03 October 2013

How to Clean the Toilet

It may seem like a no brainer but it's a question I've been asked a few times so here goes.

Cleaning the toilet really is as easy as slurp, brush, flush, just like the ads say. The difference when you clean the Cheapskates way is that you are not spending hundreds of dollars a year on stinky, over-powering, nasty-laden commercial cleaners.

Instead you'll be using water, vinegar, bicarb soda and for stubborn water marks and hard water build-up citric acid. And a couple of cleaning cloths. That's it. Your whole toilet cleaning arsenal shouldn't cost you more than $10 for the year!

Every Day Cleaning:
If you clean your toilet daily (and if you have toilet training toddlers or little boys you'll need to clean at least daily) you won't ever need to deal with stains. It takes two minutes - really, I've timed it - to keep your toilet sparkling clean all the time.

Step 1. Take 1 cup of white vinegar and pour it into the bowl. Use the brush to scrub the sides. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Step 2. While the vinegar is sitting take your damp cleaning cloth and some vinegar diluted 50:50 with water in a spray bottle. Spray the cistern, seat and lid and around the outside of the bowl. Don't forget the pipes at the back if they are visible. Starting with the cistern and working down, wipe over the outside of the toilet, paying particular attention to the hinges around the seat. Rinse your cloth often.

Step 3. Flush the toilet. See it sparkle.

Vinegar is a mild disinfectant, you won't need to use anything else if you clean the toilet every day.

For Stubborn Stains:
Step 1. Sprinkle the bowl with bicarb soda, making sure you get it on the stain.

Step 2.  Pour 1 cup of white vinegar over the bicarb and while it is fizzing scrub with the toilet brush. Flush.

For Hard Water and Mineral Stains:
To clean a toilet with hard water stains and mineral build-up is an overnight chore.

Step 1. Last thing at night flush the toilet. Pour 1/4  up citric acid into the bowl. Leave overnight.

Step 2. In the morning put 1 cup white vinegar into the cistern.  Scrub the bowl with the toilet brush, paying particular attention to the stains.

Step 3. Flush. This will flush out the cistern and the bowl, leaving both clean and shiny.

For Really Stubborn Stains:
If the water stain or mineral build-up is particularly stubborn you'll need to go into cleaning over-drive.

Step 1. Turn the water to the cistern off and flush. Then empty the bowl of water. You can use a cup or a sponge to do this.

Step 2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup citric acid over the stains. Go away for half an hour.

Step 3. Come back and using a scrub bud scrub that build-up. It should be disappearing before your eyes!  Flush and admire your handiwork.

If your toilet is particularly stained or the build-up is thick you will probably need to repeat this process a couple of times. Don't be discouraged, you will get rid of those stains and your toilet will sparkle.

To Clean the Floor:
This method is good for cleaning urine stains on the floor (common when toilet training).

Step 1. Spray the floor with white vinegar.

Step 2. Sprinkle with bicarb soda. While the mixture is fizzing use the toilet brush to scrub the floor, paying particular attention to the grout if you have a tiled floor.

Step 3. Wipe it up with a wet cloth, followed by a damp cloth. Make sure you get all the mixture off the floor.

There you have it.  Simple, frugal and green ways to keep your toilet sparkling, clean and sanitary. It couldn't be any easier.

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  1. Wow. I wish I had this a couple of houses ago. Mineral build up has often been a problem - embarrassment when visitors use the loo.
    Not now though - Citric Acid is a powerful ally - thanks so much. This alone was worth joining Cheapskates for.


  2. Using toilet paper to wipe over the toilet is a very hygienic way of wiping down the toilet and means you don't have a dirty cloth to wash as it is all flushed away.


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