The Right Way to Clean the Rim Jets of Your Toilet

We’re guessing that scrubbing the toilet isn’t high up on your to-do list. But it’s a task that needs to be done to keep your home clean and healthy. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t clean their toilets as well as they think. If you only squirt some cleaner and scrub the bottom of the bowl, then you’re likely missing a vital area – the rim jets.

Cleaning Rim Jets

What do the rim jets do – and why it’s important to clean them

When you flush the toilet, a stream of water is released from the tank into the bowl, using a swirling motion to push the contents through the drain as it passes through the bowl. In an ordinary toilet bowl, the rim jets are the holes that release the water. It is possible that mineral deposits or bacteria can become clogged in the holes. And due to their concealed nature, it can be hard to notice and clean them properly. Rim jets need to be cleared to allow for proper water flow and full flushes.

How to unclog and clean rim jets

Before you start cleaning, here is an important safety tip. Do NOT pour bleach directly into the main part of the toilet tank. The chemicals can break down the rubber parts, which can lead to other toilet problems.

  1. Determine if there are any blockages – If your toilet has trouble fully flushing, it could be a warning sign that you have build-up in the rim jets. You can also use a small mirror to look underneath the toilet rim to inspect the holes. Light color and scaly build-up usually indicate mineral deposits, while dark-color spots can be bacterial growth.
  2. Add a bleach solution to the overflow tub – First, mix one-part bleach to 10 parts water. You can also use vinegar if you want to use a less-harsh solution. Remove the lid to the toilet tank, and add the solution to the overflow tube, which is the vertical tube in the middle of the tank.
  3. Let the solution sit for 5-10 minutes, then flush the toilet – The goal is to let the solution kill the bacteria or break down the mineral deposits.
  4. Manually clean out the rim jets – Wearing protective gloves, use a thin tool such as a piece of wire to poke into the rim jets and scrape out any debris stuck inside the holes.
  5. Scrub the bowl – Use your regular toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush or scrubbing pad to give your toilet (including underneath the rim) a deep cleaning.
  6. Repeat step 2 – Add more bleach solution or vinegar to the overflow tube and give a final cleaning flush to remove any remaining bacteria or mineral deposits.

Toilet repair in Oahu and Maui

If you follow the above steps and are still experiencing a weak flush (or any other toilet, for that matter), it may be time to bring in a professional plumber. At Emergency Plumbing & Solar, we offer affordable rates and 24/7 emergency plumbing services. Call us today at (808) 691-9309 Oahu, (808) 400-8811 Hawaii Island to schedule an appointment.


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