How to Prevent Toilet Backsplash

Toilet backsplash is an annoying and unsanitary problem that many homeowners face. When flushing a toilet, water can splash out of the bowl and onto the surrounding surfaces. This can spread germs and leave hard to clean messes. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to prevent toilet backsplash and keep your bathroom clean.

Adjust the Water Level in the Toilet Tank

One of the easiest ways to reduce backsplash is to lower the water level in your toilet tank. The water level is too high if it is near the top of the overflow tube.

Here is how to properly adjust the water level:

  • Shut off the water supply valve behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to empty the tank.
  • Check inside the tank and locate the fill valve. This is the mechanism that refills the tank with water after flushing.
  • Turn the adjustment screw on the fill valve counterclockwise to lower the float on the valve. This will decrease the water level in the tank.
  • Turn on the water and let the tank refill. The water should now stop about 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Flush the toilet a couple times to test the new water level. Adjust the screw more if needed to prevent backsplash.

Lowering the tank water means there is less force when flushing. This can greatly reduce splashing, while still providing enough water to flush waste.

Install a Toilet Flange Extender

If the toilet flange is installed too low, it can also lead to backsplash. The flange is the opening at the base of the toilet that connects to the drain pipe.

Adding a flange extender raises the height of the flange to better match the toilet. This allows waste to drop directly down rather than splashing around the bowl.

Flange extenders are inexpensive plastic parts that glue onto the existing flange. Installing them is a quick DIY project:

  • Purchase a flange extender kit designed for your toilet model.
  • Clean the area around the toilet flange and drain pipe.
  • Apply plumber’s putty around the bottom of the extender piece.
  • Press the extender firmly over the old flange so they seal together.
  • Reinstall the toilet on top and test for leaks.

Raising the flange just an inch or two can significantly reduce backsplash. This simple fix takes care of flanges that were installed too low or have settled over time.

Use a Toilet Splash Guard

For a quick and affordable solution, attach a flexible toilet splash guard. These guards block backsplash and divert water back into the bowl.

Splash guards come in various shapes that drape over the toilet bowl rim. Models with an adjustable width fit most standard toilet sizes.

To install a toilet splash guard:

  • Clean and dry the toilet bowl rim.
  • Center the splash guard on the rim in the back of the toilet.
  • Affix it to the porcelain using strong, removable adhesive strips.
  • Press firmly so the guard creates a tight seal on the rim.
  • Check that the guard hangs down into the bowl enough to block splashes.

Splash guards effectively contain backsplash and are easily removable for cleaning. Replace the adhesive strips as needed when they lose stickiness.

Use a Gentler Toilet Flapper

Replacing an old or faulty toilet flapper can greatly reduce the force of the flush. This provides gentler water flow and less backsplash.

The flapper is the rubber seal at the bottom of the tank that lifts up to start the flush. Over time, flappers can warp or leak, causing a more aggressive flush.

Upgrading to a new flapper is very easy:

  • Shut off the toilet water supply and flush out the tank.
  • Remove the old flapper from the flush valve. Check that the valve seat is clean.
  • Get a replacement flapper made of a soft, pliable material like neoprene. Avoid rigid flappers.
  • Attach the new flapper to the flush valve following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Turn the water back on and test for leaks and flushing power.

High quality, flexible flappers provide a robust flush without excessive splashing. Replace flappers every 3-5 years for optimal performance.

Add a Toilet Flush Baffle

For a more involved solution, install an internal toilet tank baffle. This device fits inside the tank and redirects the flush flow to prevent backsplash.

Baffles have long arms that extend into the tank. As water rushes down during flushing, the baffle aims the flow toward the front of the bowl rather than straight down. This greatly reduces splashing.

Installing a toilet baffle:

  • Drain and remove the tank from the toilet bowl.
  • Locate the flush valve at the bottom of the tank – this is where the flapper attaches.
  • Position the baffle in the tank with the arms facing the toilet bowl and flush valve.
  • Adjust the baffle so it sits level in the tank and does not interfere with mechanisms.
  • Reattach the tank securely to the toilet.
  • Flush to test that water flows quietly through the baffle.

Baffles are highly effective at preventing backsplash but do require some assembly. Check that the baffle does not reduce flushing performance before reinstalling the tank.

Add Soft Close Toilet Seat Bumpers

Toilet seats that slam down can generate significant backsplash. Installing soft closing bumpers on the toilet seat is an easy way to prevent this.

The bumpers are small rubber stops that mount between the seat and the toilet bowl. They gently catch and slow the toilet seat as it closes.

To add soft close bumpers:

  • Lift the toilet seat and clean the contact points between the seat and bowl.
  • Apply removable adhesive to the rubber bumpers.
  • Firmly press a bumper near the tip of each side of the seat to adhere to the porcelain.
  • Let the adhesive fully dry. The bumpers should now softly catch the seat when lowered.
  • Test by dropping the seat from different heights. Adjust the bumper positions if needed.

With soft closing bumpers, the toilet seat will close gently and quietly without banging and splashing. This also prevents damage to the seat and hinges over time.

Use a Toilet Seat with Built-In Soft Close

Today many toilet seat models come with integrated soft close hinges. These provide the same gentle closing action without requiring installing separate bumpers.

Seats with soft close hinges have small springs and dampeners inside the hinges. The cushions on each side provide smooth, quiet closing without slamming.

When shopping for soft close toilet seats:

  • Measure to get the appropriate oval or round seat size.
  • Choose durable plastic, wood, or composite construction.
  • Ensure it fits two-piece toilets with traditional bolt mountings.
  • Select a comfortable, ergonomic seat design.
  • Read reviews and purchase from a reputable brand.

Install these seats the same as standard models. The soft close function prevents slamming from nearly any height. This greatly reduces backsplash from the impact.

Install a Bidet Toilet Attachment

Adding a bidet attachment alongside your toilet can cut down on messy splashing. Bidets spray a focused stream of water for cleaning rather than wiping with toilet paper.

Bidet attachments are compact devices that mount between the toilet seat and bowl rim. They tap into the existing water supply line.

Installing a bidet attachment:

  • Shut off the water supply and remove the toilet seat.
  • Attach the bidet’s supply line splitter to the water line.
  • Mount the bidet body on the toilet bowl and attach the seat.
  • Run the bidet water line along the wall to the shutoff valve.
  • Turn on the water and check for leaks before use.

With the bidet option, you use far less toilet paper that can clog flows and cause splashing. Bidets also improve hygiene. Just be sure to get a model with adjustable pressure settings.

Add a Toilet Brush and Plunger

While not directly preventing backsplash, keeping a toilet bowl brush and plunger nearby allows quick cleanup after splashes occur. Promptly removing splatters prevents staining and sticky messes.

For easy access, mount a toilet brush holder on the wall behind the toilet. Choose a model with a drip tray to neatly contain drips.

Similarly, hang a quality rubber plunger close by. After heavy splashing occurs, quickly plunge and flush away the water before it leaves marks.

With these cleanup tools on hand, fixing splashes takes just seconds. Always return them to their holders to dry out and prevent cross contamination.

Use Caution Flushing Moist Toilet Paper

Some people flush moist toilet paper designed not to clog pipes. However, these extra-thick toilet papers often generate severe backsplash. The mushy paper does not drop cleanly into the water.

If you want to prevent backsplash, exercise caution when flushing any thick, cottony paper:

  • Use a gentle touch when flushing moist toilet paper to avoid forceful water flows.
  • Limit use to just one or two sheets at a time, and avoid bunching up wads of paper.
  • Select a weaker flush setting if your toilet allows dual flushes.
  • Upgrade your toilet flapper to a more gentle model.
  • Install toilet splash guards and baffles to contain backflows of water and paper.

With care, you can still reap the benefits of moist toilet paper without excessive splashing side effects.

Increase Bathroom Ventilation

While not a direct solution for backsplash, improving general bathroom ventilation can help reduce long-term moisture and potential mold or mildew.

When heavy splashing puts more moisture in the air, having adequate ventilation is key. Operate bathroom exhaust fans, open windows, and run dehumidifiers to remove excess humidity.

Preventing condensation and dampness helps all bathroom surfaces stay cleaner between regular scrubbings. Proper moisture control keeps toilet bowls, walls, floors and fixtures drier.

Make sure bathrooms have working exhaust fans ducted outside. Upgrade to high-efficiency, low-noise models for the best air removal. Use them or open windows during and after hot showers.

Good ventilation paired with backsplash prevention keeps your bathroom more sanitary and easier to clean.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventing Toilet Backsplash

Toilet backsplash and splashing can create some messy problems. Here are answers to some common questions about managing this issue in your bathroom.

How much can new toilet flappers reduce backsplash?

Replacing a warped, leaking, or mineral-caked flapper with a fresh soft flapper can reduce backsplash by up to 50%. New flappers provide a well-sealed, gentle flush.

Where is the best place to position toilet splash guards?

Flexible splash guards are most effective when adhered to the very back of the toilet rim. This blocks the point where backsplash typically originates.

How do toilet tank baffles work to control backsplash?

Baffles mount inside the tank and redirect the rush of water forward instead of straight down. This converts the vertical waterfall into more of a frontal wave.

Why can moist toilet paper cause excessive backsplash?

Thick, fluffy moist toilet paper is designed not to fall apart in water. This cottony paper tends to float and mushroom instead of sinking cleanly. Pieces can trap water and ricochet it out of the bowl.

How often should toilet seats and flappers be replaced?

Most toilet seats last 5-10 years before warping or cracking. Toilet flappers wear out and should be replaced every 3-5 years for optimal flushing function without backsplash.

Does higher water pressure cause more backsplash?

Yes, high incoming water pressure provides a stronger flush flow. Reducing pressure below 80 psi can help tame aggressive flushing that causes splashing.


Toilet backsplash can be an unpleasant and unhealthy problem. With abrasive bowl cleaners and vigorous scrubbing, you can remove splash marks and stains. However, it is better to prevent backsplash from occurring in the first place.

Adjusting your toilet’s internal mechanisms provides the most effective solutions. Replacing old flappers with flexible ones, lowering the tank water level, and adding internal baffles and flange extenders reduce backsplash at the source. External products like splash guards also contain wayward water.

Combining these prevention methods means you’ll spend less time cleaning up toilet messes. Bathroom surfaces will stay cleaner and more sanitary. By stopping backsplash, you can enjoy a pristine and peaceful bathroom environment.