You'll find lots of easy odor fixes in the cleaning aisle. It doesn't get much simpler than dropping a bleach-containing puck into the tank and walking away. Unfortunately, bleach can cause erosion of rubber components like seals and floats, which makes it a less-than-ideal cleaning method for a toilet tank.
A better approach is to use vinegar, liquid detergent or baking soda as your cleanser.
It's a simple process:
- Gather your supplies: Towel, cleanser and a long-handled scrubber (the toilet-bowl brush is fine), along with gloves.
- Remove the tank lid and set it aside on a towel so it doesn't get your floor or bath mat dirty.
- You only want a small amount of water in the tank while you clean, so lift the float (this tricks the tank into thinking it's full) and secure it gently to the flusher. Flush once to drain the tank and allow just a small amount of water back in.
- Add your cleanser to the tank: A few tablespoons of a liquid soap, a half cup of white vinegar or a half cup of baking soda. Swish it around with the brush to mix it up.
- Using the long-handled brush, gently scrub the bottom and sides of the tank using the cleanser-water mixture. You probably won't get it totally clean at this step, and that's fine.
- Let the cleaner sit in the tank for at least several hours.
- Scrub a bit more. The tank should be clean now.
- Release the float so the tank fills, and flush a few times (until the cleanser is gone).
- Replace lid. Enjoy.
Once you complete this process, your mysterious-odor issue should be solved. But before you dig in, just a few additional tips ...