Safe & Effective
Toilet Cleaning

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Many toilet bowl cleaners contain acids and other chemicals that are harmful. Use the mildest product you can find, and always wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself.

Most non-acid toilet cleaners are relatively safe to use, and have only a small impact on the environment. Disinfectants require a bit more care, but are still fairly safe. Acid cleaners are the most dangerous of all.


Use a mild cleaner for daily toilet polishing.

Unless the toilets are already in good shape, clean them first and then use a separate disinfectant.

Use acid cleaners only when you have really stubborn stains to remove.

Acid cleaners are very dangerous - always protect yourself by wearing gloves and goggles.

Regular Toilet Cleaning - Use a strong non-acid cleaning product for your daily toilet maintenance. Also use a disinfectant product that contains Alkyl Ammonium Chloride to kill germs. Some suppliers combine the cleaner and disinfectant into one product. You can use a combined cleaner-disinfectant only if the toilet fixtures are not too dirty to start with.

Otherwise you should clean the toilets first, and then use a separate disinfectant. Leave the disinfectant in place for 10 minutes to get good results.

Stain Removal - Sometimes lime stains, rust, or other stubborn dposits will form in the toilet bowl. Your regular daily cleaner might not remove these materials.

You have two choices: use a powdered cleaner and scrub pad to scour the bowl, or use an acid cleaner.

Acids can cause harm very quickly, so always protect yourself with gloves and goggles. Pour the acid cleaner from low down so it won't splash. Use your scrub brush carefully to avoid splash as well.

Flush the toilet twice to remove excess cleaner when you are done.

Acids corrode metal. Use acid cleaners only on porcelain toilet bowls.

Don't mix acids with bleach. This creates chlorine gas that can kill you.

Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project - Sponsored by US EPA, State of California, Santa Clara County, the City of Richmond, and local government agencies. Written by Thomas Barron, Carol Berg, and Linda Bookman. 6/99.