Home Remedies for Toilets

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home remedies for your toilet

The toilet is one of the most significant parts of a bathroom – you’re going to use it at least once every day. With all of the action that the toilet sees on a yearly basis, there is bound to be the need for extra care and maintenance. Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to unclog a toilet or the need to eliminate unsightly stains, there are plenty of home remedies for toilets that you may want to consider.

What’s in a Toilet Tank?

It is the toilet tank that sees most of the plumbing action of your toilet. Inside the tank, you will find the water required to flush the toilet, as well as the plumbing pieces that fill and empty the tank. Not all toilets have the same components – there are many variations to consider. The fill valve and flush valve are the two major components that you may encounter with your toilet.

It is the fill valve mechanism that fills the tank with water. Also known as a ballcock valve or refill valve, there are four different kinds of fill valves to consider: diaphragm, plunger, float cup, and floatless. The flush valve releases water that has been stored in the tank. This type of valve is also responsible for closing the flow of water into the toilet and making sure water fills the tank for the next use.

Sometimes, you will need to address issues that occur inside of the toilet tank to make sure everything is working properly.

Toilet Home Remedies

In order for the toilet tank and the other plumbing parts to work properly, you should learn about the things that are safe to go into a toilet. The only things you should put into the toilet is human waste, toilet paper, water, rock salt, and chemicals for drains. Anything else and you may need to use one of the following home remedies for toilets:

a) Soda Bottle [1]:

If you have an older toilet system in your house, the amount of water that it uses is probably a lot. To cut down on the waste, increase efficiency, and save a few bucks on the water bill – fill an empty 1-liter soda bottle with water (after you have removed all of the labels) and place it in the toilet tank to cut down on the amount of water with each flush.

b) Water Adjustment:

When the toilet seems to be running constantly, it could be an indication that the water level is too high, and water is compromising the overflow pipe. You should adjust the water level in the tank to remedy the problem.

c) Twist a Nut:

To address a loose toilet handle, you will need to adjust the handle mounting nut located inside the tank. Since it has reverse thread, you will need to rotate counterclockwise to tighten.

d) Bubble Wrap:

To prevent condensation on your toilet tank, line the inside of the tank with bubble wrap to keep the outside of the tank from getting cold – which is the reason condensation forms under warm, humid conditions. To line the tank, simply shut off the supply valve under the tank and flush to drain the tank. Next, wipe the inside walls until they are clean and dry. With silicone sealant, glue pieces of bubble wrap to the large flat surfaces.

e) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Add ½ cup hydrogen peroxide and one cup of water to a spray bottle. Spray all the surfaces of the toilet bowl with the solution, and allow it to sit for five minutes before rinsing the toilet with a flush.

f) Duct Tape:

When you need a quick fix for a broken toilet seat, reach for the duct tape and carefully wrap the break to repair.

g) Nail Polish:

To prevent rusty screws on your brand new toilet, paint on a coat or two of clear nail lacquer after installing. This remedy will also help prevent the seat from wobbling because the screws are kept better in place.

h) Wire:

Running down into the bowl of the toilet is the toilet filler tube. It is a small amount of rubber tubing that reacts to the flushing of a toilet. When this tube gets clogged, not enough water reaches the toilet bowl and a seal is created. The next time you go to flush the toilet, the water from the tank cannot create a vacuum in the bowl that moves debris. This causes an incomplete flush. To remedy, run a small wire through the filler tube to make sure algae or bacterial growth does not occur.

i) Jiggle the Handle:

One of the simplest and most common ways to fix a toilet that constantly runs is to jiggle the flush handle. Oftentimes, this method will free up a flapper or float ball. This will encourage the mechanism to properly stop the movement of water from tank to bowl.

j) Tapping Method:

Some people have successfully unclogged a toilet by tapping the back part of the bowl. This approach helps to jostle the contents of the clog.

k) Cola:

To remove brown rings and stains from a toilet, pour 12 ounces of cola onto the stains of a toilet bowl, and swish it around the inside using a toilet brush. Leave the cola in the toilet bowl water for one hour to work on mineral stains. When you flush the toilet, the loosened brown rings and stains should wash away. Follow up by scrubbing the sides to remove any remaining mineral deposits.

l) Vinegar and Baking Soda:

Add one cup of white vinegar to the toilet bowl water to dissolve stubborn mineral deposit stains. Next, sprinkle baking soda over a toilet brush to add a mild abrasive agent. Scrub the toilet bowl surface with the baking-soda-covered brush to remove stains. To rinse the surface, flush the toilet.

m) Lemon Juice:

When looking to clean your toilet bowl naturally, the acid in lemon juice helps to kill germs and leave a fresh scent in the bowl. Lemon juice can also clean up lime and rust. Soak the spot in lemon juice, and then scrub. Repeat the process if needed. To prevent buildup, spray lemon juice on the bowl and wipe it down once or twice per week.

n) Turn Off the Water:

When you see the first signs of a clogged toilet, turn off the water source so that the tank or bowl does not fill. Flush again. Most times, this remedy will help unclog a toilet.

o) Boiling Hot Water:

Pour a pot of boiling hot water down a toilet bowl, which helps to dissolve some of the contents of a clog. They become loosened and easily travel down the pipes. The motion of the pouring water also creates a change in water pressure in the tank that can force a clog through the drain.

p) Small Plastic Container:

Before plunging a toilet, use a small plastic container to remove excess water in the bowl. This will help prevent the splashes that may come when plunging a clogged toilet.

q) Plunger:

Before trying other clogged toilet remedies, you may want to grab your plunger first. Place the plunger directly over the drain hole and press down to create a nice suctioning action. Thrust down on the handle five to ten times, and then release it to see if the water goes down the drain. Repeat this process if needed.

r) Baking Soda and Vinegar:

A solution of 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar poured down a clogged toilet drain can help eat away at the particles that cause problems. Let the mixture sit in the drain for several minutes, and then rinse with hot water. Repeat this process if necessary.

s) Hydrogen Peroxide:

You can pour ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide down a clogged drain. Let the hydrogen peroxide treatment sit for several minutes before rinsing with hot water.

t) Dish Detergent:

After cutting off the water source to your toilet, remove the majority of the water in the bowl. To cut a greasy and gunky buildup, put 1/3 cup of dish soap [2] in the toilet and pour one gallon of boiling water into the toilet bowl. Allow the water to sit for 30 minutes to one hour. Turn on the water to the toilet and flush. You may have to repeat this process for stubborn stains.

u) Rubber Gloves:

A pair of very long rubber gloves can allow you to manually loosen, unclog, and remove the item(s) clogging your toilet. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it – why not do it yourself and avoid the cost of hiring a plumber?

v) Metal Coat Hanger:

Untwist the end of a metal coat hanger and bend until you have a long piece of metal. If you insert the coat hanger into the drain of your toilet, you can fish around inside to dislodge any objects that could be plugging up the toilet.

w) Baking Soda, Table Salt and Cream of Tartar:

A combination of ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup table salt and two tablespoons of cream of tartar can be used to treat a clogged toilet. Pour this mix into the toilet bowl, and then add two cups of boiling water. Close the toilet lid and wait at least two hours before flushing.

x) Rock Salt:

Depending on what plumber you’ve spoken to, rock salt may or may not help your toilet clog. The pebble-sized pieces of salt crystals are known for melting away ice on the road and driveways – and may help to treat a clogged toilet problem. Pour a bit of rock salt mixed with hot water into the toilet bowl to clean the contents that are blocking your toilet drain pipes.

y) Do Not Pour Grease in Toilet:

To prevent problems from occurring in your toilet, never flush old grease. The substance clings to the walls of your sewer pipe and creates a clog that gets larger over time. This clog can block the drain pipe, including the sewer pipe in the basement that leads out of the home.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 92.

[2] http://www.dawn-dish.com/us/dawn/product