Should You Leave Toilet Bowl Cleaner Overnight?

Cleaning a toilet is a task everyone must do at some point in their life. However, it’s especially difficult when it’s filthy, and you may wonder if leaving the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet bowl overnight will help the situation.

There is no reason to leave the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet overnight. This will not help it work better, and if your toilet bowl cleaner contains bleach, this can actually allow the chemicals to off-gas or etch the porcelain of the toilet. Use your cleaner as directed on the bottle.

Curious about how to get your toilet clean without leaving a cleaner in it overnight? Let’s look at why you shouldn’t leave the toilet cleaner overnight, as well as the steps to clean a toilet properly. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet?

Disinfection of the toilet

Cleaning your toilet is the last thing you want to do on your day off for the week, but it is necessary. In order to avoid germs and keep harmful bacteria at bay, you should clean your toilet at least once per week. 

Of course, your home likely has multiple toilets, and one that isn’t used often (like in a guest room) doesn’t need to be cleaned every seven days. It still needs to be cleaned, however, at least once per month to keep it in tip-top shape. 

Can You Leave Cleaner in Your Toilet Bowl Overnight? 

It may seem like a good idea just to dump some toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and then head to bed and deal with it in the morning, but this can actually do more harm than good.

Toilet bowl cleaner like the kind Clorox produces (on Amazon) only needs about 15-20 minutes to do its job. It’s not going to do a better job if you leave it for longer. Additionally, many toilet bowl cleaners have ingredients that shouldn’t be left in a toilet bowl overnight. 

What About Bleach?

Bleach is a common ingredient in many toilet cleaners and can be a great way to get your toilet clean on its own. However, you should never leave bleach or a bleach-containing toilet cleaner in a toilet overnight.

Bleach can degrade your toilet if left in too long, especially the delicate parts that keep your toilet working properly. For best results, you shouldn’t leave bleach in your toilet bowl for longer than 15 minutes. 

How to Clean a Toilet Bowl 

Toilet cleaning and disinfection

Ready to learn the proper way to clean our toilet without leaving a cleaner in it? Here are the exact steps you should follow. 

Step 1: Gather Supplies

You can’t properly clean a toilet without the proper supplies. For cleaning your toilet, you will need:

  • A toilet brush 
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • A bucket
  • Disinfectant wipes (or a paper towel and spray disinfectant)
  • Gloves (if using bleach)

Note: Your toilet brush also shouldn’t be too old. Old toilet brushes will make it difficult to scrub the bowl and may harbor many harmful bacteria you are trying to eliminate from your toilet by cleaning it. 

Step 2: Reduce the Water Level

You can’t clean a toilet full of water; it doesn’t allow you to sanitize the bowl properly. So instead, reduce the water level by filling the bucket with water and dumping it near the back of the toilet bowl. This will trigger the toilet to flush without filling up again. 

Step 3: Apply Cleaner

Place the cleaner in the toilet bowl following the directions on the bottle. It will need to sit here for 15-20 minutes. If you are using bleach, apply gloves before opening the bleach bottle. 

Step 4: Clean the Toilet Seat

While waiting for the toilet bowl cleaner, use the disinfecting wipes to wipe down the toilet seat, beneath the seat, and the back of the toilet. Dispose of these in the trash can. 

Step 5: Scrub the Bowl

Once 15 minutes have passed, use the toilet brush to scrub all over the toilet. Then flush the toilet. If the bowl isn’t spotless, repeat this process with bleach. 

Now you know how to clean your toilet correctly. After a few weeks, you’ll have this down to a science, and it should only take about 20 minutes to complete. 

Final Thoughts on Leaving Toilet Bowl Cleaner Overnight

Overall, there isn’t a good reason to leave toilet bowl cleaner in your toilet. Instead, only put it in when you are prepared to spend 20 minutes cleaning your toilet. This will keep your toilet in the best shape possible.