Your toilet is dirtier than you think: how to clean it thoroughly
The toilet is considered one of the dirtiest, if not the dirtiest, place in the house. It is an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses to accumulate and multiply. And even if the toilet is shiny and smells good, it doesn't mean that it's not a source of infection.
So, The Washington Post asked cleaning experts for advice on how to properly clean the toilet so that it is not only clean, but also well disinfected. And here's what they suggested.
Choose the right tools
Choosing the right toilet brush is more important than it seems at first glance. Experts say that an angled brush with stiff bristles is better for accessing the underside of the rim and the drain hole.
This brush also needs to be properly maintained. After each use, fill the holder with hot soapy water, rinse the brush in it, and then repeat the procedure with cold water, to which you add a small amount of chlorine bleach. When this washing stops making the brush clean, it is a signal that it is time to replace it.
As for the choice of gloves, the toilet should be cleaned with those that reach almost to the elbow. It is also advisable to wear a mask to protect your respiratory tract from infection. Especially if your toilet has poor ventilation or you use harsh chemicals that can burn the mucous membranes.
Give preference to disinfectant detergents
When cleaning the toilet bowl, choose a product that has a disinfectant effect on its label. It doesn't matter if it's a liquid, gel or spray. The main thing is the disinfectant effect.
There are products on the market that have additionally passed environmental certification. They are less aggressive, but they cope with their task as well as their analogues.
In the end, there is always the option of using ordinary household bleach. It will need to be diluted in the proportion of 30-35 ml per litre of water.
But the study calls into question the ability of vinegar to kill bacteria. Thus, according to NSF International, an organisation that tests products and develops health standards for them, its effectiveness is limited. However, vinegar can help to cope with limescale, so it's still worth keeping in your arsenal.
Take care of ventilation
Before you start cleaning, switch on the toilet extractor and open the door. If there is a window in the room, open it. Vapours from cleaning products need to be removed.
Start by wiping
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to properly disinfect a toilet, its surfaces must be free of visible dirt. Such dirt greatly reduces the effectiveness of disinfectants. Therefore, first mechanically clean the toilet seat, bowl and all other parts.
Flush the water out of the pipe
To ensure that the toilet drain is well cleaned, you need to drain the water from it. In some models, you can simply turn off the water supply to the cistern and flush. If this does not work, empty the bowl by pouring about 5 litres of water into it.
Some people may find this step unnecessary, but experts say that the less water in the toilet bowl, the better it cleans and the less likely you are to splash its contents. This will also allow detergents to work better, as they will not be diluted by water.
Scrub the bowl with a brush
You can then apply the cleaning agent to the toilet bowl and brush it down. Be especially thorough under the rim and in the drain. These are the places where biofilm from microorganisms, including pathogens, most often forms.
Give the product time to work
It is a common mistake to rinse off the cleaner immediately. It needs to stay on the inside of the toilet bowl for a while to work. Follow the instructions on the label. Alternatively, wait at least a minute before flushing the toilet.
Disinfect the outside of the toilet
The final step is to disinfect the outside of the toilet. The most convenient option is to use a suitable spray product. Spray it on the top and bottom of the seat, the base of the bowl, the top and bottom of the lid, the tank, the handles and the hinges that connect the lid to the bowl. Let the liquid work and wipe it off with paper towels.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told how to clean a clogged toilet with cling film.