How to Remove a Toilet Tank Lid

Written by david thompson
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How to Remove a Toilet Tank Lid
Replacing a broken lid may mean a trip to a salvage yard. (salvage yard with vintage toilets image by DSL from

Toilet tank lids are usually made from vitreous china, a material that's long-lasting and keeps its shine after years of cleaning, but it's also heavy, slick and breakable. Handle a toilet lid with care, as you would a china plate. Tank lids come in different sizes, so if you break yours accidentally, finding a replacement in the right size may not be cheap or easy, especially if it's from an older toilet no longer made. A broken lid also may have jagged edges that will cut like glass if you're not careful.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Stand or sit facing the toilet so you're well-balanced. Make sure your hands are dry.

  2. 2

    Take hold of the lid at both ends and lift up.

  3. 3

    Set the lid flat on a cushioned surface out of the way, such as on a chair or sofa with arms, a bed or a carpeted floor in a room where you won't be working. If you lean it against the wall or balance it on the bathtub or toilet seat, it may slide and break. If you need to set it on a hard surface such as tile, cast iron or stone, place a towel under it to cushion it.

  4. 4

    Replace the lid by lifting it with both hands and setting it squarely back down on the tank, lowering it slowly against the rim of the tank.

Tips and warnings

  • If the lid does break, wear gloves and handle the sharp broken shards carefully when picking them up. Treat them like broken glass.

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