10 Weird Toilet Cleaning Hacks That Work

person pouring vinegar onto a paper towel

The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

Keeping your toilet bowl clean is a necessary, if not pleasant weekly chore. But there are surprising common household items that will clean that toilet bowl. Coca-Cola, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are just a few of them that are on the list.

These 10 weird, wacky-yet-effective fixes for cleaning toilet bowls really work. Give them a try and discover how you don't have to use harsh, expensive chemicals to keep your toilet clean.

  • 01 of 10

    Coca-Cola Cleanser

    pouring coca cola into the toilet

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    It may sound like an urban legend, but plenty of folks swear that Coke dissolves toilet rust rings. Here's how: Pour a full can around the rim so that it fully coats the bowl, then let it sit for at least an hour to allow the soda to break down the stains. Scrub with a toilet brush, then flush. If this isn't effective, it may be time for Tip #2. 

  • 02 of 10

    Scrub With a Pumice Stone

    pumice stone

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

    A pumice stone is another unexpected but effective way to get rid of that persistent ring inside the bowl. Always start by soaking the pumice in warm water—the stone and the toilet surface should always be wet to avoid scratches. Gently scrub the stain until it's gone, and then flush the toilet to rinse.

  • 03 of 10

    White Vinegar Toilet Bowl Bath

    placing a paper towel on a stained spot in the toilet

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

    Most people reach for bleach to obliterate toilet germs and stains. However, Green living expert Mark Lallanilla says that plain old white vinegar is an effective cleaner. To eliminate hard water stains, soak toilet paper in vinegar and place directly on top of the stain. Let the vinegar-soaked paper sit overnight. The next morning, flush to rinse and the stains should be gone.

    Lallanilla says that full-strength vinegar also works great on grout and caulk. Use a spray bottle to saturate the area and let it soak in for at least an hour before rinsing.

  • 04 of 10

    Sanitize With Hydrogen Peroxide

    pouring peroxide into the toilet

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hydrogen peroxide is a safe and effective germ fighter. To disinfect your toilet, pour ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide into the bowl, let stand for 30 minutes, and then flush to rinse. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    DIY Fizzy Toilet Bomb

    bath bombs

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    You can buy fancy “fizzies” or “bombs” that clean and deodorize your toilet, but it's easy and inexpensive to make your own. You can even make your own all-natural fizzy toilet bombs using only common household products such as baking soda and citric acid combined with your favorite scented oil.  

  • 06 of 10

    Baby Oil Polish for Chrome

    bottle of baby oil

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

    You'll be amazed when you see the shining results of baby oil applied to chrome fixtures. You can polish up your toilet handle—not to mention your faucets and showerhead—with just a few drops on a clean, soft cloth. Then, apply a few more drops to the toilet tank and toilet bowl and buff until the porcelain gleams. 

  • 07 of 10

    Nail Polish Prevents Rust

    clear nail polish

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    Keep your toilet seat hardware rust-free by coating the bolts and screws with clear nail polish. This will also prevent the seat from shifting around, since the screws will be less likely to loosen

  • 08 of 10

    Boiling Water Unclogs Stubborn Pipes

    steaming water

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    To fix a clogged toilet with minimal ingredients, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Carefully pour the boiling water directly into the toilet bowl to dissolve the clog.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Bubble Wrap Reduces Condensation

    bubble wrap

    ​The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    A layer of bubble wrap can help prevent a sweating toilet tank. First, shut off the water valve to the toilet and then remove the tank lid. Flush and wait until the water drains out of the tank. Once the water empties, line the inside of the tank with a layer of bubble wrap—this added layer of insulation keeps the outside of the tank from getting too cold.

  • 10 of 10

    A Plastic Soda Bottle Saves on Water

    empty soda bottle and sand

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley 

    If your toilet isn't a newer model with water-saving features, there's an easy way to save money and cut back on wasted water. Fill an empty one-liter plastic bottle with an inch or two of sand and then add water to the top. Screw on the lid and place the bottle inside your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. The bottle will help reduce water usage by displacing the liquid volume so as not to overfill the tank with every flush.

  • How often should you clean a toilet?

    A toilet should be cleaned on a weekly basis or potentially less if it is one that is not often used. If you have children or several people in the home, then consider cleaning it more, maybe even two to three times a week.

  • Should you put the toilet lid down before flushing a toilet?

    Absolutely! Leaving a toilet lid open after flushing allows contaminated droplets to disperse throughout the bathroom and land on everything from countertops to toothbrushes and hairbrushes, and more. These plume aerosols can last for hours, and some can last for days.

  • How often should you clean a toilet bowl brush?

    The toilet bowl brush should be rinsed and cleaned after every use, and disinfected once a month. Let the brush dry before placing it in the holder, otherwise you need to rinse and clean the holder, too.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chemical Disinfectants. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. 25 Things You Can Do To Prevent Water Waste. County of Maui, State of Hawaii.

  3. Johnson DL, Mead KR, Lynch RA, Hirst DVL. Lifting the lid on toilet plume aerosol: A literature review with suggestions for future researchAm J Infect Control, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 254-258, 2013. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2012.04.330