How to clean toilet jets to prevent yucky hard water stains from forming on your toilet and keep it cleaner for longer.
Did you know mineral deposits and bacteria growth can build up over time if your toilet rim is neglected?
It’s important to make sure your toilet siphon jets are clean and clear so you can get clean water from the toilet tank into the bowl. If you want to remove that mineral buildup, you can use abrasive cleaners, but I have some natural solutions that you can use to unclog those rim jets and also remove those nasty yellow hard water stains from jet holes.
How To Clean Toilet Jets
Clean toilet jets with 4 simple steps:
- Eliminate bacteria with bleach
- Descale rim jets with vinegar
- Clear toilet siphon jet
- Use DIY Fizzy Tablets to keep clean
1) Bacteria Removal With Bleach
It is imperative that you kill as much bacteria as possible for a clean toilet and clean toilet jets. There’s more lurking under the rim and in the toilet rim holes than what’s in the bowl.
1. Mix one part bleach with ten parts water to make a bleach solution. Cover the water jets under the toilet bowl with wet paper towels or duct tape so it remains firm.
2. The solution should then be poured into the overflow tube in the center of the tank after the tank lid has been removed. Plastic or metal overflow tubes run vertically and are usually attached to a flexible rubber or plastic tube at the top.
3. Flush your toilet after about five minutes of letting the bleach solution work its magic.
4. It’s now time to clean out the siphon jet holes. Using the hand mirror, scrape out all the holes with a piece of wire hanger. Just put it into the hole, then move around in a circular motion to scrape away scale.
5. With a scrubbing pad and chemical bowl cleaner, clean the rim jets and tiny holes of dissolved minerals.
6. Fill the overflow tube with more bleach solution. Flush the toilet a final time after letting the bleach sit for about 5 minutes.
The overflow tube should be flushed periodically with bleach if bacteria build-up is a recurring problem. In-tank cleaners should never be used to solve the problem. In the tank, rubber parts such as flappers and tank balls will deteriorate because of the chemicals in-tank cleaners contain. No one wants a costly repair bill.
2) Getting Rid of Mineral Deposits
Using the same method as cleaning bacteria out, minerals can also be removed. We will use white vinegar instead of bleach mix. When heated, hot vinegar breaks up deposits more effectively. Around 120 degrees Fahrenheit is plenty hot enough. Duct tape holds the vinegar solution in the jets until it dissolves and removes debris
1. You should heat up 8 to 12 ounces of vinegar to a warm, but not boiling, temperature. Add duct tape to the rim.
2. Pour white vinegar into the overflow tube.
3. After 30 minutes, flush the vinegar.
4. Next, use an Allen wrench to clean out each siphon jet. The first allen wrench you use should be a small one, and as you clean out the jets, the allen wrenches will become larger. Flush the toilet periodically as you chip away debris from the small holes Porcelain chips easily, so be careful when using the wrenches. Make sure your work is accurate by using a hand mirror again.
A water softener can reduce the mineral level in the water supply if the problem persists. In case the problem persists, a hard water tank tab may also be helpful.
3) How To Clean Clogged Siphon Jet
Cleaning can help clear mineral deposits that have clogged up your toilet siphon jet area if it is acting up due to mineral deposits.
A clogged-up overflow tube prevents the toilet rim jets from getting clean water into the toilet, and you need clean rim jets in order to do this.
If you perform regular cleaning your siphon jet should not become clogged.
My solution for unclogging these jets was rubber gloves, duct tape, and vinegar. Baking soda may be added as well for extra cleaning power. If you wish to use bleach for bacteria, that is also acceptable.
Both methods will be shared here though, so you can decide what’s best for your needs. Any natural cleaning agent will work well for cleaning the rim of your toilet bowl.
I suggest scrubbing the toilet bowl with a toilet brush and a drop of dish soap before cleaning the siphon jet. To reduce the number of germs in your bathroom, make sure you take good care of your toilet brush.
Here’s what you need to do after cleaning the toilet bowl:
Drain the toilet completely and dry the bowl. You will need to cover both the rim jets and the siphon jet. The siphon jet is located at the bottom of the bowl, facing the back of the toilet.
Once everything is securely sealed, pour your cleaning solution into the tank. Half flush the toilet to let the solution into the rim and siphon tubes, then leave it there for an hour.
Remove the tape from the bottom siphon tube first, then from the rim jets. Scrub everything with a toilet brush and flush well. Your flush should be full strength now.
If it is not, you may want to repeat the process using a solution of CLR or another scale-dissolving product. Muratic (pool) acid may also be used. Be sure to use gloves, eye protection and mask with these products. Do not breathe the fumes.
How To Inspect Clogged Rim Jets
With a small mirror, you can easily check the condition of the toilet jets. The mirror should be placed under the rim so that you can see the jet holes.
It is likely that you have a bacteria problem if you see orange or black spots. It’s likely that you have mineral deposits if the surface looks scaly and light-colored. Both problems are possible, of course.
4) Keeping The Toilet Clean With This DIY Fizz Tab
Your toilet will be clean without harsh chemicals when you use these magic fizzy tablets. Making them yourself is required, but it is fairly simple.
Gather the following materials for this step by step guide:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup citric acid
- 1/2 tsp vinegar
- 1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
- 40 drops of essential oil(s)
Baking soda and citric acid can be combined to make toilet fizzy tablets. In a new bowl, mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
The wet ingredients should be mixed slowly with the dry ingredients until the mixture becomes clumpy. In the paste you just made, add your favorite essential oil. Lemon essential oil is my favorite.
Put the mixture on a baking sheet and mold it into medallions. Make sure they are all about the same size by using a tablespoon. You can make medallions until you run out of the mixture.
Let your medallions dry overnight on a baking sheet far from children’s reach.
The next day, once they have dried, the toilet rim jets can be cleaned out by placing one in the toilet tank to dissolve and then flushing it.
Use a hand brush to give the bottom of the bowl a light brush if rings start to appear after a flush cycle.
The purpose of this is to keep those yucky dark orange spots and calcium sediment buildup off the toilet rim holes while also keeping those small openings clear. You can also clean your toilet siphon jets with muriatic acid, a not-so-common cleaning solution.
How Do Toilet Rim Jets Become Clogged?
To start the flush cycle, water flows down the toilet bowl rim jets from the toilet tank into the bowl. It’s because the toilet jets are angled to create swirling water in a circular direction into the bowl. Flushing is more effective when done in a swirling motion.
Your toilet may not flush completely when the rim jet holes become clogged with mineral deposits such as lime or calcium scale, or the water may take longer than usual to drain from the toilet tank to the bowl if the jets are clogged. It is possible that you have noticed a vertical flow of water from the rim holes rather than the usual diagonal flow. The siphon jet may be clogged.
When calcium deposits accumulate in your toilet’s hollow rim, they can clog the jets, resulting in a slow-flushing toilet. Despite the constant flow of water, toilets aren’t the dirtiest part of your home, but when they stop flushing effectively, bacteria can grow. It is more likely that a toilet that is rarely used will have clogged jets caused by bacteria growth and a weak flush. You must clean the rim jets (siphon jet) regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning The Toilet Rim Jets
Exactly how does a toilet siphon work?
The toilet siphon in modern toilets can flush wastewater into a sewer or septic system without the use of electricity or mechanical components. Due to the shape of this drain, the rush of water (when you flush the toilet) activates a siphon that pulls waste out of the bowl.
There are some toilets that come with a siphon jet hole to aid in flushing. A molded pocket holds extra water that increases the pressure when the toilet is flushed.
How do I clean with muriatic acid?
- Like the duct tape and vinegar method above, stick duct tape around all the siphon holes.
- Fill the toilet tank with one cup of muriatic acid.
- Use the funnel to pour muriatic acid into the fill tube as well.
- The muriatic acid solution will be released into the jet siphon when the flush handle is pulled half way.
- Ten minutes is a good length of time to let it sit.
- Perform a full flush after removing the duct tape
How often should I clean toilet and siphon holes?
For a truly clean toilet, you should clean the toilet seat, rim, and water jets often. Use a spray bottle of white vinegar to wipe the toilet seat down daily. You can clean the toilet tank of minerals by adding one cup of vinegar to the tank itself and leaving it for one hour.
My toilet trap smells, what should I do?
It’s best to call a professional plumber if you smell sewer gases. The smell of sewer gas can sometimes be confused with other smells, so odors are one of the first signs that you may need a toilet repair. Toilet trap leaks can be determined by a professional if they are small or severe.
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.