How To Clean A Toilet Plunger

We’ve all had moments like this in life. You’re tossing and turning in bed all night, unable to sleep. You have a big dinner party coming up this weekend. Your home or apartment will be filled with guests — everyone from your mother-in-law to that co-worker whose name you can never remember. And you just cannot get a wink of sleep… because your toilet plunger is not clean you don’t know how to clean it.

Fortunately, you don’t have to throw your toilet plunger away and buy a new one. We want you to be able to sleep at night, and we’re experts at cleaning, so we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn why you need a clean toilet plunger in your home, the benefits of having a clean plunger, and several tried and true methods for keeping this useful but nasty tool clean.

Why You Need A Clean Toilet Plunger

Scientists in the UK did a study examining everyday items that people handle all the time figure out whether they’re dirty or clean. As it turns out, one in six smartphones is contaminated with fecal matter because so many people now take their smartphone into the bathroom (people, clean your iphones!). Computer keyboards that they checked have about 7,500 bacteria per swab, compared to only 5,400 on the average toilet seat. That’s not as nasty as the handle on the subway train or the bus that you take to work every day, but it’s still pretty gross.

In this study, scientists found that tablets, smartphones and computer keyboards tend to have really awful bacteria on them. The findings included E. coli, antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and straight-up feces. If your smartphone is just one swipe away from giving you dangerous food poisoning, imagine what’s lurking on your toilet plunger in the bathroom. You can almost hear the plunger right now, can’t you? It’s in the bathroom, whispering to you, “Please… clean me… immediately!”

Benefits Of A Clean Toilet Plunger

Knowing how to clean your toilet plunger is a big confidence booster. It also helps you to sleep at night if you’re having guests over soon — you don’t have to worry about anyone glimpsing a dirty plunger. One more item in your home will no longer be a festering nest of disease-causing awfulness. Once you learn how to clean your toilet plunger, it will be a big boost to your self-esteem. This is a gateway DIY project. Once you learn how to clean your toilet plunger, you’ll have the confidence that you’re ready for bigger and more complex DIY projects, like changing the oil on your car or building a treehouse.

With those benefits in mind, here are several great methods for cleaning your toilet plunger.

Clean Your Plunger: The Efficient Method

The efficient method requires the use of bleach. The fumes from bleach can be toxic, so try not to inhale them. Also, run the fan in the bathroom as you’re using this method, for improved ventilation.

Tools needed:

Steps required:

  1. Pour several capfuls of bleach directly into the toilet.
  2. Swirl the plunger around in the water to let the germ-killing bleach do its work.
  3. Flush the toilet several times to allow the running water to rinse off the plunger.
  4. Let the plunger dry and then store it away.

Clean Your Plunger: The Green Method

If you don’t want to use any harsh chemicals in your household, or if you don’t like burning all your nose hairs out with bleach, this green method might be for you. Apple cider vinegar has a nifty acidic quality that functions just as well as bleach when it comes to killing antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus and other things on your toilet plunger. You just have to use more of the vinegar to do the trick.

Tools needed:

  • 5% Apple Cider Vinegar

Steps required:

  1. Pour a lot of apple cider vinegar in the toilet. It should be approximately an equal mixture of water and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Drop the rubber end of the plunger in the toilet bowl and let is soak in the vinegar-water mixture for a few minutes. Then, swirl the plunger around in the water.
  3. Flush several times to let running water rinse the plunger.
  4. Let the plunger dry and then store it away.

Clean Your Plunger: The Bachelor’s Method

If you’re not expecting guests and you don’t want to devote the amount of time necessary in the above steps to this project, here is a much less labor-intensive method of cleaning the toilet plunger. This is a great tip for any man with a bachelor pad!

Tools needed:

  • Plastic bag
  • Disinfectant spray

Steps required:

  1. Wrap the plunger head up in a plastic bag. Any plastic grocery bag will do the trick. Keep the plunger wrapped up this way until it is completely dry.
  2. Take the plunger out of the bag and totally douse it in a disinfectant spray. Voila!
  3. Store the plunger away.

Clean Your Plunger: The “I Look Like A Professional On TV” Method

Perhaps none of the above methods have really sparked your fancy. Sure, you can clean and disinfect your plunger using those methods, but how do the pros do it? How do you clean your plunger so efficiently that nothing can survive on its surface? If you want your toilet plunger to look just as clean, shiny and robust as it did on the first day when you brought it home from the store, this method is for you.

Tools needed:

  • Dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Tea kettle and boiling water
  • A bucket
  • A ninja assistant (Optional)

Steps required:

  1. Hold the plunger head in the toilet and flush two to three times to give it a good rinse.
  2. Mix two to three caps of bleach and a healthy dollop of dish soap in the toilet bowl. Swirl the plunger in bowl until you have it nice and foamy. Do a rinse and flush cycle.
  3. Spray the plunger with the disinfectant spray. Do another rinse and flush cycle.
  4. Hold the plunger over the toilet bowl. Using the tea kettle, pour boiling water over the plunger as a final rinse. You’ve just attacked your plunger with a bleach-and-soap, disinfectant spray and boiling water trifecta. Nothing can survive that!
  5. Set the plunger in the bucket to allow it to dry off, before storing it away.

Whether you used one of the quick and easy methods or cleaned your plunger like a pro, that’s one more dirty job that you can cross off the list. If cleaning is just “not your thing,” you can always leave the job to the experts at Maid Sailors. Contact us at 212-299-5170 in New York City for a pricing quote or to set up an appointment for your next home or apartment cleaning!

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