Learn about all the different types of toilet brushes. While not the most pleasant business, it's a necessary cleaning tool for any house. The thing is there are many more options, designs and types that you probably realized. We also discuss proper care, storage options, and cleaning tips.
Toilet brushes are something you probably don’t give a lot of thought to. Most often, they are chosen in haste without consideration for their pros and cons. Then you find yourself scrubbing your toilet, and perhaps you are wondering if there’s a better way. Is one brush better than the other? Does it matter if the head is natural or synthetic? Shaped or symmetrical?
Actually, yes. If you are interested in getting the job done as quickly and thoroughly as possible, it matters. However, this list can help you choose the best toilet brush for your needs. At the most basic level, toilet brushes can be divided into categories based on differences with the handle or the head of the brush.
Different Handle Types
What type of handle do you prefer? This section is all about handles, so you can learn the differences and which one may be right for you.
The types of handles are:
- Long handle
- Short handle
- Plastic handle
- Stainless steel handle
- Anti-slip grip
A long handle brush is a great choice if bending down is difficult for you. It gives you more reach. It will be taller when not in use, but it takes up vertical space which isn’t an issue in most instances.
Cleaning Tip: Extended Reach
Long handles allow you to reach farther. Take advantage of this and don’t get closer to the toilet bowl than you have to. This can help avoid the spread of germs.
Short handle brushes can be easier to use than long handle brushes. You may have to lean down to reach the toilet. However, it’s easier to control and you may be able to put more scrubbing power into your movements.
Cleaning Tip: Down and Dirty
Short handle brushes require you to get up close and personal. You will want to wear gloves. Be sure to sanitize your gloves and wash your hands after each use.
Brushes with a plastic handle are light and inexpensive. However, plastic may be more likely to harbor germs than other materials. Some types of plastic can stain easily as well because it absorbs what it comes into contact with.
Cleaning Tip: Disinfect
Plastic is a magnet for germs. Be sure to clean your handle as well as your brush after each use. You can do this with Lysol spray. If the handle has come into contact with fecal matter or toilet water, you’ll want to wash it before using disinfectant.
Stainless steel can be easier to keep clean than plastic. Washing it with soap and water is usually enough to remove germs because there aren’t small nooks and crannies for them to hide. Stainless steel is also more durable than plastic. It is heavier and can be a more expensive material.
Cleaning Tip: Maintain
After you are done cleaning your toilet and the brush, wipe the handle down with a clean towel. This will help preserve the modern clean look of your brush. Stainless steel doesn’t have problems of staining like plastic, so it’s easy to keep your brush handle looking new for a long time with minimal TLC.
Wooden handles are popular with those who desire a more natural look. If you are concerned about the environment, wooden handles are a great option. Bamboo is often used for toilet brush handles. It holds up well in bathroom conditions like humidity and moisture.
Cleaning Tip: Know Your Wood
Some wooden handles are finished and some are not. Wood, particularly unfinished wood, can pick up bacteria and stains. If it’s finished, be careful with toilet bowl cleaners. Some could damage the handle’s finish.
An anti-slip grip can help you hold on to your brush while you scrub. It may be more comfortable as well, particularly if you will be using it for a longer amount of time. If you have several toilets to clean, you may want to consider this option.
Cleaning Tip: Keep it Dry
Some forms of anti-slip coating are less effective when they are wet. You’ll want to keep the handle of your brush dry, at least while you are in the process of scrubbing. This will help you maintain a proper grip.
Types of Brushes
For most people, the type of brush is more important than the handle. After all, this is the part that will be cleaning your toilet. You’ll want to figure out what is the most convenient and effective for you.
The types of brushes are:
- Brush and plunger combo
- Mop Style
- Scrub Brush
The most common type of toilet brush is made from silicone. It may come in a symmetrical rounded shape or an angled design. It has bristles that will scrub away the debris and get into the hard to reach areas like under the rim. These brushes are inexpensive and fairly effective. Most silicone brushes come with a caddy as well, so you have a simple place to store your brush and prevent the spread of germs.
Symmetrical brushes are round and have a uniform shape all around. They have lots of bristles and can be a little softer than angled brushes. They are excellent for hard to reach places and toilets that don’t have sharp angles.
Angled brushes have an angled head. They are usually stiffer than symmetrical brushes. They can be difficult to get into certain areas because they lack flexibility. However, they excel at cleaning under the rim and can easily reach angled areas.
These are the brushes your mother likely used. The biggest downside to them is that their stiffness can result in certain areas that are hard to hit with the brush. The best way to use these brushes is to apply toilet bowl cleaner, wait for about five minutes, and then scrub your toilet, particularly if it’s visibly dirty or stained. You may experience splashback as well. Splashback is when the toilet water splashes out of the toilet. Silicone brushes are notorious for this, so use caution and don’t make quick movements when you are scrubbing your toilet.
Brush and Plunger Combo
Most bathrooms require a toilet brush and a plunger for emergency clogs. Why not have them both in the same caddy? This is excellent for small bathrooms where space saving is important. It’s also suitable if you prefer the simplicity and organization of keeping these two items together. These sets normally come with a standard silicone toilet brush.
A brush and plunger set can be economical and space-saving. However, don’t forget to clean it as well. If water gets into the caddy it can grow bacteria and give off an odor. Give the entire caddy, plunger, and brush a quick sanitizing cleaning once a month with bleach or disinfectant spray to prevent any issues.
If you are environmentally conscious or simply prefer a more natural approach, you can choose a natural toilet brush. They are usually made with coconut or other natural fiber. They come in the same two basic shapes as silicone brushes and are designed in the same fashion. The handles are sometimes natural as well, with bamboo being a popular choice. The bristles may be softer than those of silicone brushes, so more elbow grease may be required.
Natural brushes are more durable than their plastic counterparts. However, they do lose bristles from time to time. This isn’t a concern. Simply flush them down the toilet. You’ll also need to take care to properly rinse and towel dry these brushes after you use them. Once they are cleaned, it’s recommended to hang them with the brush side down to air dry.
Mop style brushes are made from yarn or cotton. They resemble a small mop. They do not have the scrubbing power of other types, but they are excellent if you are concerned about scratching your toilet bowl. They are best used for frequent cleaning before debris has had a chance to dry and harden.
Many mop styles come with a cover that slides down to wring out the head, so you can avoid touching it. They may be designed with anti-microbial and quick-dry features as well to prevent the growth of bacteria. Specially designed cleaners can be purchased for use with them, so the head isn’t damaged during cleaning.
Mop style brushes are strongly recommended for some newer model toilets because they have a special finish that can be easily scratched. It’s important to note that these toilets shouldn’t be cleaned with harsh cleaners. If your aim is to protect your toilet’s finish, you should use a mop style brush and dish soap. Be sure to rinse the mop head out and go back over the toilet bowl to rinse and remove soap after the initial cleaning.
Disposable toilet wands have become popular in recent years. They are a bit more expensive than most brushes. However, they come with their own cleaning solution, so the price evens out pretty well. It’s one of the more sanitary options. No more worries about getting bacteria, or worse, fecal matter on your cleaning implement and then having to clean it as well. With disposable toilet brushes, you simply throw the dirty part away.
Pop the disposable head onto the wand. Dip it into the toilet water for one to two seconds and then begin cleaning the toilet. When you are done, let the cleaning solution sit for 10 minutes inside the bowl, and pop off the disposable cleaning pad.
Electric brushes are great for heavy-duty cleaning. Instead of scrubbing off harden debris with your own power, the brush spins quickly to remove stuck-on debris and stains. Most electric toilet bowl cleaners are cordless. Simply recharge it when you are finished. This is an excellent option if you suffer from a physical ailment and have a difficult time with manual scrubbing.
To keep an electric toilet brush running at peak efficiency, be sure to keep it charged properly. Don’t let it go for more than two weeks with no use. Most come with replaceable brush heads. When the brush begins to get worn, replace the brush to maintain the best cleaning power. You may find that you require less toilet bowl cleaner with this method, particularly if your toilet is relatively clean to start with.
Scrub brush style toilet brushes look like a standard multi-purpose scrub brush. However, they are designed with a long handle, so they can be easily used to scrub your toilet. Many times they are angled to reach all surfaces of the toilet bowl. They may also come with a small brush on top for reaching under the toilet bowl.
Scrubbing brushes can be used with standard toilet bowl cleaners. Simply rinse the brush out and make sure it’s free from debris when you are done cleaning your toilet. You may find it beneficial to allow toilet bowl cleaner to sit for a few minutes before using for best results.
Now that you know the different types of toilet brushes, you should be able to make an informed decision about which is best for your needs. Remember, they each have pros and cons. Happy scrubbing!
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