How to Clean a Toilet Tank and Prevent Deposits

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Assuming that no one ever looks at the inside of your toilet tank, you may think that there’s little reason to clean it. After all, it’s the toilet bowl that contains most of the bacteria right? – Wrong. An unclean toilet tank can also develop bacteria.

You should also consider the fact that most of the deposits forming inside your toilet bowl come from the water inside the tank. If the water isn’t filtered before entering the toilet bowl, you’ll need to do some maintenance to keep it clean and minimize the amount of work you put into cleaning your toilet bowl.

Picking Commercial Cleaning Products

You should keep in mind that toilet bowl cleaning products and toilet tank cleaning products aren’t always interchangeable. Whether you have a ceramic or plastic toilet tank, you’ll need to be very careful when shopping for commercial cleaning agents.

You should also know exactly what type of flushing system you have inside your toilet tank. The materials used in the system largely determine the cleaning products you can safely use.

Always check the labels and see if any of the ingredients can melt, damage, or corrode anything inside your toilet tank, to avoid making things worse.

Understanding the Issue

There are two types of problems you may experience with a toilet tank. Firstly, your tank may have mineral deposits. Secondly, it may have mildew or gunk inside it. Depending on the issue, a specific type of treatment may be required. Also keep in mind that you won’t always be able to simultaneously treat both issues because combining certain products can potentially create dangerous toxic fumes.

In the first scenario, a simple white vinegar solution may do the trick if you want to avoid spending money on commercial cleaners. In the second scenario, bleach might do the trick if you don’t mind the smell.

There’s also the always effective baking soda and vinegar solution if you don’t mind scrubbing or if your toilet tank is fairly clean to begin with. The ratio should always be one cup of baking soda to two cups of vinegar. Just remember to dissolve the baking soda as well as you can before dumping it in the tank.

Preparing and Cleaning the Toilet Tank

The first thing you should do is completely drain the tank. Turn off the water supply to the tank and flush the entire tank. After that, you can apply the cleaner.

Depending on what type of product you buy, the application process may differ. For example, sprays are designed to be applied to the interior walls of the tank. However, not all of them should come in contact with water.

You can leave the spray sit and then scrub the deposits with a brush. Or, you may have to fill up the toilet tank and let it sit with the cleaning agent in it.

If you’re using vinegar to deal with mineral deposits, you should know that it can get expensive. It’s recommended that you don’t mix it with water. It’s also recommended that you fill the tank with vinegar.

You’ll have nothing but vinegar inside your tank for up to 12 hours in that scenario. Yes it will smell, but your tank will be free of mineral deposits. I strongly recommend this method if you live in an area with hard water.

Take Some Precautionary Measures

I can’t stress enough how important it is to protect your toilet tank from further problems with mineral deposits, mildew, and gunk. There are various options to keep the toilet tank cleaner, while also providing maintenance to your toilet bowl.

Look for toilet tank pills that slowly dissolve and have antibacterial properties. You can find them in every supply store.

But, if you want to avoid gunk deposits, you should opt for a floating pill or something that remains in a suspended or floating attachment. I recommend avoiding any kind of product that slowly dissolves at the bottom of the tank. Those can easily clog the tank, especially if they’re cheap.

A Final Tip

If you want to make sure that your toilet tank stays as clean as possible, you should invest some money into a water filter. You won’t need a whole house water filter, as one for your bathroom piping should be sufficient.

Even if hard water deposits are not a common issue in your area, you should still do this, if you can afford to. This won’t keep your toilet clean forever, but it will reduce the number of future interventions required on your part.

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