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Toilet Cleaning Basics To Make Your Bowl Shine

It’s highly unlikely that cleaning the toilet is one of your favorite activities. Nonetheless, it’s one of those unpleasant tasks that just has to be done. 

Here at Merry Maids, we have plenty of experience making those porcelain bowls shine. So we’ve compiled a list of toilet-cleaning basics to help you tackle every aspect of the job. 


Many people just hit the toilet with some cleaner and a toilet brush and call it a day. And while that does help, there’s much more to the toilet than meets the eye. Below you’ll find areas of the toilet that need to be scrubbed, as well as some common cleaning issues you may encounter. 
  • Toilet drain: Obviously, if your toilet overflows, you have a clogged drain. But you can avoid reaching this point by learning to recognize when a toilet drain needs cleaning. Pay close attention to how the water flushes. Does it seem slower or weaker than normal? Then it’s time to clean out the drain with a plunger.
  • Toilet mold: Toilet bowls are dank and dark places, which means they create ideal habitats for mold. This is especially true if you live in a humid climate. But some molds can be bad for your health, so you want to make sure you’re taking the proper steps to eliminate every spore. Additionally, a moldy toilet is no way to impress visitors.
  • Dirty toilet: No one wants to see or use a dirty toilet. And the bowl and drain aren’t the only parts you need to clean. Take the time to thoroughly clean the toilet seat, as well as the sides and tank. Be mindful of the cleaners you use in the toilet tank, though. Some can damage the inner workings of your commode—such as the flapper—so you’ll want to read over manufacturer’s instructions before choosing a scrubbing solution.
  • Toilet grout: The base of your toilet is sealed using grout. Grout is porous, meaning it stains easily. Scrub out stains with the help of a toothbrush and commercial or homemade grout cleaner. If you make your own solution, however, you want to be mindful of cleaning products that should never be mixed.
  • Cleaning the inside of a toilet bowl: Here’s where your toilet brush and cleaner come in. As with your toilet tank, you’ll need to read over your manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you’re not using chemicals that can damage your commode. Optionally, you can avoid unnatural products altogether, and make a DIY toilet cleaner.


As with any household item that gets daily use, the toilet bowl is prone to discoloration. Here are two of the major types of stains you’ll have to look out for, as well as tips on removing them. 
  • Cleaning toilet bowl waterlines: Toilet bowl waterlines can be caused by mold or mildew, and we’ve got advice on cleaning that in the next section. However, stains can also be caused by hard water. You can purge your porcelain of hard water rings with your toilet brush and a simple mixture of borax and vinegar. For really stubborn stains, you may want to use a borax and vinegar paste and break out a heavy duty scrub brush.
  • Cleaning the toilet bowl lid: The toilet seat is also prone to staining, so make sure you don’t leave it out of your cleaning, especially the underside. Here again, check the manufacturer’s instructions before purchasing cleaners so you don’t damage the lid. You can remove toilet seat stains by applying baking soda to discolored areas and scrubbing with a damp sponge. Cleaning the toilet seat will take some effort regardless of whether you buy a product or make one yourself, so be prepared to put some work in.


A clogged toilet is not only messy, it’s gross. You’re going to want to tackle this problem before it gets out of hand. Here’s what you’ll need: 
  • Materials: Unsurprisingly, unclogging the toilet bowl can be messy. Gloves are never a bad idea here. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of absorbent materials on hand, like newspaper or old towels and rags.
  • Tools: Simple clogs can often be cleared out with a high-quality, ball-shaped plunger. If, after plunging, your toilet doesn’t flush on the first try, move on so you don’t overflow the toilet. At this point, you can use a snake to try to clear the drain. And if that doesn’t work, you may need to call the plumber.
  • Products: You won’t have any trouble finding commercial clog fighters at the grocery store. If you rent your home, however, you’ll need to read your lease before using these. Some landlords—especially those who manage historic buildings—strictly forbid certain products because they can damage older pipes. You can also try enzyme cleaners to clear clogs or use hot water to try to force the clog out.


As we’ve mentioned, mold is both disgusting and hazardous to your health. The following tips can help you keep your toilet sanitary and shining. 
  • Toilet mold removal: You can get rid of mold using a scrub brush and a simple solution of 1 cup bleach to a large bucket of water. Make sure you wear gloves, and turn on fans and open windows so the room is ventilated.
  • How to remove black mold: Not all black molds are toxic. However, you don’t want to risk working with those that are. Dangerous black mold should be removed by professionals, like ServiceMaster Clean.
  • Toilet mold caulk : If the caulk around your toilet base gets moldy, you can clean it with items easily found in kitchen. Either white vinegar or lemon juice will do the trick. Soak an old toothbrush in the vinegar or lemon juice, and scrub those spores.

In addition to having the toilet cleaning tips you need, Merry Maids also tackles commodes as part of their bathroom cleaning services. Contact your local branch, and we’ll take care of cleaning that bowl so you don’t have to.