Home Life at HomeCleaning How To Clean A Toilet Bowl and Make It Smell Good – 13 Methods To Try

How To Clean A Toilet Bowl and Make It Smell Good – 13 Methods To Try

by Ambriel

Bigstock – New Africa


Does your toilet bowl stain easily?

Is there a waterline ring around your toilet bowl or a brown stain at the bottom of your toilet bowl that won’t go away, no matter how many times you flush?

Most of the stains that form in your toilet bowl come from hard water build-up that accumulates over time. To get rid of these stains, you’ll need a few tools and techniques to make them go away.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know to keep your toilet bowl spotless.

The longer you let a toilet bowl ring stay in the toilet bowl, the more difficult it will be to make it go away.

Keep reading for all of the tips you’ll need to keep your toilet clean and smelling good.

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for the full affiliate disclosure.

What is hard water and how does it cause stains in the toilet bowl?

The water in your toilet bowl contains minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.

Hard water is water that contains high amounts of minerals. These minerals accumulate on the surface of the toilet bowl and can appear as a brown, orange, or pink stain.

Most of the stains that form in your toilet bowl come from hard water buildup.

These stains will make your toilet bowl look dirtier than it really is, but if you notice a bad smell coming from your toilet bowl when you’re not using it, the smell could be a result of bacteria growing somewhere in your toilet.

First, let’s discuss a few ways to get rid of the stains in your toilet bowl.


Get rid of toilet bowl stains with baking soda and vinegar

Tough toilet bowl stains require a little elbow grease to remove them.

Baking soda is a powerful deodorizer and can help scour away stains.

Vinegar and its acidity can break down buildup and dissolve stains.

When you combine these 2 natural cleaning agents, you get a homemade toilet bowl cleaner that will diminish limescale, hard water buildup, or whatever you want to call it. Plus, it will deodorize your toilet bowl.


Homemade toilet bowl cleaner

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 2 cups of vinegar
  • Toilet brush

Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl. The vinegar will start breaking down the stains so let it sit for 1 minute

Pour 1 cup of baking soda in the bowl. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz up.

Use your toilet brush to swirl the cleaning solution around and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Again, swirl your toilet brush inside the bowl a few more times before flushing the toilet.


Cleaning your toilet bowl with borax and vinegar

Another way to deep clean your toilet bowl is by using borax and vinegar.

Borax removes hard water buildup and neutralizes odor.

Vinegar is acidic which breaks down grime and dirt.

Combining borax with vinegar can help improve the appearance of your toilet bowl.

Borax and vinegar toilet bowl cleaner

  • 1 cup of borax
  • 2 cups of vinegar
  • Toilet brush

Pour 1 cup of borax in and around the toilet bowl. Use a toilet brush to scrub the borax around and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.

Pour in 2 cups of vinegar and swirl the solution around with your toilet brush. Let the solution sit for another 20 to 30 minutes before flushing.


Disinfect your toilet bowl with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a household staple. It kills germs, mold, and mildew that could be hiding in your toilet bowl.

Pour ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide in your toilet bowl and swish it around with a toilet brush.

Let it sit for 20 minutes before flushing.


Remove hard water stains with WD40

Did you know that WD40 can dissolve hard water stains and waterline rings?

Just spray a little bit of WD40 on the stains and scrub them away with a toilet brush.


Break down limescale buildup with citric acid

Citric acid is found in citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. It’s a safe, natural way to break down limescale buildup that’s tacked onto the sides and bottom of your toilet bowl.

Pour ⅓ cup of citric acid over the walls of the toilet bowl.

Let the citric acid sit overnight to give it enough time to penetrate the stains.

In the morning, scrub the toilet with a brush and flush.


Cleaning your toilet bowl with bleach

If you’ve tried everything, but can’t seem to get rid of the stubborn stains in your toilet bowl, then it’s time to use bleach.

Bleach is toxic, but you can’t deny its cleaning and disinfecting abilities.

Pour ½ cup of bleach into the toilet bowl.

Scrub the bottom, sides, and under the toilet rim with a toilet brush.

Let the bleach sit for 15 minutes before flushing.

How to clean under the toilet bowl rim

Bacteria can grow in every nook and cranny of your toilet bowl.

If the bacteria growth persists for too long, it can give off a bad smell that will hit you in the face every time you lift up the toilet lid.

Most people clean the sides and bottom of their toilet bowl, but forget to clean under the toilet bowl rim where the toilet rim jets are.

This area is one of the dirtiest parts of your toilet and can harbor mold and mildew.

There are commercial toilet bowl cleaners that you can use regularly to keep this area of your toilet bowl clean.

Kaboom Bowl Blaster & Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach are just a few examples of commercial cleaners.

If you notice a dark brown ring under your toilet bowl rim, use this homemade cleaning recipe to get rid of it.

Use borax to clean under the toilet bowl rim

Mix borax and vinegar together to make a thick paste. Make sure the paste is thick enough to stick to the walls of your toilet bowl without dripping down.

Take a small paintbrush and smear the paste over the stains under your toilet bowl rim. Let the paste sit for 30 minutes.

Take your toilet brush and scrub under the toilet bowl rim to loosen up the grime. Flush once the area is clean.


Other ways to clean your toilet bowl and remove hard water deposits

Coca Cola – pour half a can of cola in your toilet bowl. The acid will dissolve away the stains. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before flushing.

Denture tablets – Drop 1 to 2 denture tablets into the toilet bowl to give it a good, quick cleaning. The denture tablets will kill germs and break up hard water stains.

Pumice stone – use a pumice stone or a magic eraser to scour away the stiff buildup.


How to keep your toilet bowl smelling good

Regularly cleaning your toilet is the first and most important step to making your toilet smell good. However, there are a few things you can do after cleaning your toilet to keep it smelling good until the next time you clean it.

Sprinkle drops of essential oils into the toilet bowl before you go #2

You can neutralize the odor of your waste by sprinkling 3 to 5 drops of your favorite essentials into the toilet bowl before you use it.

Poo-Pourri is an all-natural spray you can use or make on your own.

DIY Poo-Pourri – 30 drops of your favorite essential oils & 1 ounce of water mixed together in a spray bottle.

Use automatic toilet cleaners

Automatic toilet cleaners are cleaning tablets that clean your toilet bowl every time you flush it. All you do is clip the cleaner tablet to the rim of the toilet. The tablet will deodorize and clean your toilet bowl with every flush.

Lysol cleaner tablets last for 4 weeks and are fragranced with natural essential oils.

Create your own toilet bombs

Toilet bombs are toilet cleaning tablets that you can make in batches. The toilet bombs will fizz up when you drop them in the toilet, hence the name “toilet bombs”.

Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of citric acid. Pour in some lemon juice and mix everything together into a thick, dough-like paste. Pat the paste into small individual balls. Drop one of the bombs into your toilet and let it dissolve completely before flushing g. Store the excess toilet bombs in a small jar.


There are so many ways to keep your toilet bowl clean and smelling pleasant. If you have any tips share them in the comment section.



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