8 toilet cleaning hacks that'll make you hate this task a little less

Gross (but cool)

Pink toilet cleaner and toilet brush with bubble background
(Image credit: Future)

I don’t know about you, but cleaning my toilet really isn’t the most exciting part of my week. In fact, it’s one of those chores that I really detest. I know it needs to be done but I really hate doing it. 

Admittedly, cleaning the lav isn’t exactly the most fun thing on anyone's cleaning checklist. But a clean toilet is part of #adulting and it’s essential for keeping your entire bathroom clean and hygienic. So, yes, we can despise it together, but we're still going to grab the rubber gloves and get it done.

The good news is that there are some simple cleaning hacks that — when done correctly — can make giving your toilet a nice scrub down far less of a thing. While you could use an all-in-one toilet cleaning wipe or stick with your reliable scrub brush chilling by the side of the bowl, there are plenty of alternatives for a quicker and easier clean that you might wanna try instead. 

What are the best toilet cleaning hacks?

1. Fill the bottom of your toilet with ice

Okay, so I get that this sounds a little strange but, trust me, it works like a dream. Fill the base of your toilet with ice cubes and let them sit in the bottom of the basin, above the water line. You can then pour or spray your cleaning products of choice into the basin and not have them instantly dissolve in the water. Instead, they’re able to sit in the basin, giving it the deep clean it needs. And, what’s great about it is, once you’ve finished cleaning the ice will have begun to melt and can be easily flushed away. 


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2. Swap to using a silicone brush not a bristle brush

For years I stuck with a standard nylon bristle toilet cleaning brush, but now that I’ve changed to a silicone brush I’d never go back. It makes cleaning the bowl so much quicker and easier, especially if you opt for a flexible brush or a curved tip brush that makes getting into the U-bend a much simpler feat. Plus, this kind of brush is much easier to clean and is far more hygienic, too. When you compare it to a bristle brush, it’s so much sturdier and far more powerful. 


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3. Disinfect with hydrogen peroxide

Rather than using a pre-made toilet cleaner, you might want to try using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect things instead. Simply spritz your basin with the solution, leave it to sit for 30 minutes, and then flush. That's it! This should disinfect the bowl and it should remove any rust lurking around the edges. Another good hack for treating rust is to dab a little of the solution onto a kitchen towel and cover the rust for 15 minutes before removing and wiping away. 

4. Make baking soda toilet cleaning fizzers

Instead of buying pre-made toilet cleaning bombs, make your own. All you need is baking soda, citric acid, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. In a bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups of baking soda, ½ cup citric acid, and 30 drops of your essential oil of choice or a mixture of two different oils. Then, pack the mixture into an ice cube tray and leave it to harden. Once hard, you can pop each mini fizzer out and store it in an airtight container. To use, simply drop one or two fizzers into your toilet, close the lid, and leave it to work for 15 to 20 minutes, before flushing away. These should remove watermarks, help to prevent limescale buildup, and generally freshen up the bowl. 

5. Use a toothbrush to clean under the toilet rim

It’s easy to forget about the parts of the toilet that you can’t see, but it’s important that you take the time to clean them, as well as the rest of the basin. A handy hack for this is to use a toothbrush to give the water jets under the rim — and the areas around them — a really good clean. For an even better clean, swap out a manual toothbrush for an old electric one instead. 

6. Invest in a toilet pumice stone

Does your toilet have those god-awful ring-shaped stains around it that, no matter how hard you scrub, you just can’t seem to get rid of? Well, according to TikTokers, the answer is a toilet pumice stone. This handy pumice comes on a stick and can gently buff away stubborn toilet stains. 

7. Clean your toilet with half a grapefruit coated in salt

Yep, you read that right. Honestly, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Simply slice a grapefruit in half, dip it in salt, and use the grapefruit half to give your toilet a good scrub. You’ll be amazed at just how effective this method is for removing stains from. And, FYI, it smells amazing. 

8. Soak paper towels in white vinegar

To get rid of those pesky stains that just don’t seem to budge, soak paper towels in white vinegar and stick them to the sides of the toilet basin. Leave these to sit for 15 minutes, remove them, and the stains should have magically disappeared. For any leftover staining, give them a quick scrub with your toilet brush and they should come right off. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.