How to Clean a Toilet Cistern

How to Clean a Toilet Cistern

Toilet cisterns are the unsung hero of the bathroom. They are usually ignored and forgotten, but they need to be cleaned too. 

We all want nice clean bathrooms that smell fresh, not like sewage or other unpleasant odours. 

The best way to do this is by washing your toilet cistern regularly with one of these clever ways.


1. Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda

Clean a Toilet Cistern with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda

Dissolve a cup of bicarbonate of soda in vinegar, pour it into the cistern and let it sit overnight. In the morning, flush with hot water for sparkling results.


2. Cleaning Tablets

using cleaning tablets to clean toilet cistern

Cleaning tablets are great because they can be left overnight to do their work.

Just make sure you buy a brand that doesn’t discolour the toilet bowl. Plain bleach is an excellent choice and will also deal with any nasty smells coming from your cistern. not only does it clean, but it kills bacteria too.


3. Bleach and Water

Make sure you use toilet bowl bleach, not regular household bleach. Just mix two tablespoons of the stuff with one gallon of water in a jug and pour it into the cistern each time after your flush. This is another powerful combination that deals with any bacteria and cleaning stains from calcium build-up.


4. Magic Eraser

This is an excellent choice because it’s so versatile—not only will it remove stains and marks from the cistern itself, but it can also remove rust rings in your toilet bowl. You can buy magic erasers at any supermarket or dollar store. They do magic things to bathrooms.


5. Detergent and Vinegar

Clean a Toilet Cistern with vinegar and detergent

This is another great combination that does a beautiful job of cleaning the cistern, along with making it smell fresh. 

Mix one part detergent to three parts vinegar in a jug and pour it into your cistern after each flush. If you have particularly stubborn stains, soaking overnight will help. Make sure you rinse the cistern thoroughly before using it again.


6. Condensed Milk

If you have calcium or lime build-up on your cistern, a paste made from condensed milk and bicarbonate of soda is the answer. 

It may sound weird, but it does work. Just mix one part condensed milk with three parts of bicarbonate of soda to form a thick paste. Spread it over the stains and leave for two hours, then scrub with a brush.

The milk will react to the lime in your cistern, removing it safely, with no harsh chemicals involved. The best part about this method is that you can also use the paste on any other areas of your bathroom and toilets where calcium or rust is an issue.


7. Toilet Plunger

Clean a Toilet Cistern with toilet plunger

A toilet plunger is the most obvious solution to a dirty cistern – if you have any standing water at all, then plunge it away. You can even use some of your homemade pastes and solutions with the plunger for super-effective cleaning. Just remember that plunging isn’t effective on things like rust stains.


8. Bleach and Bicarbonate of Soda

Use with caution to avoid discolouring your cistern or toilet bowl. Mix two tablespoons of bleach with one cup of bicarbonate of soda in a jug, then flush after each use to keep things clean without using too much bleach.


9. Vinegar and Toilet Cleaner

If your cistern is already discoloured, for example if it’s yellow from age or rust stains, you can either replace it (which isn’t always an option) or try to clean it. 

For the latter, you can use a good toilet cleaner like HG Super Powerful Toilet Cleaner. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly.


10. Cleaning Gloves

Cleaning your cistern will never be a luxurious experience – but it doesn’t have to be a painful one, either. 

Just slip on some rubber gloves, and you’ll avoid any nasty bleach burns. It’s also a great idea if you’re cleaning other areas of the bathroom as well. Just throw them in the wash when you’re done.


11. Lemon Juice

Clean a Toilet Cistern with lemon juice

This is another handy tip if your cistern has yellow stains – just cut a lemon in half and scrub the cistern with it to remove any built-up grime. The citric acid will help get rid of those stains, plus it leaves behind a fresh scent.


12. Toothbrush

Clean a Toilet Cistern with toothbrush

A toothbrush is great for scrubbing any stubborn stains left behind by your homemade pastes. Just dampen the brush and apply the paste, then go after those hard-to-reach areas.