Dirt, grime and water stains not only affect your toilet's bowl and seat, but also your toilet's tank and inner components. The tank holds and processes water throughout the toilet. The inner components and jets within the bowl can become clogged with mineral deposits as well as become stained by the deposits. One way to keep your toilet clean and functioning properly is by adding vinegar to the tank.
Vinegar — Cleaner and Deodorizer
Vinegar will not harm your toilet's tank, bowl or inner components. The substance is safe to use and removes stains, including dirt and grime, and deodorizes toilets without the need for purchasing and using a commercial toilet cleaner. Fill a spray bottle with full strength vinegar. Spray the substance on your toilet's interior and exterior surfaces, and scrub vigorously to remove debris. Add 3 cups of vinegar to your toilet's tank and let stand for 30 minutes, then flush to deodorize your toilet.
Vinegar also doesn't harm the environment and is a biodegradable alternative to other cleaning products including bleach, powered detergents and cleaners. The substance also is safe for septic tanks and drainfields. In addition, you can mix vinegar with baking soda to form a cleaning paste to remove stubborn stains.
If any of your toilet's internal components are not working properly, disassemble the parts and clean them with a brush dipped in vinegar. Vinegar breaks up lime, dirt and any grime that may be clogging the components.
Removing Mineral Deposits
Vinegar also penetrates and breaks down any mineral deposits in your toilet's tank and bowl. Fill the bowl with water from a bucket to get rid of as much water as possible from the bowl. Do not flush the toilet—you want to remove the water manually using a bucket of water. Dry the bowl with an old towel or rag. Cover the hole in the bottom of the bowl and any jets around the edge of the bowl with waterproof tape. Pour a bottle of white vinegar into the tank's overflow pipe, the tall pipe inside the tank that contains a flapper on the bottom. Let the vinegar stand overnight so the substance can soften and breakdown the deposits. Remove the tape and flush the toilet to clean the jets and internal components.
Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.