Home economics/How to clean a toilet

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Toilet cleaning supplies
Disinfecting wipes

There are two main parts to cleaning a toilet. The first is cleaning the outside of the toilet. The second is cleaning within the toilet bowl.(113) [1]

Caution needs to be used. If you get cleaning solution on your skin, wash it off with soap and water. If you get it in your eyes, rinse your eyes with water for twenty minutes.[2] Some people also worry about breathing in air born particles of cleaning chemicals.(24)[3] They use cleaning wipes instead of spray.(118)[3]

Toilet cleaning follows the general principals of cleaning any hard surface. Sweep the loose dirt and debris away. Soak the stuck dirt with cleaning solution. Wipe it and the solution away with a dry towel.(9)[4]

When cleaning the outside, work from the top to the floor.(61)[5] When cleaning the toilet bowl, be careful not to splash.(29)[4]

Tools needed include rubber gloves(29)[4], disinfecting wipes, paper towels, plunger, scrubber, and toilet bowl cleaner to dissolve lime and calcium deposits.(118 & 119)[3] |}

Outside[edit | edit source]

Step one[edit | edit source]

Wipe down

Put on rubber gloves. Pull a disinfecting wipe from the center of the roll up through the hole in the top of the container. To get one wipe to tear off from the next, pull the first wipe with one hand and stop the next wipe with the other hand. Close the little door on the top of the container each time to keep the wipes from drying out.[2](109)[5]

Step two[edit | edit source]

Toss towelette

Rub part of the outside of the toilet with the wipe. This gets it wet with the cleaning solution in the wipe. Some of the dirt is picked up by the wipe. The rest starts floating in the cleaning solution. Get as much filth as possible off of that part of the toilet and on to the wipe. Throw the dirty wipe into a waste basket lined with a plastic bag.[2](9)[4]</ref>(118 & 119)</ref>[3]

Step three[edit | edit source]

Wipe up

Tear an absorbent paper towel from its roll. Rub it on the area that was just wet by the wipe. The cleaning solution will be pulled off the surface and into the paper towel. The dirt floating in the cleaning solution will also. Dirt not floating but wet will be wiped off the area as well. Throw the dirty paper towel into the waste basket.(92 & 110)[5](23)[4](113)[1]

Step four[edit | edit source]

Toss towel

Repeat the process. Clean the top of the tank then the sides of the tank. Clean the bowl rim: first around the hinges. After cleaning the entire rim, do both sides of the lid and both sides of the seat. You might want to rinse the top of the seat with a wet paper towel and dry it with another paper towel. Next comes the back, sides and front of the toilet between the seat and the floor. If there is trash on the floor around the toilet, throw it away.(92)[5](118 & 119)[3](9)[4](113)[1]

Within[edit | edit source]

Step five[edit | edit source]

Safety measures

Put on protective clothing, goggles, and rubber gloves. Do not get toilet bowl cleaner on clothing, skin or in eyes. It burns the skin, causes irreversible eye damage, and is very harmful if swallowed. If it gets in eyes, rinse eyes gently with water for twenty minutes keeping them open, removing any contact lenses after the first five minutes. If it gets on skin, remove contaminated clothing and rinse skin for twenty minutes. If any is swallowed, sip a glass of water if able to swallow. In all cases call a poison control center or a doctor. Wash contaminated clothing before wearing again.[6](118 & 119)[3](35, 49)[5](29)[4](19, 254)[1]

Step six[edit | edit source]

Water brushing

With the toilet seat up, flush the toilet. Use the toilet brush with just the water to brush away any loose filth. Be cautious. Brush down to prevent liquid from being flicked at you by the bristles. Flush the toilet to rinse the bowl and the brush. Return the brush to its caddy. A looped toilet brush is able to lower the water level just a little.[7]

Step seven[edit | edit source]

Lowering water level

Position the plunger so it covers the drain in the toilet bowl. Push downward on the plunger with both hands. Stop pushing and let the plunger fill with water again. Push downward on the plunger again so it forces the water within it down the drain. Repeat the push and release action several times, slowly enough for no splashing and fast enough to pump the water down the drain. The water would dilute the cleaning solution and might splash, so the water level needs to be as low as possible for safer more effective scrubbing.[6](118 & 119)[3][8]

Step eight[edit | edit source]

Pouring cleaner
Scrubbing the toilet

Open the bottle of toilet bowl cleaner being careful not to squeeze the bottle while doing so. With the toilet seat still up, slowly pour the toilet bowl cleaner from the bottle and into the toilet bowl. Carefully pour it around on the inner sides and no higher than under the rim. Close the cap and wipe the bottle with a paper towel if needed. Use a toilet scrubber or swab to brush the toilet bowl cleaner on to all the inside surfaces of the toilet bowl including under the rim. Wait a minute to allow the solution to soak into the dirt stuck on the surface. Scrub away the calcium deposits and dirt, or if it wasn't that dirty use a toilet bowl swab. Flush the toilet, rinse the scrubber or swab in the clean water and put it into its bucket. Wring the swab first. If the toilet bowl is still dirty wash it again with a bottle of stronger toilet bowl cleaner, if not already using the lime and calcium and rust removing kind.[6](118 & 119)[3](43, 110)[5][7][9][4] p. 113</ref>[1]

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Toilet scrubber & pads
Toilet bowl swab

If cleaner gets in eyes or on skin, rinse for twenty minutes and call a doctor. Read the labels of cleaning products.(35)[5][2][10]

The disinfecting wipe is more convenient than spray. Spray might miss the toilet and go on to the wall. It might run down the toilet and form a puddle on the floor. Pouring bathroom cleaner in a bucket and using it to clean the sponge or washcloth used on the toilet is more work than throwing a wipe into the trash.(118 & 119)[3](109)[5][2](112)[1]

Spraying the toilet bowl is awkward. Toilet bowl cleaner comes in a bottle designed to pour the cleaner around in the toilet bowl to cover the inside. There are scrub pads with short and with long handles. Some long handled scrub pads are small enough to scrub the drain. Disposable scrub pads are supposed to be thrown into the trash. A toilet brush can be used to scrub with by using a small circular motion. To use less cleaner the cleaner can be put in the bowl with swab or a folded paper towel.(118 & 119)[3](110)[5][8][7][9](16, 27)[4](113)[1]

Wear protective clothing, safety goggles and rubber gloves.[6](118 & 119)[3](35, 49)[5](29)[4](19, 254)[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Smallin, Donna, Cleaning: plain & simple, 2006, Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA, ISBN 978-1-58017-607-1; ISBN 1-58017-607-0 (pb: alk. paper)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Rockline Industries, Good & Clean Disinfecting Wipes Lemon Scented Directions, Rockline Industries, Sheboygan, WI
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Woodburn, Kim; MacKenzie, Aggie, How Clean Is Your House? Dutton, Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 0-525-94857-0
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Aslett, Don; Phillips, Sandra, Don Aslett's Professional Cleaning System, 2005, InHomevations, Whittier, CA, ISBN 1-880759-76-4
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Dellutri, Laura, Speed Cleaning 101, Des Moines, Iowa, Meredith Books, 2005, ISBN 0-696-22414-3
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 HomeCare Labs, The Works Disinfectant Toilet Bowl Cleaner directions, 2007, HomeCare Labs, Lawrenceville, GA
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Reckitt Benckiser Inc., Spring Waterfall Scent Lysol Brand Cling Gel Toilet Bowl Cleaner Directions, 2005, Reckitt Benckiser Inc., Parsippany, NJ
  8. 8.0 8.1 3M, Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Scrubbers Starter Pack Directions, 2006, 3M, St. Paul, MN
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Fuller Brush Company, Toilet Bowl Swab Directions, The Fuller Brush Company, Great Bend, KS, p. 18,29
  10. S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner Directions, 2006, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine, WI