How to Remove Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts

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Have you ever noticed a stubborn rusty toilet tank bolt that just won’t budge? This can likely be attributed to aging, humidity, and hard water leading to corrosion. 

Don’t let the rust worry you any longer. With a few simple tools and techniques, we will demonstrate how you can effortlessly eradicate your rusted toilet tank bolts forever. Gather your tools, and let’s give those annoying toilet tank bolts a fond farewell!

Reasons Why Do Toilet Tank Bolts Rust

old Toilet Cistern valve

The growth of rust on toilet tank bolts is often caused by moisture, which is unavoidable in the environment surrounding a toilet. Steel bolt heads are susceptible to corrosion due to their constant contact with water, increasing their susceptibility and affecting strength as well as reliability – issues that may affect both performance and safety.

Moreover, bathroom humidity due to a closed shower can cause water seepage into your restroom and consequently corrode the toilet tank bolts. Rust may form on both the head of the bolt and its external threads that exceed beyond the toilet’s tank.

How To Remove Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts

Photo by H2ouse

Removing rusted toilet tank bolts is a breeze, and there are numerous approaches to doing so. Nonetheless, the most reliable way to remove even the most challenging of bolts without causing any harm or fractures in your loo is by utilizing this tried-and-tested method.

Materials & Tools Needed

The key tools for removing rusted toilet tank bolts include penetrating oil, wrenches, hacksaws/reciprocating saws, and pliers.


To tackle the dilemma of stuck toilet tank bolts, begin by turning off the water supply to your toilet. Then flush it until completely empty and locate all its respective bolts – typically three in total.

Next, spray them with penetrating oil for 15 minutes before attempting to loosen any nuts using a wrench. If they don’t budge, then you must resort to cutting tools such as hacksaws or reciprocating saws – insert their blades into the gap between the bowl and tank, and cut through accordingly.

How To Stop Your Toilet Tank Bolts From Rusting

To stop your toilet tank bolts from rusting, it is important to take protective measures to prevent moisture and humidity from entering your toilet. This can be achieved by installing a toilet tank cover, which serves to protect the bolts from water and build-up.

For optimal protection from rust, make sure to utilize all-brass bolts and nuts when securing the toilet tank to the bowl. Steel is known for oxidation, so brass is your best choice if you want something that will last. When replacing rusted tank bolts, always consider brass hardware for assurance against future rusting!

What’s more, ensure you frequently check your toilet tank bolts and take the necessary precautions, like painting or lubricating them if needed. This will help to ensure that your bolts remain in good condition and free from rust, allowing you to avoid costly repair or replacement costs in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

What spray loosens rusted bolts?

There are a number of penetrating oil sprays that can help loosen rusted bolts, such as WD-40 Penetrant Spray or Liquid Wrench. This Penetrant Spray will quickly penetrate the threads of your bolts and loosen any rust or debris that has built up. All you need to do is spray it over your nuts and bolts, then give them a light tap with a hammer! In no time at all, they’ll be loosened like never before.

Does hydrogen peroxide help with rusted bolts?

You can loosen and remove rusty screws and bolts using hydrogen peroxide. This reliable oxidizing agent effectively dissolves rust from metal surfaces, often erasing all corrosion in one go. Even when you need to restore your tarnished items quickly, hydrogen peroxide is really the way to go.

Can Coke loosen a rusted bolt?

Coke contains a few ingredients that are acidic which can help break down rust and loosen bolts that have been affected by corrosion.

Does CLR work on rusty bolts?

CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover) has the capability to get deep into the rust and disintegrate it, which makes stubborn rusty bolts easier to loosen. Hence, CLR does work on rusty bolts.

Does Sprite remove rust?

Yes, the phosphoric acid present in Sprite is successful at removing rust from bolts as it efficiently loosens and eliminates any existing rust.


While rust can be a frustrating and difficult problem to deal with, there are ways to effectively remove rusted toilet tank bolts and prevent future issues.

The strategy is to use all-brass bolts and nuts when securing the toilet tank to the bowl, as these materials are less susceptible to corrosion and oxidation. By taking a few simple steps, you can protect your toilet from rust and ensure that it continues to run smoothly for years to come.

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