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How to Clean a Water Tank Efficiently

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How often do you clean your water storage tank? While many do not consider it as an essential thing to do but that’s not true.

If you are wondering how to clean the water tank, then you are in the right place.

In this article, we will learn about the various ideas to clean a water storage tank. We will discuss and how and why you should do it.

Keep reading below to know the steps to follow for cleaning and disinfecting water storage tanks at home.

Why Should You Clean and Disinfect The Water Storage Tanks?

The water storage tank is from where we use the water for cooking, bathing, drinking, etc., at home. Over time, sediments, algae, etc., are deposited in the water, further contaminating it. Proper cleaning, maintenance, and care of the tanks are an absolute necessity to prevent harmful microbial growth. Cleaning the water tank at least yearly once is essential to ensure the safety and good health of your family members.

The microbial growth or contaminants affect the odour and taste of the water. Hence, you need to ensure that you seal the tanks properly to prevent contamination and avoid mosquito breeding.

How Often Should You Clean Your Water Storage Tank?

The answer to this question is dependent on the amount of lime build-up and contamination or the algae growth. On average, it is advisable to clean and disinfect the water storage tank at least twice a year. Or, you can even do it as per the local and state regulations.

Are you noticing that the water coming out of your taps is unclean or smells awful, or tastes bad? It is a clear indication that water in the storage tank is contaminated, and the tank needs to be cleaned.

You may say that you do not observe such signs. However, a member of your family has stomach upset frequently without any proper reason. The chances are that it is because of the water contamination in your tank. You need to check the storage tank and ensure that it gets cleaned.

We advise you to keep checking your tank regularly. If you notice any sediments or deposits of contaminants at the bottom, it is better not to delay. Get on to your work of cleaning the tank at the earliest.

The best part of cleaning a water storage tank is that it is not a complicated task. It is easy and simple, and most people do it themselves without the help of a professional. Apart from the inspections mentioned above, there are a few things you need to consider for cleaning the tank. Below are the factors you need to pay attention to:

  • Whenever there is an installation of a new water supply line.
  • Whenever there is a repair done for the existing water supply line.
  • When the water from your tank tests positive for coliform bacteria.
  • If you have not used or drained the tank for several months.

What Is The Step-by-Step Process For Cleaning A Plastic Water Storage Tank?

Cleaning a water storage tank is very easy. You can find all the required cleaning supplies around your house. You can use them and a few tools like a mop to get started with the started.

Here is all you need to clean the water tank:

  • Adjustable floor mop
  • Bucket
  • The water of at least seven litres
  • Unscented liquid bleach
  • Disposable gloves
  • Eyewear

Even before you get started, it is always advisable to prepare the bleach solution. You can do it by adding one tablespoon of bleach to one litre of water. You may require about seven litres of water to make the bleach solution.

Below is the step-by-step process you need to follow for cleaning the storage tank with the mentioned accessories.

Step 1: Clean The Surrounding Areas Of the Tank and also the Tools

The very first step to start with is by cleaning the surrounding areas of the water storage tank. Doing this ensures that the area around the tank is clean and provides a tidy environment to carry on with the cleaning process.

After you clean the surroundings, make sure you clean the tools or accessories also that you need for the procedure. Here is how you can do it:


  • Take a clean bucket.
  • Add one part of bleach and four parts of hot water to it.
  • Mix this solution properly.
  • Now, place all the tools in this cleaning solution and clean them.

Step 2: Empty the Water Tank

The next step you have to do is to drain all the water from the tank. If the water tank is large ensure that the water you flush does not flood the surroundings. Also, see to it that the tank is empty and dry for effective results. If there is any water left behind in the tank, you can make use of a pump to remove it. After draining, you can even take a towel to wipe away the leftover moisture.

Step 3: Clean the Interiors of theTtank

After draining the water from the tank, start the cleaning process by cleaning the interior. The tank may contain any sediments or deposits of lime, dirt, etc., accumulated at the bottom or to the walls.

You can use a power washer to clean the walls and the bottom of the tank. They help you to reach the nook and crannies of the tank that you cannot reach and scrub. If you do not have a power washer at home, do not worry. You can use a brush that has hard bristles to clean the walls. Else, you can even use a mop with an adjustable head or any other cleaning too that you can apply at an angle.

Using any of the tools mentioned above, you can clean the interior of the tank. Make sure that you reach every corner and scrub properly to get rid of all the dirt and salt formed inside. Ensure that your plastic tank looks new after you finish cleaning.

Step 4: Rinse the Exterior of the Tank

After cleaning the interior, move to the exterior of the tank. To clean the outside, you can use cold water and scrub the dirt accumulated on it. Rinse it for the first time to get rid of all the dirty water. Later, at the end of the cleaning process, you can rinse the tank exterior for the second time.

Step 5: Bleach the Interior of the Tank

The next step is to add a bleaching solution to the interior to clean and disinfect it. Here is how you can do:


  • Use the bleach solution you prepared at the beginning of the cleaning process for scrubbing the interior.
  • Wear your gloves and eye protection wear.
  • Pour the bleach solution into the tank.
  • For scrubbing, you can take a pressure washer to reach every corner and surface of the tank.
  • If you do not have a pressure washer, you can use a mop with an adjustable head or any other cleaning tool that you can apply at an angle.

Step 6: Allow the Bleach Solution to Sit

After scrubbing the bleach solution to all corners, walls, and interiors of the tank, allow the solution to sit for at least two hours. Doing so will let the bleach solution clean any bacteria or other microbial contaminants present inside.

Step 7: Clean the Water Supply Lines (Optional)

Going a step ahead, you can even sanitize your water pipes at home other than the water storage tank. All you have to do is run the solution through all the pipes to ensure they are disinfected. You can make use of a pump for doing this job. This is an optional step. You can do it or skip it if you do not want to do it.

Step 8: Rinse the Interior of the Tank Thoroughly

The next step in the cleaning process is to rinse the tank exterior again for the second time. After you finish the bleaching job and let it rest for some time, start rinsing the interior. Make sure you rinse thoroughly and see that no trace of the solution is left behind. Bleach is toxic, and your drinking water should not contain it. So, rinse the tank interior properly. Also, if you ran the bleach solution through the pipelines, ensure that you run the faucets with hot water. Continue rinsing until there is no bleach or soap left.

Step 9: Rinse the Exterior of the Tank Again

After you rinse the interior thoroughly, move on to the next step. Rinse the exterior again to ensure it is totally clean and does not have any dirt or bleach marks on it.

Step 10: Refill The Tank Partially (Optional)

After you finish cleaning, sanitizing, and rinsing the tank with the bleach solution, start refilling it. You may fill it with drinking water halfway. Again, this is an optional step. You can do it or skip it if you do not want to do it.

Step 11: Measure the Chlorine Levels in the Tank (Optional)

If you still have a doubt that there may be traces of bleach solution left in the solution, this is what you can do. Take chlorine test strips and use them to test the water in the supply lines. Check for the results – if you notice the chlorine levels are nominal, you can directly go to the final step of the cleaning process. If you observe that the chlorine levels are higher, go back to step 8 and rinse the interior. Keep doing it until you notice a decrease in the chlorine levels. Again, this is an optional step. You can do it or skip it if you do not want to do it.

Step 11: Refill The Tank

After you finish cleaning, sanitizing, and rinsing the tank with the bleach solution, start refilling it. You may fill it with drinking water to the full.


Cleaning your water tank at least yearly once is essential to ensure the safety and good health of your family members. I hope this article gave you a detailed explanation of how to clean a water tank? When was the last time you did it? If you have neglected cleaning or never given a thought to it, you should do it now. Follow the process mentioned in this write-up to clean and disinfect your water storage tank. You can further share this information with your friends and let them know about the water tank cleaning procedure.

Write to us in the comments if you have any questions or need more information on cleaning a water tank. We will answer all your questions at the earliest with relevant info.

Please share your feedback with us by posting your inputs in the comments section below. Also, if you feel that we missed out on any points, do not hesitate to let us know. We welcome your suggestions and want to hear from you.

Stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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