The 8 Best Toilet Cleaners of 2020

Keep the bowl clean with these top-rated picks

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Our Top Picks
"Most customers give this cleaning system high marks all around."
"The set comes with a wand, six sponge refills, and a caddy for storage."
"Just clip onto the rim of your toilet and let it go to work."
"Can tackle rust, calcium, or lime stains."
"It leaves behind a light, natural scent rather than a harsh chemical one."
"Just drop these tablets into your toilet tank and watch as every flush cleans."
"They're easy to use and eliminate any scrubbing."
"Infused with essential oils to release a light, refreshing scent."

Best Overall: Kaboom Scrub Free! Toilet Bowl Cleaner System with 2 Refills

For effectiveness and ease of use, this system from Kaboom tops our list of toilet bowl cleaners. To use, you install a device in your toilet’s tank (don’t worry, it’s easy), pop in a pouch, and your toilet gets cleaned each time you flush. There’s no need for scrubbing, and each pouch last for three months. This kit comes with the device as well as two refill pouches, so you’re set for up to six months with it. The bleach-based formula is safe for septic tanks too.

Installation is easy and takes just minutes, and the bowl stays clean with no effort. One complaint some have is the smell, saying it’s a bit overpowering, but others say they like the scent and find it clean-smelling.

Best Toilet Cleaning System: Clorox Toilet Wand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System

For an easy and effective way to clean your toilets, hundreds of customers say this system from Clorox can’t be beat. The set comes with a wand, six sponge refills and a caddy where you can store the wand. To use, you just pop on one of the sponges, which are loaded with Clorox cleaner, then you’re ready to clean your toilet. Once you’re finished, you eject the sponge right into a trash can with the press of a button. Not only does the formula tackle tough stains, but it also disinfects, killing up to 99.9 percent of germs.

This system is easy to use and leaves their toilets looking and smelling good. It's flexible and gets in small places, like under the rim, and say it’s much sturdier than expected. It also eliminates the need to store a dirty toilet brush. You may need something a bit stronger for tough stains like rust, but for basic cleaning, this system is a great option.

Best Automatic Cleaner: Lysol Fresh Scent Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner 2.82 oz. Tablet

You can put your toilet cleaning duties on autopilot with this automatic toilet bowl cleaner from Lysol. To use, you just clip one onto the rim of your toilet at the place of the heaviest water flow, then let it go to work. Each one is good for up to 32 weeks of stain- and bacteria-fighting action. They have an ocean-fresh scent, so they leave your toilet smelling good too.

They're easy to use, economically priced and keep the bowl smelling fresh for a long time. While you may have to scrub periodically too, these make the job much easier when you do.

Best for Rust Stains: Lime-A-Way Liquid Toilet Bowl Cleaner, 24 fl oz Bottle

If you’ve got stains, you need something tough like this toilet bowl cleaner from Lime-a-Way. No matter if they’re stains from rust, calcium, or lime, this cleaner is ready to tackle them and leave your toilet looking shiny and new. To use, you apply the thick gel formula, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush and flush. Don’t worry about it not working in water as you can distribute it above and below the water line and still expect excellent results.

Customers with hard water swear by it and say it gets out stains when nothing else will. They love the scent it leaves behind, saying it’s fresh and not too overpowering. Some use it beyond the toilet for their sinks and tubs and say it works great there as well.

Best Natural: Green Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner 24 Ounces

For a green toilet clean, there’s this Green Works toilet bowl cleaner from Clorox. While it contains ingredients that are gentle on the environment, it’s still tough on whatever unwanted elements you have in your toilet, including rust, mineral deposits, and hard-water stains. Made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, it’s safe for use if you have pets, and it leaves behind a light, natural scent rather than a harsh chemical one. To use, you squirt the gel in your toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Tough stains may require some elbow grease, but in most cases that won't be necessary.

The scent it leaves behind has been described to be like hard lemon candy. Most importantly, however, this bio-based cleaner actually does what it’s supposed to do—clean.

Best Tablets: Clorox Toilet Wand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System

For an easy way to clean your toilet, just drop these tablets from Clorox into your toilet tank and watch as every flush gets you closer to a cleaner toilet. With every flush, a burst of bleach is released to take grime down and prevent stains from clinging. You may have to give it a scrub up front, but these tablets make the job much easier. They kill 99.9 percent of household bacteria and leave your bathroom smelling clean, too.

While some customers don’t like the smell of bleach they leave behind, most are pleased with just how well these tablets work to keep their toilets clean. Each tablet lasts up to two months.

Best Gel: Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Bowl Cleaning Gel Starter Kit

For a gel that’s going to cling to your toilet bowl and really attack the grime before you flush it away, this cleaner from Scrubbing Bubbles is a top choice. The gel is contained in discs, which deliver cleaning with every flush. You use the included dispenser to stamp a disc onto your toilet bowl, without the need for your hands to ever touch the toilet. The gel in the disk then prevents grime from sticking around up and repels lime scale and other buildup as well. Each disc lasts for about seven days.

Customers say they’re easy to use— a “lazy housekeepers best friend,” one even dubbed—and they like the way they leave their bathroom smelling fresh with every flush. The discs keep toilet rings from forming and cut down, if not eliminate, the need for scrubbing.

Best Scented: Lysol Click Gel Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner

While some cleaners leave behind a chemical or bleach scent, this one from Lysol is infused with essential oils to release a fresh, "ocean breeze" scent. To use, press the gel applicator against the inside of your toilet bowl and watch as each flush cleans and provides antimicrobial protection. Each cleaner lasts up to four weeks.

Customers say they like the smell of this toilet cleaner and note that the scent lasts for a long time. Some say it can be a bit strong in the beginning, but most agree that it’s not overpowering. While these may not offer maximum cleaning power, most customers say they do a good job keeping toilets looking and smelling better between cleanings.

What to Look for in a Toilet Cleaner

Style There are several styles of toilet bowl cleaners, each of which requires a varying level of effort on your part. First, there are traditional cleaners—liquids or gels that you apply to the bowl then scrub with a toilet brush. There are also toilet bowl wands that come with disposable cleaning heads, eliminating the need for a brush. Finally, there are pods or discs that work every time you flush for hands-off cleaning power.

Ingredients As with any cleaning product, some toilet bowl cleaners have harsh ingredients like bleach. This is beneficial if you’re trying to remove tough stains and kill bacteria, but these chemicals can be dangerous if you have pets or kids. If you prefer not to bring chemicals into your home, consider an all-natural toilet bowl cleaner instead.

Special needs If your toilet has hard water build-up or other tough stains, you may need a specialty product to help restore it to its former glory. Look for a cleaner that’s marketed toward your particular need.

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