How to Keep your Toilet Tank Clean

flushing toilet tank

When is the last time you gave your toilets the full attention that they need on cleaning day? Cleaning the bowl and base are obvious steps that require weekly attention, but one additional step is vital to creating a sanitary space.


This step is frequently overlooked, and some people may not be aware that it is needed. This step is cleaning the interior of the toilet tank. Have you cleaned your toilets’ tanks recently?


  • Why You Need to Clean the Toilet Tank



When you flush the toilet, the water that has been stored in the tank is used to refill the tank. Many people assume that this is freshwater. In reality, however, it may be contaminated with bacteria, mold, and other elements that thrive in the tank.


By cleaning the toilet tank at least twice annually, you can keep tackle these issues before they grow out of control. At the same time, you may keep your toilet bowl cleaner for a longer period of time and protect the tank’s various mechanical components from wearing out quickly.


  • Drain the Tank

Before you start scrubbing the interior surfaces in the tank, you need to remove the water. To do this, you must adjust the water valve located behind the toilet on the wall. This turns off the water supply to the toilet so that the tank will not refill with water. Then, flush the tank a few times until all of the water is drained from the tank.



  • Choose Your Cleaning Method

Your preferred cleaning method may be dependent on the cleaning supplies that you have available in your home. You will definitely need rubber gloves and a scrubbing brush. You can then choose between white vinegar alone, white vinegar with borax, or white vinegar with baking with dish soap.




If you choose the plain white vinegar method, you will need to have enough vinegar available to fill the tank to the normal water line. Depending on the size of the tank, this could be approximately 5 gallons of vinegar or more. The vinegar must remain in the tank for up to 12 hours, so you will need to use another toilet during that period of time. While this method may seem to be inconvenient, it is preferred by many people because it requires little to no scrubbing.

Whether you use white vinegar with borax or with baking soda methods, scrubbing is required. For the first method, mix a cup of borax with 4 cups of white vinegar. Use the scrub brush and the mixture to wipe down the entire interior of the tank. Allow the mixture to remain on the surface for approximately an hour. Scrub the surface a second time. Then, you are ready to refill the tank and to rinse away the cleaning mixture.



The method of using baking soda is similar. It involves mixing a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap with a cup of vinegar and a half-cup of baking soda. You will scrub the tank with the mixture, wait an hour, and scrub the area again.


With any of these methods, you may notice that some of the stains have not been removed on the first cleaning attempt. If it has been several years or longer since your toilet tank was last cleaned, there is an increased likelihood of this. Repeat the cleaning steps as necessary until the tank is cleaned to your satisfaction.


  • Refill the Tank


There is no need to manually rinse the tank after you are done cleaning it. Instead, turn the main water valve on by turning the knob behind the toilet. You should see the water begin to fill the tank. This water will rinse away the cleaning mixture for you. It should not harm your toilet to allow for slow dilution with future flushes. However, you can flush the toilet several times right away if you prefer.


  • Repeat Regularly



When your toilet tank’s water is filthy, it can make your bathroom smell musty and unpleasant even after it has recently been cleaned. The bacteria and other elements in the water can actually aerate and spread to areas outside of the toilet with each flush. You do not need to clean the tank frequently, but it should be done twice each year.


If the toilet is rarely used, bacteria and other elements may be more likely to grow. These toilet tanks may need to be cleaned slightly more frequently. A good rule of thumb is to clean the tanks each time that you complete a thorough spring cleaning session.


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