How to Use Toilet Cleaner
It’s not the most glamorous job, but cleaning the toilet is an essential job in hotel housekeeping.
Limescale, stains and odours are the banes of any restroom. Particularly in public toilets, the buildup of grime and dirt can lead to stains forming and lingering foul smells. A dirty toilet can ruin your guest’s experience at your establishment, which is why it’s so important that your toilets are cleaned regularly.
This unappealing task is easier with a good toilet cleaner that cuts through the grime and leaves the bowl sparkling. But are you using your toilet cleaner to its fullest potential?
This guide goes over how you can safely and effectively use toilet cleaner to get that perfect finish every time.
What makes a good toilet cleaner?
Toilet cleaner is a powerful cleaning agent that removes the dirt and grime common in toilets and kills any bacteria. They are typically found in liquid, tablet or powder form - liquid is the most popular and effective for cleaning in the hospitality industry, but all have their uses.
The best toilet cleaners are:
Fast-acting - Toilet cleaner doesn’t work instantly. You need to let it sit for a few minutes so the cleaning agents can start ‘cleaning’. However, if you’ve got multiple toilets around a hotel or restaurant to clean, then a cleaner that needs to be left for half an hour isn’t the optimal choice.
Strong - Toilet stains need special attention - discolouration of the bowl can leave toilets looking dirty even after they’ve been thoroughly cleaned. A strong toilet cleaner containing bleach or a bleach alternative is the best choice for tough jobs.
Easy to apply - Hospitality cleaners have to complete a lot of jobs in a day, and are often under tight time constraints. A good toilet cleaner makes their job easier with a smooth application and is easily rinsed off.
Safe - Public toilets need daily cleaning. It’s therefore essential that the toilet cleaner your staff use doesn’t harm them. Products containing bleach are undoubtedly effective, but toilet cleaners with a bleach alternative are becoming more popular as they are safer for cleaning staff and kinder to the environment. If you’re using toilet floor cleaner then ensure that you’ve clearly marked the wet area to avoid slips.
How to effectively use your toilet cleaner
The best advice is to follow the instructions on the label of your chosen toilet cleaner. While they all do largely the same job, specific brands may have different methods of application, some may need to be mixed with water, and some may need to be left to soak for longer than others.
Some good general advice is to pay extra attention to the rim of the toilet bowl. Even if the toilet looks clean, grime and bacteria can build up in hard-to-reach or hidden areas, particularly under the rim. When applying the cleaner to the bowl, start at the rim and let gravity draw the cleaning liquid toward the toilet water.
Toilet cleaner is also most effective when used with a brush. While the cleaning agents do a good job of softening tough limescale, dislodging dirt and lifting stains, some elbow grease is needed to really make your toilets shine.
A hardy brush with stiff bristles does an excellent job of finishing what your toilet cleaner starts, removing tough stains and dirt, and buffing the inside of the bowl to a sparkle.
Top tips for getting the best out of your toilet cleaner
Start at the rim
Toilet bowls have steep sides, which makes it tricky to get an even clean.
The best way to cover the whole bowl is to squirt the cleaner into the rim at the top. Gravity draws the liquid down the bowl, covering the whole surface in an even coat of cleaning solution.
Underneath the rim is also notorious for hiding dirt, and is a prime area for bacteria to thrive. By starting in this area, you ensure it gets properly cleaned.
Cover the whole bowl
The toilet is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. You must take extra care when applying the toilet cleaner to cover every part of the bowl.
This is one reason why thicker toilet cleaners are better - you can more easily control the amount of liquid applied.
Try and get a coloured toilet cleaner. The colour doesn’t add anything to its actual cleaning ability, but a bright blue (or other colour) liquid makes it easy to spot areas you’ve missed, ensuring that you can effectively clean the whole bowl.
Treat the toilet seat separately
Ensure you clean your toilet seat with different materials to the toilet bowl. This prevents cross-contamination.
Let the cleaner work its magic
Toilet cleaner needs time to remove limescale, grime and bacteria effectively.
Even fast-acting toilet cleaners need a bit of time to really make your toilet shine. Follow the directions on the bottle, but generally, around 5 minutes is the optimal time - long enough for the agents to work but not so long that you’re left standing around and waiting.
By leaving the cleaner for a short time, the cleaning agents can soften up and dislodge the grime and stains that dirty a toilet, making your job all the easier.
Rinse the bowl properly
Have you ever noticed coloured streaks in a toilet? That can be caused by toilet cleaner that hasn’t been properly washed off.
Part of disinfecting and cleaning the toilet is washing the cleaner off. This ensures that all the grime and bacteria are properly dealt with. Rinsing the bowl thoroughly gives the toilet that gleaming finish that signals a cleaning job well done.
Most importantly, toilet cleaners containing bleach may react with chemicals found in other cleaning products. To avoid any unwanted chemical reactions, make sure that any bleached surface has been thoroughly rinsed before cleaning continues.
Wear appropriate protection
Toilet cleaners can contain strong chemicals that, while great at dislodging dirt and destroying bacteria, aren’t that friendly to humans.
The chemicals found in toilet cleaner are usually only dangerous if some simple precautions aren’t taken.
For instance, bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is made by mixing a sodium hydroxide solution with chlorine. The properties that make bleach excellent at disinfecting and cleaning toilets can be harmful to your cleaners. It’s an irritant, and can also react with other cleaning chemicals to create deadly mixtures like chlorine gas.
As such, you should wear gloves when using any toilet cleaner containing bleach. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, until you’ve washed your hands.
In addition, these toilet cleaners shouldn’t be used around other cleaning agents. Reiterating the above point, make sure that any surface that has been cleaned with bleach is thoroughly rinsed before cleaning continues.