How to Clean a Toilet Tank With Vinegar and Baking Soda

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House cleaning is never complete without the bathroom and toilet space. You cannot ignore the cleaning of the bathroom, as a filthy appeal would definitely ruin the entire setting of the house.

Also, your guests will surely use the washroom, and you will not want to set a wrong impression. Using vinegar and baking soda can help you clean out the algae, rust, and mould conditions.

How to Clean Toilet Tank With Vinegar and Baking Soda

It is better to approach the cleaning of toilet tanks with baking soda and vinegar, as they are more robust in providing you with optimal cleaning. But you just cannot pour the vinegar and baking soda mixture into the tank and flush it out for a clean result.

Toilet tank with tissue paper on top

You need to follow the proper steps in order to master the outcomes. Hence, it would be best to learn how to clean the toilet tank with vinegar and baking soda. And this guide will help you out with that knowledge.

Make Arrangement for the Supplies

Here are the things that you will need as supplies for cleaning the toilet tank:

  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Bristle Brush
  • Borax
  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Rubber Gloves

You can get all of these supplies from either an online or offline store at cheap rates. In fact, most of the products would already be available at your residence. So, just get them all, and you can readily move onto the next step.

Method 1: Pour Vinegar Within the Toilet Tank

You will need gallons of vinegar to pour into the toilet tank to clean it properly. Soaking the inside of the toilet tank with vinegar is the easiest method of all for optimal cleaning.

But in this process, you must have another bathroom to use for the time being, as the soaking will take time. To properly carry out this soaking step, you must follow the steps:

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  1. Remove the water from your toilet tank.
  2. Make an arrangement for around 3 to 7 gallons of white vinegar.
  3. Now you need to fill the tank to overflow the tube.
  4. While you fill the tank with vinegar, make sure you cover all the rust, algae, or mold regions within the tank.
  5. Now, you need to allow the vinegar to sit within the tank for the next 12 or 13 hours.
  6. After that waiting time, you can drain the vinegar solution by flushing it.
  7. Now, you need to use the brush and scrub it to remove any of the leftover debris.
  8. Then sprinkle the baking soda powder within the tank to scrub it more rigorously.
  9. Now, turn the water supply back on.
  10. Flush and rinse the toilet tank for few times until you clean all the scrubbed debris.

Check out this YouTube video to see the live results of soaking vinegar over the toilet or flush tank. It will definitely give you a better idea of how you can implement these steps!

Spilled baking powder on top of the table

Method 2: Scrubbing Vinegar & Baking Soda Over Toilet Tank

If you do not want to give 12 to 13 hours of time for your toilet tank cleaning, then mixing up the vinegar and baking soda will speed up the process. It is a different approach than that of the first method.

In fact, you were majorly relying upon soaking vinegar for the first method, whereas this is a blended approach. Here are the steps for the same:

  1. You need to drain the water from your toilet tank.
  2. You can add two tablespoons of dawn solution, one cup vinegar, and ½ cup baking soda.
  3. Mix up this solution thoroughly by using the toilet scrubbing brush.
  4. Now, use the same brush to scrub down the bottom and sides of the tank.
  5. It would be best if you let it settle for at least an hour or a little more.
  6. Now, the second round of scrubbing is required. This, in turn, will get hold of the algae, rust, mold, and sediment within the tank.
  7. After you are over with it, turn on the water supply.
  8. Flush out the tank several times, and your tank will be clean like new.
  9. Then you can just put the lid back, and the toilet will be ready to use again.

Method 3: Cleaning the Toilet Tank by Using Vinegar & Borax

Baking soda is just one remedy to use with vinegar for quick cleaning of the toilet tank. But you can still prefer to use borax for the purpose. Here are the steps to implement this method:

  1. You will need one cup of borax with 4 cups vinegar.
  2. You do not need to empty the toilet tank this time. Keep water in the tank at around 2 inches depth from below.
  3. Now, add the prepared mixture into the tank completely.
  4. Use the brush to mix the solution properly, and in the meanwhile, scrub the inside as well.
  5. Let the solution settle for around 1 or 2 hours.
  6. Now, repeat the scrubbing process, especially around the water-stained areas.
  7. Now, you can turn on the water supply and flush the tank for few times until all of the debris, dust, rust, algae, and mold are out from the tank.
  8. The cleaning is done, and you can close the lid right away!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Professionals Use for Cleaning the Toilet Tanks?

It would help if you kept in mind that most professionals always suggest using commercial cleaners. In fact, the commercial cleaners are ready to use without any hassle of mixing up the usual contents or ingredients to prepare your own solution.

But some professionals make use of Borax and Vinegar to clean the toilet tanks. When you are doing it at home, you can still use baking soda, as a powerful scrubbing agent, instead of borax.

And if you want to lean towards commercial cleaners, then here is a list of a few best toilet tank cleaners for you to check out.

Toilet tank with empty toilet paper

How to Know if My Toilet Tank Needs a Cleaning Session?

Irrespective of the symptoms or signs, you should clean the toilet tanks at least twice every year. It will ensure that your tank doesn’t welcome mildew, grime, dust, mold, or algae problems so often.

But if you wait until the time these signs of rust, algae, and decay are visible, then your toilet tank will be damaged quickly. Therefore, it is better to set time for periodic cleaning of the toilet bowls and tanks simultaneously.

In case you are missing out on this habit, then a foul smell will circulate the bathroom and make it unpleasant for use. Moreover, without cleanliness, the components will also experience a lot of damage due to rust and corrosion. Also, cleaning is a must to maintain hygiene.

Is Vinegar Responsible for Hampering My Toilet Tank in Any Possible Way?

No, vinegar is probably the best natural cleaning solution for your toilet tanks. It is not just a cleaner but also a natural deodorizer. Also, it helps remove mineral stains, grime, rust, and molds efficiently from the tanks.

Not just that, but vinegar is also a bio-degradable alternative that causes no harm to the environment. The commercial and other cleaning products that consist of chemicals and bleach do hamper the environment adversely.

So, if you intend to know more about the efficacies of vinegar, you can refer to this link right away!

Close-Up shot of vinegar brand and bowl

Can I Mix Bleaching Solution With Vinegar for Cleaning My Toilet Tank?

No, it is not recommended for you to mix bleaching solution with vinegar for this cleaning purpose. When you mix vinegar with bleach, the toxic vapours take over the vinegar’s antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Therefore, you should keep aside bleach for your toilet tanks and consider vinegar and other acceptable contents for the purpose.


You should not plan out the toilet tank cleaning only when you are expecting guests at your home. In fact, it is the question of health and hygiene, which cannot be compromised.

Therefore, it is essential for you to mark the dates on a calendar so that you can remember when to clean the toilet bowl, toilet tank, and other parts of the bathroom.

Do plan a routine cleaning schedule like once every 7 to 8 days. Just like your house, your bathroom needs that cleanliness so that you can maintain the hygiene factor. Hence, consider directing your efforts towards the same!

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.