When was the last time you opened your toilet tank? Did you know the average person may only look inside the toilet tank when there is something wrong with the flushing mechanism?
Because the tank always holds water, it can be a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria. Even though the tank has a lid, the mold and mildew flush through the bowl and can enter into the air of the home. Is that something you want to be breathing?
If the toilet water splashes outside the bowl, that mold and mildew could go virtually anywhere. No one wants that either.
That’s why it is a good idea to clean your toilet tank about once per month. Because the components of the toilet can be sensitive to certain chemicals, products, and cleaning methods, however, there are some specific items and methods to use that will protect the toilet while removing the potentially dangerous items.
If There Is Not Much Build-up, Do This
If you have opened your toilet tank and it seems reasonably clean, then your chore is going to be fairly simple. Take a non-scratch scrubbing sponge, use a non-toxic cleaning solution, and then scrub the sides of the toilet tank. Even standard dish soap could be used for this cleaning chore.
For tough spots, try using your toilet brush if the sponge isn’t able to remove it. As you clean, take care not to impact the chains and tubes that are located within the toilet tank.
Once you’ve finished cleaning, flush the toilet a couple of times to ensure your soap or cleaning solution has been rinsed from the tank.
For Moderate Cleaning, Follow These Steps
You may find that there are lines of green within your toilet tank. There could be some calcium or line deposits in there. It could be bad enough that the water seems to be discolored.
In this situation, you’ll want to turn off the water supply to the toilet. Then flush it so the water is removed from the tank. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any lingering water. Then take white vinegar and apply it directly to the problem areas. Allow the vinegar to sit for 5-10 minutes and then scrub.
You may need to apply the vinegar solution 2-5 times, depending on the severity of the stains and deposits.
Bleach is an alternative product that can be used as well. Don’t mix the two together. Either use vinegar or use bleach, but not both.
The advantage of using vinegar over bleach is that there are fewer risks to the rubber interior components of the toilet. If you do feel like bleach is your best option, do your best to avoid getting any on the flapper, valves, or gaskets within the toilet.
For Heaving Cleaning, You’ll Need to Do This
If you can’t remember the last time your toilet tank was cleaned and the buildup levels would be described as “bad,” then some pre-cleaning is a good idea. Purchase an automatic toilet cleaning system that goes into your toilet tank. These cleaners have several different designs. Some used tablets that you drop into the tank. Some, like NeverScrub, connect directly to the components of the toilet.
Allow the automatic cleaner to work for a week or two. Some are rated to work for up to 3 months, but you don’t need to wait that long.
Then get in there and follow the moderate cleaning steps for the tank. Make sure that if you use bleach that it won’t interact with the cleaning agents from the automatic cleaner that you’ve been using. Bleach, when combined with ammonia, will create toxic vapors and is extremely dangerous.
When the toilet tank requires heavy cleaning, it will not usually achieve an “acceptable” level of clean for several cleanings. If it took more than a year for the tank to build-up a high level of residue, it will take a few weeks to restore the interior to a properly clean state.
What You Should Not Use When Cleaning a Toilet Tank
Although it may be tempting, do not use wire brushes or anything else that could scratch the interior ceramic of the toilet. You will get the junk of the sides of the toilet tank, but you’ll damage the surface at the same time. That will make future cleaning attempts more difficult to complete.
The toilet tank is often overlooked when performing household chores. With these simple techniques, the tank doesn’t need to be a home for mold, mildew, or bacteria any more.