How to Use Vinegar to Clean a Marine Toilet Head

Updated February 21, 2017

Marine toilets, such as those found on personal boats, are relatively self-sustaining because they are rarely used as often as toilets found in homes. However, completely disregarding the toilet can result in damage to the bowl and drain lines. The salt water used to flush marine toilets can lead to the build-up of scale deposits, making the toilet harder to flush. This can eventually lead to complete blockage of the toilet, forcing you to replace the whole system. This build-up can be avoided by cleaning the toilet with vinegar.

Pour 1 pint of white vinegar into the marine toilet head.

Pump the toilet every four to five minutes. This will move the vinegar slowly through the head and tubes, giving the acidic mixture time to dissolve any small build-ups. Continue until all of the vinegar has been pushed through the toilet.

Pump 1 gallon of fresh water through the toilet in the same method. This will clear out any residual vinegar.

Perform this pumping once per month to avoid the scales having time to build up in the head and pipes of the toilet.


If you already have scale build-up, flush the system with 2 cups of a 10 per cent solution of muriatic acid, available at hardware stores. Let the muriatic acid sit for four to five minutes in the head or bowl, pump and hoses to dissolve any scale build-up.


If you use muriatic acid, wear protective gloves and goggles to avoid being burnt.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pint white vinegar
  • 1 gallon fresh water
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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.