“I love cleaning the toilet!”
Said no one, ever.
Cleaning the toilet is like no other chore in the home. Frankly, trying to keep the toilet cleaner is my 2nd least favorite chore next to dusting. Aside from changing diapers and cleaning up after your pet, cleaning the toilets is the only chore that entails close interaction with fecal matter.
Let’s cringe together.
There are 7 people in our household. On an average weekday, the toilet probably gets used upwards of 30 times. Can you imagine the amount of waste that is?! Please don’t try. Let’s just agree that even though having a good BM or relieving tinkle is a natural and desired process, it is still gross to clean the receptacle of said BMs and tinkles.
What didn’t work
I’ve used gel toilet cleaning stamps, toilet wand cleaning systems, the tab you hang on the side of the bowl, and the tabs you drop in the tank. All of this in an effort to avoid the toilet bowl cleaner and scrub brush for as long as possible.
Some methods only worked for a week, the same length of time as using a scrub brush and cleaner. Others were creating cleaning difficulties, like children touching the gels or the contraptions became dirty, so now I have to clean those too. Most cleaning options gave off a noxious chemical scent that, in good conscience, I couldn’t subject my kids to smell every time they were in the bathroom.
And that was just the inside of the bowl!
I gotta clean the outside too? Momma can’t catch a break.
For the outside of the bowl, I had two methods. The first was pretty simple. Use a Clorox wipe or two, and wipe the toilet down from top to bottom. Simple enough, but they can get expensive if I’m using them daily. The second method involved a bucket of hot and soapy vinegar water, rubber gloves, a wet rag, and a drying rag. It was labor-intensive. Not only that but on a few occasions, a small child would wander into the bathroom, and my bucket of toilet cleaning water would end up spilled all over the floor.
cue the tears
Talk to your mother-in-law.
Ok, I don’t know about your MIL, but mine had a few tricks up her sleeve and was willing to teach me the ways of quick and efficient cleaning. My mother taught me how to clean well, but I needed to get it done in less time.
She, too, suffered from having minimal time and energy to devote to cleaning. My time and energy consumers are my kids; hers are ever-mounting physical ailments. Cleaning in the traditional sense of setting aside hours to do chores with buckets of hot soapy water just isn’t feasible right now. Her solution, now my solution,
“Work Smart, Not Hard”
This solution has become one of my favorite home hacks. It consists of 2 ingredients that are likely in your home right now.
What you need to keep the toilet cleaner longer:
- Spray bottle
- ¼ cup of Dawn dish soap
- 2 cups of white vinegar
You may use more or less vinegar, depending on the size of your spray bottle. It isn’t an exact science, but those are the general amounts. I’ve become so used to making this solution that when it gets low, I dump in more vinegar and squirt in the dawn until it is the right amount of blue color.
The acid in white vinegar breaks down and kills bacteria cells. Dawn cuts through grime and gives you an excellent clean. It won’t kill all bacteria strains, and I’m not a scientist, but it has proven effective in keeping my toilet bowl cleaner longer.
The Secret to Less Scrubbing
This solution is fantastic, but you have to use the solution often to avoid busting out the nasty scrub brush. It will take a little practice, but it is well worth working into your routine.
I spray the solution inside the toilet bowl and rim at least 3 times a day. The easiest way to incorporate this is to spray it after using the bathroom, morning, noon, and night. I found that when I spray the inside of the bowl at least 3 times a day, I can go nearly 3 weeks without using a chemical cleaner and scrub brush. I only bust those out if I have failed at using the spray solution and grime is really building up.
If your toilet starts to collect grime in the bowl again, use the same solution and give it a swish with the brush. Try spraying the toilet bowl more frequently to increase the length of a clean bowl.
I thought my mother-in-law was crazy. I am so busy throughout my day. There is no way I could keep up with spraying the toilet that often. As it turns out, it was way easier than I expected.
Once the toilet is done running from being flushed, you lift the lid and give it plenty of squirts to cover the inside walls and rim. After your kiddos use the bathroom, check-in and make sure they flushed (because we all know kids will occasionally skip that part) and then spray the bowl. It is amazingly simpler than setting time aside to scrub it, I promise you! I’ll even give it quick spray randomly throughout the day when I put something away in the bathroom or gather the towels for laundry. My favorite part is that I no longer subject my family to the chemical smells.
Cleaning made simple.
Now that the inside of the bowl is taken care of let’s go over how to effectively and efficiently clean the outside of your toilet bowl.
What you’ll need:
- Spray bottle
- 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol
Be sure that it is 70%, nothing higher. After a little Google searching, I found out why 70% is best. The water content in the 70% solution plays a crucial role in assisting the alcohol. Alcohol naturally evaporates rather quickly. The water helps the alcohol remain active for slightly longer, just enough time to kill the entire bacteria cell. That’s how I understood it anyway. You can read it for yourself here.
Have a spray bottle of alcohol handy to spray the outside of the tank, handle, lids, rim, and base. Let it sit for 30 seconds and wipe it off with toilet paper, a paper towel, or cleaning cloth. It truly is that simple and such a quick clean. There are more males than females in this house. The toilet rim and seat need to be wiped down daily. If you have young boys, you know why. I am finding out that little girls can be just as messy!
Alternatively, you can also use the vinegar and soap solution. When I have 30-40 minutes to wipe down the bathrooms, this is what I do:
- Make a bucket of hot soapy water with a splash of white vinegar.
- Grab one rag for cleaning and one for drying.
- Spray both mirrors with vinegar solution and wipe clean and dry.
- Spray both sinks and countertops with the same solution. Wipe down and dry the surfaces.
- Spray both toilets with the same solution. Wipe down and dry the outside surfaces.
- Throw out the water.
All in a day’s work!
Chores are what you make them. If it works for you to set aside a few hours and knock out the household chores, then that’s awesome! If you operate more like me and have small amounts of time throughout the day, then I believe my method will work well for you.