Whatever kind of stains you may have in your porcelain toilet bowl, they can be a difficult to remove. This guide is about removing toilet bowl stains.
How do I remove a brown stain from the toilet?
By Donna from Wallsend, NSW, Australia
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.
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.
I purchased a home where the whole house and toilet were majorly neglected. There are major stains in the toilet. I tried mesh screen with a cleaner. That did not help. I will accept all suggestions. Thank you.
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.
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
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.
I use this stuff called the works on my toilet. I have hard water also and I just pour it in and let set for about 10 to 15 minutes and it works great. Hope that helps.
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!
By Neelie from Chapel Hill, NC
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.
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.
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
I would like to get some help cleaning and disinfecting the toilet that the dog drinks from. I have hard water stains which are only getting worse, because I cannot find a product that actually works.
Thanks, all you tippers. I'm waiting for a response.
By Debby from San Diego, CA
Wow!! "The Works" from the dollar store just wiped away all the stains. Seriously good stuff and I only used a bathroom brush with maybe 10 strokes and the stain was gone. Removed stains that nothing could get rid of before. The toilet bowl is super white now and clean. Thanks for the heads up on this product. Highly recommended.
What is the best way to clean a hard brown stain in a toilet?
By Dee from Covington, KY
My son is single and does not like to "clean" all the time so he just keeps a jug of white vinegar in his bathroom and pours a little around the inside before going to bed. Seems to work for him.
How do I remove or keep hard water stains from my toilet?
Lime Away or SLR both found in grocery stores, hardware stores, big box stores.
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
Oh, and forgot to mention that Barkeepers Friend is very inexpensive, usually less than most cleaning products.
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
Thank you all!! The stains are mostly gone (there's a little one that resists to go)
I tried a combination of two tips: bleach and magic eraser. (BTW, I had tried magic eraser alone and bleach alone, and they didn't work)
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. What can I do?
We'll be putting our house on the market within the next year, and I don't want such an ugly stain to repel potential buyers (and us, in the meantime). Thanks in advance.
By Piove from USA
Try using BarKeeper's Friend cleanser on a sponge (the kind with a rough scrubbing side). The stain sounds like a mineral stain to me, and BarKeeper's will remove that kind of stain whereas the bleach cleansers won't. The stain will probably dissolve in less than 5 minutes.
DON'T mix the two kinds of cleansers!
I used Lysol in my toilet bowl and it dyed my bowl. How do I get this out?
By bobbyjus from Perry, FL
I suspect the lysol is dying some lime deposit that is in the toilet. You may want to try some acid to remove this; or just go with the bleach as Klavier. suggested. But don't combine cleaners.
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. Zoom foam doesn't work, CLR doesn't work and I'm not enthusiastic about using sandpaper on the porcelain glazing. We are on a septic tank so very strong bleach is also out.
Empty the toilet of water or get it very low. Take some light weight cotton cloth or washcloth, and dip it in vinegar and ring it out. Stick it under the rim covering the stain. You will need about six cloths. You can cut washcloths in half. The cloths should stick to the porcelain. This also works for stains around the water line.
Let the cloths stay their for at least six hours. You can check to see if the stain is lessening. If the vinegar does not work, try dipping the cloths in CLR or any mineral remover, instead of the vinegar. Read the label on the product because some are very strong and can etch the coating off the porcelain. You would need to dilute it first.
Basically, the stains under the toilet rim are minerals that have stuck to the porcelain. They make a pretty tight bond so you need to dissolve them with acid to remove them. Rust removers are acidic. Vinegar is acetic acid.
You can also try lemon juice which is citric acid. For stains at the bottom of the bowl, empty all the water out of the toilet and pour in straight vinegar high enough to cover the stain. Then just let it sit until gone. Use a stronger acid as above if needed.
If you have hard crusted stains, the acid will loosen them but you may need to chip them away with a plastic spoon. You can also remove stains from under a faucet with the same cloth and acid technique.
Over a 10-14 day period, blue/purple stains develop in the bottom of our toilet bowl. The tank is crystal clear. They do not form in our other toilet. We have soft water. Where are the stains coming from and how can we prevent them from forming?
Michimac from Michigan
Here is a possiblity, my mother takes medicine for urinary infection and so forth, the pills, leave blue residue, so if other folks are using your toilet, then maybe. If not cleaned normally, there will be lot of blue.
How do you remove stubborn stains from your toilet, when common toilet cleaners do not work?
By Jane from Deerfield Beach, FL
This came up not too long ago. Check it out: thriftyfun.com (01/20/2010)
I moved into a rental house with a very neglected toilet. I tried about everything until I found my trusty old pumice stone. It took a lot of elbow grease, but those old hard water deposits and "whatever else" stains did finally disappear. I am now not embarrassed when guests use my shining white toilet! I have also successfully used fine grit sandpaper or fine gauge screen on previous toilets. I have found nothing better! (01/21/2010)
Wearing rubber gloves, try scrubbing the stain with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or Comet powder with a scrubber-type sponge. (01/21/2010)
By Lady Bee
Yes, pumice stone works! You can get one at the grocery store usually on a bottom shelf where the rest of toilet cleaners are found. (01/22/2010)
I put two of my husband's Polident denture tablets in the toilet and shut the lid; in the morning I run the toilet brush around in the clean toilet bowl. Depending on how dirty and stained it is this may take more then once with the denture cleaner. (01/22/2010)
By Paula Jo
Does anyone have a tip as to how to get really bad hard water deposits out of a toilet bowl?
Gwen Smith from Palatka, FL
Have you tried CLR and let it soak? It is great for removing tough stains. You may have to scrub some with a pumice type scrubber to aid in removing the stain. (07/29/2008)
Don't know if it will work or not, but I read recently that plain old soft drink (Coca Cola was recommended by writer) will dissolve hardwater stains. It's worth a try. Good luck and God bless you. (07/29/2008)
When I can't stand looking at mine for awhile, what I do is sit on the edge of the tub and just use a good old SOS pad. It works all the time. (07/30/2008)
I've been having a battle with yellow stains in 2 of my toilets for months. I've used everything and nothing has worked. I just bought and used The Works and the stains were gone with out me even scrubbing. Praise the lord, I can stop obsessing about my toilets now. (08/03/2008)
By Nicole, PA
I just purchased a pool stone (found with the pool supplies at Home Depot) and used it on my toilet and finally the stains are gone. It took little effort to do this and now my bowl is clean again. (08/10/2008)
Out of all I have read, I have heard no one mention vinegar. My research on the internet mentions a drained toilet bowl and 1 liter of vinegar in the bowl/scrub and add 1 liter of pure vinegar to water tank to get the rim on the next flushing of the toilet.
Thanks for all the tip on hard water and toilet bowls (09/10/2008)
Using bleach will just exacerbate the problem if you have rust.
The Works and Iron Out are the best cleaners to use on your toilet or shower for hard water and iron staining. They work almost immediately without scrubbing too much. A water treatment system will only do so much to remove the iron in your water, unless it is seriously heavy duty.
As for the sulfur smell, you can chlorinate your well with pool shock powder. Pour about a pound in your well, run it into the pipes in the house until you can smell the chlorine, then let it sit for 24 hours. Run off the chlorine from a garden hose (never into your septic system!) This will also kill any bacteria in your well. (01/15/2009)
Flush your toilet and pour bleach into the "back" of the toilet let it set for 3 hours and then flush. No scrubbing needed, how great is that. (10/20/2009)
Do you have those hard to clean stains in your toilet bowl? Try taking a small piece of red brick and rubbing the area. You will be amazed at the results.
By Joyce from Cumming, Georgia
I use my husband's denture tablets in each of the toilets, once a week. Drop the tablets in at night, close the lid. Flush the next morning after whisking with a toilet brush.
This is a time saver that you will love, I promise! (07/24/2006)
By Pauls Jo Carr
Try Shaw's Pads. Simple, inexpensive and it works without scratching the toilet. (05/01/2009)