How Much Vinegar Do I Put in the Toilet Tank to Remove Rust?

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Vinegar is far cheaper than any other type of toilet rust cleaner. Use it often to keep your toilet tank rust free.

Apple cider or white vinegar work equally well.


Never mix vinegar with other types of toilet cleaners. Some cleaners contain chemicals that when combined with vinegar can produce toxic fumes.

Use vinegar to remove rust stains.
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Rust appears in the toilet tank as a reddish brown tint. It is not rust in the common sense, but is an accumulative result of minerals in hard water. It grows over time, into unsightly streaks that seem almost indestructible. You can deal with rust in toilet tanks without using harsh chemicals. Common vinegar will break down mineral rust without all the toxic fumes that comes from chemicals. Vinegar is affordable enough to use anytime you see rust beginning to form in your toilet tank.

Step 1

Remove the toilet tank lid.

Step 2

Pour in 1 quart of vinegar. Wait 24 hours.

Step 3

Scrub the tank with a stiff toilet brush. If the rust persists, pour in another quart of vinegar. Wait 24 hours and scrub it again.


Wade Shaddy

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.