Maintaining a clean toilet tank is essential for the overall cleanliness and hygiene of your bathroom. Baking soda, with its natural cleaning properties, is used for many different cleaning activities. You may have heard that you can use baking soda to clean your toilet tank, but you’re not sure whether or not it actually works.
In this post, we’ll explore whether or not baking soda can be used to clean a toilet, how effective the chemical compound is for cleaning toilets, and the step-by-step process for using baking soda on toilets.
Is Baking Soda Safe To Put In Your Toilet Tank?
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is widely regarded as a safe and natural cleaning agent for various household tasks, including cleaning toilets. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, baking soda is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and safe to use around children and pets. When used properly, baking soda can effectively remove stains, odors, and mineral deposits from your toilet tank without causing any damage to the tank or its components.
Will Baking Soda Affect A Septic System?
One common concern many homeowners have is whether using baking soda in their toilet tank will have any adverse effects on their septic system. Fortunately, baking soda is septic-safe and will not harm your septic system when used in moderation. In fact, baking soda can help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your septic tank by neutralizing acidity and aiding in the breakdown of organic matter.
How To Clean Your Toilet Tank With Baking Soda
Now that we’ve addressed the safety concerns, let’s discuss how you can effectively clean your toilet tank using baking soda:
Gather Your Supplies
Before you begin, gather the necessary supplies:
Drain the Toilet Tank
You don’t necessarily need to drain the tank to clean it, but you’ll find that it’s easier (and more pleasant) to clean your tank when it’s not full of mucky water. Start by turning off the water supply to your toilet. There should be a line running from your toilet into the wall with a metal valve knob. Turning the valve clockwise will shut off the water supply to your toilet.
Once the water has been turned off, you can hit the flush lever to drain the tank. Flush the toilet to drain as much water as possible from the tank. The tank won’t refill with the water turned off.
Apply Baking Soda
With the tank drained, you can sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda directly into the toilet tank. One cup of banking soda should be enough to effectively clean your tank. Focus on sprinkling the baking soda on areas with visible stains, mineral deposits, or buildup.
Let It Sit
Allow the baking soda to sit in the tank for at least 30 minutes to an hour. If you have more than one toilet and you can leave one out of commission for a night, you can let the baking soda sit overnight for better results with tougher stains.
Scrub the Tank
Using a scrub brush or toilet brush, scrub the interior walls and surfaces of the toilet tank thoroughly. Pay close attention to areas around the waterline and any stubborn stains. Most of the components in the tank are pretty durable, but be mindful of your scrubbing to avoid damaging any of the tank components.
Rinse and Flush
After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, turn the water supply back on and flush the toilet several times to rinse out the tank completely. You can also add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the tank for extra cleaning and deodorizing power.
Repeat as Needed
For heavily soiled or stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the process several times until the tank is clean and odor-free.
How To Clean Your Toilet Tank With Baking Soda & Vinegar
If you’re willing to buy an additional ingredient, you can use vinegar with baking soda to be able to do less scrubbing. The acetic acid in vinegar helps to break down bacteria, dirt, oil, stains, and more for an even deeper clean. The process for cleaning your toilet tank with both baking soda and vinegar will be similar with one additional step (adding vinegar).
Turn Off the Water Supply
Locate the shut-off valve near the base of your toilet and turn it off. Flush the toilet to drain as much water as possible from the tank.
Apply Baking Soda
Sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the toilet tank, focusing on areas with visible stains or mineral deposits.
Pour distilled white vinegar into the tank until it covers the baking soda. You’ll notice a fizzing reaction as the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, helping to loosen dirt and grime.
Let It Sit
Allow the baking soda and vinegar mixture to sit in the tank for at least 30 minutes to an hour. For tougher stains, you can leave it overnight.
Scrub the Tank
Use a scrub brush or toilet brush to scrub the interior walls and surfaces of the toilet tank, paying close attention to areas with stubborn stains or buildup.
Rinse and Flush
Turn the water supply back on and flush the toilet several times to rinse out the tank completely. You may need to scrub any remaining residue to ensure a thorough cleaning.
How To Clean A Toilet Bowl With Baking Soda & Vinegar
In addition to cleaning the toilet tank, you can also use baking soda and vinegar to clean the toilet bowl effectively.
Sprinkle Baking Soda
Sprinkle ¼ cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, covering the entire surface, especially focusing on stains and odors.
Pour 2 cups of distilled white vinegar into the toilet bowl, ensuring it covers the baking soda. Similar to cleaning the tank, you’ll observe a fizzing reaction as the two ingredients interact.
Let It Sit
Allow the mixture to sit in the toilet bowl for at least 15-30 minutes, allowing the chemical reaction to break down stains and eliminate odors.
Scrub the Bowl
Use a toilet brush to scrub the interior of the toilet bowl, working the baking soda and vinegar mixture into any stains or discoloration.
After letting it sit, flush the toilet to rinse away the baking soda and vinegar mixture, leaving behind a clean and refreshed toilet bowl.
How To Unclog A Toilet With Baking Soda
If you’re facing a clogged toilet, baking soda can also be a handy tool to help clear the blockage.
Pour Baking Soda Into The Bowl
Pour about one cup of baking soda directly into the toilet bowl. Allow the baking soda to sit in the toilet bowl for a few minutes to help break down the clog.
Add Hot Water
Carefully pour one gallon of hot water into the toilet bowl, aiming to dislodge the clog. Be cautious not to overflow the bowl. You’ll know the clog has dislodged if the water level starts to decrease in the bowl.
Use a Plunger
If the clog persists, use a toilet plunger to create suction and dislodge the obstruction. Repeat the process as needed until the toilet drains properly.
Once the clog is cleared, flush the toilet to ensure proper drainage.
How To Create Your Own Baking Soda Toilet Cleaning Tablets
Creating your own baking soda toilet cleaning tablets is a simple and cost-effective way to keep your toilet clean and fresh. Using tablets consistently can eliminate or minimize the need to scrub your tank and bowl.
Tablets can simply be dropped into the toilet bowl where they’ll fizz and dissolve. You can use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl if needed, then flush for a clean and refreshed toilet. These DIY tablets are made with natural ingredients and are safe for your septic system.
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¼ cup citric acid
- 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
- 15-20 drops essential oil (optional for fragrance)
- Silicone mold or ice cube tray
Mix The Dry Ingredients
In a mixing bowl, combine the baking soda and citric acid. Citric acid adds a fizzing action to the tablets and helps break down stains and buildup.
Add The Wet Ingredients
Slowly add the hydrogen peroxide to the dry ingredients, mixing well to form a paste-like consistency. If desired, add your favorite essential oil for a pleasant fragrance.
Spoon the mixture into silicone molds or an ice cube tray, pressing down firmly to compact the mixture.
Let It Dry
Allow the tablets to dry and harden overnight or for at least 12-24 hours.
Safely Store Your Tablets
Once dry, carefully remove the tablets from the molds and store them in an airtight container until ready to use.
Can Baking Soda Be Used To Clean Other Parts Of A Toilet?
The use of baking soda as a cleaning agent isn’t just confined to the toilet tank and bowl. Baking soda can be used to clean other parts of a toilet effectively, including the seat, lid, exterior, and even your toilet brushes. When it comes to bathroom cleaning, baking soda is your best friend.
How Often Should You Clean Your Toilet With Baking Soda?
To prevent future buildup and maintain a clean toilet tank, consider incorporating regular cleaning with baking soda into your household cleaning routine. The frequency of cleaning your toilet with baking soda depends on various factors, including usage and personal preference. As a general guideline, consider cleaning your toilet with baking soda once a week. However, you may need to clean more frequently if you have a larger household or if your toilet receives heavy use.
Baking Soda Vs. Commercial Products: Which Is Better?
Baking soda is natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. It effectively removes stains, odors, and buildup without harsh chemicals. However, it may require more effort and time compared to commercial products.
Commercial toilet cleaners often contain harsh chemicals that can be effective at removing tough stains and disinfecting the toilet. However, they may pose health and environmental risks and can be more expensive in the long run.
Ultimately, the choice between baking soda and commercial products comes down to personal preference and priorities. Many people prefer the natural and safer option of baking soda for regular cleaning, reserving commercial products for tougher stains, or occasional deep cleaning.
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