Cleaning and Preventing Toilet Rings

Getting toilets clean can be a challenge. A ring around the bowl is unsightly and is sometimes tough to get rid of. This is a guide about cleaning and preventing toilet bowl rings.
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Solutions

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9 found this helpful
November 29, 2011 Flag

I finally figured it out! It's all about the technique. The 3 things you need are:

  1. a toilet bowl brush
  2. a decent cleaner in a spray bottle (the Works, Kaboom, CLR, or any similar)
  3. a bucket (most important!)

Here goes:

First, pour just enough water from the bucket into bowl to get it to flush (I use an empty 33.9 oz. plastic Folgers container, poured as quickly as possible). The water level in the bowl will now stay in the bottom of the bowl, and this eliminates the need to turn off water supply (which can be a hassle). Spray all around ring with cleaner.

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Now go clean the tub, sweep floor, empty trash, get coffee, or whatever. Come back to the toilet ring in 30 minutes or so, and scrub ring with brush. Part of ring will probably be gone...maybe all. A stubborn ring will be lighter. Flush. Repeat as many times as needed. I had a stubborn ring that I'd tried everything on. It took 4 times to get ring completely gone.

Now I keep cleaner, brush, bucket nearby. Once in awhile before bed I'll pour bucket, spray ring, and go to bed. Rings don't stand a chance!

By Rob S. from Fairborn, OH

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November 30, 20110 found this helpful

Wow, I saw a friend do this and didn't understand the concept. TY!

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5 found this helpful
November 8, 2011 Flag

Buy wet and dry sandpaper; not the fine. The one that is just below the heavy grit. Wet it in toilet, and sand away. It will not hurt toilet as long as water in there. This is wonderful for under the rim also. This is much better than using any toilet bowl cleaner, and better than pumice stone as it's more flexible to rub.

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By Cindy from Phoenix, AZ

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March 28, 20160 found this helpful

Anything that damages the original manufactured toilet bowl's surface - such as sandpaper - will only increase the rapidity of rings and ring build up; it's sort of like using sandpaper on the hood of your vehicle and wondering why it rusts...

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November 21, 2016 Flag

Photo of a pumice stone.

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This is a guide about "Where can I buy a pumice stone?". Pumice stones can be used for a number of cleaning jobs.

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3 found this helpful
July 5, 2009 Flag

Use a pumice stone (similar to the ones women use for feet) they have them made for cleaning purposes. They work great but you have to make sure the toilet surface and stone are wet before you use or you will scratch the bowl.

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0 found this helpful
June 15, 2008 Flag

Try swishing your toilet every day with a toilet brush. As part of your shower routine. reach over and swish the toilet brush around. It is amazing how little time it takes and how well the bowl looks every day from it.

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Questions

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1 found this helpful
December 17, 2010 Flag

I have an emergency. We have relatives coming soon. I need to clean a 19 year old ring out of the toilet now. I have used Comet, but it is doing nothing.

By mysterykid

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December 17, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I commented on this before. It is archived below. I had a ring in one of our toilets, and I used a pumice stone on it. Wet the pumice stone, and rub it on the ring. Keep it wet, and it won't scratch. It worked for my mom, too.

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December 17, 20100 found this helpful
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It is not recommended to use Comet or any cleanser with grit or pumice on china toilet bowls/sinks because the grit will scratch/ruin the surface and they will then stain more easier. A easy method to remove iron or other discoloration stains, is to dip all the water out of bowl, take toilet paper and lay around the stain and soak/spray the toilet paper with vinegar, let sit, if the stain persists, use baking soda as a scrub and a plastic scrubby. From a plumbers daughter. Same method works for counter tops, use baking soda and vinegar mix to remove mustard stains etc. Vinegar and baking soda are your best stain removers and cheap too.

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November 5, 2011 Flag

How do you get rid of a toilet bowl ring that has been there for years? It was there when we bought the lake house 7 years ago. I don't want to change out the toilet bowl, but I can not stand the ring in the bowl.

By ShirleyBH

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November 9, 20110 found this helpful
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Use a wet pumice stone. You can find them in hardware stores and grocery stores. Works great!

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November 11, 20110 found this helpful
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I use a Pumice Stone and Comet to get any and all stains out of the bowl. I have not had a Pumice Stone scratch my bowl.

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0 found this helpful
May 23, 2012 Flag

We have two toilets in the house. The first one on the line is a standard toilet made by Kohler (very recently installed). The second is an American Standard and is several years old. The Kohler has a ring at the water line that we have yet to get it clean, but the second one, there is no ring. What gives?

By Burney M.

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May 23, 20120 found this helpful
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I have used Bar Keepers Friend (powder cleanser) or Pumice Stone. I buy both from Wal Mart. With the cleanser make sure you buy the powder and not the liguid. With the Pumice Stone make sure you keep it wet while you are scrubbing or it can scratch your toilet. Last but, not least vinegar is great too. Soak paper towels with the vinegar lay on top of the ring close lid and let sit as long as possible. Like 4 hours and the ring should brush off.

Warning! Don't use vinegar and Bar Keepers Friend together on Chrome, it will discolor horribly.

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May 27, 20120 found this helpful

I can only imagine that what's going on with your two toilets is the same thing people complain daily about: The quality of products produced are sub-standard to those manufactured several years ago.

About that ring: The only thing that has ever helped me is to pour a can of Coke or Pepsi down into the toilet. Wait about 20 minutes and hit it with the toilet brush and mild detergent. Mine come clean every time. Good Luck!

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0 found this helpful
July 2, 2009 Flag

How do I clean hard water toilet rings?

By pmancebo

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July 5, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use a pumice stone (similar to the ones women use for feet) they have them made for cleaning purposes. They work great but you have to make sure the toilet surface and stone are wet before you use or you will scratch the bowl.

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August 13, 20090 found this helpful

Wow. After trying 3 products and a whole night of white vinegar, my copper colored stains prevailed. I spent $1.59 on THE WORKS toilet bowl cleaner, sprayed it on the stains and literally they disappeared and became as white as my pumice stone which I did not have to use. Wow!

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October 7, 2013 Flag

My neighbor has always had soft water, whilst I did not. She and I used a pumice stone to remove a build-up of hard scale inside the toilet bowl, even though she had a water softener installed in her house. The pumice stone left black streaks in the porcelain. I eventually replaced both toilets, then installed soft water, yet there is now a ring of hard scale.

The new toilets were not cheap at $560 each. They are not even a year old, so even with soft water this build up of scale cannot be budged even with bleach, Lysol, Lime-away, and vinegar. My neighbour and I will not contemplate using a pumice stone after the damage to the porcelain in the other toilet bowls in our houses. What is a solution?

By Maisie

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March 21, 2013 Flag

I have a toilet ring and can't get rid of it. We have soft water. The toilet is only a couple years old.

By Linda from NE

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

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December 17, 2010 Flag

I have a light ring around my toilet bowl. I could use Clorox, but hear it is harmful for septic tanks. What could I use? I tried Ajax type stuff. The other part of the bowl is clean and remains that way with cleaning. But, this ring has been there for a few months and I would like to get it off.

By Cynda from MO

Answers:

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

You could try putting a bit of Comet on a cloth and scrub lightly, this just might remove the ring! (10/18/2010)

By linn.2009

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Try using a pumice stone. I had an old ring in our less-used toilet. I tried various cleaners with no success. Then I saw the women from that cleaning show (How Clean is Your House? It's from the UK.) easily remove a ring from a nasty toilet. It seems like it'd scratch the porcelain, but the porcelain is actually harder than the pumice. Just wet the stone, and rub on the ring. Voila! And no chemicals. Even better!

My mom lives in the country and was complaining to me about the ring in one of their toilets. I told her about the pumice stone, and she was so happy when she tried and it worked. And I was thrilled to give my mom some good cleaning advice. :-) (10/18/2010)

By mrs.story

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

You could shut off the water to the toilet tank. Then flush the toilet. That will clean out the water from the toilet. Then get a non scatch pad from your grocery store. Clean with any cleaner and wipe dry. That way nothing goes down the toilet to the septic tank. (10/18/2010)

By foxrun41

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

I didn't have luck with the pumice stone, just seemed to scratch the toilet bowl. I put toilet paper on the ring and soaked with vinegar, it helped, but didn't completely remove it. I am going to soak again and scrub with a stiff brush. (10/20/2010)

By HalfWhit

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

First, turn off the water at the toilet. Next line paper towels around the bowl. Then pour gently (or spray) Coke until the paper towels are saturated. Leave this on the entire night. In the morning, pull off the paper towels and toss them away. Scrub the bowl with a brush or pad. (10/20/2010)

By Barb1950

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

I remove the water from the bowl by pouring a couple buckets of water in it. That gets it to a manageable level so you can work on it. It has been my experience that the ring is lime so I have used "Lime Away" on it and I have also used Barkeeper's friend". They both work. (10/21/2010)

By Laniegirl

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Whink Rust Stain Remover worked for me. I first tried Kaboom and Scrubbing Bubbles foaming cleansers. No luck. Then I tried Lime Away and CLR, flushing between cleansers. They helped, but I still had a ring. Then I tried Whink Rust Stain Remover. Bingo! Voila! I rubbed with a scrubber sponge and the ring completely disappeared without a trace. It looks like new.

Years ago we had a housekeeper who used a pumice stone on bad rings. I was about to go buy one when I tried the Whink Rust Stain Remover. (11/27/2010)

By StainMeister

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October 18, 2010 Flag

What causes a red ring in the toilet and how do you get it out?

By Linda from McKinney, TX

Answers:

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

I think it's a combination of hard water deposits and then the red mold grows on it and becomes embedded in it. I get it too.

Two things worked for me:

I use the disposable toilet wands that are roundish and click into the end of the toilet wand. I cannot for the life of me remember the name, but they're made by Clorox.

Before I used The Works, the Clorox wand wouldn't always work in both commodes. So after flushing away the Clorox solution and rinsing the wand really, really well, I used Barkeeper's Friend, scrubbed with the wand, and it went away completely, fast too, minimal scrubbing.

Good luck! (07/25/2010)

By metroplex

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

If your ring is a calcium/hard water deposit it won't scrub off easily. It will come off with a pumice stone which is basically a hunk of pumice in a rectangular shape. Scratch off the ring with the pumice stone and some water. Most hardware stores have them with the cleaning supplies. They will not scratch a porcelain toilet bowl. (07/28/2010)

By Lizzyanny

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Two or more denture cleaning tablets, let sit, brush, flush, and repeat as necessary.

Pat in Phoenix (07/29/2010)

By desertgal

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July 24, 2010 Flag

How do I get rid of the stains in my toilet bowl? When I clean the bowl, there is a ring left behind that just doesn't want to go away.

By mgdanger from VA

Answers:

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

I've used a pumice stone for this! If you look in the older questions and answers below, I've commented on this in the past. It really does work well, and there are no chemicals involved. I think I heard that the important thing is to make sure the stone is wet when you rub it against the bowl. I got mine in the area where you find sponges and rubber gloves. Best of luck, you'll be amazed at how easy it is!

(06/24/2010)

By mrs.story

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Pour some vinegar in the commode over night and then simply scrub and flush in the morning. (06/24/2010)

By abrupt_silence

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Yes, the pumice stone really works as Mrs.Story suggested. I was afraid to try this as I thought the porcelain would scratch, but there was no damage. Wet the stone and rub like you are erasing something. The stone will disintegrate a bit as you use it. (06/25/2010)

By OliveOyl

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Denture cleaning tablets, or pumice stone. (06/26/2010)

By cmbrughnews

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

Look for a product called "THE WORKS". I buy it at the Dollar Tree for a $1.00. But I have seen it at other stores also, for more money. It works great, and is cheap and easy to use. Also, do a search and check the web site. It's really a great product. (06/27/2010)

By NHRIVERAT2

Cleaning Ring Out of Toilet

I also am 100% for the pumice stone, after being told that hotel and motel maids swear by them. They are not expensive, and when used fairly regularly, there just isn't a ring at all. Just goes to show that you can teach an old dog, (71), new tricks, after using cleanser, and all kinds of elbow grease while raising 7 kids, who are all grown now, of course. Boy, wish I had known 40 years ago. (06/28/2010)

By LJF

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0 found this helpful
June 24, 2010 Flag

How do I remove the ring in the toilet? We have well water so our water is hard plus we have lime in our water.

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January 4, 2010 Flag

How can a ring in the toilet bowl be removed?

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October 1, 2008 Flag
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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June 14, 2008 Flag

I have a black ring around my toilet. Any suggestions to get rid of it. Bleach does not seem to work.

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July 30, 2007 Flag

I have a gray toilet, also a white one that have the bad rings in them that I cannot get out. I need any suggestions with things I might have in my home to use. I've tried lime cleaner but that doesn't work.

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In This Guide
Cleaning the Toilet, Woman with Blue Gloves Scrubbing Her Toilet
Cleaning a Toilet
Categories
Home and Garden Cleaning BathroomAugust 2, 2011
Guides
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Cleaning With Baking Soda and Vinegar
Toilet with lime deposits being cleaned with toilet brush
Cleaning Lime Deposits Off a Toilet
Photo of a pumice stone.
Where Can I Buy a Pumice Stone?
Toilet Brush Head
Toilet Brush Head Stuck in Toilet
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