How To Take Off A Toilet Seat

How to take off toilet seat

Learning how to take off a toilet seat is a simple and easy task. Thankfully, you’ll only need a few tools and this guide to get you by!

Before beginning this task, make sure you either put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves. If you don’t have any handy, that’s no problem either! You can spray white vinegar, bleach, or any kind of toilet bowl cleaner or regular toilet cleaner around the toilet seat. 

Due to the location of the nuts and bolts on the toilet seat, it’s wise to either glove up or clean around the area first. There could be lots of bacteria growth, fecal matter, urine, and more! 

Learning how to take off a toilet seat is important, especially when you have an old toilet. Usually when you have an old toilet, you’ll have an old toilet seat too. Most toilets will last you about 15 years but a toilet seat will only last about 5-7 years before you need a replacement toilet seat. 

So, if you are cleaning or putting on a new seat, you’ll need to know how to take off the old toilet seat first. You’ll need a few tools, as listed below, and follow these steps!


Materials Needed:

  • Adjustable Wrench or Pliers 
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket Wrench (optional)
  • Locking Pliers (optional: Only needed if you don’t have an adjustable wrench and tough screws!)

How to Take Off a Toilet Seat:

How to Remove a Soft Close Toilet Seat With a Top Mount
  1. To begin removing the toilet seat, locate the bolt caps at the back of the toilet seat if you have hidden fixings. Otherwise, the toilet seat fixings, the hardware, will be out in the open such as the toilet seat hinge. Open the bolt caps and expose the seat fasteners. Some toilet seats may not have bolt caps, the plastic cap that goes over the bolts, but if yours does simply pry the covers upwards. If you can’t get the plastic cap loose, you can pry them open with the screwdriver. 
  2.  Determine the type of screwdriver you will need. Usually, the bolt or screw that is used to keep a toilet seat in place is a phillips head style. Next, you’ll need to locate the bottom of the bolt or screw where there is a nut fasted to the end. Some nuts may be similar in shape to a wing nut which would allow you to hold in place with your hand. However, if the bolt is not a wing nut or you have a weak grip, you can use a pair of pliers or adjustable wrench to grip the nut. 
  3.  For this next step, you’ll need to unfasten the bolts with the correct screwdriver. Continue to grip the bolt nut that is threaded to the end of the bolt. Using the screwdriver, insert the end into the bolt head and turn counterclockwise until the bolt breaks loose from the nut. 
  4. If you are unable to remove the toilet seat fixings with a screwdriver, attempt to use a socket wrench with a deep-well socket attached to it. This should give you enough torque to break the bolt loose and allow you to remove it from the bolt hole. 
  5.  Be sure to discard the old seat as well as the old toilet seat fixings. If you’re replacing the old seat due to instability or breakage, the old toilet seat fixings are likely to fail in the future if you attempt to reuse them. Save yourself the time and hassle by throwing away old toilet seat fixings. 
How to remove toilet seat

How to Take off a Soft Closing Toilet Seat: with a top mount

  1. Lift the toilet seat upwards to a 90 degree angle and carefully lift the toilet seat off. If the toilet seat does not come free from the toilet, check to ensure that there are not 1 or 2 release buttons. Some models of soft closing toilet seats will have these.   
  2. The mounting base will be covered with a plastic cap. Pry the plastic cap open to expose the mounting bolt.   
  3. Identify the type of screw being used. Use the correct screwdriver to unscrew the mounting bolt.  Remove the mounting base and the washers from the toilet bowl.

How to Take Off a Soft Closing Toilet Seat: with a bottom mount

  1. Locate the two plastic caps at the back of the toilet seat. The plastic caps will be covering the mounting bolt. Pry the plastic cap off.   
  2. Some soft closing toilet seat brands will require you to locate and press a release button but for other brands, such as Kohler, you will only need to slide the seat backwards to release the toilet seat.    
  3. Identify the type of screw being used. Using the correct screwdriver, place it in the mounting bolt slot. Using your other hands, reach underneath the toilet bowl to grasp the wing nut. Hold the wing nut with your hand or gently with a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench. 
  4. Now you can unscrew the mounting bolt with the screwdriver.   
  5. You can now remove all of the mounting hardware off of the toilet bowl.

If you’re planning on putting the same toilet seat back on to your toilet, make sure you don’t lose those toilet seat bolts! But if you do lose a bolt or two, don’t worry, you can buy a replacement toilet seat bolt at your local hardware store. 

Some toilets may have a plastic toilet seat that comes with a plastic bolt instead of metal. Should you crack or strip the plastic bolt while trying to get it out of the bolt holes, don’t worry about that either. Your local hardware store sells replacement plastic bolts as well. 

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