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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Toilet bowl stains
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How do I remove a brown stain from the toilet?

By Donna from Wallsend, NSW, Australia

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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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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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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.

A toilet being cleaned with blue water.

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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

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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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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.

Christine

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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.

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    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

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    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

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

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

      By Dee from Covington, KY

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      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.

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      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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      Oh, and forgot to mention that Barkeepers Friend is very inexpensive, usually less than most cleaning products.

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      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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      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)

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      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

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      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!

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      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.

      By J.F.

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      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.

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      How do you remove stubborn stains from your toilet, when common toilet cleaners do not work?

      By Jane from Deerfield Beach, FL

      Answers:

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      This came up not too long ago. Check it out: thriftyfun.com (01/20/2010)

      By mrs.story

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      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)

      By pmundorf

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      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

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      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)

      By rainy21

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      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

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      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

      Answers:

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      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

      Removing Stains from the Toilet Bowl

      Try Shaw's Pads. Simple, inexpensive and it works without scratching the toilet. (05/01/2009)

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      How do you get rid of the stain down the front of the toilet (men did this I'm sure)? After being gone for two weeks, I came home to this. I don't need to clean inside of toilet, it's down the front outside, down the whole stem. The products, that clean the inside, don't seem to have any effect on this problem. I have tried almost everything and nothing budges it. Hope someone can help.

      Staza from Granite Falls

      Answers:

      Stains in Toilet

      Try bleach. I put a little bleach in my toilets once a week, let is still for several hours (tell everyone in the house not to use that toilet) and then scrub if necessary. (08/02/2007)

      ByRae

      Stains in Toilet

      I love using the black very fine mesh used for sanding sheetrock. It helps remove stains, etc. around sinks, faucets, toilet stains, and any other tough buildup or stain on hard non-porous surfaces. Good Luck. (08/02/2007)

      By Ronda

      Stains in Toilet

      Submitted via e-mail:

      Have you tried Never Scrub, I started using it in October of 2006. I have not had to replace the cartridge yet. It starts cleaning and makes your toilet bowl cleaner.

      If you have a mineral buildup in the bottom, it will eventually be removed without scrubbing, but if you can scrub it, it will speed up the process. I just occasionally wipe out the toilet bowl. I no longer have to scrub it, it holds true to its name.

      I have no ring or any type of build up anywhere the water touches.

      By Babbie (08/02/2007)

      By Stew_Admin

      Stains in Toilet

      A pumice stone works great! I have used the ones that you can get at dollar stores for one dollar. Just dump a bucket of water into your toilet so that the water level goes WAY down, then rub the stone on the stain. I worried about this ruining the toilet or making it worse, but it actually acts as an eraser and cleans it great. Also, they sell them on sticks for in-ground pools, so any pool supply place should have them although they will be more costly. Hope this helps!

      Joy (08/03/2007)

      By cjcsr

      Stains in Toilet

      Try Iron Out, its good for toilets, tubs, or dishwashers. You can also use it for laundry. Read the instructions carefully. It can be found in hardware stores, such as Ace Hardware, or in grocery stores near the laundry products. It's really the best. (08/04/2007)

      By SIMPLY_JOYFUL

      Stains in Toilet

      Beware of pumice stone! Here is the information I got from an expert: "Pumice stone does clean, but it also removes some of the enamel and leaves a rougher surface. You can't see it or even feel it, but it happens. Then stains can collect even faster and they have to be rubbed a little harder to get them off. With just normal cleaning the enamel can become thin where it is rubbed the most, leaving dark streaks." I learned this too late. After using a pumice stone for just a few years my two toilets were ruined. (08/27/2007)

      By D. R.

      Stains in Toilet

      I had a serious problem with rust stains, and tried several products and a lot of elbow grease. Some things worked to some extent, but nothing renewed the toilet. I stumbled on something in Walmart called simply "Rust Remover' by a company called Whink. It's one of the rare products that actually did what the label claimed. I poured it in and let it sit a minute, and by the time I tried to go after it with the toilet brush, the stains were already gone. I'd spent hours on that toilet with other products, and couldn't get them out. (08/06/2008)

      By Dave

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      I have a bad stain in my teen's toilet, right below the top edge of the toilet where it's hard to reach.

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