Need advice. Cleaning build-up inside toilet tank.


I need to clean out the inside of my toilet tank which has a lot of buildup and the jets need cleaned out too. The calcium deposits are causing my toilet to not flush properly & I can see the muck all over the inside of the the tank. I've removed all the loose build-up & poured vinegar in the jet pipe to clean it out. Can I use Naval Jelly if I have a Septic System? I know all the safety precautions to take, but I want to be sure and not hurt the septic system. THANKS!

  12 answers
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Oct 12, 2021

    Hi Darlene, here's a great article that shares 5 different ways to clean hard build up - It seems borax is your best option when it comes to stubborn build up

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 12, 2021

    Hi, Spray inside and everywhere with Grime & Lime, and leave to do it's work. it will help!

  • on Oct 12, 2021

    I’d try CLR. It’s supposed to be septic safe too. :)

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 12, 2021

    This link has a section on using hot vinegar to clean out the jets, read before trying:

    and the tank:

    Your septic system can tolerate a moderate amount of bleach. The bleach kills off the bacteria in the septic tank, leaving the dead bacteria to accumulate.

    Naval Jelly is a toxic rust remover, probably not safe for septic systems:

    You might need a water softener system to remove the minerals that are depositing into your plumbing.

  • Vinegar is the way to deal with hard water build-up. I would be careful of chemicals since you have a septic system.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 12, 2021

    I would recommend a descaler and a scouring stick. Empty the water in the bowl and tank, then pour the descaler under the rim onto the jets and all over the bowl as well as the tank. Let sit for 10 minutes and scrub with a toilet scrubber. I like the swab version. Let sit and scrub again. Wipe away. Use the scouring stick to scrub any spots that remain. Make sure you get a scouring stick rather than a regular pumice stone, it is formulated not to ruin the finish.

  • Rymea Rymea on Oct 12, 2021

    Search "Toilet tank cleaners". There are lots of them. I used one that foamed up in the tank and it worked well but can't remember the name. This was in a house with a septic tank.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Oct 12, 2021

    Hello. Here’s a link that should help you with your DIY. It is pretty amazing what you can find when you lift off that tank cover. Hope this helps.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 12, 2021

    For cleaing the jets (the ones at the top of the tank) I soak a paper towel in vinegar and before bed put the wet paper towel over the jets and let it sit all night.

  • Em Em on Oct 12, 2021

    Try a product called "The Works" from the dollar store. Pour in tank an let sit for a few hours. Do the same in the bowl. May need more than one shot at it if it is as bad as you say. Clean every week to prevent this once cleaned.

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 13, 2021

    Hello Darlene: You can try a product called "The Works", specifically the thicker formula, from the Dollar Tree. Put it into your jets (use a mirror and a squeeze bottle - you can get one from the Dollar Tree) by squeezing some into each hole and let it sit for at least an hour, then flush the toilet. That should clean your jets. While the water is going out of the tank, hold the ball cock, or whatever you have that goes down when the water goes down, up so no water goes back into the tank. Get something to hold it up while you use white vinegar or The Works to clean out the tank of the ick. Once it's clean, wipe the mess up with some paper towels and throw them away. Then remove whatever is holding the ball cock up and let the tank fill again. Then flush and check the jets with the mirror again to see if they are all working. If not, use a nail that will fit into the hole to break up any mineral deposits that are clogging the area. Just stick the nail up into the hole and wiggle the nail around a bit until it runs good. You can do this while the toilet is filling up with water so you can see if it's working.

    Good luck

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Oct 15, 2021

    Hi! I use Limeaway from the dollar store. In the past I have used a can of coke poured into the tank and toilet bowl overnight to get the muck out.