Toilet siphon jets are small holes underneath the bowl rim that allow water from the tank to flow down into the bowl to not only flush out the waste but also clean the inside of the bowl with clean water. Over time, especially when not regularly cleaned, the rim jets can get infested with mold, mineral deposits, and accumulation of debris leading to clogging… and because the area is dark and hidden, the dirty jets can also offer a conducive environment for bacteria and fungi to develop. All these can lead to a weak or defective flush.
To clean the toilet siphon jets, add white vinegar into the overflow tube in the tank, let it sit for a while, scrub with a brush and flush. For clogged rim holes, use muriatic acid or any other appropriate chemical to soak and break up the mineral deposits, then scrape out the dirt with a sharp object. The cleaning process can vary depending on the type of dirt or stain
Regular cleaning of the siphon jets is important if you want a strong flush that will effectively wash out the waste, leaving your bowl ever clean. Following are details on how to clean your toilet siphon jets and tips to keep them clean.
Cleaning Toilet Siphon & Rim Jets with Vinegar
A quick and cheap way to clean your siphon jets is to simply use white vinegar. A solution of vinegar soaks up and breaks down the stains. It works best for light stains such as mold and bacteria. Here’s a list of what you need plus a step-by-step guide.
- Protective gear; rubber gloves, goggles face mask, etc.
- White vinegar
- Cleaning detergent /disinfectant
- Scrubbing brush
- Spray Bottle
- While in your protective gear, use a mirror inspect your jet holes to determine the amount of dirt.
- Measure one and a half cups of vinegar and bring it to a boil. Let it cool down
- Open up the tank, use a funnel to pour a cup of the solution into the overflow tube in the tank
- Add the remaining vinegar solution into a spray bottle.
- Bring up the toilet seat and spray the vinegar underneath the rim with special attention on the outside of siphon jets.
- Let sit for about 30-60 minutes.
- Gently scrub under the rim with brush.
- Flush your toilet
- Use the mirror to crosscheck for any remaining dirt. In case there is, repeat the steps until the small holes are clean.
In place of vinegar, you can use a bleach solution or any other acid solution including lemon or citric juice
Instead of pouring the vinegar directly into the overflow tube, you boil enough to pour into the tank, especially if you want to clean the tank at the same time.
If the sediments underneath the rim over the siphon jets have been there for a considerably long time, it may be harder to remove the ring of dirt. You may need to scrub more aggressively or simply opt for another cleaning solution.
Make sure not to choose abrasive cleaners. They can damage the porcelain of the toilet. When scrubbing, remember to remain gentle. Avoid strong chemicals that can damage some parts of the toilet that comprise rubber.
Deep Cleaning Toilet Siphon Jets with Duct Tape & Vinegar
This is the best way to clean deep inside the siphon holes. The role of the duct tape is to hold the vinegar solution within the jets for long enough to dissolve and remove the dirt.
- Rags, sponge or towels
- Duct tape
- Turn off the water supply to the toilet tank.
- Flush the toilet to empty the tank get rid of any remaining water in the tank using the rags or sponge
- Remove any excess water in the bowl especially around the siphon jet openings. Use a towel to dry the bowl fast.
- Tape the area under the toilet bowl so that it remains firm on the porcelain under the rim, covering the water jets.
- Fill the water tank with vinegar and flush the toilet. This way water will be sealed by the duct tape allowing the rim and the jets to soak in the vinegar for as long as the tape is secured there.
- After about an hour, remove the duct tape to release the vinegar solution and dissolved dirt into the bowl.
- Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away any remaining dirt on the on the rim and jet surfaces.
- Connect the tank to water supply and flush to allow for clean water to run through the jets.
- Gently scrub again the flush once more.
Muriatic Acid to Clean Toilet Jets
Muriatic acid is another not-so-common solution you can use to clean your toilet siphon jets. It is basically, a hydrochloric acid toilet cleaner formulation that is good at breaking down all mineral deposits within the jets.
Following are the steps to use it.
- Take a duct tape and stick all the siphon holes like in the duct tape and vinegar method above.
- Put one cup of muriatic acid into the toilet tank and fill- valve.
- With help of the funnel, also pour a few amounts of muriatic acid into the fill tube.
- Pull the flush handle half to release the muriatic acid solution into the siphon jet.
- Let it sit at least 10 minutes.
- Remove the duct tape and perform a full flush
- Use a brush to scrub off any remaining stains.
Dealing with Clogged Toilet Siphon Jets
The most common causes of siphon jet clogging or blocking include mineral buildup and other debris. Clogging from mineral deposits is prevalent in households that rely on water a lot of salt and other minerals. Even if you are attempting to clean your toilet regularly, the mineral-dense water is still likely to cause sediment buildup which, over time, results in clogging the jets.
To clean up clogged jets, use a slightly concentrated solution of vinegar or muriatic acid with duct tape just as explained in the previous sections. After soaking and dissolving the clogs, you use a sharp object like a wire or pin to scrape away the mineral deposits.
It is important to note that the mineral deposits tend to hold onto the porcelain surface much tougher than other stains hence more time and aggression is required for good results.
Signs of Clogged Jets
- Toilet does not flush correctly
- Vertical flow of water from the jet holes-water should flow diagonal in circular direction allow an effective flush cycle.
- An abnormally long duration for water in the tank to empty into the bowl.
- Low level water in the bowl
Removing Siphon Jet Bacteria & Mold
Bacteria, mold and mildew around or within the siphon jet can cause discoloration which does not look appealing or hygienic. Following is how to remove stains caused by these micro-organisms
- Bucket or container
- Soft hand brush/ sandpaper
- Baking soda
- Disinfectant/ Bleach
- Flush down water from the toilet tank to get a clear glimpse of where the ring of bacteria or mold is.
- Make a paste in a dish using baking soda and vinegar. Ensure the paste is thick enough to stick under the toilet rim with precision on the siphoned jets.
- Apply the paste all around that section.
- You can scrub gently with the hand brush to make sure the paste gets into the holes of the siphon jets.
- Leave it on for half an hour.
- Scrub it again for better results.
- Flush the toilet to clean out the stains
- Wipe down with a rag and use the mirror to see if you’ve removed all the bacteria/mold under the rim. You may repeat the same procedure if unsatisfied with the results.
Sometimes the bacteria can be inside the siphoned jets and not just on the surface. In this case, you have to look for a tool that can get inside the holes. Something like a wire hanger. Then use this procedure below to clean out the holes.
- Empty the toilet bowl so you can easily place the mirror to reflect under the rim, where the jets are.
- Unwound the wire hanger and insert into one of the holes.
- Gently crank up the wire like your scraping something off. You may see some sediments fall from the holes.
- Once done, add some bleach or a detergent into the over flow tube.
- Do apply some bleach all around the rim area and let sot for about 15 minutes.
- Flush as you scrub with a brush.
Did you know… a toilet is not the dirtiest place in your home? The constant flow of water actually makes it cleaner than your kitchen…Unfortunately once that constant flow comes to a halt, chances of bacteria and fungi growth increase. Keep the jets clean…
Delimer Mineral Stains
A delimer is an industrial-strength liquid toilet bowl cleaner specifically formulated to clean and remove lime, rust, scale, and stains. It is a blend of acids among them hydrochloric acid. One of the most popular and top-rated delimer is CLR
Some delimers come with refreshing scents that leave your toilet smelling awesome. Following is a video showing how to use it.
Tips to Keep your Toilet Siphon Jets Clean
- Ensure your toilet tank is always clean since most of the dirt that gets into the siphon jets comes from the tank.
- If you stay in an area with hard water, consider installing a water softener to reduce the mineral levels in the water.
- Use your toilet regularly. Regular use encourages flushing, which in turn cleans the bowl.
- Once in a while, pour white vinegar into the tank and let it sit for some time. This can help remove as well as prevent mineral buildup.
- Add one tablespoon of bleach into the overflow tube once in a while to prevent bacteria and other micro-organism growth
What is a Toilet Siphon vs Jet vs Rim Holes?
Siphon jets are small holes located underneath the rim or at the bottom of your toilet bowl. They allow the flow of clean water from the tank into the bowl whenever you flush.
Some toilets only have tiny holes in the rim (rim jets). The rim holes are inches apart and are positioned at an angle such that water entering the bowl will swirl. The swirling is what cleans and rinses the bowl effectively.
Other toilets have an additional slightly larger hole (siphon jet) at the bottom of the bowl facing the main outlet hole (toilet trap). Besides developing a quicker siphoning effect for a stronger flush, the jet hole at the bottom allows a larger rush of water to drive the swirling water from the rim jets and waste into trap down the drain.
The main large opening at the bottom that ‘swallows’ all the waste and water from the bowl is also another toilet siphon worth mentioning. Sometimes referred to as the P-trap, it is a curved tube that allows water and waste to move from the bowl into drains via the force of gravity.
The siphon tube prevents sewer gases from wafting into the bathroom. It also creates a partial vacuum inside the rest of the tube, which is filled with air, essential for siphoning effect.
Do all Toilets have Siphon Jets?
While most toilets have rim jets, not all have the siphon jet usually located at the bottom of the bowl.
Why is Siphon Jet Bubbling?
A bubbling siphon jet is the first indicator of a constricted or obstructed waterway. When the jet holes are blocked, the air in the internal water passages of the toilet can be pushed down to the siphon jet resulting in the bubble.
If you notice bubbling, you need to clean up the rim jets as soon as possible. If your toilet has an additional jet at the bowl’s bottom, ensure the water in the bowl is at the correct level.
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