How to Clean Under Toilet Rim

Hack for How To Clean Under Toilet Rim

Bathrooms are notorious for their high humidity levels. When they don’t get enough light and are left unclean, areas like toilet rims can act as breeding habitats for microbes.

The best hack for cleaning under the toilet rim is using vinegar and baking soda solution. Bleach or a borax and vinegar solution is also an effective toilet rim cleaner. However, the key to keeping the area under the toilet rim grime-free is to clean it regularly.

In this article, I’ll review some cleaning techniques and products you can use to clean the rim’s underside. I’ll also go through a few cleaning hacks you should remember to keep your bathrooms clean. Let’s get started!

Cleaning Under Toilet Rims: Best Methods, Tips To Make It Easier, and What To Use

You might wonder what those specks of dark dirt and stains under your toilet rim are. The first step in cleaning these hidden sections of your toilet bowl is determining what this gunk consists of.

3 Possible Types of Grime Found Under Your Toilet Rim

The grime under your toilet rim is primarily caused by its location, which makes it difficult for light to reach. Another culprit could be the toilet’s rim jets

Water jets in toilet bowls are the openings through which water is expelled when you flush the toilet. If you don’t clean your toilet regularly, grime will develop in the bowl and around the jets.

There are three types of black material that you can find under your toilet bowl rim. These include: 

  • Mold 
  • Bacteria build-up 
  • Mineral deposits

I’ll discuss these in more detail below: 


Mold consists of microorganisms that belong to the fungi family, and they can grow both in indoor and outdoor environments. These fungi, fortunately, do not cause any health conditions upon contact.

Black mold thrives in dark, warm, and wet locations, and humid conditions can increase the growth rate of mold on surfaces.

A toilet promotes mold growth. The underside of the rim faces away from most light sources and is almost always dark. Furthermore, its surface is generally moist due to the toilet rim jets.

Bacteria Build-Up

Bacteria will develop in your toilet bowl if you don’t clean it regularly. According to a study in 2001, the bacteria Salmonella enteritidis was found under the rim of most domestic toilet bowls. 

Salmonella bacteria can cause salmonella infection. The symptoms of this infection include diarrhea, fever, and stomachache. Once it attacks the immune system and stomach acid, it affects the intestines and can make it difficult for the body to absorb water.

Another moisture-loving bacteria that is commonly found under toilet rims is Serratia marcescent, which often appears as pink stains at first, and then turns black if you don’t clean it.

Mineral Deposits

Water can be either hard or soft. Soft water is treated water that includes only salt. On the other hand, hard water frequently has larger quantities of dissolved minerals like calcium, magnesium, salt, and lime. 

While hard water minerals do not harm your health, they can build up in and around the water rim jets. Over time, the mineral deposits can form dark streaks beneath the toilet rim and may even obstruct water intake.

Best Cleaning Methods for Your Toilet Rim

Now that you know what can cause the dirt and stains under your toilet rim, it’s time to look at the best ways to remove them. The cleaning method and product you use will depend on how severe the build-up is: 

Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution (Carbonic Acid)

White vinegar and baking soda are inexpensive household essentials that can be used to clean a toilet. When combined, these two products form carbonic acid, a weak acid that is great for preserving the porcelain appearance of your toilet bowl.

This type of solution should be enough to remove mild stains from your toilet bowl. Moreover, it can also dissolve mineral build-up, such as limescale. This solution can be used in a variety of ways: 

  1. Spray one cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl. After placing the vinegar into a spray bottle, ensure that it gets into every nook and cranny. Let it soak for 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. Liberally sprinkle baking soda and then spray more vinegar. This will cause a fizzy reaction, which will help the dirt to start breaking off. Give it another 15 minutes to sit on the surface.
  3. Brush the toilet bowl and rim. Use a toilet brush to remove the last of the build-up, and flush it. The toilet should now be stain-free.

Bleach or Bleach-Based Cleaning Products

Tougher stains require the use of a stronger cleaning solution. Products containing bleach can be used if you haven’t been able to remove stains with vinegar and baking soda. 

Because bleach is such a potent cleaning chemical, you should use it carefully. To clean and disinfect your toilet bowl, use the recommended mixture of 2 ½ tablespoons of common bleach (5.25 percent) per gallon (3.8 liters) of water. Alternatively, you can use any other bleach-based product.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Spray the bleach solution on and around the toilet rim. Allow the solution to work its magic by leaving it for half an hour. Then, use a brush that has been dipped in the same solution and scrub the area thoroughly. Flush the toilet.
  2. Re-spray the area and wipe it down with a sponge. This will help remove the dirt hiding in the hard-to-reach areas. Flush the toilet to remove the loose build-up. 

If your toilet rim is particularly dirty and stained, consider allowing the bleach to work its magic overnight. You can do this as follows: 

  1. Soak 5 or 5 pieces of paper napkins in bleach. 
  2. Wearing disposable gloves, place the bleach-soaked napkins around the toilet rim, ensuring they make contact with the water jets. 
  3. Secure them with duct tape to prevent them from falling into the toilet. 
  4. Do not use or flush the toilet overnight
  5. Remove the duct tape and paper napkins in the morning, and use a toilet brush to remove any loosened dirt. 

Borax and Vinegar

Another cleaning agent you might use on your toilet rim is borax. This is a white powdery substance found in cosmetics, paint, ceramic glaze, pesticides, and other household items like toothpaste and mouthwash.

However, it is most well-known for its cleaning abilities. It is also perfect for cleaning the filth on your toilet rim because it’s an effective mold and mildew treatment, as well as a water softener. 

Using vinegar with borax amplifies its cleaning properties. Follow these steps to clean your toilet rim with borax and vinegar: 

  1. Sprinkle a cup of borax evenly throughout the toilet bowl. Make sure that it covers the hard-to-reach places in the rim.
  2. Spray some vinegar on top of the borax. In doing so, a chemical reaction will occur, which will help dissolve the stains. After that, scrub the surface and wait for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse and scrub the toilet again. Repeat the same procedure to eliminate the remaining build-up.

You can also clean your toilet rim with a borax paste

  1. Prepare the paste. Mix up ½ cup of borax and ½ cup of vinegar until you have a  thick paste.
  2. Spread the paste evenly around your toilet rim. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Scrub it with a brush or sponge. Make sure that you clean the entire surface. When finished, flush the toilet to rinse it.

6 Must-Have Bathroom Cleaning Supplies for Toilet Rims

One of the dirtiest rooms in the house is the bathroom. This should not be surprising because bathrooms are where we clean and sanitize ourselves.

As a result, it’s critical to clean it frequently to prevent dirt and bacteria from accumulating. This includes the hidden parts under the toilet rim.

After reading about the most effective solutions for removing build-up around your toilet rim, you probably want to know what supplies you’ll need:

Rubber Gloves

Rubber gloves protect your hands from bacteria and shield your skin from any harsh chemicals you use. They can also prevent you from spreading bacteria to other areas of your home. 

Disposable gloves are best but aren’t the most economical option. If you want to use reusable gloves, have a pair that you use only for toilet cleaning. Vgo 3-Pairs Reusable Household Gloves (available on are a great choice because they are extra thick and have an excellent grip. 

Toilet Bowl Brushes

A high-quality toilet brush is a vital cleaning tool because it removes dirt and build-up effectively. Avoid using silicone toilet brushes as the bristles are too soft for cleaning toilets. 

However, it may not be able to remove stubborn mineral deposits, which is where a drill brush can help. You can attach these brushes to your drill and get rid of tough stains quickly and without using much elbow grease. 

OXO Good Grips Compact Toilet Brush & Canister (available on is a fantastic toilet brush choice. It has strong bristles, making it perfect for deep cleaning and accessing difficult-to-reach locations. Even better, it has a hygienic canister drip tray for drying after you’ve used it. 

Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges

Non-scratch scrub sponges help remove light stains. They are flexible and practical for tackling dirt in hard-to-reach places in your toilet. Avoid using sponges that are too abrasive, as they can leave unsightly streaks in your toilet. 

Once you have cleaned your toilet with a sponge, throw it away to prevent cross-contamination. 

Pumice Stones

If your toilet rim has a particularly severe mineral or dirt build-up, you can use a pumice stone as a last resort. Pumice stones are very abrasive, and you should use them only on the affected area and not scrub the porcelain directly. 

Soak the pumice stone in water beforehand, as this will soften it and prevent accidental scratches on the porcelain. Scrub the stain gently, and it should come off within a couple of minutes. 

Powerstone Pumice Stone Toilet Bowl Cleaner (available on is a product to consider if you need a good pumice stone. It comes with an easy-to-grip handle for use without gloves.

Paper Towels and Wipes

Your bathroom should always have easily-accessible paper towels and wipes for cleaning because mold and germs flourish in moist conditions. Paper towels and wipes can keep your bathroom dry and clean and save all the hassle of scrubbing your toilet later.

Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths can absorb water up to eight times their weight. Their microscopic split fibers can remove even the tiniest dirt particles and are gentle enough not to damage your toilet’s porcelain surface. 

They are a cost-effective option because you can reuse them. After cleaning your toilet with a microfiber cloth, wash it on a hot cycle. 

5 Hacks To Keep Your Toilet Rim Clean

Now that you know how to remove stubborn dirt from your toilet rim, here are some useful hacks for keeping it clean: 

Clean Your Toilet Once a Week

Regular bathroom cleaning helps keep dangerous organisms out of your toilet and prevents mineral deposits from accumulating and stains from building up. You should clean your toilet at least once a week using a toilet cleaner.  

If someone in your household is sick, clean the toilet every two to three days to keep any bacteria from spreading.

Use an Automatic Toilet Cleaner

Cleaning your toilet rim once a week is essential. However, consider using an automatic toilet cleaner to prevent dirt and bacteria accumulation between cleans. These devices release a tiny amount of product with each flush, helping to keep the rim clean. 

There are three kinds of automatic toilet cleaners: 

  • Hanging rim block cleaners. These cleaners consist of a plastic cage into which you place the semi-solid toilet cleaner. You hang the cage over the toilet rim, and it will release a tiny amount of product when water comes out of the jets. A downside to these devices is that the plastic cage may accumulate bacteria and dirt. 
  • In-cistern tablet cleaners. In-cistern tablets typically last for about a month before you need to replace them. They often contain bleach and other effective toilet cleaning ingredients to help keep your toilet rim sanitary.
  • Stamped gel cleaners. If you’d prefer a toilet cleaner in the bowl, you should opt for a stamped gel cleaner. These cleaners have an application tube, allowing you to place a disc of sticky cleaning gel onto your toilet bowl. 

Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Stamp from Amazon is a fantastic example of a good stamped gel cleaner. The dispenser has 24 applications, and the gel releases a fragrant smell every time you flush the toilet. 

Perform a Deep Clean Once a Month

If you want to keep the area under your toilet rim spotlessly clean, consider performing a monthly deep clean. Luckily, this is easier than it sounds, and involves dropping a toilet cleaning pod in your toilet bowl, and waiting a few hours. 

Fuller Toilet Cleaner Pods from Amazon help remove deep-seated stains and grime. After leaving it in your toilet for a few hours, loosen any remaining dirt with a toilet brush, and then flush. 

If you don’t want to use a cleaning pod for the deep clean, follow these steps for an alternative method: 

  1. Clean your toilet as you normally would and flush it. 
  2. Place some thick bleach under the toilet rim (it will gradually flow down into the toilet bowl as well). 
  3. Leave the thick bleach for a few hours or overnight. The longer you leave it, the more effective it will clean the toilet. 
  4. Give the toilet another scrub with a toilet brush, and flush it. 

Keep Your Toilet As Dry as Possible

As previously mentioned, mold, bacteria, and mildew prefer a moist environment, especially in dark places, such as your inner toilet rim. 

Keep the surfaces as dry as possible by constantly wiping wet areas to stop the growth of harmful pathogens. 

Another option is to purchase a dehumidifier. This device comes in many forms and is readily available in any store that sells home appliances and houseware. You can also purchase one online. 

Keep Your Bathroom Well-Ventilated

Keeping your bathroom properly ventilated is one of the best ways to keep the toilet dry. When your bathroom is well-ventilated, it helps dry out condensation from showering and water splashes in the toilet. 

If your bathroom has a window, consider leaving it open as much as possible for optimal air circulation. Otherwise, use an extractor fan after showering and leave the door open. 

Leaving the toilet lid open can also help keep the bowl and rim dry.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to exercise caution when keeping your bathroom clean because it can be one of the dirtiest spaces in a house. Toilet rim undersides are prone to the piling up of mineral, bacterial, and dirt deposits. Luckily, you can use various methods and products to clean this area.

Ultimately, one needs to be aware of the surroundings of their toilet. It’s simple to prevent the accumulation of toilet filth in the isolated spaces under the rims if you’re knowledgeable about appropriate toilet hygiene.

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