Toilet Bowl Cleaning

How to Clean a Toilet Bowl? [Best DIY Home Remedies]

Cleaning a stained toilet is one of the most disgusting things you could face. No one wants to use a dirty toilet either, and it’s embarrassing if your guest has to see one in your home.

Many are frustrated by the stained toilet bowl- nasty yellow rings, brown stains, and stains on the toilet bowl base. Most of these stains are mineral buildup from hard water.

Hard water is used in many homes that are a significant cause of these stubborn brown stains. You’ll not only find these stains in the toilets but also the sinks and bathrooms. Toilet bowls are made with porcelain that tends to hold on to stubborn stains.

Most people are unaware that the inner side of the bowl rim can get clogged and dirty with mineral and bacteria deposits. These bacteria are a potential health hazard; the mineral deposits clog the jets and reduce the water’s pressure.

In this article, we will discuss the best ways to clean a toilet bowl efficiently.

Toilet Disinfection vs Toilet Cleaning

Let’s understand the difference between disinfecting and cleaning – there is a big difference between them as they are individual cleaning actions and require separate cleaning products.  In my opinion, the toilet needs to be cleaned regularly, not disinfected.

Disinfection is the process of destroying disease-causing microorganism. Disinfectants are chemical substances which can kill pathogenic organisms. Disinfecting is mainly done by using chemicals like alcohol, bleach etc. Cleaning is basically removing unwanted materials from a surface, especially to reduce bacteria or other contaminants.

Most of us clean our homes regularly, like wiping glass and mirrors, sweeping and wiping the floor with warm water and soap, wiping and dusting surfaces, and washing hands with soap. All the cleaning is done with soap and water to keep your home free from dirt and dust.

Disinfecting your home means wiping the surface all over again after cleaning it. Disinfecting doesn’t have to be done regularly- it kills a higher ratio of germs, ensuring they don’t spread.

In modern-day homes disinfecting every surface is not necessary. The only place in your home that requires regular disinfecting is the toilet bowl.

Home Remedies of Cleaning and Disinfecting the Toilet Bowl

There are two simple ways of cleaning the stained toilet bowl in your house. You could use a powder or liquid cleaner – both effectively clean the bowl. Most of the time, it comes down to which ingredient is available in the house.

If you’ve not had the time to run out and pick a toilet cleaner, there’s no need to stress, with homemade ingredients; the toilet cleans up just as well as any other product available on shelves.

With the homemade cleaners, you tend to save up on a lot of money as the ingredients are economical. Yes, we understand that some of you might not have the ingredients, but you want to begin with natural cleaning methods, you will need to make an initial investment because you’re just starting.

But the good news is that you can use these ingredients in different ways. The main ingredient used for disinfecting the toilet is vinegar – you can infuse the vinegar with citrus and make it an all-purpose cleaner. You don’t have to only use it to clean your toilet; you can use it as a laundry softener, window cleaner, a fridge deodorizer, and in your garbage pods.

Another ingredient we have used for cleaning is baking soda. Yes, this is an important ingredient to make your favorite cake. You don’t have to use it to only clean your toilet; you can use it to clean your oven, deodorize the rugs and carpets and remove bad odor from your fridge.

I agree that we all have a learning curve initially, but eventually, you’ll find fantastic simplicity in making your cleaners in minutes, and they are multi-purpose too. We have shared how to make your homemade cleaners below.


DIY #1: For Toilet Bowl CLEANING


  • Sea salt (coarse) – ½ cup
  • Borax – ½ cup
  • Baking soda – ½ cup

Make sure you take all the above dry ingredients and store them in an airtight container. The best part about using these ingredients is that they are 100% natural and will not damage the porcelain throne.

That’s not all, most of the cleaning products you get on shelves today have harmful chemicals, and while we are cleaning the toilet, we tend to inhale the toxic fumes emitted by them. Imagine what you’re putting your lungs through when you find yourself cleaning the toilet bowl regularly.

With homemade natural products, you don’t have to worry about inhaling harmful fumes; they won’t damage your porcelain.


Sprinkle the powder evenly and generously on the inside of your toilet bowl. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Use a sturdy toilet brush to scrub the bowl, as soon as you’re done scrubbing flush the toilet. You will notice all the nasty stains are gone, and your toilet is as good as new.


DIY #2: For Toilet Bowl DISINFECTING


  • Vinegar/hydrogen peroxide

The above ingredients should not be combined. You can use any one of them, depending on what you have available at home. Both are extremely powerful and effective when it comes to disinfecting. Depending on which one you prefer to use, pour the desired liquid in a bottle with a spray nozzle. Spray the liquid into the bowl and allow it to rest for half an hour. You must let it rest for a while to disinfect the bowl properly. Some people do not like the strong smell of vinegar, and if you wish to add a fragrance to it, you can infuse some citrus to the vinegar and use it to disinfect just about any surface.

We have shared ingredients required to infuse citrus in the vinegar below:

  • 10-12 citrus peels (clean properly)
  • One cinnamon stick
  • 10-12 whole cloves
  • Two cups of vinegar


Take an airtight container and add the peels and spices. Add the vinegar to the container and make sure to cover the peels and spices with the vinegar. Let the vinegar stand with all the ingredients for two weeks and make sure it gets sufficient sunlight. Gently stir the ingredients in the container once in a few days. If the lid of the jar is metal, the vinegar may rust the cover a bit- Try to use a plastic or rubber lid. After two weeks, strain the liquid into a clean bottle. Make sure the bottle has a spray nozzle on it. The best way to store it is in the fridge.

You can use the citrus-infused disinfectant to clean your toilet and disinfect other surfaces too. It leaves behind a pleasing scent and also gets rid of all the germs from the surface. Make sure to wipe the solution off the surface with a damp clean cloth after spraying it.


DIY #3: For Brown Rings Removal

The brown rings at the bottom of the toilet bowl look gross and very discouraging. No one wants to put that toilet brush in and start scrubbing that nasty stain. There are certain myths that bleach and coca-cola can bust those stains. We’ve tried it, and sadly it doesn’t work.


For the stubborn stain at the bottom, you can use any of the following cleaning agents:


  • Pour one liter of vinegar inside the toilet bowl.
  • Allow it to stand for three hours or preferably overnight.
  • Scrub the sides with a brush to make sure there is no residue left behind.
  • Repeat whenever needed.


Maybe some of you have used vinegar, and the stubborn stains are still there—no need to replace the toilet. The mineral deposits from the hard water can be surprisingly very stubborn. This buildup can be embarrassing, but don’t stress; there is another effective method for it. We agree this is going to be less fun than the other methods. The sandpaper is the best stain remover. You would need to visit the store and get some fine and medium grain sandpaper. Medium grain sandpaper can be used to remove most of the stains, while fine-grain sandpaper can be used to polish the bowl.


  • Use the medium grain sandpaper and gently scrub the stain.
  • Make sure you’re not applying too much pressure as you can scratch the porcelain bowl.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the result buff, the remaining with a fine grain paper.
  • Clean the bowl and flush it.


DIY #4: Baking Soda & Coca Cola Method

As mentioned earlier, coca-cola is not effective if used individually. But if you mix it with baking soda, it will surprise you with the results.


  • Sprinkle some baking soda on the inside of the bowl and pour some coca-cola upon it.
  • You will notice a reaction between the two. It will fizz up.
  • Let it stand for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • Give it a light scrub and flush. Your toilet bowl will be shining as if it were new.


DIY #5: For Cleaning Under The Flapper

Cleaning under the flapper is essential as it is the source of all the stains. Here is a simple way to clean the flapper:

  • Turn off the water supply to your tank.
  • Drain the tank entirely by flushing it.
  • Pour some toilet cleaner beneath the flapper till it begins to come out from the holes in the bowls.
  • Scrub all the stains with a sturdy toilet brush.
  • Let it stand for 15-20 minutes.
  • Begin to fill the tank and flush.
  • Keep flushing until you see clear the water in the bowl.

This method will help you get rid of all the stains. If you are caught up with work throughout the week and don’t have the time to clean the toilet, you can consider a continuous cleaner. Some good ones on the shelves will help you fight the brown stains issue, and you come home to a well-maintained, clean toilet.


Some Useful Tips

  • We advise that you get into a routine of cleaning your toilet regularly to avoid that nasty buildup in your toilet bowl
  • Take that extra step to bid goodbye to those brown stains and prevent the buildup:
  • Always ensure you’re cleaning the entire toilet, the bowl, outside the bowl, bottom of the bowl, under the seat and lid.
  • Try to use natural, homemade products that won’t damage the porcelain and your health.
  • Let the products stand for a while; in this way, you don’t have to use much force to scrub, and you have a clean toilet.
  • Even if you wash your toilet twice a week, it will suffice. If you can’t find the time, we suggest a cleaner that will automatically clean the toilet bowl. It is readily available on shelves.
  • You can get rid of limescale stains with much ease by using baby oil. It can be used for taps and showerheads too.
  • Make sure you clean your toilet correctly once a month and find your toilet bowl free from nasty brown stains.



A stained toilet is a sign of an unhygienic toilet, it looks terrible, and it smells awful. It can cause a potential health hazard, and it is one of the least desired chores around the house.

It can get very yucky at times, especially if there is a buildup, but it will just worsen if not handled regularly. Some of you might also be considering getting rid of the toilet bowl and getting a new one. But don’t be impulsive, because we are confident that the above methods are beneficial as we have tried them all.  

A home with kids, seniors, and a sick member needs to pay special attention to the toilet’s cleanliness. If not cleaned regularly, the buildup could clog the drain in the long run. When this buildup is ignored, it clogs your pipes and can restrict the water’s pressure from the jet rim.

You care about the hygiene of your home hence your reading and researching the best way to keep your home clean. We hope you found our article helpful and trust the homemade cleaners will make your daily cleaning easy. You can also check How do You Clean a Badly Stained Toilet.

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