You probably weren't either. And, yet, it seems like it's simply assumed that we all just know this kind of stuff. Before writing this post, I polled my step-daughter - I seek her wise counsel in so many things - I asked if I should even 'go there'. "Yes! Absolutely! This is exactly the kind of thing Martha Stewart used to talk about! It's needed!"
So, here we go. Buckle up. Oh, and after our lesson, you'll want to brush up your knowledge of the flushing toilet? No, it actually wasn't Victorian plumber, Thomas Crapper. And, as long as we're on the subject, I recommend a totally fascinating documentary about the evolution of the toilet.
As with many housecleaning tasks, I recommend starting at the top and working down to the floor. The same with a toilet. Gather up your cleaning products - which don't need to be anything more complicated (or a drain on your wallet) than a damp rag or moistened paper towels. Seriously. That's all I use. And, a stiff toilet brush. If you love to spend your hard-earned on the useless 'theatre' of blue water, then knock yourself out. That 'blue' does absolutely zip. Nada. Nothing. Even if it did, once the toilet is, ahem, 'used' once, then any disinfecting power would be gone down the drain. Save your money for better things.
Start by wiping down the top of the tank, moving to the flush handle, down to the area behind the lid. The 'process' is what you're going to learn, here. A system. This way, you'll not miss a spot, your efforts will be efficient and effective. Five minutes will yield perfect results every time.
That area between the seat lid and the tank - if you have males in the house - can become a collection site for dried urine. Think of all those old 'aim' jokes.
Wipe the top of the closed lid. Move down to the outside of the bowl. The front of the bowl, from the lip to the floor, will often have dried, um, dribble. Then, end up around the base and those areas on the floor, to either side. This is also when I wipe the dried 'dribble' (left by the guys) on the floor in front of the toilet. I mean, you're doing this. You may as well get it all.
You've probably noticed that 'gunk' builds up around those bolt caps that keep the toilet secured to the floor. Occasionally, if they get too terrible, pry those caps off, and scrape away the old discolored acrylic caulk. Put a new bead of caulk there and re-seat the caps.
See how this works? You've gotten most of it done and haven't even had to face that dreaded open bowl. Now, wipe down the seat.
All around, and on the edges, too.
Then, underneath, making sure to get everything from that hinged area.
Now, wipe down the rim all the way around.
Grab your scrubby brush, and start by going around underneath the rim, and work your way to the flush hole.
Depending on where you live, some places have harder water than others, and a hard water deposit can build up at the water line. It's a simple matter of having a pumice Scouring Stick in the bathroom with your cleaning supplies. Turn off the water at the source, and flush to remove most of the water from the bowl.
Wet the end of the pumice stick, and scrub off the calcium deposits. Turn the water back on, and a flush will remove the eroded pumice.
I have a routine that I follow. Each Saturday morning, I clean the bathrooms. It's just the two of us, and that seems to be enough. If we have guests, that's a different matter. But, by doing it every Saturday morning, I'm confident that no matter who might wander into our bathrooms, they're going to find a nice clean facility. Oh, and this is also the right time to replenish the T.P. stock in each bathroom. Then, you'll never have to worry about that.
Yeah, some out there might have noted that I don't wear rubber gloves to clean the commode. It's not plutonium-based or radioactive. And, I do thoroughly wash my hands after cleaning them. Yup. It washes off. Trust me.
P.S. - This whole cleaning process takes less than five minutes per toilet.