Cleaning Toilet Rim Flush Holes?

How do I clean out lime build up in the flush holes under the lip in the toilet bowl? When you flush the toilet these holes clean off the sides of the bowl, but only the center hole is working fine. I figure these holes are plugged up with lime build-up.


By Steven from Tyrone, OK

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December 22, 20092 found this helpful

The toilet bowl is filled with water after flushing by means of small angled inlet holes under the rim. These holes commonly become clogged by the buildup of calcite and other mineral deposits over time. Also, they can become stopped up with material that was in the bowl, such as cat litter, cotton balls, or anything else which should not be flushed down a toilet. Fixing this problem is as simple as cleaning out the holes. Often, prodding them with something hard or sharp will do the trick. For more serious clogs, it might help to use white vinegar to dissolve the buildup. good luck.

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June 1, 20170 found this helpful

The best way I have found to clean out the toilet bowl jets is with a bobbie pin. Use it to reem out each and every jet especially when your using a system that you can not add some sort of lime and calcium desolver into tank or its bladder meaning a power assist type of system.

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December 25, 20090 found this helpful

Put a chlorine tab from the pool in the tank. Dollar tree has some as well. You might have to change the flapper to one to handle chemicals *mine is yellow-orange. This takes off the buildup on sides of the toilet, should work on the holes too.


If you don't flush at night the chlorine concentrate is pretty intense so it would be helpful I would think for the holes. Ria

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December 25, 20090 found this helpful

I've done this many times. It's disgusting, but once you get them clean, you can keep them cleaner fairly easily.
first flush the toilet. Then scoop or use a cloth to sop all the water out of the toilet, you want it fairly dry. I've found that when the mineral deposits clog the hole, there is mineral deposits where the water goes when you flush it, so I work on this part too at the same time.

Then get something like lysol toilet bowl cleaner, vinegar may work too, but the lysol is thicker & sticks better. Squirt the cleaner under the rim & down lower really well. You may have to practically stick your head in the toilet to see well. Another reason to get the water out of the bottom.


Let it soak for about 10-15mins. Put on gloves, you don't want to eat your hands up. Then get an ice pick or an old pointed paring knife. Work on the holes & the bottom if you need it. Do as much as you can, then flush the toilet. If there is still stuff left, do it all over again.

When you scrape, dig, chip out & basically chisel the stuff out, it smells pretty bad, so I always do it in stages. Depends on how bad the problem is. Afterward, you can use the lysol on a regular basis & this will keep it clean.
I've done some pretty bad toilets in my time & I know how awful this is, it also can make the toilet not smell completely clean after you clean, so it's necessary to keep the deposits away.

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June 3, 20161 found this helpful

If you scratch the porcelain with a metal object then calcium will stick a lot faster so I advise using something plastic

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June 3, 20160 found this helpful

If you scratch the porcelain with a metal object then calcium will stick alot faster so I advise is us something plastic or plug up toilet with a balloon after removing all water then fill to rim with vinegar also fill tank. Let set 12 hrs

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December 27, 20090 found this helpful

My sister has this same kind of toilet with the flush holes and I just unplugger her flush holes this past Tuesday, Dec. 22. I got a wire coat hanger, get some pliers and cut off about 10 to 12 inches to make it easier to work with. Put some gloves on, get on your knees, tie back your hair, and work the hanger into each hole.


When the hanger goes through the flush hole give the hanger a couple of turns and you will see the calcium build up fall off into the toilet bowl. You have to clean each flush hole even the small ones in the front of the bowl. Trust me that hanger was the perfect size and it did the job in about one-half hour.

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February 10, 20190 found this helpful

Good idea is to wear a shower cap doing this.

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January 14, 20150 found this helpful

I have the same issue with clogged holes under the rim and used a wire hanger to try clean them out several times but it doesn't seem to work for me. Perhaps the clogs in each hole are farther inside that I can't reach with the wire.


I was thinking about trying to use calcium cleaning concentrate in the tank and try to "flush" the clogs out. Has anyone tried that? Is it too harsh for the flapper and mechanism inside the tank? Is the white vinegar strong enough to take care of the problem? Any other suggestions?

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September 7, 20170 found this helpful

Hello, how were you able to fix your issue in the end Becki ? I can't reach the water jet holes at all. Thanks

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November 4, 20150 found this helpful

Just used this forum to find my fix, did the wire hanger method. Took about 15 minutes, once I figured holes were all at angles, pretty easy and wow, toilet works way better! Didn't even know these holes existed!

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June 2, 20180 found this helpful

I've done it with a small pipette brush or stiff pipe cleaners and afterwards used denture cleaning tablets dropped into stand pipe in toilet then added water until the blue water started to drip out .I've also done this after it was clean by putting some baking soda powder in the stand pipe and pouring vinegar into stand pipe too.

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July 30, 20180 found this helpful

A small allen wrench works great to clean the jets. Use short side in the holes.


Softening the buildup in holes with white vinegar (or something else of your choice) for 15-30 minutes first makes it easier.

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May 12, 20190 found this helpful

I just used a heavy duty zip tie to do the job. The flexibility was really helpful and as mentioned earlier does not scratch the porcelain like metal does. Thanks for all your ideas!

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