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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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February 2, 2012 Flag
2 found this helpful

How do I remove a brown stain from the toilet?

By Donna from Wallsend, NSW, Australia

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February 3, 20122 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
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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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June 23, 2011 Flag
4 found this helpful

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 2, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

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

Lysol toilet bowl cleaner without bleach works for me.

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June 4, 20111 found this helpful

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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June 11, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about cleaning hard water stains from a toilet. Hard water leaves mineral deposits on many surfaces.

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

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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.

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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May 18, 2016 Flag
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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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September 11, 2011 Flag
7 found this helpful

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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September 27, 2015 Flag
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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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    September 28, 20150 found this helpful

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

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    January 9, 2011 Flag
    1 found this helpful

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

    By Dee from Covington, KY

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    January 12, 20110 found this helpful

    A pumice stone you can get at the grocery store in the area where they keep comet and such. Works great, wet the stone and rub, back to white porcelain again!

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    January 12, 20110 found this helpful

    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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    December 7, 2006 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    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 4, 20140 found this helpful

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

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    June 19, 20160 found this helpful

    Wipe with a little Lemon Oil and your stains will be gone. I use Lemon Oil on all my black appliances and sinks and have for many years.

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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

    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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    November 28, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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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    December 2, 20080 found this helpful

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

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    December 10, 20080 found this helpful

    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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    October 3, 2009 Flag
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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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    October 4, 20090 found this helpful

    Buy some tablets for your dentures and put them in the toilet wait til after they fizz and then clean the toilet works great for my bathroom, or for tough stains use apple cider vinegar in the water of the toilet bowl.

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    October 6, 20090 found this helpful

    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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    June 12, 2012 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    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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    June 18, 20121 found this helpful

    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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    January 9, 2011 Flag
    0 found this helpful

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

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