News flash: Toilets can get gross.

This isn’t too surprising considering what goes into them. And it’s not just alligators and cartoon mice: hard water stains, which are caused by a buildup of minerals in water, can also contribute to the mess. If your toilet is looking particularly grimy, and no amount of scrubbing is getting rid of stains, you’re probably wondering what you should do. How do you get your toilet looking clean and sparkling again? Should you buy expensive cleaning products? Do you need to call a plumber? Or maybe your toilet is simply stained beyond redemption and it’s time to just call it quits and chuck your toilet out the window.

Well, set down the Google and hold onto your britches, because there’s actually pretty easy solution that many people don’t know about: vinegar. You likely already have a bottle of vinegar in your kitchen, and this acidic substance is just what you need to keep your toilet clean.

Still skeptical? Well, stand back while we drop some sick science on you.

Vinegar is made from a fermentation process. You probably know that wine also needs to go through this process, which causes sugar to turn to alcohol. After a bottle is uncorked, though, wine continues to ferment, gradually converting alcohol into vinegar’s main compound, acetic acid. This compound is what makes vinegar so acidic — distilled white vinegar has a pH of 2.4. This pH level means that vinegar can break down not just hard water stains, but also soap scum and sticker residue, among other stains. Combined with baking soda, vinegar can actually even dissolve red wine stains after they have already set. Talk about a magic substance.

There are some who will take things one step further and use vinegar as a disinfectant, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that it is ineffective against some pathogens. You also need to be careful as vinegar’s high acidity means that it can create stains of its own if you use it on delicate fabrics.

Suffice it to say, vinegar is powerful. While there are products on the market that claim to effectively clean your toilet, vinegar is much simpler — not to mention cheaper. Vinegar is also a good choice for people who like to avoid using unnecessary chemicals and want to keep things green.

So how do you do it? Well, formulas vary, but according to our friends from the Bright Side YouTube channel, you’ll basically want to use a solution made up 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 7 ounces or so of heated 9 percent white vinegar. Make sure it’s white vinegar, as apple vinegar may leave stains.

It really is that simple! Once you’ve got your solution made and you’re ready to start cleaning, all you need to do is pour it into your toilet’s tank. From there, just let the vinegar solution break down all the nasty stuff lurking there for several hours (it’s best to do this overnight, or when no one will be home for a few hours). Flush away the solution after it works its magic, and voila! You have a clean toilet. If your toilet still isn’t quite as clean as you’d like, you can repeat the process.

What if you’re looking to clean your toilet bowl and not your toilet tank? According to Get Green Be Well, vinegar can come to the rescue there as well. To clean your toilet bowl, put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it around the bowl. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. You should then find it pretty easy to scrub away stains with a toilet brush. You can also pour vinegar directly into the bowl if it’s really nasty. Vinegar can be particularly helpful if you have a toilet ring circling your bowl.

Once your toilet is nice and shiny, you just might find yourself on a cleaning kick. Well, good news: as shown on Doctor Oz, vinegar can be used in pretty much any way imaginable, from getting odors out of your trash can to unclogging your drain.

Who knew that a simple liquid that is already found in many households would prove to be such an effective cleaning product?

#HomeRepair #DIY #Plumbing