Cleaning Hard Water Stains from a Toilet

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


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For years, I and other women have been tackling 'the hard water ring' build up in the bowl of our toilets using Comet or a pumice stone to clear away the build up from the bowl itself.

For curiosity's sake, I took WD40 and sprayed the inside of my toilet bowl, starting up under the rim, with the excess WD40 running down the inner walls of the toilet bowl into the water.

From there I went to bed and when I woke up I lightly scrubbed the toilet bowl with its brush and flushed the toilet only to find that I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The inside of the toilet bowl looked brand new, spotless, and with no hard water ring in sight!

Try it and be amazed at what you find from this tip that I'm giving you today,

"Willow" in the lower Western NC Mtn area

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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 Hearts1 from San Diego, CA


February 15, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

Have you tried a pumice stone yet? I found out about using it on toilet stains from that BBC show (? I think it's called "How Clean is your House?"). The toilet bowl is harder than the stone, so it won't get scratched. You just wet the stone and start rubbing it against the stains. I had a problem with one of my toilets, and it worked like a charm. And no chemicals!

I found mine in the cleaning area of my store, near the sponges and other scrubbers. Best of luck!

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have tried many, many products on our toilet. The only one that worked is called "The Works" and you can buy it at the Dollar Store.


It works like a charm. Plus it's only a dollar!

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How do I remove or keep hard water stains from my toilet?

By Edith


May 27, 20110 found this helpful

For hard water stains in the toilet, I use a piece of pumice and really scrub. It has always worked without scratching. Give it a try.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

I had purchased some toilet bowl cleaner at the Dollar Tree. I had some hard water and rust stains in my toilet, the immediately disappeared! Since it did so well I decided to try it on my old cast iron tub that had spots. It cleaned it, too.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Try denture cleaner tablets or Lime Away, that always works for me.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

I have extremely hard water and had lime deposits that would not come off no matter what I tried. I found "The Works" at Dollar Tree, it works wonders, no excess scrubbing.

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June 1, 20110 found this helpful

Lime Away or SLR both found in grocery stores, hardware stores, big box stores.

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

July 28, 2008

We just bought a newer home, only 5 years old. The toilets and tub/showers have awful hard water stains. I have tried CLR, toilet bowl cleaners, Easy Off Bam and even oven cleaner. Bleach dulls it. Any ideas, we have a water softener that we use, but the stains have been there awhile. Thanks!

PS-Any ideas on chlorinating our well if that would help. There is a rotten egg smell to our water.

Sarah from Indiana


Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Have you tried Clorox with teflon for toilets? It comes in a bright blue bottle. We used to live in a house that was on a well and that's what I used. It's worth the extra money. I swear by the shower cleaner with teflon too but haven't been able to find it anywhere in a while.

The toilet was really stained and it didn't take it all the stain away, but it did help. We put the shower in and about 6 month later was when I found this product and it took 6 months of hard water stain out that nothing else had been about to touch. (02/07/2008)

By kjbeckstead

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser... it works wonders! (02/07/2008)

By Tammie

Hard Water Stains In Toilet


Use The Works from the dollar store. Use the tub and shower. Do NOT mix with anything this contains phosphoric acid so can't be mixed. My sister inlaw ignored and almost knocked herself out. lol she passed out! It works miracles. I use it on whites sometimes for rust or hard stains. If that doesn't work, I will be amazed. If it does not, try Barkeepers Friend, kinda like Comet! (02/07/2008)

By Kim

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

I use The Works all the time and my toilets sparkle. I use nothing else; works and a toilet brush. I swear by the works! I keep 2 bottles in all my bathrooms! Nothing is 100 percent with out scrubbing, that's like hoping for a miracle! (02/07/2008)

By Kim

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Try Bathroom Cleaner Plus, it is from Amway(It has a big plus sign on the bottle). It may seem expensive at @ 15.00 a bottle, but it works especially on set in hard water stains. You only need a little, the bottle goes a long way. Just drain your toilet and spray on the stain. You won't be disappointed. (02/08/2008)



Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Please get a lab test done to ascertain whether or not you have coliform bacteria in your well water. About $250.00 will get you a full testing battery. Please post the results, or ask the people to put you directly in touch with me. I'll be happy to help once you have results. There are things you can do for very little money that pros will charge a fortune for. The stains are cosmetic. It's the symptomatic sulfur smell that you need to be concerned with. (02/09/2008)

By Doggy

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

WalMart carries a product called Iron-Out. They have it in two sizes. I use it to clean my toilets, and also add a little to my whites when I do laundry, because bleach turns my clothes orange.And my dishes get rusty stains, too, that disappear if I soak them in water with Iron-Out.
Sarah doesn't say if she has well water, but if she does, she might think about putting a charcoal filter between the pump and the holding tank. That will take care of most of her water staining problems as well as the sulfur smell which is what the rotten egg smell is.
Harlean from Arkansas (02/09/2008)

By Harlean

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Put in two denture cleaning tablets and let sit overnight. Amazing how clean it will become! (02/11/2008)

By Ronda

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

I can along with some of the others vouch for the Works. I clean houses on the side and we cleaned some apartments that had been abandoned for ten years. You can imagine what those toilets and tubs looked like. I used it not only in the toilets, but tubs and sinks as well and it's only $1 a bottle. You don't have to do anything but wipe and rinse and you are done! It was something short of a miracle! The owners thought for sure they would have to replace everything in the bathrooms! (02/11/2008)

By suzi_homemaker01

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Please think about the chemicals that you are flushing into the water sytem or ground. Very scary stuff to use just for a hard water stain. A little pumice stone made for toilet bowls works like a charm and does not remove the porcelin if done softly.
Thanks for reading. (03/06/2008)

By Linda

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Use Lime Away or lime remover, it works!! (04/24/2008)

By Claire

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Aaron, you have iron that the bleach is oxidizing. Get yourself a filter with "KDF" media (google it) and the problem will vanish (04/25/2008)


Hard Water Stains In Toilet

I tried all of those other items and none of them worked...UNTIL I purchased Zep's Professional Strength Calcium, Lime & Rust remover at Home Depot for about $5. The hydrochloric acid knocks it out...quick! Just drain your bowl and pour it in. Within 10 mins. this hard caked on crap was gone. No scrubbing period!

One more bathroom tip: The Easy Off Bam (in the toilet bowl dispenser "bleach jell") removes the hardest tile grout stains. Just be careful, the fumes are rough. It removed my hard to clean shower in SECONDS. What took hours the last time I did it only took seconds. This stuff is gold!

I ran a bead down 2 grout lines and walked away. 5 mins. later the lines were winter white! I've NEVER had anything work this quick. NO SCRUBBING! After was on! I finished the whole shower in under 15 minutes. I can now return the never used "As seen on TV" grout pen. (05/18/2008)

By Ella

Hard Water Stains In Toilet

Any brand of carburetor cleaner will take mineral stains off. Just drain bowl, spray the affected area liberally, let sit 20 minutes. Turn water back on, flush. That simple. (07/11/2008)

By Har

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February 7, 2008

We live in a community that has some really hard water. I use a pumice stone to clean the hard water stains.

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February 14, 2010

Does anyone have a tip as to how to get really bad hard water deposits out of a toilet bowl?

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