How to Clean Stains on a Toilet Seat


Josie asked: How do you clean stains on the under part of a toilet seat? I have tried Lysol wipes, vinegar, lemon and bleach, but the stains are still present.

While none of us like to talk about it, the underside of the toilet seat can be exposed to some nasty situations. Over time, these stains can build up and become difficult to remove. Here are several cleaners that can help to remove the stains.

You Will Need:

  • Cleaner (choose one)
  • Water
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket or large bin (optional)

Steps to Remove the Stains:


  1. Fill a bucket or large bin with one part bleach and three parts water.
  2. Remove the toilet seat from the toilet and submerge it into the bleach solution.
  3. Allow it to soak for several minutes. If the toilet seat is colored, test a small area first to ensure there are no adverse effects to the color from the bleach or other cleaners.
  4. While wearing rubber gloves, use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub the stains away. For tough stains, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser used in conjunction with the other cleaners can be very effective.
  5. Repeat the soaking and scrubbing as necessary until the stains are removed.
  6. Another option is to cover the stained area with baking soda and scrub with a moistened scrubbing sponge. It will take some elbow grease, but the stains will be removed.
  7. Other commercial cleaners can also be applied to the stains following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Scrub them with a scrubbing sponge. If the cleaner is abrasive, avoid using too much pressure as it may damage the surface.
  9. When the stains are removed, rinse the seat completely, allow it to dry and reinstall.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Bar Keepers Friend is a cleaner that works well for removing stains from plastic, acrylic, and other surfaces. It is readily available at most major stores.
  • For easiest stain removal, clean the toilet seat every couple of days with either a bathroom cleaner or natural cleaner. Sanitizing and disinfecting wipes are available from brands like Clorox and Lysol. They make these cleanings quick and nearly effortless while keeping the stains away.
  • If all else fails, it may be necessary to replace the toilet seat.



  1. Magic Eraser! You saved me from buying new toilet seats. Thank you!

  2. Sounds great to me; will definitely try. Thank you.

  3. I’m willing to try anything to clean the toilet seat, but my seat is made of wood. Any comment greatly appreciated.

  4. I had the same problem the other day when I was expecting company. Disinfectant or toilet cleaner didn’t work. I tried straight bleach on a sponge and it came right off. All you really need is bleach!

  5. A. Long says:

    It’s all very well saying buy a new toilet seat for £20, but when the seat is new, an expensive bathroom suite, and not a regular shape, it’s not so straightforward.

  6. Christine says:

    Magic Eraser got the stains right out of my wooden toilet lid! Yay! Thank you!!

  7. I had a toilet seat that came apart from the lid. It was so easy to clean; now it is a nightmare. It must be men that design them because most men do not have to clean them.

  8. I have a hard plastic toilet lid that has mould marks that I cannot remove. I’ve tried bleach, white vinegar, gumption, and a Magic Eraser, and none have worked. The bathroom doesn’t get any sun and the marks are multiplying. Closing the seat after each use is obviously not helping. Any suggestions on how to get rid of these ugly marks would be most appreciated. Thanks.

  9. Nicole,
    This is the article that you need How to Remove Mold from Plastic. It sounds like you’ve already tried most of the ideas in that article though. Another idea might be to try OxyClean; mix some powdered OxyClean with water to make a paste, scrub the paste onto the stains, then let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it off.
    You could also try isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
    Also, the toilet lid should be removable; check the sides of the toilet behind the bowl for a bolt. Once removed, you can put it in the sun.
    There are also come commercial bathroom cleaners that say they are for removing mold and mildew which you could try; just make sure you get one that specifically says it will work on a hard surface like plastic. These cleaners don’t always work on tough stains, but you could give them a try.
    If nothing else works, you can always replace the seat/lid.
    Source: eHow – Can I Remove Mildew With Oxyclean?

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