Here’s How to Clean Your Toilet Tank

Here’s How to Clean Your Toilet Tank


When was the last time you cleaned your toilet, including the tank? Never? Same.

The toilet tank is one of the most overlooked spots in the bathroom when it comes to cleaning. While the water in the tank is clean since the lid keeps out bacterial and mineral buildup along with dirt, metal parts can corrode and rust.

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You should clean your toilet tank twice a year to extend the life of your toilet and its guts. You’ll need:

  • rubber gloves
  • a scrub brush with a long handle
  • a sponge
  • disinfectant
  • white vinegar (optional)

How to clean your toilet tank

1. Empty the tank by locating the water valve, usually on the wall behind or near the toilet’s base. Shut it off, lift the lid from the tank and flush until it drains completely.

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2. If there’s just grime and dirt, start cleaning. If there’s discoloration from residue, use vinegar to fill the tank to the overflow valve (about three gallons in a standard toilet) and let it sit for 12 hours. Then flush.

3. Put on rubber gloves and spray the inside of the tank with disinfectant. Don’t use bleach, as it is corrosive. Let the disinfectant set for 15 minutes.

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4. Scrub the inside of the tank thoroughly with your scrub brush.

5. If your toilet’s internal parts need maintenance or replacement, now is the time to do it.

6. Wipe off the internal parts to remove any slime or dirt.

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7. Turn the water back on and allow the tank to fill. Go ahead and flush it a couple of times. If it’s working, you’re done!

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Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.