How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet

The typical person uses a toilet anywhere from 3 times a week to about 3 times a day. A toilet will always need to be cleaned eventually. In this article, I will cover how often you should clean your toilet.

As a general rule, you should clean your toilet once a week. A survey of 412 people found that the vast majority of people clean their toilet once a week. The remaining one-third of people said they clean their toilet once every 2 weeks to a month.

In regions that have hard water, hard water deposits can also form. These are best kept on top of, as the more they accumulate the harder they are to remove. Below, I will present data about how often most people clean their toilet, as well as, the best practice to keep your toilet looking and smelling normal.

How Often Do Most People Clean Their Toilet

How often you clean your toilet is somewhat of a personal choice. A toilet CAN be perfectly fine if it hasn’t been cleaned for a month or more. I did a poll of people to see how often they clean their toilet. 

The question was asked: how often do you clean your toilet? I gave them 3 options. In total 412 people responded. Here’s a table that shows the results:

How often do you clean your toiletPercentage of responses
Once a week69.7%
Once every 2 weeks20.2%
Once a month10.2%

As you can see from the table, the vast majority of people clean their toilet once a week. Whereas, about 1 in 3 people clean their toilet every two weeks, to a month. 

When to clean your toilet sooner rather than later

There are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to clean a toilet a bit sooner. Or, why it can be left without any issues. Small children and males tend to create urine residue which is unavoidable with normal use. 

Over time, these small droplets of urine or urine residue from wiping up an accident can develop an odor. Or, they can get into the areas behind the seat and in the space in between the water tank, and the base of the toilet – if you’re toilet has one. 

When not cleaned for some time these typically develop quite an odor. When urine gets on the floor such as tile, or hardwood floors, it will get wiped up at some stage. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. 

But, even after it has been wiped up there can be minor amounts that soak into tiles or hardwood floor. And over time, these can create a urine smell around the toilet. It’s common for this smell not to go away even if you clean it with disinfectant. The best way to remove the urine odor is to use an enzyme cleaner.  

Provided, there are no foul smells, and the toilet doesn’t look visibly dirty there’s no problem cleaning it once a month or less. Here’s a really good video that shows a really fast and thorough way to clean a toilet:

Hard water deposits and mold – clean them sooner

In certain regions the water is hard. They can create either an orange or gray residue on the inside of the toilet bowl. These are difficult to remove, and the longer they are left the harder they are to remove. 

The reason is, that the method to remove them is to use a weak acid like vinegar and let it soak in the area to break it down. But, if the hard water deposit is thicker, you need to apply vinegar a few times to completely remove it. I explained in detail step by step how to remove hard water stains from a toilet, in this article about how to prevent hard water stains in a toilet.

Mold is also reasonably difficult to remove. It can develop in the interior of the bowl. In the space where the water flows into the bowl and out the holes and into the toilet. It can go unnoticed until it can be seen under the rim where the water comes out.

Whether You’re Supposed To Clean the Toilet Tank

The toilet tank only receives clean water from the water supply lines. Generally, the water will sit in the tank for quite some time. But, are you supposed to clean the toilet water tank?

As a general rule, you don’t need to clean the water tank on a toilet. But, in regions with hard water deposits, the water tank can need to be cleaned. Mold can also develop which can spread and begin growing in the rim if not killed with bleach.

Because the water tank is not visible, a build-up of hard water deposits or mold can go unnoticed for quite some time. This can make it a bit of a mission to clean. A good idea is to take a look inside and see if it needs cleaning when you clean your toilet.

What the Black Stuff Is Under the Toilet Rim

A black residue can commonly form on the underside of a toilet rim. Here’s what it is, how it forms, and how to remove it.

Dirty limescale below toilet rim

In general, it’s either hard water deposits or black mold. It’s more likely to be black mold. Hard water deposits are typically grayer in color, and won’t be isolated to just under the rim. Black mold is reasonably difficult to remove, wet and dry sandpaper works the best to remove it.

Bleach is the best thing to use to kill black mold. You can empty the water tank and then keep the water tank from refilling with water. Then pour bleach into the water tank and flush the toilet. 

I explained in a lot of detail exactly how to remove black mold in a toilet, the conditions that cause it to form, and how to keep it from coming back in this article about black mold in toilets.

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