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Cleaning the Toilet Tank? Yes – 9 Tips to Make the Job Easier

As a homeowner, the thought of cleaning your toilet tank has probably never crossed your mind. Sure, you clean the bowl – but the tank? The fact is, southeast Michigan homeowners should clean the tank twice each year to rid the tank of germs and dirt. For most people, the only time they see the inside of the tank is when there is a problem. Make it a point to sanitize your toilet tank – here’s how.

Gain access by turning the water to the toilet off

Of course, you cannot thoroughly clean the tank if it is filled with water, so turn off the toilet’s water supply using the valve located below the tank. Flush to drain the water out of the tank.

Make cleaning as easy as possible

The easiest way to thoroughly clean the toilet tank is to spray it down with a disinfectant cleaning spray such as Lysol or 409. Using a disinfectant spray will loosen much of the build-up, and kill most of the bacteria and germs. Let the solution work for about 15 minutes before you start cleaning.

Use a toilet brush for cleaning

You may be tempted to use a sponge or cloth, but a toilet brush is the best way to thoroughly clean inside the tank. The long handle gives you easy reach, and bristles give more scrubbing power than a cloth. Also, the shape and size of a toilet brush makes it ideal for cleaning around flushing components and getting into the corners.

Cleaning tough mineral deposits

You may think mineral deposits present more of a challenge, and they can – but cleaning them away isn’t hard. Drain the tank as described above, then use vinegar to fill the tank to just above the overflow tube, just below the top of the tank. If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, you can also use regular cola to remove mineral deposits. Whichever you choose, let it sit overnight before flushing. If any mineral deposits remain, scrub away with the toilet brush.

Pumice stone

If your toilet tank is manufactured of vitreous china, you can scrub away mineral deposits using a pumice stone. Do not use on toilets made of other materials.

Removing mildew or rust

Toilet tanks that accumulate mildew can be problematic. Removed the mildew as much as possible when cleaning, then place a bleach tablet in the tank. It may be necessary to install a water purification system if mildew continues to reappear.

For rust stains, the best solution is to use a rust remover designed for use in toilets or laundry. These products can usually be purchased from a hardware store or your local supermarket in the laundry detergent section.

Keeping your clean toilet tank clean

Once you have it sparkling clean, how do you keep your toilet tank as clean as possible until time for the next cleaning? Use bleach tablets that are designed to be placed inside the tank. This will help keep it clean and kill germs.

Part replacement

While your tank is empty and clean is the best time to inspect the components for wear and tear. Any parts that look excessively worn should be replaced, and parts in the flushing apparatus oiled to make sure your toilet operates smoothly and efficiently.

Avoid automatic toilet bowl cleaners designed to be placed in the tank

There are various products designed to keep the toilet bowl clean between cleanings that are to be dropped into the tank. Do not use these products, as the harsh chemicals in the cleaners can cause the rubber flapper valve to rot – leaving you with a leak.

Have questions about cleaning your toilet tank? Give Haley Mechanical a call today. Proudly serving Dexter, Ann Arbor, Howell, Ypsilanti, Plymouth, Brighton, and other areas of southeast Michigan for more than 15 years.

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