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.
I have well water and have rings in my toilets that I have tried to remove with numerous cleaning products. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might work? I even have a water softener, but nothing seems to work.
By alice from PA
Buy a roll of plumbers cloth at the hardware store. It's about 1 inch wide and comes in a roll several feet long, for less than $2 (it's similar to sandpaper). Tear off an inch or two and use it to clean lots of stuff, but it especially works well with hard water stains in a toilet. Same principle as a pumice stone, but soft and flexible so it conforms to the curves and you can really get under the rim, etc. I've been so happy about finding this tip! No chemicals needed at all.
Plumbers cloth is really wonderful and because it's flexable it's easier to use than a pumice stone, but I don't like using chemicals or commercial cleaners since you never really know what's in them or what they will do to you or your plumbing ( I've had some bad experiences) so I use plain old Borax. Flush the toilet and turn the water off so it doesn't refill, then sprinkle the borax all over the stains. Let it sit for several hours or over night. In the morning, scrub the stains, turn on the water and flush. Borax makes porcelain shine like new. I own my own cleaning business and this works on every toilet I clean.
When I had well water the best thing I found to clean my toilets was Muriatic acid. It is available from any hardware store (you have to ask for it).
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
We a have major calcium deposit rings around our toilets from our hard water. They were there when we moved in the house. I don't know how long it's been there. Any suggestions on removing them?
Turn off the water to the toilet and flush it, letting as much water as possible drain out without refilling. Wear gloves and chip off as much calcium deposit as possible with a small screwdriver or chisel. Be careful not to scratch the porcelain. Scrub what is left with a lime remover such as CLR, Lime Away, The Works, or one of those, using a plastic scrubber. Vinegar will also dissolve calcium, but takes several hours or longer to do so. Once clean, you can keep the calcium from re-forming by swishing a toilet brush every day around the water line and using a toilet bowl cleaner frequently. (06/22/2005)
There are many options, but the very best I've seen to get the stains that liquids (calcium disolvers) wouldn't remove is a pumice stone. It's work, but it's not too laborious and it will make the porcelain clean. (06/22/2005)
I had a similar problem after a tenant moved out. I shut off intake of water then flushed so no water would enter the bowl. Then I filled the bowl with white vinegar and let stand for as long as it takes to soften the deposits. A plastic scrubber works well to hasten the removal. The length of time is contingent on how thick the deposits are. There is no need to flush until the deposits are gone. (06/22/2005)
Try adding a little Calgon Bouquet to the water and let is sit awhile, then brush. This method also works on calcium deposits on your sliding shower doors. And it's pretty cheap. (06/23/2005)
Oven cleaner works really great if you can stand the smell. (06/23/2005)
By suzi homemaker
Use "wet and dry" sandpaper, the fine black one from DIY/builders stores. Start with 600 grit, if that is too slow move to 400 grit, and so on. It doesn't harm the porcelain and removes even dirty rust type stains. I used it in a toilet in a new house I bought and it restored it to new. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but is cheap and you don't have to inhale chemicals and flush them into your sewage/septic system. The sandpaper can be kept in the bathroom and used over and over again if you get any more build up. It is not necessary to empty out the water if you don't want to, just use a rubber glove kept specifically for the purpose.
By Jo Bodey
Try Shaw's Toilet Ring Remover Pads (you can get at most hardware stores), works like magic! (05/06/2007)
I have cleaned my toilet bowl several times the hard way, with Ajax and a lot of elbow grease. This last time I decided to try chipping the large scale deposits with a small putty knife and a screwdriver. Much to my surprise the scale chipped off fairly easy. But I couldn't help leave marks on the porcelain. So after this I used wet sandpaper and again Ajax to remove the marks left by the putty knife and screwdriver. The heavy work was done by the scrapping first. (02/21/2008)
I found Shaw's pads at the local hardware store, used them and couldn't believe the results. (02/29/2008)
I found "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner does a great job of removing calcium and lime rings from my toilet. The first time I used it, I let it sit overnight and scrubbed most of it away in the morning. Reapplied the next night and it was gone (mine was there forever as nothing worked previously).
Now I use it to clean my toilet on a regular basis without sitting overnight and it is great. I find it in my "Dollar Tree" store or Walmart. I see the posts for vinegar, very interesting. So many uses for it. Amazing. (01/20/2009)