You Should Use a Screwdriver When You Clean the Bathroom—Here’s Why

Cleaning the toilet happens to be not only among the most odorous of chores, but also one that simply must get done to maintain any modicum of cleanliness in your house. But no matter how regularly you clean it and how much of a stickler you are for doing it the “right” way, you may not end up with a toilet that looks or—ahem—smells as fresh as you’d like.

But there’s a simple fix: A screwdriver in your bathroom-cleaning arsenal could prove to be your new toilet odor-busting best friend.

When you clean the toilet with a regular rag or wipe, there are still many nooks and crannies that you can’t get to—which is why your clean-looking toilet might not actually smell or be totally clean. The only way to completely clean any lingering grime is to get to those messes that have seeped into the cracks. And it’s easier than you think.

The ledge just underneath the toilet tank is hard to get to and can harbor “overspray” that makes your whole bathroom stinky. The spots covered by the toilet seat’s hinges may also be hiding similar mistakes. Taking the toilet seat off is the best way to reach both areas, and all you need is a simple screwdriver.

(Image credit: SThanaphat/Shutterstock)

Ask Anna provides a useful step-by-step for how to do this, but here’s the basic run-down:

  • Remove the plastic hinge covers with your fingers.
  • Use a screwdriver to unscrew the hinges.
  • Remove the bolts beneath the toilet seat.
  • Lift the toilet seat off the toilet.
  • Optionally (if this is your first time doing this): Try not to gag.

Once the seat is off, you’ll have full access to the areas beneath the hinges and the ledge under the toilet tank. Wrap a disinfecting wipe (it’s thinner than a rag) around the tip of the screwdriver and run the screwdriver under the ledge. Thoroughly clean the area that’s usually hidden under the hinges. Give the bolts, hinges, and seat a good wash before replacing the seat.

By removing the toilet seat and lid and cleaning the areas that you just can’t get to otherwise, you will have finally gotten rid of that lingering smell and be left with a toilet that’s cleaner than ever.

You don’t have to run through this project every time you spruce up the bathroom, but if you do the seat-removing routine once a month or even just once a year, you’ll be ahead of the game.

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