Are you getting a weird smell coming from the toilet tank area? Well, there is a high chance that the tank has bacterial buildup. The inside part can even harbor mold, mildew, and rust. All of which will make the toilet unhygienic and not safe to use.
So, what do you do when you find the tank in such a condition? Truth be told, you really do not have to do a lot. All you need to do is know how to clean toilet tank and get the inside part a proper clean.
The good news is I am here to tell you that I have experimented with many different methods throughout my 25 years of experience. And I am here to share the most straightforward way to clean the toilet tank. Want to know all about the process? Stick till the end!
How to Clean the Toilet Tank?
There is no need to go through many steps to give your toilet tank a good clean. You just need to go through these:
Step 1: Empty The Tank
Before anything else, you will need to get the water out of the tank. For that, turn the water valve off. This valve will be just behind the toilet. After turning it off, press the flush button and empty the tank.
On that note, if you hear a dripping sound inside the toilet tank after turning the valve off, there is a crack inside the toilet tank. In such cases, you will need to learn how to repair a cracked toilet tank. If that is not feasible, learn how to replace a toilet tank.
Step 2: Check The Interior
After flushing the tank, take the lid off. If there is just grime and dust on the surface, you can proceed to the next step. However, if you find any type of stains or mineral buildup inside the tank, you should get some vinegar. It is an all-natural cleaner that efficiently takes care of stains, molds, mildew, and mineral deposits.
That said, when it comes to using the vinegar, you should first pour about three gallons of it inside the tank. Leave the tank in such a state for at least 12 hours. In that period, the vinegar will loosen up all the junk inside the tank.
After the 12 hours mark, flush the vinegar. Turn the water valve on and let the water get inside. Then, flush with water two to three times. That will remove any of the residues of vinegar inside the tank after the first flush.
Step 3: Use Disinfectant Cleaning Solution
Get yourself some rubber gloves and a bottle of disinfectant cleaner. Spray the disinfectant solution inside the tank. Make sure that the solution covers the surface of the walls.
However, do not spray any of the liquid on the metal parts, as disinfectant cleaners can usually cause corrosion. Wait for at least 15 minutes, then move to the next step.
Step 4: Give The Inside a Proper Scrub
You will need to grab your go-to toilet brush or a scrub brush at this step. I would highly recommend using a new brush as an old brush can introduce more contaminants inside the tank. Also, you should get a brush with a long handle and stiff bristles. Such brushes will make it easier for you to scrub the inside.
Nonetheless, after waiting for 15 minutes, use the brush to scrub every corner of the interior. Go through the walls and give the grimes a thorough clean. You can use an extra cleaning solution if required.
Step 5: Take Care of The Metal Parts
A soapy solution and sponge would be the best for the metal parts. Use the cleaning solution to weaken any of the grime that might be on the metal parts. Then, scrub the surface with the sponge. Do the same thing with the ball buoy, flapper, and other toilet parts that are inside the tank.
Step 6: Rinse With Water
Place the tank lid back in place. Turn the water valve on and let the interior fill up with water. Press the flush button to rinse the inside with water. Repeat this four to five times. After that, take the lid off and check the inside. If the interior is not spotless, you should repeat steps 5 and 6.
How to Clean the Black Buildups Inside the Toilet Tank
After opening the toilet tank’s lid, you might find black buildups on the walls. Well, homes with minerals flowing through the water are susceptible to such kinds of problems. The thing is, mineral buildup itself is not harmful to you. But they can promote the growth of microscopic organisms, which can lead to foul smells.
The good news? Vinegar works like a charm in removing mineral buildups, microscopic organisms, and germs. But how do you use vinegar for this case? Well, you just need to follow these simple steps:
- Check every part of the tank for stains. Do this by stopping the water valve and letting the water out of the tank by flushing it.
- When you spot any stains, use a clean cloth to rub them off. You are dealing with natural stains if the dark stuff seems to be falling off the cloth. And if it does not, the stain is inorganic.
- You will just need to use a dish soap solution and a brush for organic stains. Just scrub the surface with soap and give every part of the inside a good clean.
- If the stains do not come out easily, you will need to use some degreaser. Soak a rag up with it and rub the stains thoroughly.
- After cleaning the walls, pour vinegar into the tank and flush it after 12 hours. After the vinegar flush, rinse the inside with water by flushing it regularly two to three times.
Essential Tips on Cleaning the Toilet Tank
There are some tips that I would like to share on cleaning the tank of the toilet. With these tips in your mind, you can take care of the cleaning tasks without any hassles at all.
- Keep the toilet tablets inside the tank
These help to prevent any sort of mineral buildup, hinder the growth of contaminants, and keeps the inside clean. However, you should avoid tablets that utilize bleach. Bleach is known to corrode metals. That is why you should not pick such tablets.
- Use Vinegar
If you do not use tablets, I would recommend flushing the toilet tank with vinegar every once in a while. By doing so, you can ensure that mildew and bacteria do not grow inside the tank. And that will lower the chance of the toilet tank smelling like junk.
Also, if your water supply line makes hard water flows through, you might need to deal with mineral buildup frequently. However, as you know by now, vinegar is your best friend for dealing with mineral buildups.
- Clean the Toilet Once Every Month
I would highly recommend cleaning the toilet tanks once every month. But if you are living with a small family that is sharing more than one toilet, cleaning them two to three times a year should be okay. However, do a regular checkup. If you see that the interior has a bad condition, clean it immediately.
To keep your toilet tank in perfect condition, it would be a good idea to keep all the cleaning items available at your home. Most importantly, keep vinegar at your disposal all the time. It is an ideal toilet cleaning solution. And the great part is that it is antibacterial, not corrosive, and does not contain any harsh chemicals at all.
Sometimes, you do not even need to pour gallons of vinegar inside the tank. Just a few cups with water inside will do the trick. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours, and then flush it.
However, if you get a chemical smell coming out of the toilet tank, you can use bleach. But do make sure to take care of the metal parts before you pour bleach into the toilet tank. It is a corrosive substance that can surely degrade some parts of your toilets quickly.
Nonetheless, bleach is an excellent disinfectant. It does a proper job of taking care of mold and bacteria growth. You just need to be a little careful while handling it. Also, make sure to wear protective gloves when you are working with bleach solutions.
Without knowing how to clean toilet tank properly, you can not expect to get extended use out of your toilet. It is an essential part of the maintenance process. Most importantly, a clean tank will ensure the highest hygiene level of the toilet. And as you can see, it is not that hard to get the hang of the process.