How To Clean Toilet Tank

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Have you noticed something gross in your toilet tank which looks like a hardened stain, mold, or mildew? And you can’t get rid of it either, no matter how much you try. 

I know, your only question is how to get rid of it. But it’s also important to know our enemies before attacking them.

When the toilet is left unused for a long time, the water sits in and reacts with the air. This often is the reason. But sometimes, the minerals from the water or the chemicals that you used to clean it may also lead to the formation of this stain.

Either way, you should not leave it untreated. If you choose to ignore it, it will lead to discoloration of your tank. And if it’s mold, it may also cause health hazards.

Now let’s move on to the ways to clean the toilet tank and keep your morning-pal safe. I mean, it’s the first place you visit every morning right?


Steps To Clean The Toilet Tank:

Step 1- Empty the tank

Before doing any sort of cleaning, always empty the tank first. It’ll make the process easier and I’m certain that you don’t want to dip your hands into the unclean water!

Shut the water valve that’s fixed against the wall and then flush the toilet until it drains all the water out. Now you are good to go.

Step 2- Vinegar’s the Hero

This is the secret ingredient to get rid of these stubborn stains, mold, or mildew. It’s an effective and harmless way to do the job and just 3 to 4 gallons is enough.

Pour it in the tank and leave it for half a day (12 hours). It’ll loosen the hardened substance. After the time passes, flush the toilet twice or thrice. 

Tip: Always white or distilled vinegar. Colored vinegar can stain the tank.

Step 3- Give It a Good Scrub

Now fetch your rubber gloves, wear them and spray some disinfectant in the tank. After you are done, use your scrub brush and clean every corner of the tank. If the brush doesn’t reach every corner, buy a new one!

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Cleaning every corner will ensure that there is no dirt or grime left in it. Use a regular cleaner from the market to do the job properly.

Do this step thoroughly to make sure that you won’t have to clean the tank very soon.

Step 4- Time for the Metals

Of course, the metal parts in the tank can’t be left behind! DO NOT apply any cleaner directly on them. It may be corrosive to the metals. Buy a toilet tank cleaner from the market and weaken it with some water.

Apply the weakened cleaner with a wet sponge. The metal parts will thank you for this.

Then flush, flush, flush and every substance inside the tank will be washed away!

This is the most effective way to clean the tank, but if you want something that takes lesser time, then I’ve got that too! However, I’ll suggest that you be patient and carry out the above process for the best results.

Alternative Ways To Clean Toilet Tanks:

Do you have some Dawn at your house? It’s a dish soap but you can use it to clean the toilet tank too.

Mix 2 tablespoons of Dawn in a cup of vinegar and add ½ cup baking soda in it. Empty the tank first, obviously, then apply the mixture in the tank with a toilet brush and scrub every corner. 

Let it sit for an hour, then scrub it again. Once you see that all the stains or mold are gone, flush the residue away!

  • Using Borax and Vinegar

Instead of baking soda, you can also use borax. Mix a cup of borax in 4 cups of vinegar. This time, don’t empty the tank fully. Leave an inch or two of water in it then pour the mixture. Then scrub every corner with the toilet brush.

Wait for an hour or two to let it sit. Scrub it again, especially the affected areas. Flush, flush, flush and you are all done.

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I think you are aware that bleach can be very effective when it comes to cleaning. But it’s just as harmful. If the stain is too stubborn to go and you got little time to clean, you can consider using bleach tablets. 

All you have to do is put a bleach tablet into the toilet bowl of the water-filled tank. Don’t put it in a waterless tank as it’ll be harmful to the parts in it. The rest will be done by itself. 

Sounds easy? It’s obviously the most time-saving method. No brush, scrub, gloves, and all are needed. But please keep this method as your LAST option, or more like an emergency option.

Bleach is not at all safe for the toilet tank, especially the metal parts in it and the rubber seals. The tablet may even break and get stuck into the corners. The mess will go away but you might be left behind with a dysfunctional toilet, and a frustrated you.

These are the different ways of cleaning your toilet tank. However, just getting rid of stains is not the entire story. You need to maintain your toilet and keep it safe to do your morning routine properly.

How To Maintain Clean Toilet Tank?

  • Clean Regularly-

This is the most important thing that you must do to keep your toilet safe. You should clean the porcelain once a week with mild cleaners from the market. Clean the tank at least twice a year to prevent any sort of malfunction.

If your toilet is not used often, you should clean it more than twice a year. 

  • Flush and Flush

If you got an unused toilet in your house itself, then it’s better to at least flush it every day. Regular flushing will prevent any unwanted growth inside the tank. This is the easiest way to maintain it. 

  • Keep It Under Check

You should take a look into the tank once in a while. A check every six months is good enough. You can open the lid and then flush it to see if every part is working properly or not. Check the valve in the tank, whether it’s stopping at a proper level or not. The flapper seal should be well too.

  • Stop the Leaks

If you find any sort of leaks, DO NOT wait for some time to take action. Grab your phone and call the plumber immediately. It’s ‘cause you won’t notice the leak at its early stage, its too slow a process. By the time you notice it, the damage has already been done. 

  • Do Not Flush Just Anything-

For God’s sake, DO NOT flush anything other than human excretes and toilet papers. If you got any kids around, teach them this too. They should know the Dos and Don’ts.

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But be careful with the flushing of toilet paper. Not all of them break down, some can clog the sewage pipes. So, buy the right kind.

Quick Tips

You might have heard about cleaning toilet tanks with a mixture of vinegar and bleach. PLEASE DO NOT do that. Vinegar itself is as effective as it can be. It doesn’t need bleach to boost it up. Rather, the bleach will leave behind a foul smell. 

If you only want dirt or hard water stain cleaner, you can always go for the bleach-free drop-ins available in the market. Drop the tablet in the toilet bowl and let it do its magic. You won’t have to empty the tank for this.

It’s better if you avoid bleach until necessary. And I’m sure if you maintain your toilet properly, the “necessity” won’t ever come! 

Now that you know the different ways to clean your toilet tank, what are you waiting for? Grab the items, buy the ingredients, and get to work! Don’t let the enemies grow further!

And if you can’t handle it on your own, don’t hesitate to call a plumber. They got the greatest knowledge about it you know.

Written by Pulkit D

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