Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Cleaning Toilet Bowl Stains

Category Bathroom
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.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

February 2, 2011

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.

Ad

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

Comment Was this helpful? 4
February 5, 20110 found this helpful
Top Comment

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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

By 8 found this helpful
September 11, 2011

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!

Ad

By Neelie from Chapel Hill, NC

Comment Was this helpful? 8
October 22, 20120 found this helpful
Top Comment

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad
Read More Comments

By 4 found this helpful
June 23, 2011

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

Ad
Comment Was this helpful? 4
June 23, 20110 found this helpful
Top Comment

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

By 4 found this helpful
August 26, 2010

I read most toilet cleaning testimonies. I'm in this business, and my best advice is to use "Iron Out". Fill your tank and bowl above the "dirt" line and add 1/2 cup in each. Leave overnight if possible, or at least 5 to 6 hours. You will be amazed.

Comment Was this helpful? 4
Read More...

June 11, 20160 found this helpful

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

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? Yes

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

Read More...
Ad

May 18, 20160 found this helpful

A toilet being cleaned with blue water.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? Yes

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.

Read More...

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 2, 20122 found this helpful

How do I remove a brown stain from the toilet?

By Donna from Wallsend, NSW, Australia

Answer Was this helpful? 2
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.

Reply Was this helpful? 4
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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Read More Answers

June 2, 20112 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.

Answer Was this helpful? 2
June 3, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 3, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
November 25, 2016

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 28, 20160 found this helpful

Fine grade pumice will remove the stains.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 1 found this helpful
January 9, 2011

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

By Dee from Covington, KY

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 10, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
November 28, 2008

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
September 27, 2015

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
August 31, 2016

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 1, 20161 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
August 13, 2016

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?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

September 1, 2014

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
April 14, 2016

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 28, 20170 found this helpful

I lived in a house with a horrifically gross toilet, but I soon found out that it was always cleaned, but there ws just this terrible sedimentation from the water minerals.

I used a pumice rock and scrubbed that sucker for all it was worth. The toilet was impeccable after. It takes a lot of elbow grease and you do have to dunk your arm in the water but it really works.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 1, 20170 found this helpful

Soft scrub is great for cleaning very dirty toilets. It is a mild abrasive, but won't scratch.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
July 29, 2016

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?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
October 3, 2009

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 6, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 4, 20090 found this helpful

I remember 20-30 years ago the company 'Watkins' had a product that did this like a charm. They sold spices too. Here is the website: www.watkinsonline.com Good Luck, Joan

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

June 12, 20120 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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 18, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1

February 11, 20140 found this helpful

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?

By Eric

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

March 20, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 9, 20110 found this helpful

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

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

January 20, 20100 found this helpful

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)

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 19, 20090 found this helpful

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

August 1, 20070 found this helpful

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

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...
Related Content
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
Scrubbing toilet with a sponge
Cleaning Calcium Deposits in a Toilet
Toilet with lime deposits being cleaned with toilet brush
Cleaning Lime Deposits Off a Toilet
Toilet being scrubbed with a toilet brush by someone wearing pink rubber gloves
Cleaning Hard Water Stains from a Toilet
More
😎
Summer Ideas!
🎆
Fourth of July Ideas!
👔
Father's Day Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/06/18 15:30:52 in 5 secs.
Loading Something Awesome!