Want to know how to clean the toilet bowl? What materials are required? What are the 7 components of the toilet bowl? We got you covered all here.
Latest Edit: We have added in the tools required and steps to clean too, for your learning benefit!
The toilet bowl has 7 parts that home owners and cleaners should all know! Surprised? Well, cleaning the toilet has never been easy. Let us at MEIDE break down how to clean the toilet, in our series of articles at meide.sg/blog!
Check out our list of toilet cleaning articles:
How To Clean:
- The Toilet Bowl
- The Shower Area
- Toilet Sink Area
- Toilet Windows, Ledges, Blinds
- Bathroom Floor Tiles
- Shower Glass
- Shower Curtains
- The Bathtub
- Shower Drain + Unclog It
- Bathroom Walls
- Bathroom Light Fixtures and Doors
- Bathroom Cabinets, Shelves and Fixtures
- Bathroom Mirror and Vanity Area
- Bathroom Faucets and Taps
- Sink Traps / Bottle Traps
In the cleaning of a toilet, this is possibly the “least favourite” place. This is where the most unsightly junk may be present. Therefore, it is crucial to know it inside out, literally. Here are the 7 components:
(By the way, we also added tips for each component, to let you learn how to clean the toilet bowl properly!)
1. Exterior Part of the Toilet Bowl
This is a shiny and smooth aspect of the bowl, which can be wiped clean with just a simple cloth or soft sponge. Be sure to look out for accidental urine stains (shout out to the poor aimers – work on it fellas!), and always wipe top to bottom. A pumice stone may be used to remove water rings and stains.
2. The Toilet Bowl Tank
This is an often forgotten part. Other than wiping its exterior in the same fashion, aforementioned, deep cleaning a toilet bowl involves cleansing the tank’s interior! Do so by opening up the lid, pouring in copious vinegar (white distilled vinegar) in it (we recommend about 200 to 350 ml), and leaving it to sit. Meanwhile, turn off the water supply to the tank. After approximately an hour, flush the toilet bowl/tank. Once the tank is empty, use a toilet scrub or sponge to clean the interior tank surfaces, with an appropriate cleaning detergent (read more to learn about these here). Leave it to work for about 30 minutes. Finally, turn on the water supply again, and flush the tank a handful of time to fully rinse out soap, detergent and dirt!
3. Parts of the Tank
For older versions of a toilet bowl, one might see a confusing contraption of components inside. These include the flush lever, which is connected to the flush handle on the exterior. The lever is in turn connected to the flush valve via possibly a metal chain. There may also be a flapper, seal, overflow tube, refill tube and fill valve. The fill valve ultimately links up to the water supply point. Cleaning these components require gentle care so as not to unintentionally dislodge or damage them! For more modern bowls, getting access to the tank or interior may be more difficult. These newer designs hide the intricate mechanisms for praiseworthy aesthetic purposes. If you are unsure, contact a plumber or cleaning expert!
4. The Toilet Bowl Lid
Whilst you are waiting for an hour to pass (read above regarding the water tank cleaning), wipe away at the toilet bowl lid to clean off stains and dirt! Wipe the front, back, the circular borders and edges, and also the hinge of the lid! Once you are done, lift the lid up and proceed to the seat(s).
5. The Seat (or, simply, toilet seat)
Enough said, this is the part where humans have direct contact with when handling big business. Ensure you wipe it thoroughly! Keep an eye out for mold and stains on the underneath part of the toilet seat. This is because most seats have curved edges and cushioned supports underneath it, that require a smaller brush to reach the nooks and crannies. We recommend using an old toothbrush plus a rag. Certain models allow “quick disconnect”, which would make this cleaning step much easier.
6. The Interior of the Toilet Bowl
Before we dive deep into this, do a detailed wipe of the rim of the toilet bowl. This is the part where the exterior transitions to the interior of the bowl. It is also the part lying beneath the toilet seat. Perhaps, in most households, it is the favourite spot for unwanted bodily fluids to form stains and spots. Therefore, consider using an old rag, or disposable hand towel to clean this part intensely!
To begin, many people make a common mistake of not flushing away the water first. This leaves the deeper and lower parts of the bowl uncleaned. So, for a deep cleaning, remember to turn off the water supply to the toilet bowl / flush / tank, and flush until all water is drained away.
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Subsequently, start the cleaning of the bowl interior by swishing a toilet bowl cleaning detergent over the interior surface. You could use vinegar or bleach according to personal preference. (To learn about the difference in function, read about it here). A brush specially designed for the bowl would help to properly distribute the detergent. Leave the detergent on the surface for 10 minutes. This duration could vary, depending on the detergent used, and how soiled your commode already is. In the meantime, turn the water supply back on to fill up the water tank. When the duration is up, scrub away the detergent and dirt with a brush, whilst simultaneously flushing the bowl. The flush with clean water would rinse away most dirt and germs! Repeat this step as many times as required for proper deep cleansing.
7. Accessories of the Bowl
This includes bidets, which are especially popular and commonplace in Japan, and increasingly so in South East Asia and even Western nations! Certain designs also have additional lids and seats to cater to people of different sizes (eg. children). There may be hoses and faucets attached to the toilet bowl, tank or bidet to supply water to it. Do not neglect these!
The 9 Tools To Clean Toilet Bowl
Here are the supplies and equipment required to be prepared before you begin your cleaning
Toilet Bowl Cleaning Equipment
- Cloths and Sponges (Appropriate Sizes)
- Pumice Stone
- Toilet Bowl Scrub
- Pail or Hose (for rinsing)
- Old Toothbrush
Toilet Bowl Cleaning Supplies
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Special Toilet Cleaning Detergents
- Multi Purpose Cleaner
A 12-Step Summary On How To Clean The Toilet Bowl (Deeply)
For your benefit and easy reference, here are the summary of steps for cleaning all the parts of the toilet bowl:
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Full List of Steps To Toilet Bowl Deep Cleaning
- Wipe The Exterior Clean With Simple Cloth or Sponge
Wipe top to bottom and cover all areas
- Remove Water Rings And Stains
Use a pumice stone to remove water rings and stains on the exterior part of the bowl to make it shiny!
- Turn Off The Water Supply And Empty The Tank
Of course, you have to find the knob or dial to switch off the water supply first. Turn it off, and flush the toilet until the tank is empty.
- Douse The Tank With Vinegar
Fill the empty tank now with white distilled vinegar. We recommend about 200 to 350ml, and leave it to sit for about an hour.
- Clean The Interior of The Bowl
Do not waste this hour! You can clean other parts during this time.
To clean the bowl interior: Spray or splatter bleach or vinegar over the interior surface. Use a special toilet bowl scrub to distribute it evenly. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes. Later on, when flushing the toilet bowl, your can simultaneously utilize the toilet bowl scrub to clean the interior too. Repeat as required.
- Clean The Accessories Of The Toilet Bowl
Use a wet cloth soaked in mild detergent to wipe down hoses, faucets and bidets attached to the toilet bowl or tank. Some toilet bowls now even come with control panels, which should be cleaned too!
- Clean The Toilet Bowl Lid
Whilst waiting for the hour to pass in step 4, use a wet rag soaked with cleaning detergent to wipe down entire bowl lid.
- Clean The Toilet Seat
Disconnect the seat if allowable. This makes it easier to wipe down the entire seat. Bonus tip: you can use a small scrub, old toothbrush or rag to clean the underneath and sides of the seat!
- Empty Toilet Bowl Tank and Rinse
An hour has probably passed by now. Hence, flush the tank empty again. You can use a water hose or pail of water.
- Scrub Interior Tank Thoroughly
Now, use a scrub or sponge to clean the interior tank surfaces and components. For added effect, apply an appropriate cleaning detergent to the scrub or sponge first. If in doubt, use a multi-purpose cleaner.
- Leave It First, Then Rinse Again
Leave the parts and detergent for about 30 minutes, then turn the water supply back on. Finally, flush the tank a few times to fully rinse out all soap and dirt. Remember step 5? Flush again and scrub the interior clean.
- Final Wipe Down
Replace the toilet seat if you disconnected it previously. Cover the tank back. Re-install all parts or accessories you had removed. Use a wet sponge or alcohol wipe to do a final wipe down of the entire toilet bowl externally, and you are done!
Done With Cleaning The Toilet Bowl
Now that you are well-versed with the toilet bowl, let’s move on to the next area of the bathroom cleaning!
Read on for our next article on bathroom cleaning (how to clean the shower area)!