How To Clean A Toilet Tank – Ultimate Guide

While cleaning the toilet bowl is a regular chore, the often-overlooked toilet tank deserves attention too. A clean tank not only promotes a hygienic bathroom but also helps prevent build-up and maintain your plumbing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your toilet tank for a sparkling and refreshed bathroom.

How to Clean a Toilet Tank

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  1. Rubber Gloves:
    • Protect your hands with rubber gloves.
  2. Bucket:
    • Have a bucket ready to empty water from the tank.
  3. Vinegar:
    • White vinegar helps break down mineral deposits.
  4. Toilet Brush:
    • Use an old toilet brush designated for cleaning.
  5. Cleaning Cloth:
    • Have a cleaning cloth or sponge for wiping surfaces.

Step 2: Turn Off Water Supply

  1. Locate Shut-Off Valve:
    • Find the shut-off valve behind or beside the toilet and turn it clockwise to stop water flow to the tank.

Step 3: Flush and Empty Tank

Clean a Toilet Tank Properly

  1. Flush the Toilet:
    • Flush the toilet to remove as much water as possible.
  2. Remove Remaining Water:
    • Use a sponge or towel to soak up any remaining water in the tank.

Step 4: Add Cleaning Solution

  1. Pour Vinegar:
    • Pour a cup of white vinegar into the tank. Allow it to sit for at least 10-15 minutes to break down mineral deposits.

Step 5: Scrub Inside the Tank

  1. Scrub with Toilet Brush:
    • Use the toilet brush to scrub the sides, corners, and hard-to-reach areas inside the tank. Focus on areas with mineral deposits or discoloration.
  2. Inspect Components:
    • While cleaning, inspect tank components such as the flapper, flush valve, and chain. Replace any parts showing signs of wear or damage.

Step 6: Wipe Down Surfaces

  1. Clean Exterior:
    • Wipe down the exterior of the tank with a cleaning cloth or sponge. Pay attention to any grime or stains.

Step 7: Rinse and Refill

  1. Turn On Water Supply:
    • Turn the shut-off valve counterclockwise to restore water flow to the tank.
  2. Flush and Rinse:
    • Flush the toilet a few times to rinse the tank thoroughly.

Step 8: Add Toilet Tank Cleaner (Optional)

  1. Toilet Tank Tablets:
    • Consider adding a toilet tank cleaning tablet to help maintain cleanliness and prevent future build-up. Follow package instructions.

Tips for keeping the toilet tank clean

These tips below should help you in keeping the toilet tank clean.

  • Keep the water valve turned off if you have to stay away for a long time. Thus the tank will remain empty and mold won’t find hosts to survive! After coming back, all you have to do is turn the valve on again.
  • Replace any damaged parts while cleaning with a new one. This will increase the life of the toilet.
  • Use a pumice stone for scrubbing, if your toilet tank is made of vitreous China material. Don’t use it for any other type of toilet tank.
  • Bleach effectively treats mold, but will also corrode the tank’s metal. Investing in a water purification system will keep the mold away from the tank.

  • Constant checking and application of the different methods mentioned here, should help you in keeping your toilet as clean as you expect it to.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why cleaning your toilet tank should be on your list?

  • Your tank might get filled with dirt, dust, and debris. These nasty particles can reduce the usage benefits and longevity of your tank. Over time these particles can erode the inside such as the steel of the toilet tank.
  • Built-up mold in the toilet can make the bathroom smell nasty.
  • It’s hard to notice the rust rings, and bacterial growth that gets built up in the tank unless the user lifts the lid and looks inside. Rust will affect the operation of the toilet badly and bacteria will produce nasty odorous water that will end up in the bowl after every flush.

How often Should I Have to Clean my Tank?

  • Depending on your water type, your cleaning frequency should vary. Tanks with soft water don’t need much cleaning, however, it’s a different story if it’s hard water. Hard water will mess up your tank’s operation if you let it go too long.
  • In case your tank contains hard water, you have to check from time to time to ensure there isn’t much build-up and apply the cleaning techniques we are covering in this article.

Is it okay to put vinegar in the toilet tank?

  • A fantastic toilet cleaning remedy is vinegar. It’s naturally antimicrobial, chemical-free, and acidic, so it will dissolve calcium and lime deposits. Simply add a few cups of vinegar to your tank, let it soak for about an hour, then scrub and flush it to rinse.

Can you put bleach in the toilet tank?

  • Bleach is the biggest no-no when it comes to toilet tanks. Bleach and items containing bleach should never be used within the tank since they might corrode the toilet’s components. I also advise using white vinegar diluted with water to get rid of stubborn spots from the tank.

What can I put in my toilet tank to keep the bowl clean?

  • Pour white vinegar into the tank without draining the water, stopping at least an inch below the top rim. For 12 hours, let the vinegar-water mixture sit to dissolve rust, mildew, and mineral deposits. To get the vinegar out of the tank, flush the toilet a few times.


Regularly cleaning your toilet tank not only ensures a more hygienic bathroom but also contributes to the longevity of your plumbing system. By following these steps, you can easily achieve a sparkling and refreshed toilet tank, creating a cleaner and more pleasant bathroom environment.

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