How to clean your toilet bowl with vinegar and baking soda

One of the primary reasons why toilet bowls get dirty is hard water. Hard water contains lots of dissolved minerals, such as magnesium, copper, and calcium. When used in a toilet bowl, these minerals accumulate, leaving stains behind. The more these deposits age, the harder it is to remove them.

You can clean mineral deposits from a toilet bowl using commercial cleaners that contain acid. But if that is not available, you can clean a toilet bowl with baking soda and vinegar.

Baking soda can remove stains because it is a mildly abrasive substance. When mixed with vinegar, the two mixtures form a weak acid. Both work together to produce carbonic acid.

The resultant chemical reaction helps to enhance the cleaning effect. But to get long-lasting results, regular cleaning is necessary to remove the enzymes and residue that accumulate on the toilet bowl.

Is white vinegar good for cleaning toilets?

Vinegar contains acetic acid. Its acidity makes it a good cleaner for toilets because it counteracts the soft and sticky buildup of alkaline deposits and minerals from hard water.

It can also break up soap scum on the toilet bowl and leave it clean. But you need it at full strength to ensure better results.

Cleaning toilet bowl with vinegar and baking soda

A combination of white vinegar and baking soda will clean and disinfect your toilet bowl. Here is a step-by-step procedure of how to clean a badly stained toilet using both substances.

What you will need

  • One cup of baking soda
  • One cup of white vinegar
  • Toilet brush


baking soda toilet

  1. Pour or sprinkle the cup of baking soda all around the toilet bowl. You can use a toilet brush to spread the substance around.
  2. Allow it to settle for about two minutes.
  3. Pour the cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl. Wait for the fizzing reaction to stop by giving it about 15 minutes.
  4. Use the brush to clean the toilet bowl. Ensure to scrub all areas, including the hidden corners, so that the mixture can get onto all the visible stains. Alternatively, you can use a scrubber to reach all corners. Wear gloves when doing this step.
  5. Before you flush the toilet, allow the two substances to sit for at least 20 minutes. As you wait, ensure to clean the bowl several times until there are no visible stains. If the sticky residue remains, use a 0000-grade steel wool cleaning scrubber.
  6. The next step is to rinse the toilet by flushing it.

When you remove stubborn stains from the toilet bowl using vinegar and baking soda, you should give it time for the fizzing action to stop. The reaction helps to dissolve the residue and gunk, hence making it easier for you to brush or wipe them away.

It is also helpful to close the lid once you have poured both substances together. That will allow them to work in removing the stubborn stains and preventing oxygen from reacting with the mixture. Repeat the above procedure frequently to get better results. Not only will you have eliminated the stains, but also bathroom odors.

Using vinegar and baking soda to clean the toilet tank

You can also use vinegar and baking soda to clean the toilet tank. The toilet tank tends to get dirty because it holds water all the time.

If your area has hard water, it will stain it and make it look unsightly. Here is a procedure of how to use both substances to clean it.

  • Empty the toilet tank by flushing or closing the water valve.
  • Pour a cup of vinegar and move it around the tank using a toilet brush to cover all corners.
  • Pour a cup of baking soda into the tank and wait for a fizzing action to occur.
  • Move the solution all around the tank using a brush and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Open the valve to fill the water tank.
  • Rinse the tank by flushing the toilet.

Note that the hard water in the tank can leave behind mineral deposits that can clog the jets and inner parts within the toilet bowl.

If not cleaned thoroughly, stains will form over time. You can prevent this by pouring vinegar in the toilet overnight to soak and remove bad rings.


A mixture of baking soda and vinegar offers a better solution for cleaning a toilet bowl. The two substances work by producing a fizzing action, which dissolves mineral deposits and stains left behind by hard water and human waste. But to get better results when using them, ensure to clean regularly, at least thrice a week.

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