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Vinegar in a toilet? Why vinegar for toilet cleaning works

Cleaning toilets is probably not your favorite household task. Luckily, it can be done in a matter of minutes with a common product: Vinegar!

Vinegar is a great product to use for cleaning toilets because its acidity kills bacteria and loosens debris. It is also a great deodorizer. For an extra boost, you can add some baking soda as well.

Keep reading to know everything about cleaning toilets with baking soda. Plus, what to avoid!

What happens when you put vinegar in your toilet?

When you put vinegar in your toilet, and let it sit for a while, the vinegar will slowly start to break down debris due to the acidity. Vinegar is not only useful for cleaning but also for deodorizing.

First, the vinegar starts to break down and dissolve mineral deposits and stains in the bowl. This makes it a handy tool for tackling hard water stains, limescale, and other build-ups.

Second, the acidity in the vinegar works as a natural disinfectant. It can help kill some bacteria and germs. Third, vinegar is an excellent deodorizer. It neutralizes odors, leaving your toilet smelling fresh and clean.

toilet vinegar

In general, pouring vinegar into the toilet bowl and letting it sit for a brief period, usually 10-15 minutes, is a common practice for routine cleaning. During this time, the vinegar works its magic on stains and odors. You can also use a toilet brush to scrub away any remaining residue.

But, since toilets have sensitive parts, like rubber components, it’s a good idea to use vinegar in moderation. So, use it with care, and avoid overusing it.

But luckily these components are located in your toilet tank. And it’s only recommended to clean your toilet tank twice a year.

Will vinegar damage my toilet bowl?

The acidity of vinegar is strong enough to kill certain gems and loosen gunk but weak enough to not damage the coating of your toilet. Pretty much all toilets can withstand occasional vinegar cleaning without harm. The key is to mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water.

This way using vinegar for routine cleaning or occasional stain removal is unlikely to cause any issues.

What kind of vinegar do you use to clean your toilet?

According to the NSF (Public Health and Safety Organization), you should only use cleaning- or white vinegar to clean. White vinegar, which is commonly sold as distilled (white) vinegar, has an acidity level of around 5 percent. Although this acidity level is great for removing grime and gunk, it is not high enough to kill all germs.

Here are a few benefits of using white vinegar to clean your toilet:

  1. Acidity
    • Distilled white vinegar is acidic, with a pH level that makes it an excellent choice for cutting through grease, grime, and mineral deposits.
  2. Disinfectant
    • Its acidity also gives it disinfecting properties, which can help kill some bacteria and germs on surfaces.
  3. Deodorizer
    • It effectively neutralizes odors, leaving behind a fresh and clean scent.
  4. Stain Remover
    • It’s great for tackling tough stains, whether on clothing, carpets, or hard surfaces like countertops.
  5. Eco-Friendly
    • Unlike many commercial cleaning products, white vinegar is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. It’s safe for you and the planet.
  6. Versatility
    • It can be used for a wide range of cleaning tasks, from windows and mirrors to kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures.
  7. Budget-Friendly
    • It’s an economical cleaning option, making it a cost-effective choice for those looking to save on cleaning supplies.

How long can you leave vinegar in the toilet bowl?

You can leave vinegar in your toilet bowl to set overnight. Since the acidity level of vinegar is around 5 percent, it is recommended to dilute the vinegar 1:1 with water. This is enough to loosen all kinds of gunk and eliminate odor.

If you’re dealing with more stubborn stains or mineral deposits, you can leave the vinegar for a longer period. Overnight soaking is a common practice in such cases. This prolonged contact allows the vinegar to break down the build-up, making it easier to scrub away.

If you want to boost your vinegar game, you can add some baking soda.

Is it safe to put vinegar and baking soda in the toilet?

It is safe to put both vinegar and baking soda in the toilet. When you combine vinegar and baking soda in the toilet, you get a fizzy reaction that can be helpful for cleaning. Baking soda is a base, and vinegar is an acid, so when they mix, they create a chemical reaction that makes the water fizz.

This fizzing action can help break down and loosen stains, mineral deposits, and residue in the toilet bowl. It’s a natural and non-toxic way to give your toilet a thorough cleaning. It’s often used as a DIY cleaner to tackle tough stains and odors.

However, the combination of vinegar and baking soda isn’t a powerful disinfectant. It’s better for removing physical stains and build-up rather than killing bacteria and germs.

3 other ways to use white vinegar for cleaning:

  • Use vinegar to get brown stains off the bottom of your toilet
  • Use vinegar to unclog your toilet
  • Clean the parts inside your toilet tank with vinegar (and baking soda)

how do I get brown stains off the bottom of my toilet?

To get brown stains off the bottom of your toilet you should use a combination of vinegar and baking soda. This combination makes it easy to loosen the mineral deposits that cause the brown stains.

It’s a very common practice to use both these products to get rid of brown stains. You might want to use a pumice stone as well.

Shop Cleaning vinegar

Here are two popular vinegars used for cleaning:


Disclaimer: TheToiletSpecialist.com is not responsible for any damage caused to your toilet and surroundings by (wrongly) interpreting information found on this site. Please seek custom advice from a professional to evaluate your current situation.

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