What Is The Best Water Heater Cleaning Method?

Water heater cleaning plays a big role in the functionality of our water heaters. Without the proper care they become unable to heat the water in the tank. Leaving you with nothing but cold water. There’s no worse way to start off the morning than with a frigid shower just before heading off to work. So what is the best way to clean out your water heater?

The Turbo Tank Water Heater Cleaning Method

By far the newest and best method for cleaning your water heater is the Turbo Tank Cleaner method. The Turbo Tank Cleaner method uses a specialized tool designed specifically for removing dirt and gunk from the bottom of your hot water heater. This is by far the most intense cleaning method, often removing gallons of junk from water heaters. But it is not intended to replace the other methods entirely. When used in conjunction with a water heater descaler, it can produce shocking results. Renewing your water heater’s lifespan with almost every use.

The Turbo Tank Cleaner Method is different from the traditional methods in that it physically removes the gunk from the water heater, where other methods rely on indirect removal. It uses a soft, plumbing grade spring and a grinder in a hard, clear, plastic shell to stir up the hardened particles, and grind them into a fine powder that can be run through a hose or pipe out of the house. This is the only method that can completely remove the hardened layers of calcium and particulates that build up on the bottom of your hot water heater, which is why we recommend giving it a try. The tool is currently only found for sale here on Amazon.

The Descaling Water Heater Cleaning Method

Descaling is another effective water heater cleaning method! Though this one is less powerful than the Turbo Tank Cleaner when used on it’s own. It does best at loosening many of the particulates on the surface of the water heater, and cleaning out surrounding piping. Descaling involves mixing a chemical solution into the water in the tank and pipes that will eat away at the buildup inside the pipes and water heater tank. This method works especially well for water that has high calcium content, but it does quite poorly at buildup that has sat for a long time, thinner, more porous buildup is the ideal situation for this method of cleaning your water heater.

This method does work extremely well in conjunction with the Turbo Tank Cleaner Method however. Leading with the descaler, and finishing the job with the turbo tank cleaner will not only remove the thick buildup on the bottom that often rests between the water and the heating element, but it will further increase the capacity of the tank by stripping it of the thinner calcium buildup that reaches further up the walls of the tank. Leaving your tank functioning as if it were brand new again! The one downside to this method however, is the amount of flushing afterwards. Removing the tank and piping of all the dangerous chemical residue takes a significant amount of flushing.

The Simple Flush

Water Heater Cleaning

The simple flush method is the easiest of the 3 methods to complete, but it is also the least effective. The flush method uses no chemicals or special tools. It simply drains the water heater hoping to pull out as much of the loose sediment as possible. This is still a smart thing to do periodically to ensure the health of your water heater, but on it’s own, will do nothing about the hardened buildup resting on the bottom and sides of your water heater.

When used in conjunction with the two upper methods this becomes the final nail in the coffin for particulate buildup. Using the first two methods to strip it clean, and following through with a full flush will leave your water heater completely clean of nearly all buildup. Resetting the timer on your water heaters life expectancy.


Regardless of the method you use to clean your tank. Take the time to do something to clean out your tank. Anything is better than nothing. And your wallet will thank you for the efforts made down the road. Replacing busted water heaters can be extremely expensive!