How to Clean a Plunger

Matthew asked, “Where do you keep your plunger and how do you clean it off after using it?”

A plunger is one of those household tools we need, but don’t want to admit we actually use. It does not have to be a gross addition to your cleaning supplies; read on for no-fuss cleaning and storage tips.

Cleaning a Plunger

You Will Need:

  • Detergent, such as dish liquid
  • Chlorine bleach
  • All-purpose disinfectant spray
  • Boiling water
  • Plunger holder
  • Small bucket

Steps to Clean the Plunger:

  1. After using the plunger to clean a toilet, flush the toilet a few times and use the water to clean the plunger off.¹
  2. Mix detergent and bleach in the toilet water, and swish the plunger around to clean and disinfect it.¹
  3. If you do not have any chlorine bleach, you can allow the plunger to dry and then spray it with an all-purpose disinfectant spray.²
  4. As a last resort, if no cleaning supplies are available, you can carefully allow boiling water to flow over the plunger into the toilet to sterilize it.³
  5. Flush the toilet when done to rinse away any cleaning solutions.
  6. Tap the plunger on the side of the toilet to remove excess liquid.¹
  7. Put the plunger away in a plunger holder or small bucket for storage.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • A linen or storage closet is a common place to keep a plunger, but there really is no reason to hide a clean plunger. One fun tip is to paint the handgrip white and use it to store toilet paper near the toilet so both are close by.⁴


  1. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson
  2. Cleaning Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin
  3. Green Clean by Linda Mason Hunter & Mikki Halpin
  4. Handy Household Hints from Heloise



  1. Grayson says:

    Detergents sometimes contain ammonia. Ammonia and bleach combined will create a toxic cloud. Not a good idea. In fact, urine contains ammonia. Bleach in the toilet bowl should be used with caution if there is ursine present. Definitely do not add bleach to a bowl of urine or urinate into bleach water in the toilet….unless you want to breathe in toxic fumes.

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