Cleaning Toilet Bowl Stains

Whatever kind of stains you may have in your porcelain toilet bowl, they can be a difficult to remove. This guide is about cleaning toilet bowl stains.
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Solutions

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February 2, 2011 Flag

I am a real nutcase about my bathrooms. Our toilets are still fairly new, so there is no need for them to have brown stains. I had a ring around my bowl and streaks coming down where the water runs into the bowl. Since I use CLR on my faucets I decided to dump some into the toilet bowl to try and get rid of that stubborn stain that wouldn't go away. It worked! Now the bowl is new potty clean.

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Sometimes those toilet stains are from bad water and should be dealt with as such. Regular bowl cleaners won't work on mineral deposits. I wrote an email to the CLR people to suggest they make a little disc to put into the flush tank to clean as you flush. I'll let you know what their response is.

By MartyD from Houston, TX

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February 5, 20110 found this helpful
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I had the same problem a few days ago. Saw this on the Internet and it works so good. Pour a bucket of water in your toilet to force a flush and take the water level down. Use a scratch free sponge and BarKeepers Friend to lightly scrub. Works like a charm!

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4 found this helpful
June 23, 2011 Flag

To clean stubborn stains from your toilet bowl, first if you have a wet/dry vacuum, suck out all the water so you have a virtually liquid free bowl. Then, pour in hydrogen peroxide. It will get rid of all stains and lime. I would suggest using 1/2 a bottle for each cleaning. You might need more or less.

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It is cheaper than buying the cleaners made for a toilet bowl, even if you use a whole bottle of it. Many times you can get it on sale for 2 for $1.00. Don't buy any more than you can use before the date expires, because it will turn to water eventually and be ineffective.

Source: This Old House magazine and Eons group

By Elaine S. from Belle Plaine, IA

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June 23, 20110 found this helpful
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I also use the gravity flush but then I follow it up with a squirt of CLR all around, topped by Comet cleanser, wait 5 minutes and use the toilet brush to finish. Been doing this for years.

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8 found this helpful
September 11, 2011 Flag

Trying to get rid of those stubborn sink and toilet mineral deposits? Use a superfine grit sandpaper and gently run a folded corner around the faucet or drain area with the hard water or mineral deposits and voila, they are gone! The same holds true with your toilet bowl waterline mark. Lightly sand as your bowl is filling with water after a flush and the deposits are gone!

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By Neelie from Chapel Hill, NC

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October 22, 20120 found this helpful
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Having lived with rust and mineral water for years and tried most of the things stated in this article and more too. I can say the safest one is white vinegar. Pour it into the water (about a cup) but put it in the tank water not the bowl. Let it set for at least 30 minutes and put a couple handfuls of baking soda in the tank water too. Let set about 10 minutes or more if you can. Take your hand on the inside of the tank and just rub the rust scale off. Swish the water good and flush until clear or a couple of times.

If it is real bad just add the vinegar to the tank every day or so and it will dissolve the rust and help with under the ring. After flushing, take your toilet scrubber and put some baking soda on it and scrub. It didn't get that way overnight and probably won't come off in one cleaning. Some of the scrubbing methods will scar the bowl of newer commodes and older ones may still end up with a grey line where the stain was but you usually cannot get that off as the finish was damaged.

I also use pure white vinegar on my shower (fiberglass) and leave it there until the next shower. It keeps the shower clean. I put it in a spray bottle.

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June 11, 2016 Flag

Toilet being scrubbed with a toilet brush by someone wearing pink rubber gloves

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This is a guide about cleaning hard water stains from a toilet. Hard water leaves mineral deposits on many surfaces.

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May 18, 2016 Flag

A toilet being cleaned with blue water.

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This guide is about cleaning blue stains in a toilet. Determining what is causing blue cleaner stains to develop in your toilet bowl can be a mystery.

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Questions

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2 found this helpful
February 2, 2012 Flag

How do I remove a brown stain from the toilet?

By Donna from Wallsend, NSW, Australia

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February 3, 20124 found this helpful
Best Answer

Borax will not do it and please do not buy any type of acid to use. Just go to a pool supply store, or a hardware store like Lowes or True Value and ask for a pumice stone. Price is about two dollars. That is a volcanic stone made for the purpose of removing hard water or any other difficult stains from ceramic or porcelain surfaces. People clean tiles around swimming pools with them. They are used in antique restoration. All that is needed to remove stains is to rub it over the stain and stain is gone. No harm, easy, safe,c heap, and fast. You will be happy to have found this product.

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February 5, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

Lime Away Toilet Bowl cleaner! It is fairly new and in a container shaped like all the other toilet bowl cleaners. It is awesome! It also removed hard water buildup from sinks, faucets and tubs. Be careful, it's really strong and can discolor some metals. This is also the only thing that will clean a glass shower door, just the glass. I just love it! I live in Central TX and the hard water buildup here is awful! It is currently only available in our HEB grocery stores.

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2 found this helpful
June 2, 2011 Flag

We have iron and sulfur in our water. Our toilet has a brown water ring at the water's edge. One time, when I cleaned the the toilet, I forgot to flush. Now it has a blue ring around the brown ring. I have tried different things with no success. Please help.

By Cindy I.

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June 3, 20110 found this helpful
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Slip on some cheap rubber gloves, grab a pumice stone, ( found in personal care area of stores like Walmart, which are used for removing calluses from feet), gently rub around the stained area, using a "throw away rag" to see when you have accomplished the job completely. This was told to me by a woman who had worked at a hotel, and it does not damage the toilet bowl.

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June 3, 20110 found this helpful
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I found that using a pumice stone really works. You can get them from the hardware store and it will not scratch the surface. Just gently scour the ring in the toilet and they disappear. The pumice will disintegrate slowly in the process. But they are not expensive and will not hurt the environment.

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0 found this helpful
November 25, 2016 Flag

So basically I just moved into a flat and the toilet bowl is stained and disgusting. The whole bathroom is in a state. How do I get rid of the stains? Any ideas? Please all welcome.

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December 28, 20160 found this helpful

Fine grade pumice will remove the stains.

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

Empty out all the water, use a sponge for the last bit. Pour in a bottle of coke. Put a small bottle filled with water or similar in to raise the level slightly above the normal water line, leave a few hours and any stains will come off easily with the abrasive side of the sponge. And then think about what it does to your insides!

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1 found this helpful
January 9, 2011 Flag

What is the best way to clean a hard brown stain in a toilet?

By Dee from Covington, KY

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January 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used "The Works" and it got rid of all the brown gunk on the toilet. I hope this helps.

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January 10, 20110 found this helpful
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What works for me is a product called "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner. I used to clean rental houses after the old tenants moved out and this stuff takes things off you wouldn't believe. Wal-Mart usually carries it for like $1.25 or so, or if you have a dollar tree near you, they may have it.

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November 28, 2008 Flag

I used Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, and some of the liquid got on the toilet seat, leaving a blue stain. The seat is injection molded plastic. Any ideas about how to remove this stain? Thanks.

Susana from Houston, TX

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November 28, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a similar thing happen with dye from clothes when I put a load of freshly washed (but not dry) clothes on top of the closed toilet lid. This is what I did and it worked.

Pour some straight bleach onto a large rag to saturate. Lay the saturated rag over the stain and then cover with a plastic bag to keep the fumes and bleaching power in. Leave it for about an hour and then check on it.

Stain should be gone. Good luck!

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December 2, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

how about a Magic Eraser they have removed many stains for us from a magic marker to koolaid

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1 found this helpful
December 7, 2006 Flag

Does anyone know how to clean water spots out of a black toilet? I have a beautiful black toilet and it is full of water spots that are ugly! Any advice on how to get rid of them?

Sarak from OR

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December 14, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try Bar Keeper's friend. It works wonders on porcelain. You can find near the Comet/Ajax in grocery stores. It's a gold can with blue writing. Good luck!

Jennifer CA

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December 4, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Jennifer was so right. I have had a black toilet for 12 years and our area has hard water, thus the toilet had the nasty looking white stains. Used Barkeepers Friend and with little to no elbow grease, 12 years of stain came right off. I don't know why I didnt think to use this excellent product before since I use it almost every day in the kitchen. The best thing about Barkeepers is that is won't scratch or discolor any thing. Happy cleaning and thank you Jennifer for the tip!

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August 31, 2016 Flag

I am just wondering if anyone had a tip on how to get rid of brown stains at the bottom of the toilet bowl. I have tried everything and nothing is working at all.

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September 1, 20161 found this helpful

Have you tried a toilet stone? https://www.wal  l13=&veh=sem

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September 4, 20160 found this helpful

Domestos leave it overnight and brush next morning very good with toilet brush....or white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda!

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0 found this helpful
August 13, 2016 Flag

How can I get rid of a blue/grey tint in my toilet bowl? It is not just a ring, but the whole bowl where the water sits. And what's the cause?

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February 9, 20170 found this helpful

Almost sounds like one of those toilet bowl tablets sat in it too long. I would add some bleach and oxyclean and let it sit over night. the other thing you could try is to drop in several denture cleaning tablets. they are made to remove stains from porcelain, which makes them a great toilet bowl cleaner.

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February 10, 20170 found this helpful

They have pumice cleaners made just for this purpose. I'm also a big fan of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

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0 found this helpful
September 27, 2015 Flag

My question is how do I remove the "pinkish" water stains in my toilets, due to our soft water? I have tried so many different products without success. I am so frustrated I hope someone may have a solution. Our toilets are only a year old, and I clean them 2-3 times a week. I would appreciate any information anyone who may have this similar problem. Thank you so much.

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September 28, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Could be bacteria re the color. Try 3 cups of bleach, swish and let stand for a hour or so.

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0 found this helpful
July 29, 2016 Flag

I have brown stains that run down from the rim where the water comes into the bowl. There is actually a hard buildup that I cannot get off with Lime Away or CLR. What will remove this?

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August 28, 20160 found this helpful

A pumice stone, I got really hard brown deposits removed using a good old pumice stone, which you can buy cheap at any hardware store, and it lasts a long time. My toilet looks new now!

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September 1, 2014 Flag

I have a toilet in a vacant rental house that was used many times (by someone who broke in) after the water was turned off, so basically it was never flushed and full of nasty. I have cleaned it numerous times.

It was a new toilet, a $400 low water energy efficient one. I cannot afford to replace it. The stains (brown) are not from hard water, as there was no water in it. The "solid" material is out, but how do I get it white again? I have used every cleaner, bleach, and vinegar I have and no luck.

By mom-from-missouri

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May 30, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use a Pumice Stone that has soaked in water. That will get it sparkling clean. Available at Lowes, Home Depot, and any Swimming Pool Supply.

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0 found this helpful
October 3, 2009 Flag

I cannot get a brown stain out from right underneath the toilet bowl rim. It goes around a large portion of the bowl. I suspect the porcelain was not finished properly (coated) and is still porous.

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June 12, 2012 Flag

The toilets in our retirement home are six years old and some genius had taped over a couple of the holes under the rim (or just never removed them). We've tried everything including a brass bristle brush used for cleaning handguns.

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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 BathroomSeptember 28, 2012
Products
CLR Pro
Guides
A toilet being cleaned with blue water.
Cleaning Blue Stains in a Toilet
Toilet with lime deposits being cleaned with toilet brush
Cleaning Lime Deposits Off a Toilet
Cleaning a Very Dirty Toilet
Cleaning a Very Dirty Toilet
Toilet being scrubbed with a toilet brush by someone wearing pink rubber gloves
Cleaning Hard Water Stains from a Toilet
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