Learning how to clean a toilet tank is not the most glamorous job, but it’s an important one. The good news is that you don’t have to hire a professional cleaning service or spend hours scrubbing with bleach to get your toilet tank sparkling again.

With just a few simple tools and some time, you can return your toilet tank to its best self in no time! If you are ready for this quick clean-up project, read on!

The process of keeping our homes clean can seem never ending. There are so many tasks that need doing every day – dishes, laundry, vacuuming…the list goes on and on.

While all these housekeeping duties are important they tend to overshadow the less popular projects like cleaning the toilet tank. And, if you’ve landed here then you have already figured out that learning how to clean a toilet tank is something  you need to know.

Why Learn How to Clean a Toilet

We had been struggling for a very long time, with sediment or possibly even mildew around the rim of our toilet. I’d spend hours scrubbing it only for it to be back months later – this stuff is hard to remove!

A couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to do a little digging. What was causing this and how do we get rid of it?!

I was ready for a solution so our family could get back to enjoying this bathroom space in our home…and not worry about what might be lurking behind that rim!

That is when I came across an article that stated what is in our toilet tank ultimately ends up in our toilet.

And, just in case you are wondering, our toilet tanks can harbor large quantities of bacteria and germs!

This same bacteria can corrode the parts inside the tank and can lead to unpleasant smells in the bathroom.

So, while cleaning a toilet tank is certainly not at the top of the fun list for me, it is a necessity. But, the good news is that experts state that you only need to do this twice a year.

Tools You Will Need to Clean the Toilet Tank

I’ll admit, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to cleaning and like to learn as many hacks as I can to speed the process up.

So, I scoured the internet on the best way to clean a toilet tank. Quickly and with as little mess as possible.

And I really feel like I happened across the best method to do just that. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Rubber gloves to keep your hands clean
  • A large bucket of 2 or so gallons of warm water
  • A spoon (one you won’t be cooking with again)
  • Citric Acid – I used the Ball brand, for canning tomatoes
  • 1 cup measuring cup
  • Scrubber (optional, I did not use)
  • 1-3 hours of waiting time

How to Clean a Toilet Tank

We have reached the best part. I really can’t wait to share with you how simple this process is. 

It really takes just a few minutes to do and some patience. So let’s get to it.

Step 1 – Locate the water source and turn off

We need to turn off the water source to the toilet so that we can empty it. This is usually located next to the toilet.

Step 2 – Empty the toilet tank

To empty the toilet tank, hold down the flusher until the water is drained out. Once the water is drained from the tank, move on to the next step. 

Step 3 – Fill the toilet tank with warm water

Take your bucket of warm water and refill your tank to the “water line”.

Avoid using super hot water. I feel like I may have used water that was a little too hot on the first toilet. As there were some small pieces of rubber that floated to the top.

Step 4 – Add citric acid to toilet tank and mix

Measure out 1 cup of citric acid, add it to your tank and mix with your spoon. Place your toilet tank lid back on the toilet.

Take caution as you add the citric acid to the toilet tank. It is potent and the dust may cause you to cough.

Step 5 – Waiting time and flush

I waited about an hour and it was sufficient for us, but some toilet tanks may need longer. After the time is up, remove your toilet tank lid and flush.

Step 6 – Extra Cleaning

If your toilet needs a little scrubbing, grab your scrubber or scrub brush and start cleaning.

You may also have sediments that settle to the bottom of the toilet tank. Using your gloves, reach into the tank and clear this out.

If you opt not to clean out these sediments, be prepared for them to slowly start entering your toilet. 

Step 7 – Turn on water

Once you have cleaned your toilet tank to your likeness, go ahead and turn the water back on. Give it another flush or two and you should be good to go!

Step 8 – Repeat 1 to 2 times per year

Experts say to clean your toilet tank twice per year. I will be checking on ours in 6 months to see if it’ll need another cleaning.

And that is it!

I highly recommend this method if your toilet tank is in need of a good cleaning. It truly was an easy process and I love how clean it turned out!

Next up, I am going to be trying out another method I found to get rid of the black staining around our rim … for good!

I’m pretty excited for it as my hours of research and watching tutorials led me to a video that looks to be just as easy as this!

So, stay tuned to see how it goes.

Final Notes on How to Clean a Toilet Tank

This method for cleaning a toilet tank is straightforward. However, for whatever reason, I had the hardest time locating citric acid. 

Knowing what I know now, I don’t feel like it matters which type of citric acid you use. I found our citric acid at Target for less than $4 a jar. 

One jar of the citric acid (7.5oz) covered one toilet with a little extra left over. So, if you have multiple toilets in your home, I would buy one per toilet you plan on cleaning. 

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