Formerly Jim's Plumbing

How to Clean a Toilet Cistern

Keeping your toilet cistern clean is crucial for maintaining a hygienic and efficient bathroom. A neglected cistern can lead to unpleasant odours, reduced water flow, and even potential damage to the toilet mechanism.

Regular cleaning ensures your toilet functions smoothly and remains free from harmful bacteria and limescale buildup.

In this article, we will guide you through the simple steps to clean a toilet tank effectively. Whether you’re dealing with a dirty toilet tank or stubborn stains, following our advice will help you keep your bathroom in top condition.

Let’s get started on achieving a cleaner, fresher toilet cistern.

What Materials Do You Need?

To clean your toilet cistern, you’ll need a few essential supplies. This includes:

  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Bucket
  • Vinegar and baking soda
  • Disinfectant
  • Old toothbrush

These basic items will help you tackle most of the dirt and grime inside the cistern.

You will need the vinegar, baking soda, disinfectant and old toothbrush if you’re planning on a deeper clean.

These additional supplies are excellent for removing stubborn stains and doing a thorough job. Having all your materials ready before you start will make the process smoother and more efficient.

Cleaning the toilet cistern

Preparing for Cistern Cleaning

Before diving into the actual cleaning process of your toilet cistern, it’s important to get everything ready. This will ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning experience.

Here’s a simple guide to help you prepare:

  • Gather your supplies: Make sure you have all the necessary cleaning tools and supplies (as stated above).
  • Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve behind or near the toilet and turn it off. This prevents water from refilling the cistern while you’re cleaning.
  • Flush the toilet: Flush to empty the cistern. Hold the flush lever down to drain as much water as possible. This will make the cleaning process easier and more effective.
  • Remove the lid: Carefully remove the cistern lid and set it aside. Be gentle, as these lids can be fragile and might break if handled roughly.
  • Inspect the cistern: Take a moment to inspect the inside of the cistern. Look for any obvious issues like cracks, rust, or mineral build up. This will help you determine how much cleaning is needed.
  • Ventilate the area: Open a window or turn on the bathroom fan. Proper ventilation is important, especially if you’re using cleaning products that have strong odours.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to clean your toilet cistern effectively and efficiently.

Cleaning the Cistern

Do you want to do a basic clean or a deep clean? Let’s take a look at both methods.

Basic Cleaning

Start by removing any visible debris or mineral build up inside the cistern. Use a scrub brush or sponge to scrape off any loose dirt or mineral deposits. This initial step helps to prepare the surface for a more thorough cleaning.

Apply a generous amount of toilet cleaner to the inside walls of the cistern. Be sure to cover all areas, including the corners and around the components. Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes to break down any stubborn stains and grime.

After allowing the cleaner to work, scrub the inside of the cistern thoroughly with a brush or sponge. Pay special attention to areas with heavy build up. Once satisfied, rinse the cistern with clean water from your bucket, ensuring all cleaner residue is washed away.

Deep Cleaning

For a more thorough, deep clean, especially if the cistern hasn’t been cleaned in a while, use a mixture of white distilled vinegar and baking soda to create your own cleaning solution. Sprinkle baking soda generously around the inside of the cistern, then pour vinegar over it. The mixture will fizz and help to break down tough stains and limescale.

Let the vinegar and baking soda solution sit for 10-15 minutes. This gives it time to penetrate and loosen any deeply ingrained dirt or scale. After the cleaning solution has had time to work, scrub the inside of the cistern again, focusing on any remaining stains. You might need an old toothbrush to work on stubborn stains.

Rinse the cistern thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of vinegar and baking soda. Ensure that no residue is left behind, as this could affect the functioning of the toilet mechanisms.

By following these steps, you will have effectively cleaned your toilet cistern, removing both surface dirt and deeper, stubborn stains. Performing deep cleanings of your toilet tank regularly will help maintain a hygienic and efficiently functioning toilet system.

Reassembling the toilet cistern

Reassembling the Cistern and Final Checks

Carefully reattach the cistern lid once the cistern is clean and thoroughly rinsed. Make sure it fits securely to avoid any potential damage or misalignment. Handle the lid gently to prevent any cracks or chips.

Turn the water supply back on by rotating the shut-off valve counterclockwise. Allow the cistern to refill, then flush the toilet a few times to ensure everything is working correctly.

Check for any leaks or issues with the flush mechanism. If everything is functioning properly, your cleaning job is complete, and your toilet cistern should now be in excellent working order.

Maintenance Tips

Establish a regular cleaning schedule to keep your toilet cistern in top condition. Cleaning the cistern every few months prevents build up and ensures optimal performance. This routine maintenance helps to avoid potential issues and keeps your bathroom hygienic.

Consider using toilet tablets or solutions monthly to maintain cleanliness between deep cleans. Address any minor issues, such as leaks or weak flushes, promptly to prevent them from becoming bigger problems. Regular attention and care will prolong the life of your cistern and ensure it operates smoothly.

Improve Your Bathroom Hygiene

Keeping your toilet tank clean is a straightforward task that significantly improves the hygiene and functionality of your bathroom. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove dirt, limescale and stains, leaving you with a sanitary toilet tank.

Regular maintenance and cleaning will prevent issues such as bad odours and reduced water flow. Keep up with a consistent cleaning schedule and address any minor problems promptly to maintain a clean toilet cistern. A little effort goes a long way in keeping your bathroom fresh and trouble-free.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.