How To Clean A Toilet in 3 Minutes


Cleaning expert, Melissa Maker, walks you through the products and tools you’ll need as well as the simple steps to cleaning a toilet quickly and effectively.

Tools you’ll need

Rubber Gloves

Use separate ones for the bathroom (these ones are while, choose another colour for the kitchen).

Cleaning Toothbrush

Use an old one or a brand new one, the most important thing is that it is only used in the bathroom!

All-Purpose Cleaner

Here we’re using a homemade solution of 1 tablespoon dish liquid to 6 oz water, but feel free to use any one that you like.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This is specifically designed to clean the toilet bowl and will break down dirt, bacteria and limescale.

Paper Towel

It’s easier to use a few sheets of paper towel or pre-moistened cleaning wipes and not worry about mucking up cloths. Some people can’t stand the idea of using a cloth even after it has been washed if it was used to clean a toilet. Remember to throw the paper towel in the garbage and NOT down the toilet (unless you have a crush on your plumber and want him to come over). Just make sure you check for left over lint and hair (paper towel can leave this behind).

Toilet Bowl Brush

The one we are using here has an extra brush to scrub strategically under the rim (it’s a Vileda brush in case you are curious).

Okay, take off your tiaras and let’s get started..

1) Spray your toilet with the all-purpose cleaner from top to bottom covering everything from the tank, flusher, hinges, both sides of the lid and seat, rim, exterior bowl and base. Just douse it with product, don’t be shy. Let it sit for a minute to start to break down the dirt.

2) Add the toilet bowl cleaner into the bowl. You’ll notice that toilet bowl cleaners have an angled spout – this is designed specifically to make the application of the product under the rim easier for you. Gently glide the nozzle around the inner rim of the bowl and squirt out the product in a steady, even flow.

3) Begin wiping the toilet bowl clean, literally re-tracing your steps from step 1. Start wiping the tank cover, flusher, tank, change paper towel. Get into the hinges (more on this later), wipe the lid top, flip it up and wipe the lid bottom, change paper towel. Wipe the seat top, flip it up and wipe the seat bottom, change paper towel. Wipe the top of the rim and then get the exterior bowl, sides and base. Get into those little crevices! You can always clean the floor and area behind the toilet with a mop as opposed to doing it by hand, either way, it needs to be done.

4) Take your cleaning toothbrush and spray it with a little bit of all-purpose cleaner. Use it to get into those hinges and brush out any build up (if you haven’t cleaned your hinges in a while, you’ll understand the value of this tip).

5) With your toilet bowl brush in hand, start to scrub under the rim (don’t do it too vigorously or else you’ll get backsplash) and work your way entirely around it (lots of build up lives here). Then, spiral the brush around the inside of the bowl, starting at the top and swirling it around until it gets to the waterline. Continue swirling until you get to the chute and pump the brush in and out of the chute a few times to clean it as well.

6) DONE!! Hold the brush in the toilet and flush. Let the water clean the brush off so you don’t have to. To allow the brush to drip-dry, hold it on the rim and put the seat down. Let the brush sit for a few minutes and then replace it dry into the brush container (if it is wet and it goes back in, you get nasty build up).

OK people, it wasn’t that bad! Cleaning your porcelain throne is easy and really important to do. Don’t be afraid of work like this, it keeps you humble.

Want to know how to clean your bathroom cleaning tools? Any of your bathroom cleaning tools can always be cleaned by soaking them in a solution of 50/50 water and oxygen bleach for 10 minutes, rinsing and laying flat to dry.

A VERY SPECIAL thanks to our friends Oksana & Vito for lending us their stunning home for this video shoot – we couldn’t have done it without their generosity!

Oh yeah, please note, the bonus footage at the end of the video where I’m actin’ the fool: The brush was BRAND NEW at that point (we shot that before the cleaning part) and was dry and clean. I would NOT do that with a used brush.


  1. With such a quick clean, is there time for disinfecting to take place? I thought the toilet bowl cleaner had to sit longer.

  2. The new American Standard Champion Right Height toilet we had installed is so hard to clean under the rim because the company has made an inner wall that HIDES the holes so the brush wont fit in that space. I cringe thinking about all the bacteria that are hiding up in that 1″ space and I am NOT going in there with a toothbrush either. Have you heard of anything that is safe to put in the tank that wont damage parts that would work?

  3. Excellent video! The presentation hits the target perfectly! Demistifys the job no want wants to do by showing you HOW to do it simply and quickly in 3 minutes.

    The only thing I find as a reoccurring excuse now, or at least a major delay, in getting the job done is knowing exactly what and where my tools are for the job and how to put away those nasty tools. Having a small portable container that tucks away on the side of the toilet or under the sink is a plus. Also on the same theme as the disposable paper towels. Disposable gloves helps with the contact free approach without dealing with a dripping mess of gloves.

  4. I do what you have on your video, my problem is not being able to get down to clean the outside, wall and floor???? Please suggest! Thank you

  5. TIP: I see that you use water and dish soap as your all purpose cleaner. Here’s a way to make a simillar homemade all purpose cleaner that also disinfects!! Take a pump bottle of hydrogen pyroxide (they sale it in a small pump bottle) and add a little dish soap to the bottle. Now your homemade cleaner will also disinfect while you clean!! This pyroxide/dish soap mixture is great for cleaning counter tops (bathroom and kitchen) as well as sinks. It also works great for spot cleaning out “stains” off cloth covered chairs (just spray a little onto the stain and wipe back off with a slightly dampened cloth). As a mother of two girls, I had some stains on my dining room chairs from their toddler days that other cleaners had failed to remove. I thought my chairs were doomed to always be stained (I had tried other cleaners). Then I tried this homemade cleaner. Stains that had been on the chairs for THREE years wiped right off!! The bubbling action of the oxgen in the pyroxide loosened and lifted the stains for easy removal. My other favorite way to use this cleaner is to wash my glass coffee pot. Even washing it with dish soap daily, the coffee will build up a dark “coffee stain” on the glass. The pyroxide spray takes the coffee discoloration right out and makes the glass sparkle clear again! Happy Cleaning!

  6. Please!!! I really need to get the urine stench out of my restroom for good, I have three boys and this is by far the hardest task on my to do list. I have used this method in your video but, the nose burn stench is back after a couple of days. I usually deep clean once a week (or after company) and touch up every other day. I need a longer lasting tip URGENTLY!!!!

  7. Hi Melissa, do you have any hint for cleaning the patches of nasty brown crusty deposit under my white toilet seat? I can’t shift hem!

  8. Hi Melissa ā€“ any tips for cleaning toilet seat rim & cover in which the toilet bowl cleaner has been stained(blue colour).


  9. Hi Melissa I loved watching the video. You make toilet clean simple yet with no fuss. Question? I just got married to a nice blue eyed blonde girl who hesitates to clean and I have taken the turn to clean. What is the ‘All purpose cleaner’ ? Any particular brand or brands that you would suggest? Thank you again for the swift way to clean the toilet.

  10. Hi Melissa! I love your videos and website. I’m sorry to say I was never taught how to clean and am lousy at most all things domestic, but you have inspired me to try. I usually get frustrated by having all the wrong tools for the wrong project so you’ve been a big help. My question is: do you have any words of wisdom for mold under the toilet rim? Ordinary cleaners do not do the job! Thanks!! Lisa

  11. Melissa – I love your videos and have immersed myself into ‘learning to clean’; what is your advice for a house cleaning schedule? I get frustrated when I get my house clean and then cannot maintain…

  12. I read your articles faithfully, and have found many good tips. I have tried several ways suggested for getting built up lime scale removed from the far I have had no luck. Please help! Thanks from Arizona (hard water country.)

  13. Hi Melissa – any tips for deep cleaning a boy’s bathroom? My son’s bathroom is also the guest bathroom, and it wreaks of urine. I have scrubbed the toilet, the base, the bolts, behind it on the floor, the walls, the baseboard – everywhere and it still smells. At first I tried using a store bought cleaner, then I read that baking soda/vinegar would work. It’s clean, but the smell lingers. I’d love any tips for what to use to get rid of the smell. Thanks!

    • I have found this problem too. My boys bathroom is small and the heat/ac vent is located on the floor about 7″ to the right of the toilet.. while cleaning one day I decided to take the vent cover up and there was urine under the “lip” of the vent. Now its part of my regimen to clean under the vent cover as well..

    • Yeah I know this is old, but:
      One reason bathrooms used by lil boys smell after thorough cleaning is that drips of urine run underneath the bowl and down underneath the edge of throne itself, under it, onto the floor where you cannot reach to clean.

      If you haven’t done so, it is a good idea to put some bathroom caulk between the base of the toilet and the floor, leaving a small space at the rear so water can run out if there’s ever a leaky wax seal. It is a best to do this when you have just removed the toilet to replace the wax seal, and have had a chance to clean up the nasty accumulation under the edge of the toilet on the floor. After the new wax seal is put on the floor, and the toilet is back in place use alcohol to wipe the area and let that dry, then seal the floor to toilet edge with bathroom caulk leaving a space at the rear for water to run out in case of a leaky toilet in future. If the caulk gets stained before you need another new wax seal, remove and replace the caulk, just like on a tub edge. Always let the toilet sit without using it until the caulk sets up thoroughly. (a wax seal needing replacement also causes odors)

      This is especially important in a boys bathroom! Then during your cleaning routine be sure to clean this caulked area too.

      Then try to train those boys to aim better, or else insist that they sit down to pee and aim down! (They can practice “man-style” at public urinals!) Tell them the mark of a good man is good aim, along with consideration for others, not the ability to stand and spray.

      One way to aim-train small boys is put cherios in the water and let them aim at those. One cherio, one boy at a time or they’ll escalate to sword fighting…)

      For bigger boys, make them clean the toilet, floor, wall, baseboards and whole area around the toilet with your supervision (giving them gloves, and using safe natural cleaners) so they can see for themselves why they must improve their aim! A cheap white washcloth with white vinegar water will quickly turn brown-yellow in a several- boys bathroom when cleaning the toilet and surrounding area: it makes a “picture” on the washcloth that is worth a thousand words. Each boy must take a turn. Then tell them that if the area keeps getting like that because they won’t improve their aim, this cleanup will become their chore. Soon it will be their chore, as it is not something they want to learn to do, and they will forget, get in a hurry, or resist. Make sure they know that all three will share the chore even if two or one out of three says he aims well: otherwise you will have to referree a blame game. You can explain that since you can’t tell the difference on the cleaning rag, all will suffer the consequences if all don’t do better.

      (Although I recommend that an adult continue to supervise cleaning, make sure they wear gloves to clean and have gloves on hand, make them wash their hands afterward, check for toilet leaks, and also re-clean it all after them as necessary to be sure it gets really clean until they are experts!…probably when pigs fly… But you will have done what you could! There will be improvement over time, if not perfection.)

  14. Hi Millissa! I came across your blog and I have learned quite a lot from you. I love your homemade solutions for cleaning especially the tub and tile cleaner it works very well. I clean houses for a living and am coming across some hard to clean toilets. Can you recommend a cleaner to get the rusty stains removed? I have tried a pumice stone which it does help with the ring but not the rust. Any information would be great.

  15. One tip I learned a few years ago, for those who don’t get to their toilets as often… Is a pumice stone for the ring where the water line is. With a little bit of elbow grease, it works like a charm!

  16. Hello! Just found your blog on Pinterest (the how to clean your Toms video) – and I love it!!

    One thing to be careful of, and we have to be always mindful in our home, is pets who love the potty water. For some strange reason, my kitties prefer potty water to anything else I provide for them. I know, crazy!!!

    So be careful to use all natural products. Homemade are the best, using vinegar, tea tree oil in small quantities, etc. They can clean and disinfect just as well as the high power stuff from the store, but can be far safer for those furry friends who have to, for some unknown reason, take a sip from the potty. Or there are store brands made from citrus extracts that can be safe also.

    Ew — I know. But who can explain the ways of the cat (or dog).

  17. Hi Melissa,I love your blog!! I was wondering the easiest way to get sticker price tags off glass cups, tumblers. It’s a pain in the butt and I wish I knew the fastest and easiest way to get of those sticky price tags..


    • Thanks, Eunice! That’s a terrific question. Try applying some oil to the stickers (olive oil, canola oil, baby oil, whatever). Let it sit for a few moments and then gently rub the sticker off with a sponge. The oil breaks down the adhesion and voila, no more stickers. Rinse the glass in soapy water to remove the oil and you’re all good šŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes!

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