How to Winterize Your Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide

Winter is just around the corner, and it’s important to prepare your home for the cold months ahead. One of the most overlooked aspects of winterizing your home is your toilet. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, you need to take extra precautions to prevent pipes from bursting and causing costly damage to your home. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to properly winterize your toilet.

Step 1: Disconnect the Water Supply

The first step in winterizing your toilet is to disconnect the water supply line from underneath the tank. This will prevent the water from flowing into the tank and freezing. If you’re not comfortable with this task, it’s best to call a plumber to do it for you.

Step 2: Drain the Tank and Bowl

Once the water supply line is disconnected, drain the tank and bowl completely. You can use a bucket or a siphon hose to do this. If there are any remaining water in the tank, you may need to use a shop vacuum to remove it.

Step 3: Clean and Sanitize the Tank and Bowl

While the tank and bowl are empty, clean them thoroughly with a mixture of vinegar and water. This will help to remove any mineral buildup or grime that has accumulated over time. You should also sanitize the tank and bowl using a disinfectant solution to kill any bacteria or viruses that may be present.

Step 4: Add Antifreeze

After cleaning and sanitizing the tank and bowl, add antifreeze to the bottom of the bowl. Antifreeze will help to prevent the pipes from freezing by lowering the freezing point. It’s important to use a high-quality antifreeze that is safe for use in plumbing systems.

Step 5: Reconnect the Water Supply Line

Once the antifreeze has been added, reconnect the water supply line underneath the tank. Make sure that the line is properly secured and that there are no leaks.

Step 6: Turn off the Main Valve

The final step in winterizing your toilet is to turn off the main valve. This will prevent any remaining water from flowing through the pipes and causing damage if the pipes freeze.

By following these steps, you can properly winterize your toilet and prevent costly damage to your home during the cold months. It’s important to remember that even in mild winter climates, it’s still a good idea to take extra precautions to protect your plumbing system. If you’re unsure about any of these steps or need help with the process, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for assistance.


  1. Can I use regular antifreeze in my toilet?
    While it may be tempting to use regular antifreeze in your toilet, it’s not safe for use in plumbing systems. Antifreeze designed for use in toilets is specifically formulated to prevent freezing and damage to the pipes.
  2. Do I need to winterize my other plumbing fixtures?
    While it’s important to winterize your toilet, you may not need to take the same precautions with other plumbing fixtures in your home. However, it’s still a good idea to check all of your pipes and fixtures for any leaks or signs of damage before the winter season begins.
  3. Can I use vinegar and water to clean my toilet during the winter months?
    Yes, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean your toilet at any time of year, including during the winter months. This solution is effective at removing mineral buildup and grime without causing damage to the tank or bowl.