Hold onto your toilet brushes because we’ve got some shocking news—the average person spends about 240 days of their life on the throne!

That’s a lot of time spent near your toilet bowl. And that’s why it’s so important to keep it clean and well-maintained.

But beware. There are many popular toilet cleaning hacks floating around the internet that are actually ineffective or even harmful, from using Coca-Cola to remove stains (yikes!) to relying on a single product to do all the work (lazy much?).

Below, we expose some of the most prevalent toilet cleaning tips that simply don’t work.

Using Coke for Cleaning Toilets

Coca-Cola is not an effective toilet cleaner for several reasons.

First and foremost, Coke is a sugary beverage, and the sugar attracts dirt and grime rather than cleaning it. Additionally, Coca-Cola does not contain harsh chemicals or abrasive ingredients for breaking down grime.

Coke is indeed mildly acidic. One of the ingredients in Coca-Cola is phosphoric acid, which gives the beverage a tangy flavor. The acidity of Coca-Cola is due to the presence of this ingredient, which has a pH of around 2.8. This makes it more acidic than orange juice (a pH of approximately 3.5) but less acidic than lemon juice (a pH of about 2).

Most importantly, this acid isn’t strong enough cleaner to effectively remove tough stains or build-up.

There are more effective products on the market specifically designed to clean and deodorize toilets. Shop instead for specialized toilet bowl cleaners or bleach.

Making an All-Purpose Cleaner From Vinegar and Baking Soda

Baking soda and vinegar are far from the most effective cleaners for a toilet. In fact, using these pantry staples to clean a toilet can actually cause more harm than good.

The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar creates a fizzing action that’s difficult to rinse off. It leaves a film on the surface of the toilet bowl that attracts dirt and grime. This makes the toilet much more challenging to clean in the future.

Baking soda is also mildly abrasive. If you use it too aggressively, you can permanently scratch the surface of the toilet bowl. These scratches make an attractive home for dirt and bacteria.

Baking soda and vinegar can effectively remove soft dirt and stains when used together. Note that we said “mild.” Neither product, on its own or together, helps with challenging issues like rust or hard water deposits.

Dropping a Magic Eraser Into the Toilet Bowl

Despite what your favorite TikTok version of Martha Stewart says, leaving a bunch of Magic Erasers in your toilet bowl overnight isn’t a magic potion for cleaning.

Magic Erasers are made of synthetic sponge coated with a mild abrasive cleaner. They’re undeniably helpful for removing scuff marks from a wall. However, the cleaner they contain isn’t strong enough to remove tougher stains or hard mineral deposits from the inside of a toilet.

A Magic Eraser inside the toilet tank or bowl may also scratch the porcelain surface. Like the scratches caused by baking soda, they can accumulate dirt and bacteria, making it harder to keep the toilet clean.

Remember, following the instructions on any product you use is essential. It probably isn’t suitable if it doesn’t say it’s used for toilets.

Creating Your Own Cocktail of Cleaners

This is one of those cleaning hacks that seems genius but can actually be truly dangerous.

First, using multiple cleaners simultaneously may create a chemical reaction that produces toxic fumes. These fumes might be harmful if inhaled, leading to respiratory problems or other health issues.

Second, using multiple cleaners can create too many suds. While this might sound great for cleaning, it actually makes it difficult to rinse the toilet bowl thoroughly. You’ll leave a film on the surface of the toilet bowl that attracts rather than repels dirt and grime.

Finally, using multiple cleaners is unnecessary and wasteful. An individual bottle of toilet cleaner is specially formulated to remove dirt and stains on, well, toilets. Using a rainbow of cleaners doesn’t provide any additional benefit.

You’re just wasting your money with this one.

Using Only Hot Water to Kill Germs

While hot water helps loosen and dissolve dirt and grime, it won’t kill germs on its own. Most germs and bacteria resist high temperatures and can survive in hot water.

Many types of bacteria can survive temperatures as high as 122°F (50°C) or even higher. What’s more, when exposed to high temperatures, some bacteria may enter a dormant state—reviving later when their environment becomes hospitable again.

To effectively kill germs and bacteria in a toilet, you must use a disinfectant or a cleaner specifically formulated for that purpose. These products contain chemicals that kill germs on contact.

Putting a Bottle of Cleaner Into the Cistern

This last hack seems so smart.

The gist is that you punch a hole in the bottom of a bottle of all-purpose cleaner. Then, you pop that bottle into the cistern of your toilet. Each time you flush, a little bit of cleaner is pulled out of the bottle, essentially cleaning the toilet “as you go.”

But we have issues with this one, too.

First, all-purpose cleaners are not formulated to clean toilets. They’re not great at removing the tough stains and harmful germs commonly found in your bathroom.

Second, doing this could damage the parts inside the cistern. The bottle bobbing about could knock fixtures loose or block the water flow. In addition, the chemicals in the cleaner could cause corrosion.

Toilet Cleaning Hacks You Can Trash

Well, it looks like the toilet’s been well and truly flushed—those toilet cleaning hacks you’ve been relying on might not be as effective as you once thought.

But fear not! Say goodbye to using a single product to do all the work and hello to using products specifically formulated for toilet cleaning, like toilet bowl cleaners and bleach. Follow the instructions and use them in a well-ventilated area, and your toilet will be good as new in no time.

Hate cleaning? Struggle to find the time for housework?

Request a quote from Golden Maid today. We’re Milwaukee’s most reliable cleaning service!