When it comes to your toilet seat, sanitation should be your number one priority. Although wooden toilet seats looked refined and elegant, many fear that they are not sanitary.

Luckily, wooden toilet seats are extremely sanitary if they are taken care of properly. Read on to learn how to keep your wooden toilet seat clean and free of germs. 

Are Wooden Toilet Seats Sanitary? 

Because of the protective coating on the outside of wooden toilet seats, they can be extremely hygienic. So long as the protective coating remains intact and is regularly cleaned, a wooden toilet seat is sanitary. 

On its own, wood is highly absorbent. This means that wood will absorb liquids and germs rather easily. In wooden toilet seats though, the wood is treated with a protective finish that prevents the wood from absorbing liquids and germs. 

Hygiene is one of the most important factors when selecting a toilet seat. Since toilet seats are exposed to many bacteria and germs, you want to buy a toilet seat that is easy to clean and nonabsorbent. If your toilet seat is not hygienic, it can become overrun by bacteria and germs and smell very bad. 

How Wooden Toilet Seats May Become Unhygienic

As we have stated, toilet seats are only sanitary so long as the protective coating stays intact. If the protective finish gets scratched, the wooden toilet seat may become unhygienic. Using an abrasive cloth or using the toilet seat for many years could cause the finish to become damaged, making the toilet seat unhygienic. 

Additionally, wooden toilet seats can become unhygienic if they are not cleaned properly. Just like any other toilet seat, you must clean the wooden toilet seat on a regular or semi-regular basis. If not, bacteria will sit on the top of the seat. 

How to Keep a Wooden Toilet Seat Sanitary 

In order to keep a wooden toilet seat sanitary, it is imperative to clean it regularly with the correct supplies. If you fail to clean the toilet seat or use the wrong supplies, bacteria could hide out on the toilet seat.

Step 1: Clean 

The first step to keeping a wooden toilet seat sanitary is cleaning it off daily. Whenever you’re getting out of the shower or spraying hairspray, your toilet seat gets exposed to different liquids.

In order to keep the protective coating strong, clean off the wooden toilet seat regularly. Whenever you see a splash or mishap on the toilet seat, wipe it off so that it does not saturate onto the toilet seat. 

Murphy’s Oil Soap is a great way to both clean and protect the wooden toilet seat. Though it does not disinfect, it will pick up any excess water or spills on the wooden toilet seat. At the same time, it’ll keep the wooden toilet seat from drying out. 

Step 2: Disinfect 

The next step to keeping your toilet seat sanitary is disinfecting it. Since the toilet seat is one of the most exposed places to a number of bacteria, you want to make sure that the surface is disinfected from all bacteria. You can choose to disinfect your toilet seat as often as you would like, but we recommend disinfecting it at least once a week. 

To disinfect your wooden toilet seat, simply put a mild detergent on a soft sponge or cloth. Rub the sponge or cloth around the entire surface of the wooden toilet seat. Make sure to wipe the toilet seat down with a dry cloth and leave the toilet seat open after cleaning it.

Here are two disinfecting products that you may want to use on your wooden toilet: 

Dish Soap: Dish soap is a mild detergent that will disinfect the wooden toilet seat without damaging its surface or protective coating. 

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution: Hydrogen peroxide is another great disinfectant solution. It kills bacteria, fungus, and mold by destroying the cell walls. You can either use hydrogen peroxide straight from the bottle or dilute it with water. Leave it on the surface of the toilet for a few minutes. Then, rinse it off and wipe the toilet seat dry. 

Whenever you’re cleaning your wooden toilet seat, make sure to avoid cleaning supplies that may strip the protective coating. Do not use bleach, vinegar, or abrasive cleaners on your wooden toilet. These products are too strong for the wooden material and protective coating. 

Step 3: Protect 

The third step to keeping a sanitary wooden toilet seat is protecting it from any damage. Protecting your toilet seat will ensure that the protective coating stays intact and that you can use your toilet seat for many years to come. 

The first way to protect your toilet seat is to never completely saturate it with a cleaning product or water. If you saturate the toilet seat, the protective coating can get worn down and the wood may absorb the liquid. We recommend putting any cleaning product or water on a towel, cloth, or sponge before placing it on the wooden toilet seat. 

Additionally, make sure to immediately replace your toilet seat if you see any cracks or crevices. You will not be able to fix the crack easily, so it is easier to just replace it. If you use a toilet seat with cracks in it, you will be using an unhygienic toilet seat. 

Another way to protect your toilet seat is to keep it hydrated. Use a product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap to keep the wood from drying out over time. If the wood is too dry, the protective coating can crack. 

Wooden Vs Plastic Toilet Seats


If you purchase a good toilet seat, it should be comfortable to sit on regardless of the material. With that being said, many people find wooden toilet seats more comfortable because they stay warm year round, while plastic toilet seats can be cold. There are heated plastic toilet seats on the market, but they are more expensive than wooden toilet seats.


Overall, both wooden and plastic toilet seats can be hygienic. Plastic toilet seats are easier to clean and are less likely to have hidden germs, though. If you get a wooden toilet seat, you will need to clean it and treat it more carefully in order to keep it hygienic.


A good toilet seat should last for several years regardless of the material. With that being said, wooden toilet seats will deteriorate quicker, while cheap plastic toilet seats can break easily. No matter the material, make sure that the quality of the toilet seat is superb so that it doesn’t break easily.


Plastic toilet seats are usually more cost-efficient than wooden toilet seats. You can get specialty toilet seats made of plastic though, which are more expensive than regular wooden toilet seats.

Can I recoat the protective finish on my wooden toilet seat? 

Yes, you can recoat your wooden toilet seat with a protective finish or paint designed for toilet seats. Doing so will increase the lifespan of your wooden toilet seat.

Final Words

Overall, there are pros and cons for both wooden toilet seats and plastic toilet seats. Here is a comparison guide for choosing between a wooden or plastic toilet seat: