How to Properly Use a Toilet Brush

By Big Ted, 20 Nov 2023

Although it might seem obvious to most, not a lot of people know how to use a toilet brush the right way.

Most toilet brushes have the classic bludgeon-like profile with hard bristles sticking out on one end and a long handle on the other end. Some toilet brushes get stored away in a holder while others are hidden away in tubes.

You want to use the toilet brush to clean the upper area of the toilet just around the bowl. It might also work for cleaning a bit into the toilet’s U-bend trapway. But NEVER use it to clean the toilet seat!

When to use a toilet brush? you ask. A toilet brush comes in handy during routine bathroom clean-ups. It can also be very useful after you’ve done your number two and the normal flush doesn’t get rid of skid marks or debris on the bowl. 

Getting Started

First things first, you want to have your cleaning tools nearby including some protective rubber gloves, disinfectant toilet cleaner, a toilet brush, a bucket, and some disinfectant wipes. For the toilet cleaner, you can use store-bought options or formulate a natural homemade cleaning solution with white vinegar, baking soda, or other natural ingredients.

Flush the toilet once more to remove any loose gunk. Then you want to force the excess water in the toilet bowl down through the trapway.

With less water in the bowl, your toilet bowl cleaner won’t be diluted too much and thus will be more effective. Additionally, you expose more of the toilet bowl surface for a better cleaning experience.

You can either scoop out the water with a plastic cup, siphon it out using a tube and bucket, or vacuum it out with a wet/dry shop vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, rapidly dumping a bucketful of water is just as effective.

Or even simpler, you can push the water through the drain shoot with a toilet plunger. Just a few up-and-down pumps and you should be good to go.

Next, pour the toilet bowl cleaner into the bowl making sure to cover the walls and under the rim. Wait a while for the cleaner to do its job then grab your toilet brush for a thorough scrub down.

Cleaning the Toilet Bowl

Using the toilet brush, firmly scrub the underside of the rim, where the rim jets are located, to get rid of any grime build-up. Keep the brush inside the bowl while you brush around the bowl to avoid any splatters.

Brush around the edges of the toilet bowl and down towards the trapway.

Make sure to thoroughly scrub any stained spots or use a dedicated pumice stone to remove the stubborn stains. When brushing the opening of the trapway, twist the brush a bit to loosen any mineral deposits, gunk, or deeply-set stains.

When you’re done cleaning the toilet then it is time to rinse the toilet bowl. One or two flushes should do the trick but don’t forget to rinse the toilet brush.

How to Rinse and Dry the Toilet Brush

While you flush the toilet, rinse the toilet brush by holding it under the falling water. Rotate the brush head in the water to clean it. Spray the brush with a disinfectant and set it under the seat. It should be placed in such a way that the brush head is dangling over the bowl and the brush handle is held under the toilet seat lid.

Leave the toilet brush to drip dry. If there is still some debris in the bristles, repeat the process. For routine cleaning, you can then wipe down the exterior of the toilet with disinfectant wipes at this stage.

Store the toilet brush in its holder or tube after it is sufficiently dried. Put it back with the rest of your cleaning supplies in a storage closet, bathroom, or in another suitable place. Remember to keep the supplies out of reach from children and pets.

Keeping the Toilet Brush Clean

If you are just clearing some skid marks off the toilet bowl then a few rinses should be enough to clean the brush. Otherwise, it is good practice to occasionally disinfect the toilet brush during your routine clean-ups. You may clean and disinfect it once a month or as needed.

You want to soak the toilet brush in a bucket filled with hot water and bleach for at least an hour. Wait it out a little longer for a more effective cleaning then rinse the brush under hot water. Let the brush air dry in a suitable spot then replace it in its holder or tube.


While there have not been many improvements in this classic cleaning tool, you can’t dismiss its effectiveness. Learning how to use a toilet brush the right way will guarantee you a neat and clean toilet each time – and your guests will thank you for that.

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