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Facts about toilet bowl brush

Updated February 21, 2017

What did you do with your toilet brush last time you scrubbed your toilet bowl? If you disinfected and dried it before placing it back in its holder, good. However, if it travelled straight to its container from the U bend, it's time to do more household hygiene homework. According to cleaning experts, toilet brushes that are not kept scrupulously clean are perfect breeding grounds for nasty germs.

Clogged With Debris

In their book "The Cleaning Bible," authors Kim Woodburn and Aggie Mackenzie describe all toilet brushes as "an unworthy compromise for strict hygiene." They say toilet brushes "harbour large quantities of bacteria because they get clogged with debris from the bowl and remain wet." They stress toilet brushes should be soaked in water and bleach after every use and the container washed. Both the brush and the container should be dried outside.

Scrupulous Hygiene Essential

Experts at the website Get A Clean Home, say a toilet brush is "the easiest way" to clean a toilet. However, they also stress the need for scrupulous hygiene. The brush should be cleaned and replaced regularly because most toilet brushes develop unpleasant-looking rust stains around the base of their bristles. Because the brush needs to be replaced frequently, the experts say a "cheap plastic one" is sufficient, but they stress the toilet brush should have an integrated lid.

Hygienic Toilet Brush

A product advertised by British retailer Lakeland appears to go some way toward calming cleaning experts' worries about the hygiene aspect of toilet brushes. The base of the container in which the Hygienic Toilet Brush sits is filled with sanitising fluid. After every use, the brush is returned to the container and the handle pushed down. This dips the bristles into the fluid.

DisposableToilet Brushes

Several companies manufacture toilet brushes with disposable heads. One such product is called Duck Fresh Brush and is manufactured by S C Johnson. A curved handle is attached to a toilet cleaning pad saturated with cleaner, which begins to operate when it gets wet. The pads are biodegradable and can be flushed immediately after use. A button-release system means the person using the brush has no need to touch the pad.

Brushless Toilet Cleaning

Woodburn and Mackenzie recommend donning rubber gloves and scrubbing the porcelain to make it shiny. They also recommend sprinkling scouring powder around the toilet. Paper towels or a cloth reserved for the purpose should be used to rub the cleaner around the bowl, under the rim and around the seat hinges. The toilet should then be flushed and the clean water used to remove any remaining cleaner. Flushing should then be repeated.

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About the Author

Belfast-based Neil Greenlees was made redundant in March 2009 after working as a reporter for 26 years. For most of his career he was a senior journalist with ''The Ulster Star," a weekly newspaper covering the Lisburn and South Belfast areas. Greenlees holds the National Council for the Training of Journalists Pre-Entry Certificate.