7 Brilliant Toilet Cleaning Hacks That Don't Require a Brush

What will you do with all the time you don't spend scrubbing your toilet?

Published March 29, 2023


No one loves cleaning toilets (no one we've met anyway), but there are some surprising products and tips that can make it easier and a lot less nasty. We don't promise these toilet cleaning hacks will make you into bathroom cleaning royalty, but they will make your throne a lot more sparkly.

Try an Automatic Toilet Cleaner System


Although plumbers tend to discourage the use of those disk things you can drop in the tank, there are other ways to keep your toilet clean without getting your hands dirty. One option is a toilet cleaner system, such as the FluidMaster Flush N' Sparkle, which used cartridges to dispense the cleaner right beneath the rim (saving damage to your toilet's parts). They sell for about $25.

Quick Tip

If you have a septic tank, make sure you choose a septic-safe product that won't harm the helpful bacteria in the system.

Behold: The Self-Cleaning Toilet


Okay, so it's not exactly a hack per se, but a self-cleaning toilet is a pretty miraculous thing. These toilets, which are made by all the big companies like Kohler or American Standard, use a special chemical pack that cleans the toilet when you flush. You might still need to get in there with the brush sometimes, but it will be way less common than with a regular toilet. They cost a bit more than a standard toilet, starting at around $900.

Grab That Vinegar and Baking Soda


There's a reason vinegar and baking soda are the reigning champions of natural household cleaning: they really do work. You can use vinegar on the inside of your toilet tank if it's getting a little gnarly, but the real power is inside the bowl.

Dump in a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar and swish it around with the brush. Add two more cups of vinegar and go watch an episode of your favorite show. You might need to do a little scrubbing when you get back, but it will be way less than you'd expect.

Try Undiluted Bleach for Stains


If you have some nasty toilet stains from hard water, this is where undiluted bleach comes in handy. You'll need rubber gloves for this, but you shouldn't need to spend much time scrubbing.

Wearing the gloves, just pour some bleach on the stains and in the water, close the lid, and turn on the bathroom fan. Leave it for 20-30 minutes (again, there's probably an episode of Ted Lasso you can watch while you wait). Come back and flush. The stains should be gone.

Need to Know

We probably don't need to tell you this, but bleach is dangerous. Don't use it when kids are around, and always get some ventilation going with a fan or open window.

Pour in a Can of Coke (We're Not Even Kidding)


You'll need two cans of Coke for this toilet cleaning hack - one for you and one for the toilet. Turns out, Coco Cola has carbonic acid, which can help dissolve calcium buildup and rust stains. This isn't going to replace your normal cleaning or be a miracle worker, but it's a refreshing way to get at those tough stains.

Pour one can of Coke around the inside of the toilet bowl, just under the rim, and let it run down into the water. Then take the second can of Coke and go do something else for an hour (we won't tell if you add rum, though it probably wouldn't do anything for the toilet). Come back and flush to see the stain is reduced.

Quick Tip

You can also use a pumice stone soaked in hot water for a hands-on approach to scrubbing off mineral buildup and stains, but if you ask us, we'd rather try the Coke and give ourselves a pedicure with the pumice stone instead.

Drop in an Alka Seltzer


Sure, Alka Seltzer can come in handy after a rough night or a few too many trips to the buffet, but it's also super useful for cleaning your toilet. This hack is about as easy as it gets, too. Plunk two tablets right into the water and go do something else for about 15 minutes (maybe a chapter of your book?). Then come back and flush for a nice clean toilet.

Make Bath Bombs for Your Toilet


Ever made a DIY bath bomb? They're actually super easy, and believe it or not, you can make mini toilet bombs to clean your toilet. You'll need silicone molds from the craft store (doesn't matter if you choose a fun shape, but it can be cute).

Just mix 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup citric acid, and two teaspoons of Dawn to create a paste. Push the paste into the molds and let it dry. When you're ready to clean, drop one in the toilet and leave it for 20 minutes before flushing.

Use Toilet Cleaning Hacks to Save Hands-On Work


Keeping your toilet clean doesn't always have to mean a ton of hands-on time or work. Try these different toilet cleaning hacks to cut down on your cleaning time and give yourself a bit more free time to do something (basically anything) else.

7 Brilliant Toilet Cleaning Hacks That Don't Require a Brush