Everybody has a toilet, and that means that at some point or another, you might need to clean out your toilet tank, the bowl, the pipes below, and everything in between too. Something that you may be tempted to do is to put drain cleaner in the toilet tank to help clean it and loosen things up a bit. However, in most cases this is actually a big mistake.
Let’s figure out whether or not you can put drain cleaner in a toilet tank, and if so, what types are acceptable.
Can You Put Drain Cleaner in a Toilet Tank?
First and foremost, the vast majority of chemically based drain cleaners are not suitable for use with toilets in any way. Things like Drano and Liquid Plumber are not good for your toilets, for the pipes below, or for septic systems either. So, why is this the case? Well, there are actually a few different reasons why your average toilet cleaner should in no case be used in a toilet.
For one, chemical drain cleaners are very abrasive and often corrosive too. They are not good for the porcelain and the lining of your toilet tank, as well as the bowl too. With a few uses, you may actually end up stripping that lining and seriously damaging the interior of your toilet, permanently so.
There’s more to it than that, because chemical drain cleaners may also cause serious damage to your plumbing. Many chemical drain cleaners create a lot of heat and oxygen, and if worst comes to worst, this may actually lead to a burst pipe or a cracked toilet tank. The other reason why chemical drain cleaners should not be used with toilets is because if you happen to have a septic system, that drain cleaner will kill all of the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank, and that’s no good either.
This brings us to our next point, which is about a specific type of drain cleaner that you can actually use in toilets, enzymatic drain cleaners.
Enzymatic or bacterial drain cleaners are ones that use special enzymes and bacteria, living organisms, which have the power to eat through clogs, loosen things up, and do a bit of cleaning too, all without causing damage to your toilet or your septic system. These enzymatic drain cleaners are also much better for the environment than those chemical-laden drain cleaners.
How to Clean Toilet with Drain Cleaner
If you are using an enzymatic drain cleaner, the only issue is that these do not work instantly, not nearly as fast as chemical drain cleaners, so you will need to exercise some patience. All you need to do to clean a toilet with an enzymatic drain cleaner is to buy the product of choice, put about two-thirds of it into the toilet tank, and the other third into the toilet bowl.
These take several hours to work, so this is best done at the end of the day, so you can let it soak overnight. Once you have let it soak, if you want, you can always take a cloth or a soft sponge and give the inside of the toilet tank a little scrubbing, and then use the toilet brush on the inside of the toilet.
Once that is done, you can then flush the toilet.
4 Alternatives to Putting Drain Cleaner in a Toilet Tank
In case you for whatever reason do not want to use an enzymatic drain cleaner on your toilet, there are other solutions to consider. Let’s take a look at the best alternatives to putting drain cleaner in a toilet tank.
1. Baking Soda
One of the best alternatives here is to use baking soda. The reason why baking soda makes for a great alternative is that it has the ability to dissolve a variety of organic compounds. It has the ability to take care of things like grease, dirt, and much more. Moreover, baking soda, because it is a powder, also provides you with some very gentle abrasiveness for cleaning. It can clean without scratching the inside of your toilet tank.
All you have to do is to pour a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into the toilet tank, and another one in the bowl, and then let it soak for a few hours. You can then use any other cleaning utensils to do a bit of wiping and scrubbing.
Another good alternative to using drain cleaner is vinegar. It doesn’t just taste good but makes for a great disinfectant and cleaner too. It has the ability to kill mold and bacteria, which is a big bonus, plus it can also dissolve things like dirt, mineral deposits, grease, and more.
It’s a rather perfect thing to use for cleaning toilets. Just like with drain cleaner or baking soda, just pour a healthy amount into the toilet tank, and a bit more into the bowl, and let it soak for a few hours. You can then do some gentle rubbing and scrubbing, and then give the toilet a flush.
3. Mix of the Two
If the first two options aren’t powerful enough for you, then you can always try mixing the two together. Besides the individual cleaning and disinfecting capabilities of baking soda and vinegar, when the two are mixed together, they form a strong chemical reaction that creates a ton of oxygen. Oxygen helps to clean your toilet tank by loosening up anything that is stuck on it.
Just pour a few tablespoons of baking soda into the toilet tank, and then slowly pour in some vinegar. You will quickly see that foaming reaction occurring. Let this soak for a few hours before using a rag or sponge to finish things off.
As you can see, when it comes to cleaning your toilet tank and loosening up stuck on grime, grease, and more, there are plenty of options to go with. Enzymatic drain cleaner works best, but there are other options too.