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.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
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
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
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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Here are questions related to Removing Toilet Bowl Stains.
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.
On my toilet around the top circle part is what looks to be some brownish material. I don't know what it is or how to get rid of it. Any ideas?
My toilet bowl has a black stain in it that is easily removed, but it returns almost daily. If someone urinates in the toilet and does not flush the toilet the black residue is even greater. We have city water which appears to be quite clear. The tank for the toilet is clean as well. Could a drug or some form of bacteria cause the toilet bowl to change color? Any ideas?
By Dan D
I have used "Jonny Fresh" on my toilets and it left blue stains in the bowl. Is there a way to remove them?
By Ali D.
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 jean99 06/18/2012
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.
How do I remove a brown stain from the toilet?
By Donna from Wallsend, NSW, Australia
By Amanda Carroll 02/05/2012
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.
By Spacecase 02/03/2012
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.
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.
By christine 06/04/2011
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.
How do I remove or keep hard water stains from my toilet?
By Grandma J 06/01/2011
Lime Away or SLR both found in grocery stores, hardware stores, big box stores.
I used Lysol in my toilet bowl and it dyed my bowl. How do I get this out?
By bobbyjus from Perry, FL
By Louise B. 05/05/2011
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.
What is the best way to clean a hard brown stain in a toilet?
By Dee from Covington, KY
By cybergrannie 01/12/2011
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
By Susana Velez 12/10/2008
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)
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.
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Hello frugal family! We live in a community that has some REALLY hard water. I use a pumice stone to clean the hard water stains. I was told those commercial tablets you put in the tank are bad for the toilet so what's a tightwad... er I mean frugal hubby to do? Any suggestions appreciated (SMILE) Jim in FL
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
By D. R.