Oftentimes, we clean the toilet bowl and the outside of the toilet itself with just a typical toilet bowl cleaner, some disinfectant, and a scrub brush. How often do you clean the inside of the tank itself, though? Surprisingly, many people seem to overlook this important aspect of cleaning the toilet.
Can you put toilet bowl cleaner in the tank? Actually, it depends. You can, but this will depend on the brand of the cleaner, the ingredients of the toilet bowl cleaner, the construction material of your toilet, the toilet’s age, and the filth level of the tank. Therefore, you’ll want to be very careful with what you use inside of it. However, the best go-to way to clean the inside of a toilet’s tank is by using vinegar and baking soda.
If you never thought about cleaning the inside of a toilet tank before, now is the time to start. A lot of bacteria and mildew can build up inside of the tank, along with mineral deposits, especially if you have hard water where you live.
Why Shouldn’t You Use Toilet Bowl Cleaner in the Tank?
Different brands of toilet bowl cleaners incorporate varying chemicals in their cleaning solutions. Some of these have the potential to strip away the inner surface of your tank. This can cause wear, stripping, and damage, especially to the plastic and metal components. If you want to use toilet bowl cleaner in your tank, you’ll need to exercise caution regarding the cleaner’s chemical makeup as well as the materials used inside of your tank to prevent damage from occurring.
Why Should You Put Care into Selecting the Right Toilet Bowl Cleaner?
There is a good reason why you should put so much care into selecting the right type of cleaner for your toilet tank. First and foremost, the inside of a toilet tank usually doesn’t have the same enamel coating as the outside. Therefore, it can’t typically handle the same kind of chemicals that easily clean the outer parts, and using something harsh on these different materials may cause the inner tank’s materials to break down. Secondly, many of these strong cleaners that are safe for the outer coatings of toilets can cause corrosion to occur on any internal metal or plastic pieces inside of the tank.
Which Toilet Bowl Cleaners are Safest for Tanks?
The best toilet bowl cleaners that are safest for tanks are ones that don’t use bleach or peroxide in their formulations. This means you’re going to have to read the label of the one you want to use. This may be far too time-consuming and daunting of a task to do for some people due to how long and confusing some of the chemical lists on these products may be.
Therefore, the best and safest thing you can use in your tank is some vinegar, baking soda, and disinfectant spray. This trifecta works every time, and you don’t have to worry about destroying the tank’s insides.
How Do You Clean a Toilet Tank?
Cleaning the inside of a tank is quite simple. You just need a few supplies and to be careful around the inner mechanisms of the tank. You may also get a few tank tablets to maintain the cleanliness of the inside of the tank. Consider the steps below and come up with your own tank cleaning technique based on what works best for your particular model.
Items You’ll Need:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Disinfectant spray
- Rubber gloves
- Long-handled scrub brush
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Completely empty the tank by shutting off the toilet’s water valve. Lift the lid and watch the water drain as you flush the toilet. Depending on the toilet’s rate of flow, you may have to flush two or three times to fully empty the tank.
- Once the water drains, analyze the tank’s condition. If there’s only dirt and grime, your cleaning process will be fairly straightforward. However, if there are mineral deposits or other types of residue, you may have to come up with a more aggressive and powerful approach to deep clean those surfaces.
- Put your cleaning gloves on, and grab the vinegar as well as the baking soda. Keep the disinfectant spray handy.
- If your tank is going to be a straightforward cleaning process, just use a little white vinegar to scrub the walls and gently remove any water stains from the toilet’s flushing mechanisms.
- For tanks caked with minerals and residue, pour in the baking soda and then the white vinegar. Let this sit in the tank without flushing for 12 to 24 hours. Use the toilet brush and sponge to clean out any dirt and grime inside the tank after your baking soda and vinegar solution has been left to work its magic.
- Once finished, check every area to ensure thorough cleaning. If everything is good to go, spray some disinfectant around the tank’s insides.
- Finally, turn the water valve back on, and flush the toilet. Depending on how much baking soda and vinegar you used, you may have to flush it several times to thoroughly rinse everything out.
How Often Should You Clean a Toilet Tank?
The frequency with which you clean a toilet bowl tank will depend on your household, the number of people in it, and the total number of toilets in your home. On average, though, consider cleaning it twice per year. However, if you have a large number of people living in your home and there’s only one toilet, you may have to increase your frequency.
What are Some Tips for Cleaning a Toilet Tank?
There are a few tips to keep in mind when cleaning a toilet tank. While not all of these will be applicable, they are good to note for future reference.
- When letting vinegar and baking soda sit in your tank for many hours, either add them before bedtime or before going to work in the morning. By doing this, the waiting process for the solution to work won’t inhibit your ability to use the toilet when at home.
- Do not be sloppy and mindless when cleaning the toilet tank. You want to make sure you don’t break any parts of the flushing mechanisms. Be deliberate yet gentle and delicate in your approach.
- Consider creating a cleaning schedule for the tank. This is the best way to prevent cleaning it too frequently. It’s also good for keeping track of the last time you cleaned it.
- Never clean a toilet tank without wearing some form of protection on your hands. You never know what kind of bacteria and mildew may be in there. These can cause acute dermatitis and other negative reactions by the skin.
- Make sure that you use less baking soda than vinegar in the tank to avoid any clogging or caking issues. In general, about one tablespoon of baking soda per cup of vinegar is appropriate.
What is the Best Way to Keep the Toilet Tank Clean?
Because you don’t want to clean the inside of the tank nearly as much as you do the outside of the toilet itself, consider the following tips to maintain its cleanliness:
- Tank tablets are an excellent way to keep things clean. They reduce the buildup of minerals, contaminants, and mildew. However, you should be diligent in ensuring that the tablets you use do not have any bleach or other harsh chemicals, as these will corrode the delicate metal components within the tank.
- If you don’t want to use tank tablets, you will have to do the vinegar soak more frequently than you would otherwise. This is the only way to ensure the tank stays clean and free of debris while keeping mildew at bay and dissolving minerals.
- Even if you set up a regular cleaning schedule, every so often, open up the lid of the tank and check the inside. Check for mineral deposits, mildew, strange odors, and the overall health of the tank.
- Spray disinfectant into the tank on occasion. This will be especially important when you notice a foul odor arising from the tank and can’t get around to cleaning it as soon as you’d like.