How to clean a dirty toilet

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How to clean a dirty toilet

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Ensure your toilet looks as good as new with our simple guide to cleaning a dirty toilet.

Tools and materials



Microfibre cleaning cloth 

Spray disinfectant

Toilet brush



As a high-bacteria area, toilets often need a more thorough clean than other areas of your home. However, this doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. The most effective way to clean your toilet is by using Borax, which is a multi-purpose cleaning product that effectively cleans hard water stains in the toilet and other plumbing fixtures. Paired with vinegar and other common cleaning products, you’ll have sparkling toilets in no time.

1. Add your cleaning product to the toilet

Pour 1/4 cup of Borax into the toilet bowl and swish it around with a toilet brush. Add one cup of vinegar and allow the mixture to sit in the bowl for about 20 minutes.


2. Clean the seat

While the cleaner is working its magic, turn your attention to the exterior and tank. Using a cloth and disinfecting spray, lift the seat and clean underneath and around it.


3. Scrub

Once 20 minutes has passed, scrub your toilet with a toilet brush, ensuring you’re getting all angles of the toilet.


4. Scrub stubborn stains

For stubborn hard water toilet stains, use a Borax paste. This requires a slightly different approach:

  • Shut off the water to the toilet at the fixture shutoff valve, then flush the toilet to drain the bowl so the stains are not covered by water.
  • Make a paste by mixing 1/2 cup of Borax and enough vinegar to form a thick paste.
  • Spread the paste immediately onto the hard water stains in the toilet so they are completely covered by the paste. The Borax will harden quickly so don’t add the vinegar until you are ready to apply the paste.
  • Allow the paste to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the paste and stains by scrubbing with a stiff-bristled nylon brush.

5. Clean your toilet brush

Now that your toilet is clean, place the toilet brush in between the seat and toilet bowl so the brush is hanging over the toilet bowl. Pour hot water over the brush to disinfect and clean.


6. Flush!

Lastly, flush to complete!

Top tips:

- Leaving the toilet bowl cleaner for longer will ensure all bacteria is removed.

- If you can, leave the toilet cleaner in the bowl overnight for a quick and easy clean in the morning.


Continue your bathroom transformation

Explore our selection of bathroom fixtures and fittings, accessories and cleaning products, all designed to help your bathroom feel brand new once again. 


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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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