Is It Safe to Use WD-40 in a Toilet?

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WD-40 is a common household product that you’d use to clean everything from doorknobs to bicycle chains. As a multifunctional product, this penetrating oil seems to be equally suitable for indoor and outdoor cleaning.

But is it safe to use WD-40 in your toilet?

Yes, it is safe to use WD-40 Multi-Use Product to clean your toilet. However, you need to do it properly to avoid damaging the toilet in the long run.

It’s a straightforward answer, but you should read on to learn when and how you can spray WD-40 on the bathroom throne.

A Word From the Company

Cleaning product manufacturers are cautious by default, so the best way to start is to see what the company says about its cleaning product. Here are the highlights:

  • When cleaning a toilet, WD-40 works by softening the rust and lime deposits
  • You don’t need to use much of it
  • Wipe it, but avoid flushing down the toilet

The answer is clear: You are free to use WD-40 in your toilet, but you should not flush it down the drain.

Why Not Flush WD-40 Down the Toilet?

WD-40 is great for cleaning the surface of your toilet bowl, but it harms the toilet after flushing. It’s because the oil kills good bacteria in the septic system. Even if you don’t have a septic system, try not to flush WD-40 down the toilet because it may damage the pipes in the long run.

Bacteria in the septic tank feed off of waste and turn it into non-harmful matter. They prevent clog formation, making the septic system more resistant to debris-induced blockages.

The only reason to flush WD-40 down the drain is when you notice stains from harmful bacteria in your toilet. But even then, you can probably clean the mess by spraying the product rather than flushing.

Here’s how to recognize different types of toilet stains:

  • Stains from bacteria are dark or orange
  • Stains from iron rust are brown
  • Calcium deposits create white lime

In each case, you can apply WD-40 to clean your toilet without flushing.

How to Use WD-40 to Clean Your Toilet?

Now that you know it’s safe to use WD-40 in your toilet, it is time to learn how to do it adequately. There are five steps to take here:

Step 1: Empty the Toilet Bowl

You need to remove water from the toilet bowl before using WD-40. Our advice is to pick most of it with a small plastic cup, after which you can use a sponge to remove whatever is left down there.

Place a bucket under the toilet and pour water into it.

The most important thing is to get the toilet stains out of water because that’s where you’ll apply WD-40. If you’re not in a hurry, wait 15 minutes for the bowl to dry completely.

Step 2: Apply WD-40 to the Stains

WD-40 is a pressurized product, so you should shake it to combine all ingredients before spraying. Always apply the spray perpendicularly to the surface of your toilet bowl.

You don’t need to spray the entire surface of the toilet bowl – it’s enough to add a thin layer that precisely targets the stains. We also encourage you to wear goggles and rubber gloves to avoid getting WD-40 on your eyes or hands.

Step 3: Leave It for a Few Minutes

As a chemical solution, WD-40 needs some time to react with the stains. You should leave it to do its thing for a few minutes before cleaning. According to the product label, WD-40 takes only two or three minutes to dissolve stains in your toilet.

However, you can leave it on the surface for a few more minutes – it won’t harm the toilet, while you can rest assured that WD-40 is working.

Step 4: Remove the Stains

The next step is to wipe all stains from the surface of your toilet bowl. Start with the toilet brush to rinse the biggest stains. It should eliminate most of the debris, but you can continue scrubbing for a couple of minutes to make sure everything is clean.

After that, use a sponge, rag, or soft cloth to wipe the toilet bowl. Don’t forget to do it because you don’t want WD-40 to enter the septic system. Take care of any residues that remain on the rim of the bowl – they can form new toilet stains if you leave them there.

Step 5: Flush the Toilet

Now that the toilet bowl is clean and free from WD-40, it is time to flush it. Even if there’s still some solution left in the water, it won’t be enough to do any of damage to your toilet.

If you notice stain leftovers, you can spray WD-40 once again and repeat the process. However, this time you should use an even smaller dose of the product.

Should I Use WD-40 to Unclog the Toilet?

WD-40 may help you break the clogs in your toilet, but unclogging is not the product’s primary purpose. It cannot dissolve sturdy blockages, so you should probably use alternative products to unclog the toilet.

Tools such as toilet plunger or auger will do the job more efficiently, but it doesn’t mean that WD-40 can’t help you with other toilet-cleaning tasks.

For instance, WD-40 will help you loosen and unscrew rusty toilet bolts. You can also use this penetrating oil to clean metal tools, take care of the bathroom flooring and tiles, or remove chewing gum from the floor.

Are There Any WD-40 Alternatives?

If you don’t want to experiment with WD-40 in the toilet, perhaps you should try its alternatives. After all, many products unquestionably serve as toilet bowl cleaners in particular. We will show you a few:

Vinegar and Baking Soda

The combination of white vinegar and baking soda will help you fight the most common toilet problems. It can remove stubborn stains, deodorize your toilet bowl, and lighten rust.

The mix is natural and contains little to no artificial elements or toxic chemicals. It’s not as strong as chemical cleaners, but it will take care of the toilet stains.

Naural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

A natural toilet bowl cleaner from Seventh Generation is an excellent alternative to WD-40 because it’s biodegradable and non-toxic. It allows you to clean the toilet smoothly but leaves no harmful residues in the process. Besides that, it leaves your bathroom smelling fresh after cleaning.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach

Clorox is a regular toilet bowl cleaner that successfully eliminates tough stains and kills germs. We like the most that Clorox comes with a special nozzle to deep clean under the toilet ring. It makes the cleaning easier and more convenient than usual. 

The Bottom Line

WD-40 is a multifunctional cleaning product that you can safely use in your toilet. The only thing that matters is to do it according to the manufacturer’s instructions — WD-40 could otherwise harm the septic system’s performance.

Remember not to flush it, but rather wipe it off the toilet bowl’s surface. It will eliminate the stains and leave your toilet looking fresh and clean.


What does spraying WD-40 in your toilet do?

WD-40 is a penetrating oil, and it will dissolve the stains in your toilet. You can spray it over the porcelain, and the solution will start reacting with rust, limescale stains, and bacteria-induced stains. When you scrub the surface with the toilet brush, there shouldn’t be any stains left in the toilet. 

Alternatives to this penetrating oil include various commercial products, a pumice stone, vinegar, and baking soda.

Can you use WD-40 to unclog the toilet?

WD-40 can sometimes help you break the clogs in your toilet, but it doesn’t dissolve them as you would expect from an “unclogging” product. Therefore, it is better to use other toilet cleaners like a plunger or an auger to unclog the toilet.

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