While having a clean toilet immensely helps make your bathroom look nice, its primary purpose will always be maintaining your good hygiene. Unfortunately, the toilet rim can gather a lot of dirt, which results in a very icky toilet—you may think twice before sitting down next time.
So, if you have your toilet looking like an unsanitary mess, here is how to turn your toilet rim from icky to spotless.
What color are the stains on the toilet rim?
While it may not seem important at first, knowing the type of stain on the toilet rim will help you easily decide what you need to clean it.
If the stains are light and scaly, it means there are mineral deposits, and vinegar will do the job. On the other hand, if the stains are orange or pink, you're dealing with bacteria, mildew, and mold. You might need bleach to kill these germs or remove the mildew and mold.
However, if you're still unsure what kind of stain your toilet rim has, don't worry! You can start with the following method.
How to clean the toilet rim with vinegar
Cleaning your toilet rim may not be the most pleasant task. Plus, it can be tricky for you to reach all the dirty spots with a regular sponge. So, to make this task more manageable, make sure you have these tools at hand:
- A toilet brush
- A hand mirror
- Latex or plastic gloves
- A pumice stone
You can get the job done quickly by following these three easy steps:
Step #1. Flush the toilet
Before you start, flush the toilet. Doing this before cleaning will help remove any surface or loose dirt just slightly stuck to the toilet bowl. Now that there's nothing in your way, you can focus on the actual stains.
Step #2. Brush the toilet rim
White vinegar is the perfect cleaning agent if the toilet rim has mineral deposits. Since vinegar is an acidic product, it dissolves the buildup (and even takes care of any bacteria problems to a degree), leaving your toilet as good as new.
First, pour some white vinegar into a bowl or cup and heat it in the microwave until it's warm to the touch but not scalding (heating times will depend on your microwave oven). Then, pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl and use the brush to apply the mix over the stains.
Scrubbing off every stain will take some elbow grease, so don't give up easily! If you have stubborn stains, pour more vinegar into the bowl or use a wet pumice stone to scrub the buildup.
Step #3. Let the toilet soak, then flush
This is the final step! Just leave the toilet bowl to soak for ten minutes in the vinegar. Don't worry if most of it runs down the bowl! Some residue will remain and work away at the stains.
After the time's up, simply flush the toilet to remove any cleaning agent and remaining grime.
Is the toilet still stained? Try bleach!
Vinegar can be very helpful; however, there's a limit to what it can do. If you're still stuck with some dark spots, you can try bleach on the toilet rim! Chlorine bleach is perfect for killing germs, mold, and mildew (which are most likely the cause of these stubborn spots).
Start by flushing the toilet before cleaning and mix one part bleach with ten parts water on a container—it may seem like a lot, but it's the best ratio to let bleach kill all undesired microorganisms while being relatively safe to handle.
Then, brush the rim with a toilet brush—you can also try to scrub the stains with a wet pumice stone for stubborn grime. Leave the rim soaking with the bleach for ten minutes and finish by flushing it again. Pretty simple, right?
Warning: Never mix vinegar with bleach, as it creates a toxic gas! If you tried vinegar first with no success and now you'll try bleach, do this once all the vinegar solution is gone. Also, always wear gloves and keep the area as ventilated as possible when handling this cleaning agent.
What if my toilet is not flushing right?
If your toilet doesn't flush properly, the dirt may run deeper than just the rim. When this happens, usually, the problem lies within the rim jets. These jets can sometimes become so filthy they clog and stop the flow of the toilet. Follow the steps below to clean the rim jets:
- Step 1. Identify the problem: Mineral deposits are the most common cause of clogged rim jets, but things like mold and mildew can also be a problem. Fortunately, checking for them is pretty simple, just hold a small mirror to the toilet rim and look at the jet holes.
- Step 2. Select your cleaning agent: If you find orange or black spots, you need bleach for bacteria, mold, and mildew; if the stains are light and scaly, use vinegar to remove the mineral buildup. Never use vinegar and bleach together!
- Step 3. Find the tank pipe: Start by removing the tank lid. There, you will see a plastic or metal vertical pipe—if you need extra help to ensure it's the right one, check for a flexible rubber or plastic tube clipped to its top (most of them come with one!).
- Step 4. Pour your cleaning agent down the tube: Depending on what you find on the rim jet holes, you will go about your cleaning in one of two ways. To clean mineral deposits, heat white vinegar until it's warm to the touch and pour it down the tank pipe. To clean orange or black spots, mix one part bleach and ten parts water and pour it down the tank pipe.
- Step 5. Let the cleaner work and flush the toilet: Once your chosen product is in the pipe, wait for thirty minutes so they can work away at the grime. Once the time has passed, flush the toilet so the product goes down the pipe, freeing it from grime.
Pro tip: You can use Allen wrenches, a thin pole, or a stick to help push down the grime on the pipe if it doesn't look like all of it is coming off with just flushing.
Give your house the thorough cleaning it deserves!
Maintenance cleaning often will go a long way to spare you from struggling with deep-set stains and old grime. Don't have the time to clean everything inside your house? Let Rain City Maids take on the task! We include a full cleaning of your toilet in all our cleaning packages. Check out our services here.