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How to Clean a Toilet Brush and Holder

brown toilet brush lying on the toilet brush holder

In our earnest efforts to clean around the house, we often forget just how important it is to keep our cleaning tools, well, clean. This lack of awareness or blatant neglect leads to consequences that are not pleasant to face! When you set out to clean your home with dirty cleaning aids, you only set yourself up to fail because you end up transferring more dirt and bacteria to surfaces as opposed to cleaning and sanitising them! 

Among the many cleaning aids we use in our homes on a regular basis, one of the most overlooked tools is the toilet brush, as well as the holder. The biggest misconception here is that, because of its purpose (which is to clean a toilet), the toilet brush needn’t be clean or sterile, ever! Thanks to this false belief, homeowners rarely consider the sanitary condition of the tool, and even when they do, most people don’t know how to clean a toilet brush.

The truth is that toilet brushes and their holders are home to a variety of harmful bacteria and therefore, must be kept clean and sanitary at all times. 

What You Should Know Before Buying Toilet Brushes and Holders

brown toilet brush and holder next to a roll of toilet paper

It’s clear that toilet brushes and their holders are a staple part of every household’s cleaning kit; they are used quite regularly (or at least they should be) which is why it is important to purchase one that is long-lasting and efficient. 

Here are a few points to remember when buying a toilet brush:

Size

Choose brushes that are appropriately sized for your toilet bowl. One that is too small or too large will not clean effectively because the bristles are either too long or too short to scrub the interior thoroughly. Also, if you have kids, you might want to get a suitably sized brush to clean the little potty.

Features

 Your toilet brush should have firm bristles with a high count to ensure that you don’t miss a spot, and you are able to clean more quickly and efficiently. A long handle is also important to keep your hand/arm from touching the toilet bowl.

Good quality

If you don’t want to buy toilet brushes every month, steer clear of those made from cheap, flimsy materials, and invest in a good quality brush and holder instead.

Design

Toilet brushes should be practical in design so that they clean the bowl and inner rim effectively. The shape of the brush has a lot to do with this because not all brushes can be angled in ways to clean the unique curves of a toilet bowl, particularly the surface where the water sits. For the holder, it should not be too light as it may fall over easily; the bottom should have an anti-slip grip, and it should secure the brush in an upright, covered position.

How to Clean Your Toilet Brush

brown toilet brush and holder next to green liquid detergent

The materials needed to clean a toilet brush are quite simple really; you will need a spray bottle, and either hydrogen peroxide or common household bleach.

There are two parts to cleaning a toilet brush; one is ridding the brush of dirt and grime, and the other is sanitising to rid it of germs. Both are absolutely necessary and must be done in that respective order.

After-Use Cleaning Method

The simplest method of cleaning is rinsing the toilet brush right after using it, and then spraying the bristles with a disinfectant. Leave the brush aside for about ten minutes before rinsing thoroughly under hot water. It’s always best to clean the brush right away (after every use) if time permits. This eliminates the chance of grime buildup while ensuring that the tool is clean and sterile for the next time.

Routine Cleaning

If it’s been awhile since you last cleaned the toilet brush, or it is beginning to emit a foul smell, use the steps below to get rid of the bad odour, and restore it to a sanitary condition: 

  1. Pour a few capfuls of bleach into the clean toilet water, and immerse the brush for approximately an hour or so. 
  2. Next, flush the toilet while holding the brush under the stream to rinse the bleach off the bristles. 
  3. Allow the brush to drip-dry into the bowl by placing it under the toilet seat in a way that it is held in place. Alternatively, if it’s bright outside, you can leave the toilet brush to dry in indirect sunlight. 

Deep Cleaning

In a similar way, you can deep clean your toilet brush by filling a bucket with hot soapy water, and another with boiling water and 4-5 caps of household bleach added to it. Dunk the brush in the soapy water solution first, and leave it for a few minutes to dislodge dirt trapped in the bristles. Next, rinse the brush to remove the soapy residue and dirt before transferring it to the bleach solution. Allow the bleach to work its magic on the brush for a good hour or longer. At the end of the soaking time, remove the toilet brush, and allow it to dry thoroughly before returning the brush to its holder. The best way to dry your toilet brush is in indirect sunlight as direct sun exposure may cause the material of the handle to crack or weaken (this is particularly the case with plastic toilet brush handles).

Precautions When Cleaning With Bleach

Be sure to take precautions while handling chemicals like bleach. Leave the door and window open as the bleach-infused steam emanated can cause eye irritation while inhaling the fumes can be damaging to your throat and lungs. Wear a mask, rubber gloves, and long sleeves to avoid any possible burns or skin irritation. Most importantly, keep your kids and pets out of the room and away from the bleach bottle when you are using it. 

How to Clean Your Toilet Brush Holder

yellow gloves draped over blue toilet brush and toilet brush holder

If you don’t clean your toilet brush holder, the purpose of cleaning your toilet brush is defeated because you will be returning it to a place that is crawling with bacteria. Fortunately, cleaning the holder is a fairly simple task; just follow the steps below:

  1. Mix liquid dish soap and water in a spray bottle (you can make the solution as strong/mild as you need), and spray the holder generously so that it is soaking, inside and outside.
  2. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe down the entire holder. 
  3. Rinse off under running water. 
  4. Dry the holder with a clean cloth or allow it to air-dry.
  5. Once dry, spray the holder with a disinfectant.

How Regularly Should You Clean Your Toilet Brush and Holder?

black bristled toilet brush next to white toilet brush holder

For best practice, you should clean or, at the very least, rinse off and disinfect your toilet brush after every use. If the brush is used to clean the toilet a few times a week, stick to a weekly routine using any of the bleach methods mentioned above. This will ensure good hygiene in your bathroom while keeping your toilet brush and holder well-maintained for a much longer time.

If it’s not already clear, sanitising your cleaning tools is very important as it helps prevent the formation and spread of bacteria and deadly viruses in your home. With regular sterilisation, you can safeguard your home against pathogens like Shigella, Staph, and E.Coli, to name a few. So, don’t let your toilet brush and holder be the source of germs spreading through your bathroom and home; keep them clean to make sure that they are doing more good than harm!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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