Wood toilet seats can add warmth and style to a bathroom. The wood not only adds visual warmth; sitting on a wooden toilet seat is a more comfortable experience as it feels warmer than sitting on a plastic one. They do take a little more care though as you have to know how to care for a wooden toilet seat to ensure it says hygienic and doesn’t crack or peel over time.
How To Care For A Wooden Toilet Seat
Caring for a wooden toilet seat isn’t that much harder than caring for a regular toilet seat – you just need to take a gentler approach. Use products that won’t harm wooden surfaces, keep the toilet seat as dry as possible, and be sure to replace natural oils and moisture.
Three goals when caring for a wooden toilet seat:
- Cleaning. Ensuring that the toilet seat is clean – that all evidence of splashes and mishaps are removed.
- Disinfecting. Killing bacteria and viruses that may be lurking.
- Protecting. Keeping the wood in good shape so that it doesn’t crack or peel over time.
Cleaning Products That Are HARMFUL To Wooden Toilet Seats
Using your ‘go-to’ cleaning products on a wooden toilet seat might actually do more harm than good. Wood is a natural material (obviously!) and so can’t stand up to some of the harsher cleaning products we normally use in the bathroom.
It’s best not to use the following if you can avoid it.
- Bleach – just as it’s designed to do, bleach will literally bleach the color out of your wooden toilet seat. Not immediately but, over time the wood will lighten and/or become discolored. Bleach will also slowly remove the protective coating that is on the wood, exposing the wood below and accelerating the discoloring process.
- Vinegar – while vinegar is thought to be a more natural, and environmentally friendly, cleaning product it is not recommended for use on wood surfaces. Vinegar is an acid (acetic acid to be scientifically correct) and will ruin wood surfaces, removing the protective coating on the toilet seat and harming the wood below.
- Abrasive Cleaners – these cleaning products are doubly harmful. Firstly they contain bleach which will discolor the wood surface, and the abrasive nature of the powder will scratch and mar the wood and the protective coating.
Cleaning Products That CLEAN, DISINFECT, and PROTECT Wooden Toilet Seats
Caring for a wooden toilet seat doesn’t mean sacrificing a clean and disinfected surface. It just means using products that are gentler to the wood surface while still doing what they are supposed to; cleaning and disinfecting.
These cleaning products will clean, disinfect, and protect.
- Dish Soap – a mild detergent such as dish soap is the best cleaning solution for wooden toilet seats. Hot soapy water will clean up any splashes or mishaps without using any harsh chemicals that might damage the surface.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Solution – H2O2, or hydrogen peroxide, has been used as a disinfectant for a bazillion years. It kills bacteria and fungus/mold by destroying their cell walls (Fun Fact: I used to be a Medical Microbiology Technologist – growing bacteria and testing antibiotics against them to determine which should be prescribed to patients). Hydrogen peroxide can be used straight from the bottle (it’s usually sold at a 3% solution), or mixed with water for a diluted solution. Leave it on the surface for a few minutes and then rinse and wipe dry.
- Murphy’s Oil Soap – the final step in caring for wooden toilet seats is to protect the wood from drying out over time. A product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap will clean and protect wooden surfaces – including wooden toilet seat surfaces – but it doesn’t disinfect, so be sure to use a disinfecting product also (such as the H2O2 mentioned above).
Some Final Tips On Caring For Wooden Toilet Seats
Keep It Dry
No matter what products you use, one thing to remember is to never ‘soak’ the wooden surface. Don’t leave water, or cleaning products, on the surface for a long period of time. Be sure to wipe it dry and leave the toilet lid up allowing air flow to completely dry the wood. Damp wood is a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus and mold.
Replace Cracked Seats Immediately
Sometimes, even with the best care, wooden toilet seats will crack. Be sure to regularly inspect for cracks and replace the seat immediately. Even the smallest crack can cause painful pinches to unsuspecting users!
Take Care Of The Hardware Too
Use the same cleaning methods to care for the toilet seat hinges as you do for the rest of the seat. The hydrogen peroxide is a great cleaning solution here too, as it can reach all the nooks and crannies yet won’t promote rusting on metal hinges.
Be sure to check the bumpers underneath the toilet seat. These are easily replaced if they become discolored, start to break down, or become dislodged. Keeping these in shape will ensure that the toilet seat stays stable on the porcelain toilet bowl with no slipping or sliding.