Introduction: How to Clean a Toilet Without Chemicals

Picture of How to Clean a Toilet Without Chemicals

It's not hard, in fact it takes less time and you end up with a sparkly clean toilet...

If you do this once a week you'll never need to use bleach or limescale remover...

Step 1: You Will Need.

Picture of You Will Need.

- A dirty toilet, I waited for ages to get mine this dirty, used it as an ashtray and let it get dirty...

- A plastic toilet brush

- One square of toilet paper

That's it, note the lack of 'products'

Step 2: Stick the Brush In...

Picture of Stick the Brush In...

Take the brush and start at the bottom, get the corners by twisting clockwise only, otherwise you'll have to fish the unscrewed toilet brush head out of the bog...

For the corners nearest your at the bottom use an up and down motion, not too violent, otherwise the water will slosh straight up in to your face...

Step 3: Now the Bowl

Picture of Now the Bowl

Scrub around the bowl with the brush, just make sure you get all around the bowl...

Now take that piece of toilet paper, fold it and go around the rim where the seat would sit, if you miss then add a drop of water to the paper, my main problem is gratuitous amounts of dust so water is not helpful...

Step 4: And Flush

Picture of And Flush

drop the toilet paper into the toilet for flushing.

Take your brush and hold it where the water falls in to the toilet, flush and use the falling water to give the brush a good rinse.

Replace brush and wash your hands thoroughly, with soap, admire your handywork, rather than your handywork that made the mess.

Having lived in the new house for a year, the toilet has been in use for a year, yet it has never needed bleached because I do this every one to two weeks, by not allowing dirt to permeate the enamel you have much less work to do...

Step 5: And Flush

Picture of And Flush

Drop the toilet paper in, hold the brush where the water falls in to the bowl and rinse while flushing...

Replace your brush after tapping the shaft on the rim a few times to get rid of water.

Wash your hands thorughly, preferably with anti-bac soap.

Stand back and admire your handywork, probably nicer than your last piece of toilet handywork.

This new house has now been lived in for a year, I've never had to bleach or use any cleaners on the toilet because I do this ever week or two, basically the dirt doesn't get to permeate the enamel, meaning it can be wiped or scrubbed off.


LydiaT2 (author)2016-07-04

Eeeewwwww! Is this a joke? Cleaning with ONLY WATER?!?!?!? You're NOT KILLING GERMS!! You're leaving FECAL BACTERIA and other untold BACTERIA that cause the spread of disease!! If someone uses your toilet and they have intestinal flu, you and others can catch that intestinal flu if the toilet is not disinfected! ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER?!?!?!?!? ONE SQUARE?!?!?!? Seriously?!?!?!?

And, if you are willing to clean your hands with "anti-bac soap" (which definitely has chemicals in it), then why are you concerned about using chemicals to clean your toilet?!?

In the picture of you flushing the toilet when you're done (so-called cleaning it), you can see that in the area just under the bowl rim, there are yellowish stains. The stains have collected there because of calcium deposits, rust and urine because you aren't using bleach or Lyme products to clean your toilet!

Sorry, but NO! Your method of "Not" cleaning your toilet is NOT clean and germ free. I'm telling you about all this for your own good. Please clean your toilet properly using a disinfective toilet cleaning product.

Rishnai (author)2008-06-17

At first one wouldn't think that dirt gets into the emamel, but it's true. The toilet that came with this house has an absolutely spectacular mold problem. I've never been able to keep mold out of the toilet for more than a week, even when I unbolted it and suspended it upside down submerged in a large basin of bleach.... I think I need a new toilet.

doo da do (author)Rishnai2012-06-19

White vinegar kills mold if you want to give it a try. Seen in. Wikipedia Doodado

crazycloud (author)Rishnai2011-06-03

Vinegar kills mold too.

killerjackalope (author)Rishnai2008-06-18

What you need to do it take the toilet out, scrub the hell out of it and kill the bacteria in the enamel, then re-enamel again, it's just like painting, we did our old bath because it was getting rough on the bottom, think cast iron and 100 years old... But way too nice to get rid of, it was like a single bed only longer and wider by a few inches...

tfaulk26 (author)2008-05-02

1. Depending on the design of a brush and frequency of cleaning, you may actually not need any toilet paper and just use the brush, thereby doing even more favor to the environment :) 2. Now with lime/scale remover: this method is for cleaning only and doesn't substitute lime/scale removal, because you are dealing with chemistry here: if your water is hard, lime and scale will precipitate on your plumbing fixtures AND INSIDE THE PIPES, - no matter how thoroughly you clean the bowl, - so you need to deal with lime/scale removal separately. Overall, good instructable to show that we can go easy on buying household cleaning products.

killerjackalope (author)tfaulk262008-05-02

I meant that evil stuff that is meant for the bowl, cleaning the pipes with limescale remover is a good idea at least yearly, look at the bottom of your kettle for a good check for how hard your water is...

laurel1 (author)killerjackalope2008-06-06

Vinegar (a lot cheaper and nontoxic) will do the same thing in a steam iron, kettle, etc.. I soak ice cube trays in it,too. Vinegar will also soak off the burned food, like spaghetti sauce, out of a pot. Don't bury them in the backyard like my grandmother used to do. Oh yes she did! The water here makes a limescale ring in the toilet bowl. Anyone have an organic solution for this?

roulopa (author)laurel12010-12-23

I just wrote the same comment earlier on :
"white vinegar. Leave 1/2 cup full in the toilet bowl overnight. Scrub a little bit the next morning.
You can clean pretty much everything around the house with white vinegar. It's natural, cheap and not toxic.
You can even use it in your washing machine, your dishwasher etc.
In addition to baking powder or other comment products, you can make any cleaning product naturally."

I guess the water in your area is very hard. Maybe a magnet around the input pipe such as this explains (I have no interest in that firm, I just googled it) :

killerjackalope (author)laurel12008-06-06

If you deal with it often enough the limescale ring doesn't get a chance to stick, in the pipe however is why limescale remover is a necessary evil once in a while...

Pompom (author)2008-07-23

Thanks for the Instructable, and I'm glad there's decent comments, but, I don't think I can successfully clean my toilet with just one piece of toilet paper... Any suggestions for a narsty tank? Like solid grime yuckiness? I've tried emptying the tank as much as I could and using a toothbrush to get stuff, but there's only so much of that I can handle, and it seems to be a never ending battle. It also seems as though the enamel deep down the hole of the bowl (the siphon?) has worn away to be black. Or maybe it's bad buildup? I can scrub forever and it seems to remain. We have hard water.

belsey (author)Pompom2009-02-26

Borax! Just 1/4 cup overnight (or for 20 minute). Cheap, easy, and works like a charm.

roulopa (author)belsey2010-12-23

white vinegar. Leave 1/2 cup full in the toilet bowl overnight. Scrub a little bit the next morning.
You can clean pretty much everything around the house with white vinegar. It's natural, cheap and not toxic.
You can even use it in your washing machine, your dishwasher etc.
In addition to baking powder or other comment products, you can make any cleaning product naturally.

killerjackalope (author)Pompom2008-07-24

You use the toilet brush, dear god not just the toilet paper... In that case you do need to use a scale removing cleaner, you have to do this very often to keep it good but using a heavy duty limescale remover should help a lot... The otehr problem happens if dirt permeates the enamel, then you have to re-enamel as it wears away from that, it's not a big job, we re-enamelled our 90 year old bath at home because we loved it... (huge bath...) Hopefully a good cleaner will do. For the tank see how it goes using a big stiff brush but if not the chuck some cleaner in there and after getting it good, just keep on to of the cleaning and do a limescale removal ever few months if your water is very hard.

ginamarina (author)2010-04-25

could you teach my SO how to do that? LOL. He doesn't seem to understand why that brush is there.......  or why the black light for finding cat pee makes the toilet area look like a crime scene...  o.0

That's an aiming issue... Some conductive paint and a nine volt battery will solve that one way faster than any conversation could...  

Then she would have pee on the ceiling and all over the walls as he spazzzed out! LOL!

DJ Radio (author)2008-07-01

Aren't you supposed to empty the tank first before you clean?

killerjackalope (author)DJ Radio2008-07-01

This is about cleaning the bowl of the toilet, sans chemicals... Once in a while the tank should be drained to get a good cleaning, the easiest way to do that is to lift the lid of the tank, flush and prop the ballcock up with a stick, making the mechanism think the tank is full, clean, allow to refill and flush...

Or you could just turn the supply off and flush, if you have the valve, that is.

dchall8 (author)2008-05-02

Just an observation: your toilet does not seem to be holding enough water in the bowl. Your water level sits down in the trapway. The water level should be high enough to flare out into the bowl above the entry to the trapway. Are you sure it is plumbed right inside the tank? Some of the refill water should be flowing into the overflow pipe. Now...more than you wanted to know about toilets: I work from a hotel room most of the time so I've seen quite a bit of change in this arena. When the low flow requirement first came on the market the manufacturers thought they could get away with keeping the same size tanks but with interior dams and a changed flapper design. Then they made the bowls steeper with a smaller diameter trapway. That was a miserable failure requiring multiple flushes and wasting more water than it saved. Now they have worked out the design details to make low flow toilets work. The solution to the problem turned out to be in the hands of real rocket scientists. No wonder standard plumber technologists didn't get it right at first. The solution was to increase the diameter of the trapway from 2 inches to 3 and even 4 inches. They also increased the diameter of the flush valve, glazed the interior of the entire trapway, and smoothed out the kinks in the trapway flow path. I promise you would be amazed to see a Toto Drake, American Standard Cadet 3, or a Kohler Cimmaron toilet flush. No more swirling water for 15 seconds. Now it simply disappears, almost silently, in 2 seconds. Now back to the point of this Instructable. American Standard's Cadet 3 model comes with a special glaze that resists the growth of bacteria and fungi. It works very well. The more expensive Toto Drake has a similar glaze on a few of their designs - generally not the model you want. If you pursue this, American Standard makes a model called the Cadet. It is junk. The Cadet "3" is the one you want.

James32145 (author)dchall82009-01-24

"Just an observation: your toilet does not seem to be holding enough water in the bowl. Your water level sits down in the trapway. The water level should be high enough to flare out into the bowl above the entry to the trapway. Are you sure it is plumbed right inside the tank? Some of the refill water should be flowing into the overflow pipe." There is nothing wrong with the toilet pictured. It is called a washdown toilet, which is found all over the world except America. They push the waste down and out with a high flow of water, as opposed to filling the bowl and syphoning it out. This allows for the lower water level. They are also less prone to blockages and more effective at flushing and carrying waste further down the line as water is pushed down after the waste, not before it.

Mr. Rig It (author)dchall82008-05-02

Wow a toilet nerd, :)

dchall8 (author)Mr. Rig It2008-05-02

Scary, huh.

Mr. Rig It (author)dchall82008-05-02


killerjackalope (author)dchall82008-05-02

These ones are designed to sit like this apparently, since the builders of our house are here building still and there's 10 year guarantee on electricals and plumbing I had them in to fix a leak and asked about the toilet, having moved so many times I've seen many a type of toilet, I may add that it's sitting lower than usual and comes just to the top of the trapway, it does definitely use less water than our older low flow, it used a wide shallow bowl with a quite sudden drop in for the waste, worked well enough but it was a modified old toilet, the most effective toilet ever was a 'Gleniffer' we had, almost Vicotrian in design, it had a very high cistern and without being modified to have a much lower flush would blast the water down with enough force to knock alot out of the bowl, after being 'low flowed' by some little tweaks and the addition of three bricks it was far better, in part due to bowl design and original high quality enamelling... The reason the toilet pictured is so low is because it was flushed with the brush in it, to rinse it which takes some of the volume space for water away... I notice odd things too...

Lithium Rain (author)2008-06-11

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...:) One thing, if I may. Antibacterial soaps can lead to the breeding of supergerms. While I agree on using it after this particular ible, maybe you should use regular soap and water for regular hand washing. Other than that, nicely done.

Even a simple antibac like alcohol or whatever, it's just because your toilet can harbour some nasties, it's quite easy to make a mistake and get the likes of E.coli... Apparently...

Sir-Jackington (author)2008-05-29

I will be having nightmares about what is in that toilet

jack stop spamming me!


LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-05-01

well.... that was informative

Without violating any laws of nature for a change...

About This Instructable




Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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