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How to Clean a Wooden Toilet Seat? – Easy DIY Guide

how to clean a wooden toilet seat
Written by Elizabeth Fincher
Last Update: August 10, 2023

Most of us actually take our toilet seats for granted. We think of them as necessary but not so useful other than keeping our bottoms from falling into the toilet.

But this negligence may result in your health condition being compromised if you don’t keep them neat and clean. This is even more true if you have wooden seats since they require a different approach.

What’s the approach?  We’re here to walk you through the whole process!

How to Clean a Wooden Toilet Seat?

1. Get a cleaning agent

Some of the most common cleaning agents are:

  • Dish soaps
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Murphy’s soap
  • Rubbing alcohol

Among these, hydrogen peroxide handles stubborn stains pretty well while Murphy’s soap helps balance out the sealing of the wood rather than disinfecting it.

2. Let the seat dry

Apply the cleaning agent gently and clean up the area thoroughly. Let it dry afterward.

3. Remove urine stains

Unlike plastic, wooden seats are sensitive to bleaching agents. That’s why you should never use bleach to remove urine stains.

Instead, go for options like hydrogen peroxide that will take out the stain without harming the seal and the color of the wood.

4. Sanitize and disinfect

You can use a hydrogen peroxide solution with rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will help with the disinfection and speed up the drying process.

Cleaning Products You Should Avoid

  • Harsh cleansers

There are different types of harsh cleansers and a majority of them come in the powder form that creates a frictional force against the wooden surface. As a result, you may end up spoiling the texture of the seat.

  • Bleach

The bleach reacts on the outer surface of the wood and ruins the color and shine.

  • Vinegar

Vinegar is a widely popular cleaning agent. The natural acetic acid makes it an ideal choice for cleansing and disinfecting.

But the acidity of the vinegar tends to spoil the color of the wood that may also ruin the integrity of the wood as well.

Commonly Used Toilet Seat Materials

1. Wood

Wooden toilet seats are still so popular for their comfortable finish and added durability while the wooden surface keeps the seat temperature stable in any weather condition, especially in winter.

2. Plastic

Super easy to clean and maintain, plastic seats are more on the modern side. Their robust build yet easy affordability has made them the most common material in US households.

Why Choose a Wooden Toilet Seat?

1. Durability

Wooden seats usually are heavier and thicker than their plastic counterparts. The integrity of the wood makes them sturdy enough to use for years if you take good care of them.

2. Environmentally friendly

We all know how plastics are harming our environment today and opting for safe, natural, and eco-friendly materials is always a wise decision.

We recommend that you replace your plastic toilet seat with a wooden one.

3. Always in style

Wooden products never go out of style, and this holds true even for the toilet seat.

4. Temperature balance

As said before, the insulating property of wood helps it maintain a perfectly balanced temperature throughout the year. Once you use them, there will be no coming back!

What Makes a Wooden Toilet Seat Unhygienic?

Despite being hygienic, wooden seats tend to crack if there is moisture and abrasion.

Urine along with other fluids may seep into these tiny cracks and cause buildup of bacterial.

There could also be skid marks that may gross you out.

Care and Maintenance Tips

1. Keep the seat nice and dry all year round

Always remember that moisture is the worst enemy that can promote bacterial growth and mess up with the exterior sealing of the seat.

2. Say no to cracked seats

Do regular checkups to see if the seat has any cracks and fix them immediately if found.

3. Don’t forget about the hardware

Follow the same cleaning procedure for the seat hinges as well.

The bumpers below the seat can be easily replaced if they get dislodged, discolored or break down. They are necessary to keep your toilet stable and wobble-free.

What if the Gold Hardware Loses Its Shine?

Some wooden toilet seats have these gold hardware that attach the seat to the toilet. They can discolor soon and turn brown or green.

Here’s a unique tip: coat the hardware with a clear nail polish!


1. Are wooden toilet seats sanitary?

Ans. Wooden toilets are indeed safe and sanitary but they may trap more bacteria and germs when compared to plastic seats at times.

2. Do wooden toilet seats smell?

Ans. If maintained well, it will not smell. But there could be odor if the sealing is broken or cracked.

About the author

Elizabeth Fincher

Elizabeth started her career as an interior design artist at a multinational interior design farm. She completed her masters degree from the University of North Texas back in 2010. She was also a Spelling Bee runner-up when she was 14. She took interest in bathroom interior designing after joining her first job. Later she started her own firm as an independent artist. She’s been one of the founding members of Toiletsguide. She examines the design and ergonomics of the units we review and directs the interior decoration team of our in-house research facility. Elizabeth plays piano masterfully and always finds time to entertain us in between our busy schedules.

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