Jun 08, 2023

The Clever Toilet Brush Alternative That Won't Stain

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The toilet brush we use today has changed little since American inventor William C. Schopp applied for the patent in the early 1930s. In other words, we use the same toilet brush today as people a century ago! The design we all know and tolerate has proven great for getting into the cracks and crevices of a toilet bowl, but it has one downfall. The stiff plastic bristles are clustered so tightly together that it's impossible to clean that area thoroughly, especially since the brush rests in an enclosed holder when not in use.

This leads to staining and the build-up of unsightly dirt, mold, and other... unmentionables. Unsurprisingly, the more you use the same brush, the dirtier it gets. And it's not just dirt and stains in there; the brush is also filled with potentially harmful bacteria. Working out how often you should be cleaning your toilet brush is easier said than done, given all the conflicting advice online. Thankfully, your kitchen is likely already home to an unstainable alternative: the ubiquitous dish brush.

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Dish brushes — yes, that's right, the type of brush you use to wash your pots and plates — boast a more generous spread of bristles. The ample space between the bristle clusters means there's nowhere for dirt to collect, resulting in little to no staining. Plus, the angled head of a dish brush makes brushing the sloped bowl sides and getting deep into the bottom of the bowl much easier. This Scotchbrite dish brush ($13.96 from Walmart) has an extra set of handy upward-facing bristles. Pick up an easy-clean silicon-bristled dish brush for $9.90 on Amazon. Or, save a step in your cleaning routine with a soap-dispending dish brush, like this OXO option for $15.95 from Crate & Barrel.

Before you get busy in the bowl, put on a pair of gloves. Good hygiene is essential when cleaning a toilet, no matter what kind of brush you're using. How much toilet bowl cleaner do you need to use? About 4 to 6 ounces should be enough. Let it soak in the water for a few minutes, then use the dish brush to scrub all areas of the bowl and under the rim. Flush the toilet a few times until the bowl water is clear, rinsing the brush in the flow of fresh water. Pour bleach over your brush from time to time to ensure it stays hygienic — every three to six months, at minimum.