10 Weird Toilet Cleaning Hacks That Work

person pouring vinegar onto a paper towel

The Spruce / Michelle Becker 

Coca-Cola, vinegar, and baby oil. It's an ingredient list that sounds like something bored kids might concoct on a rainy day. But these are just a few of the surprising products you can use to keep your toilet clean and in tip-top shape. What's more, repurposing common household items like these saves money.

Don't be weirded out by the strange ingredients. These cleaning tips really work! Give them a try and discover how you don't have to use harsh, expensive chemicals to keep your toilet clean. These 10 weird, wacky-yet-effective toilet fixes are worth a try.

  • 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 

    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 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 with every flush.

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  1. "Chemical Disinfectants | Disinfection & Sterilization Guidelines". CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html#Hydrogen.