The Scrub-Free Way to Clean Your Toilet

Toilet with a nearby basket of cleaning products
Now, you don’t have to scrub, or even use your hands to clean your toilet bowl. (Photo by Olga Yastremska)

A dirty toilet isn’t just unpleasant and embarrassing; it’s unsanitary. It’s important to routinely clean your toilet so it doesn’t constantly attract — and spread — germs.

The Importance of Toilet Maintenance

Developing countries need clean water and indoor plumbing to thrive — these are the basics that lead to sanitary living conditions and healthy outcomes.

But they’re just parts of the puzzle.

The rest of us are still vulnerable to airborne bacteria, even with the latest bathroom fixtures and plumbing. That’s because the systems themselves are not enough. Routine toilet cleaning and maintenance are necessary to prevent the spread of germs and ensure the toilet’s optimal performance.

Man's hand flushing a porcelain toilet
Before you flush the toilet, close the lid to prevent the spread of microscopic, airborne bacteria.

Did you know that simply flushing your toilet can propel microscopic germs into the air?

Bacteria such as E. coli, staphylococcus and streptococcus are such threats in public restrooms with lidless toilets that microbiologists recommend immediately exiting the stall after flushing to prevent direct exposure.

Avoiding toilet plume — an airborne mist that sends bacteria up to 6 feet from the toilet is easy enough in public restrooms – where you can quickly exit and close the stall door. But that’s not an option for your home bathroom.

And that’s why regular cleaning is your best offense.  

Yellow gloved hand cleaning the toilet seat
If something looks dirty, it is dirty. Grab some rubber gloves and clean your toilet, tub and sink with household products that contain soap or detergent.

How to Clean Your Toilet

Microbiologists recommend closing the toilet lid just before you flush your toilet at home. This reduces toilet plume — but that’s just one way to make your bathroom a bit healthier. There are proactive steps you can take, too, like cleaning and disinfecting.

First, if something in your bathroom looks dirty, put on some rubber gloves and clean it with a sponge or rag and household products that contain soap or detergent. That alone can reduce germs on the surfaces. But the best way to keep harmful bacteria at bay is to disinfect the toilet, sink and bathtub at least once a week.

While you’re at it, disinfect the shower curtains to avoid mold and mildew, not to mention eye, skin and throat irritations they can cause for some people.

Finally, deep-clean the bathroom fixtures and floor with household products that contain soap or detergent at least once a week, wipe down the doorknobs and swap out bath towels every other day.

Fluidmaster’s Flush ‘N Sparkle Self-Cleaning Toilet System
Fluidmaster’s Flush ‘N Sparkle Self-Cleaning Toilet System makes everyone’s least favorite household chore a hands-free task.

Cleaning the toilet’s exterior is easy enough, but scrubbing the bowl causes people the most headaches. Fluidmaster’s Flush ’N Sparkle Self-Cleaning Toilet System turns the most dreaded household chore into a scrub-free,  hands-free task by simply flushing the toilet.

The best part? No scrubbing! The toilet bowl is cleaned with every flush. Just install the system in the tank — it takes one minute — and let the flush do the rest. Flush ’N Sparkle puts a cleaning solution into the water flow, which sends the solution straight into the bowl, keeping your toilet clean and your tank safe.

Chemicals never touch the flapper, fill valve or other tank parts. This prevents the kind of damage that other products, like drop-in tablets, can cause, leading to the toilet’s malfunctioning. That’s great for both your and your toilet’s health!

With regular cleaning, your bathroom will become the healthy spa you always envisioned — and your toilet’s parts will have a long life. 


  1. Dan I have a problem. It seems like it happened rather suddenly but a gray blackish stain has appeared in my white toilet bowl. I’ve tried bartenders friend, and Clorox bleach so far. I’ve looked at a number of videos but most look like they have to scrub a lot which I’ve done but there is still a shadow in the bowl that I can see. Should I just replace the toilet? Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  2. I would LOVE to do this project in my lawn, but the measurements for the trench given Paragraphs 2 and 3 are so very confusing…is there an actual diagram showing the measurements of the dug trench together with those of the concrete border? Together, please so that the written instructions make some sense. A picture (diagram) says a thousand words, a photo of result, not so much.


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