How to Clean Commodes


Cleaning the commode in your home is important not only for appearance's sake but also for sanitary reasons. Each time you flush, microscopic germs from human waste are released into the air and can land on your bath towels, sink surfaces and even your toothbrush. By maintaining the cleanliness of your commode on the inside and outside on a routine basis, you are reducing the spread of these germs that can cause illness. Using vinegar provides an eco-friendly, natural cleaning solution and is a great alternative to chemical cleaners.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bottle of vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet brush
  • Pumice stone (if needed)


  • Clear the area around and on your commode to prevent objects from being unintentionally dropped into the bowl.

  • Fill the spray bottle with vinegar, a natural cleaning solution and deodorizer for the commode.

  • Pull on the rubber gloves to protect your hands, and spray down the outside of the commode with the vinegar. Make sure you spray the outside tank, tank lid, outside bowl, commode lid, seat and rim of the toilet.

  • Keep the vinegar on the sprayed surface areas for at least 30 seconds before using the paper towels to wipe the vinegar away. Vinegar has antimicrobial properties and can reduce the presence of germs on the commode surfaces.

  • Pour vinegar from the large bottle into the bowl of the commode, enough to raise the level of the water inside at least one or two inches. You want enough vinegar in the water so any ring of hard mineral deposits will be submerged.

  • Allow the vinegar to sit in the bowl of the commode for at least an hour or overnight if possible. The acidic nature of the vinegar will break up any mineral deposits present.

  • Use the toilet brush to scrub inside the commode under the rim as well as around the bowl and the hole at the bottom, then flush.

  • Scrub any stubborn mineral deposit rings lightly with the pumice stone, taking care not to permanently etch into the commode bowl's surface, and then flush again.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use bleach and water solution in the spray bottle to clean the outside surfaces of the commode. Pour the remaining vinegar into the tank of the toilet and let it soak overnight. The acidic nature of the vinegar will break up the scaly, rusty-colored deposits inside.
  • Do not mix vinegar with any household cleaners as a harmful chemical reaction could occur.

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  • Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 2,317 Ways to Save Money and Time; Editors of Reader's Digest Magazine; March 2007
  • Photo Credit Paul Robinson
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