Everyone has dropped something in the toilet accidentally and probably wondered how to clean it. How can you clean and disinfect items without damaging them?

A quick cleaning procedure for many items is to wash with soap and hot water. Then, place it in boiling water for 15-25 minutes.

Toilet Water Are Germy 

Of course, toilets and toilet water are very germy. Notably, public toilets do contain a wide variety of viruses and bacteria. So, it is possible to get an illness or infection from touching toilet water.

If the toilet is not flushed, you have a higher risk of illness or infection. Chiefly, fecal matter contains many bacteria that could transmit diseases. Accordingly, you could pass an illness to a family member.

Therefore, it pays to consider whether you really need an item you dropped in a public toilet. However, if you need to retrieve an item from a toilet, you can take precautions that lower the risk of problems.

How to Retrieve Items from a Toilet

Retrieving items safely from the toilet is always the first step to cleaning it so follows the steps below.

  1. If the item is deep inside a toilet, a plumbing snake or coat hanger can help to dislodge it.
  2. If you are at home, you should put on a pair of gloves before reaching into the toilet or use a pair of tongs you can clean. However, if you are not home and choose to pull out the object, be quick to lower exposure to the bacteria.
  3. If you have no gloves and cuts on your hands, you may want to consider if the item is worth it. This is especially true if it is a public toilet, as open wounds increase your chances of illness or infection.
  4. Custodians are often capable of helping you in public bathrooms. However, you will want to keep the item inside something to keep from handling it until you can clean it. Try wrapping it in several layers of paper towels, if possible.

Generic Cleaning Procedure

Cleaning your items after a toilet bath can change a lot, depending on the item. However, for items that are not delicate or electronic, like your keys, or plumbing tools, here is a generic procedure.

Remove the item. If you are scared to reach into the toilet, get a custodian if it is a public toilet. Or, if you are at home tongs can help; just make sure to clean it like the item, you are fishing out. 

  1. Dry the item. Some disposable paper towels or toilet paper would be a good idea.
  2. Wipe with disinfectant. This could be Isopropyl alcohol, Lysol, or Clorox wipes. Just thoroughly wipe the exterior down.
  3. Boil water. Now that the exterior of the item is clean, you might want to thoroughly clean the entire item and ensure there are no remaining germs. If your item is damaged by the heat, skip this step and clean extremely thoroughly with the disinfectant.
  4. Soak the item. Keep the item in the boiling water for a few minutes to ensure it has killed all the germs. 15-25 minutes should be sufficient, just make sure it does not remain longer than the material can handle.
  5. Let it dry. Be careful until it has cooled down.

How to Clean and Disinfect an Item that Has Been Dropped in a Toilet

There are many ways to clean an item you have dropped in a toilet. You should base the cleaning method on the item involved. The items need to be cleaned in a manner that won’t damage them while still properly disinfecting them.

How to Clean and Disinfect a Cellphone that fell in the Toilet?

Many people will drop a cellphone into the toilet at some point. Unfortunately, since a cellphone is expensive, there isn’t really an option to leave it, even in a public toilet.

Using rubbing alcohol to dry it is controversial, but normally recommended. So, we will use this method here as it will both dry and disinfect your phone.

First, try to grab the phone quickly and dry the outside with a cloth and, if possible, a hairdryer. Now submerge your phone in a container filled with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Leave it for a few hours and gently jostle the phone inside the liquid every so often. 

Afterward, dry it with a cloth and set it aside overnight. The alcohol will disinfect your phone, and it evaporates far faster than water. Also, the alcohol will not leave mineral or other deposits in your phone, risking other damage.

How to Clean Personal Items that Have Been Dropped in the Toilet?

The best way to clean and disinfect personal items that you drop in the toilet depends on the item. A few everyday items and how to clean them are listed below.

First, scrub the retainer with antibacterial soap. Then, soak the retainer in a bowl of Listerine for 15-30 minutes, soaking too long could cause damage. Do not boil; the heat will damage the retainer.

Electric Toothbrush
Remove the head and dispose of it if you can, but if you want to keep it, use a dishwasher, or thoroughly boil it. Remove the batteries, if possible, and dry. Soak the base inside isopropyl alcohol to disinfect it.

Wash with soap and hot water. Then clean the whole thing with glasses cleaning spray or even better disposable eyeglass cleaning wipes. Do not use harsh cleaners as many chemicals like bleach and rubbing alcohol can damage the lenses and frames.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Bleach Kill Toilet Germs?

Yes, bleach does a great job killing toilet germs. It will even kill COVID 19. However, it needs to sit on the toilet for at least five minutes to properly disinfect. Also, it does not clean surfaces.

In order to clean and disinfect a toilet, you could use a cleaner that includes bleach. If you choose to make your own cleaner with bleach, check that your ingredients can combine safely. Also, do not use bleach in the toilet if you have a septic system

Does Vinegar Kill Germs?

Yes, vinegar does kill some germs. However, it is not a disinfectant and does not work as well as bleach or commercial disinfectants. Also, it needs to sit on a surface approximately 30 minutes to kill germs.