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How To Clean A Toilet Plunger

by | Feb 3, 2023 | House Cleaning

Clogged toilets are a nightmare – so thankfully we have toilet plungers to help us out. There are few worse feelings than flushing only for, er, things not to go down.

But once your handy plunger has done its job, do you just stick it back in its corner without cleaning it?

Nope – you need to clean it.

How to clean a toilet plunger? After plunging the toilet, you can either spray it with disinfectant, rinse it with a bleach solution or vinegar, or scrub it with dish soap. Dry the plunger afterwards before placing it in a plastic grocery bag for hygienic reasons.

To maintain your bathroom, you need to do more than just clean your toilet. Here’s how to clean a toilet plunger (even if it is icky).


Why Clean a Toilet Plunger

man's hand with blue gloves using plunger in toilet bowl

Because you stick it in your toilet! The toilet bowl is a breeding ground for bacteria and grime, which is why you regularly need to clean your toilet. It follows that anything you put into your toilet needs cleaning as well.

(Especially when the plunger comes into contact with things that are natural, but gross.)

For those who use home cleaning services, remember to let your cleaner know to clean the toilet brush and toilet plunger after they work on the bowl!


How Often to Clean a Toilet Plunger

You should clean the toilet plunger every time you use it. This will prevent bacteria and grime from building up on the rubber surface of the head.

The germs on your toilet plunger can live up to two weeks – so it’s essential to disinfect it ASAP.


How to Clean a Toilet Plunger

You may not use a plunger for toilet cleaning, but it still does a dirty job. Just like toilet brushes, you’ll also need to clean the plunger.


Cleaning a toilet plunger with disinfectant spray

Make sure you’re using a strong antibacterial disinfectant spray. Shake the plunger dry, then thoroughly saturate the head with your disinfectant.

Let the tool dry, then store it away.


Cleaning a toilet plunger with chlorine bleach

Woman holding toilet plunger in the toilet

Liquid chlorine bleach is a strong cleaning solution, so use it with care. Pour 3 caps into the fresh water of the toilet bowl and swirl the plunger around for 5 minutes.

Flush the toilet with the plunger inside to rinse off the bleach. You can also rinse with hot water. Let the plunger dry before storing it away.


Cleaning a toilet plunger with apple cider vinegar

To clean a plunger without bleach, use vinegar! The apple cider vinegar you use should be at least 5% acetic acid to work as a disinfectant. Pour a few cups into the toilet bowl and soak the plunger in the mixture, swirling it around several times.

Flush the toilet to rinse the plunger, then dry it. Store it away.


Cleaning a toilet plunger with dish soap

If you’re feeling brave, you can scrub the toilet plunger! Remember to use rubber gloves to maintain hygiene. Mix some detergent into warm water to form a soapy cleaning solution.

Soak the plunger in warm, soapy water and get to scrubbing with a clean scrub brush. Rinse with clean water, then dry.


Plunger near toilet bowl in bathroom


Drying a Toilet Plunger

Once you’ve cleaned the dirty toilet plunger, it’s time to let it completely dry. You can do this in two ways – pinning the plunger under the toilet seat so it can air dry, or wiping it with a clean cloth or toilet paper.

Make sure to let the plunger dry before replacing it in its holder or corner of the bathroom. It’s advisable to tie a plastic bag around the plunger head to keep things sanitary.


Cleaning Solutions for Your Bathroom

Besides cleaning the toilet plunger, you should also clean the toilet brush and toilet brush holder. Both the brush and plunger can pick up some nasty germs, so this is one more way to keep your bathroom clean.

Be mindful of the areas where you store the brush and plunger, as well as the area behind your toilet. These are prime places for dirt and germs, and you’ll need to clean them too!

Store your plunger somewhere hygienic. Some come with a holder to keep the head aerated and dry, while others have a hole at the end so you can hang it up.

If you have no choice but to keep it on the floor, place the head in a plastic bag.

And that’s it for how to clean a toilet plunger! Don’t forget the next time you use it – although we hope that won’t be for a long while.

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.