How to Disinfect a Toilet Bowl

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If you're flush with reasons not to deal with your toilet, have a seat and relax. Today's disinfecting cleaners make this tedious task a breeze. These steps even work on a toilet that's been neglected for a while, and you can make them a part of your weekly routine.

Things You'll Need

  • In-tank Cleaner
  • Disinfecting Toilet-bowl Cleaner Or Chlorine Bleach
  • Long-handled Toilet Brush
  • Nonabrasive Disinfectant
  • Rubber Or Latex Gloves
  • Paper Towels
  • Paper towels
  • Wear rubber or latex gloves to protect your hands.

  • Spray a disinfecting toilet-bowl cleaner around the inside of the bowl and under the rim.

  • Or clean with chlorine bleach alone; it both whitens and disinfects. To avoid creating hazardous fumes, do not combine bleach with bowl cleaner or any other product. Pour 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) bleach in the toilet bowl.

  • Let either product sit for at least 10 minutes to kill germs, bacteria and viruses. While the disinfectant is doing its job in the bowl, you can begin cleaning the seat and lid (see step 7).

  • Swish the cleaner around the bowl, under the rim and as far into the trap as possible using a long-handled toilet brush.

  • Flush.

  • Spray a nonabrasive disinfectant on the seat, lid and outside of the bowl. (Plastic toilet seats can be scratched.)

  • Let sit for at least 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

  • Dry with paper towels (they're the simplest--no rinsing needed and no chance of spreading germs). Don't forget to dry hinge areas and bumpers.

  • Lift the seat and spray with the disinfecting cleaner or chlorine bleach.

  • Rinse thoroughly.

  • Dry with paper towels.

  • Place an in-tank (continuous) cleaner inside the bowl to maintain bowl freshness daily.

Tips & Warnings

  • If time is short, grab a box of the new pop-up disinfecting wipes, and swab the toilet deck. Toss.
  • Don't ever combine bleach with any cleaner; it creates toxic fumes.
  • Always open the windows when using cleaning products, especially in smaller spaces like a bathroom.

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