While we often consider the toilet the dirtiest and grimiest part of our home, it turns out this isn’t actually true.
Microbiologist Chuck Gerba has determined that an average toilet seat is only home to around 50 bacteria per square inch: much less than some other household items.
This does not however mean that you should stop cleaning your toilet (bowl and seat included) on a regular basis. How often is often enough is the question we are about to explore.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet?
You should clean your toilet seat and handle with some antibacterial wipes on a daily basis, while the toilet bowl should be cleaned once a week.
If you live alone (and don’t entertain too often), you can prolong these times a little, and clean the toilet seat every other day, and give your toilet bowl a clean every ten-ish days.
On the other hand, if you live in a larger household, and share your space with several family members or roommates, the toilet should be cleaned every couple of days – especially if some of the housemates are on the messy side.
If you have children, the toilet should be deep cleaned every 2-3 days. The same rule applies if any member of the household is sick.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet Seat?
You should give your toilet seat a clean with an antibacterial wipe at the end of each day. This will ensure you eliminate any bacteria and prevent water stains from forming.
When you flush a toilet, countless tiny particles are projected into the air and will spread around the immediate toilet area: particularly on your toilet seat. If you fail to clean them up on a regular basis, these bacteria can spread, grow, and ultimately cause some harm. Skin, throat and eye irritation are all a possible side-effect of an unhygienic bathroom.
You will also start to see stains on your toilet seat after a while, which is a sure sign it is high time to give it a clean.
Pro tip: if you close the lid of the toilet before flushing, you will reduce this unhygienic splash to a minimum.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet Bowl?
The inside of your toilet bowl should be cleaned once a week, while the outside should be wiped down daily, or at least every couple of days.
Use a product that contains bleach to make sure you get rid of all the stains in your toilet bowl, and choose a smell you find pleasant enough.
If you notice stains have started to form, you have probably been putting off the cleaning too long, and will now need to scrub a little harder. If you also need to remove limescale below the waterline, draining the bowl will also be in order.
Don’t neglect the outside of your toilet bowl either, as it can get pretty nasty too. First, there’s the splash that may hit it when you flush, and there’s also plenty of dust and other grime flying around in any given bathroom.
You can use antibac wipes for the task on a daily basis, and give it a more through scrub with a cleaning product once a week or so.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet Tank?
You should clean your toilet tank a couple of times a year, to prevent the buildup of rust and mould, and to ensure it stays operational for a long time.
Over time, different minerals can clog up the pipes that lead from your tank to your toilet bowl, which will impact flushing capabilities, and can also cause an unpleasant smell.
How Often Should You Deep Clean Your Toilet?
If you regularly clean your toilet bowl with a natural or store-bought cleaning agent, you can get away with deep cleaning it every couple of months.
Scrubbing away stains and bacteria every week will ensure your toilet is as clean as it can be. However, you still need to give it an even deeper clean every once in a while, to get rid of any tougher stains, and give the pipes a good flush as well.
You should use an acid for the purpose: both hydrochloric and muriatic acid work very well, and can get your toilet bowl looking like new. Make sure you use both with extreme care, handle them in rubber gloves, carefully read the instructions, and don’t let your children or pets anywhere near the toilet while you are cleaning it with an acid.
How Often Should You Disinfect Your Toilet?
Your toilet seat and handle should be disinfected on a daily basis. You can use an antibacterial wipe for the purpose, and get it done in a couple of minutes. Your toilet bowl should be disinfected once a week.
Disinfecting your toilet isn’t as much of an ordeal as it may sound. All you need is either a wipe that contains alcohol, or a cleaning product that will kill all the germs that may have made a home in your toilet. Practically all toilet-specific products you can get your hands on will do the trick.
You can also just spray come rubbing alcohol into the toilet bowl if you have nothing else on hand: just make sure you carefully wipe it off your toilet seat.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet Brush?
Your toilet brush should be cleaned every 7 days, and replaced after 6 months of use. If you use a silicone brush, you can get away with using it for 8 months, as there are no bristles bacteria can get caught in.
Your toilet brush is guaranteed to be dirtier than your toilet bowl, as all the bacteria you have wiped away is now happily thriving at the bottom of the brush bowl.
To prevent their redistribution in your toilet, make sure you clean the brush with hot water you have added a bit of bleach to every week.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Toilet?
Not cleaning your toilet will cause all kinds of harmful bacteria to spread both inside the bowl, and around your bathroom, that can over time cause serious health issues.
Even though you won’t (hopefully) be touching your toilet bowl with your bare hands and then touching your face or your food with them without washing, the contents of your toilet bowl are being projected up to three feet into the air several times a day.
The less often you clean your toilet, the worse the bacteria you are thus distributing around your living space will be.
All kinds of stains and smells will also start to take root in your toilet bowl if you neglect to clean it, and nobody wants to see that.
Wrapping It Up
The moral of this story is simple: clean your toilet bowl every week, and give your toilet seat and handle an antibacterial wipe every day. Don’t be lazy: just do it before you go to bed every night for 3 weeks, and it will become a part of your unquestioned routine.