t quite enough to get rid of all those stains and following up with a quick pumice scrub gives you the perfect finish you’ve been hoping for.

Safety precautions

Using natural products is generally safer than using harsh chemicals found in commercial cleaners, but you still need to follow a few safety precautions.

  • Always wear rubber gloves. This will protect your skin from the cleaning agent, as well as bacteria. Using rubber gloves minimises the risk of bacteria being spread, but only if you take care to remove and disinfect them after each use.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid any adverse effects from breathing in the vapour from the cleaning agent.
  • If you are using commercial cleaning products, be sure to never mix them together. The vapour produced from a combination of bleach and proprietary toilet cleaner is highly toxic.
  • Always check the manufacturers’ instructions before using any cleaning agent. Some materials do not respond well to abrasive cleaners or vigorous scrubbing. If you can’t find any instructions, then test the method on an inconspicuous area before cleaning the whole toilet.

Bonus tips

To help you get the best results, we recommend you clean your toilet brush regularly. It’s not rocket science to realise a grubby brush will give grubby results and cleaning your toilet brush can soon become part of your cleaning routine.

When you’ve finished cleaning, rest the brush between the rim and the seat. Spray it with a disinfectant, like rubbing alcohol, or an antibacterial cleaner and let it sit for about ten minutes, then rinse the brush and handle in a bucket of the hottest water you can bear, before letting it drip dry. 

If your toilet brush sits in a little container, you can clean that using the same method, and be sure to sterilise any cloths or pumice stones that you’ve used by soaking in hot water and disinfectant.

We hope our guide for how to clean a stained toilet is useful and has shown you how to get a sparkling clean loo without having to always rely on using harsh chemicals. Remember, you can be clean and green no matter how busy your home or office is.

Knowing how to clean a dirty toilet is important and getting into the habit of sprinkling a bit of baking soda or other cleaners in your loo each evening will help keep stains to a minimum as well as keeping on top of any dangerous germs that could cause infections or upset tummies.

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