How to Clean Toilet Tank – DIY Hacks & Best Cleaners

In a lot of homes, every part of the bathroom is given a thorough cleaning every few days and will stay in a sparkling state. However, the toilet tank isn’t cleaned as often and it can be a source of germs and even bad odors in the toilet and the home at large. Finding the best cleaning routine for this part of the toilet helps keep everything clean in the bathroom.

Some of the methods used to clean the toilet tank include using vinegar, bleach and bathroom cleaners. The toilet tank can be cleaned for having mold, rust and other types of dirt. The method chosen for the cleaning process will depend upon the type of dirt in the toilet in most cases. Some types of dirt such as mud can be cleaned even with just a normal cleaner or soap.

Below, we break down the steps involved in cleaning up these types of dirt from the toilet tank. You will need to lift the lid off the toilet tank then check the inside of it to ascertain exactly what’s wrong. As always, protect yourself with the right gear to avoid injuries and infections.

How to Clean Toilet Tank Rust

Rust on the metal parts of the toilet tank is common since these parts are in constant contact with water. Salty water especially is known to cause damage to the metal parts by corroding the protective layer on their surfaces. If this is the case for your toilet tank, you can clean it as detailed below.

What you need

For this exercise, you need the following items:

  • Bleach
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponge
  • Scrub brush with a long handle
  • Natural toilet tank cleaner

You then follow these steps:

  1. First, turn off the water at the shutoff valve by turning it in a clockwise direction until it’s tight.
  2. Open the lid of the toilet tank then flush the toilet to remove the water from it. Make sure you remove all the water from the toilet tank. If the first flush doesn’t do that, do it several times or even soak it up with a piece of cloth.
  3. Spray the bleach on the inside of the tank making sure the metal parts get a generous amount of it. Let it stay that way for 15 minutes before the next step.
  4. With a brush, gently scrub the inside of the toilet tank dislodging off all the rust and metal deposits in there.
  5. Spray the inside of the toilet tank with a disinfectant cleaner of your choice then let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  6. Repeat the brushing exercise to further clean the tank.
  7. In this step, you can also make some repairs on the toilet tank such as a broken float ball or flapper or other parts.
  8. After that, turn on the water at the shutoff valve, wait for the tank to fill up then flush it several times.

If it’s clean, you did a great job. If not, you may have to repeat the process all over again.

Dirt in Toilet Tank; Rust, mold and mud
Toilet Tank Dirt

How to Clean Toilet Tank Mold

Mold and mildew can thrive in the wet conditions of the toilet tank once their spores get there. To get rid of them, you will need to use a different cleaning method to that of cleaning rust and vinegar is the solution. A musty smell in the toilet can indicate the presence of mold and mildew in there.

What you need

For this cleaning process, you will need the following items:

  • White vinegar
  • Borax
  • Rubber gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Bristle brush
  • Dish soap

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Start by shutting off the water at the shutoff valve. Turn it in a clockwise manner until it’s tight.
  2. Remove the lid from the toilet tank then flush the toilet several times over to drain the water. Use a piece of cloth to dry it up.
  3. Fill the toilet tank with white vinegar up to the overflow tube. This can take anything from 3 to 7 gallons of white vinegar depending on the size of the toilet tank.
  4. If there is any mold or mildew not covered by the white vinegar, splash some of it with the vinegar without necessarily adding more of the vinegar to the tank.
  5. Let the vinegar sit in the toilet tank for at least 12 hours which can be overnight for the best results.
  6. After the 12 hours, flush the toilet to get rid of the white vinegar in the toilet tank. You don’t need to flush it completely out as you’ll need some of it in the next step.
  7. Brush the sides of the toilet tank with the soft-bristled brush.
  8. Add baking soda to make the scrubbing better and brush some more.
  9. After this, turn the water on at the shutoff valve then flush the toilet when the tank is full.

The mold should be all gone and the sides of the toilet should be clean once more. If not, you may have to repeat the procedure.

How to clean General Dirt

When you’re not dealing with mold or rust but the toilet tank still looks dirty, it could just be some mud or dust that has collected on the sides and bottom of the toilet tank and need cleaning. For this one, you can use a simple household cleaner or even dish soap to clean it.

What you need

You will need the following items:

  • Dish soap
  • Rubber gloves
  • Brush with a long handle
  • Sponge
  • Disinfectant cleaner

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Turn of the water at the shutoff valve by turning it in a clockwise direction until it’s tight.
  2. Flush the toilet then remove the lid from the toilet tank. If there’s still some water in it, remove it by repeatedly flushing it out or using a piece of cloth to soak it up.
  3. Pour in a good amount of dish soap then use the brush and sponge to scrub and brush the sides of the toilet tank. Also brush the other parts such as the float mechanism, flapper mechanism and others.
  4. Turn on the water then flush the toilet when the tank is full.
  5. Repeat the process right from the shutting off of the water at the shutoff valve then brushing again.

This should clean the toilet tank quite well. If by the end of the second procedure the tank is still dirty, it might be rust or some other type of dirt like mold. Look at the previous procedures for cleaning mold and rust from the toilet tank.

Best Automatic Toilet Tank Cleaners

While the solutions offered above are DIY projects, you can have an automatic toilet tank cleaner with which you can simply put in the toilet tank and you’re good to go. The best of this kind include the following:

1. Instant Power 1806 Toilet Tank Cleaner

This is a toilet tank cleaner with great features and that needs very little effort on your end. You only need to pour a little of it into the toilet tank and let it do the work.

Instant Power 1806 Toilet Tank Cleaner

Instant Power Tank Cleaner removes any build-up of hard water deposits, rust and calcium. It cleans the sides of the toilet tank and the individual parts in it as well. In this way, it prolongs the life of the parts of the toilet tank and keeps it smelling fresh.

2. HurriClean Automatic Toilet and Tank Cleaner

Next up is the HurriClean Automatic Cleaner for the toilet and toilet tank. Once put into the tank, it’ll clean away bacteria, mold and mildew and all other types of dirt without the need for scrubbing the tank. Best of all, it doesn’t harm the parts of the toilet and will clean the tank and bowl of your toilet each time you flush it.

HurriClean Automatic Toilet and Tank Cleaner
HurryClean

3. Soft Scrub In-Tank Cleaner Duo-Cubes

Another easy-to-use solution is this cleaner from Soft Scrub. The cubes need only be dropped into the toilet tank and that’s it. As they sit in the toilet tank and each time you flush the toilet, they clean the parts up especially against calcium and other mineral deposits. They also make the toilet smell nice thanks to the added fragrance.

Sof Scrub Tank Cleaner

4. Clorox Automatic Toilet Cleaner Tablets with Bleach

In this automatic toilet tank and bowl cleaner, Clorox has created one of the best cleaners for the toilet. Like all the other automatic toilet cleaners, you only need to drop the tablet into the toilet tank and flush to clean the bowl and tank. Besides killing germs, these tablets also clear away mineral deposits and add a good fragrance to the toilet.

Clorox Tablets automatic toilet clean

5. Lysol Automatic Toilet Cleaning Click Gel

While this gel is advertised as a cleaning solution for the toilet bowl, it’s just as efficient in cleaning the toilet tank as it is for the toilet bowl. Just like in the toilet bowl, you just smear the gel around the edge of the toilet tank such that it’s in constant contact with the water. This way, it dissolves with time and cleans the tank. It’s also added a fragrance to make it smell nice.

Picking one of these will make your toilet cleaning process effortless but with great results.

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