How to Remove Toilet Bowl Stains

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

dirty toilet bowl
Nothing is worse than a stained and stinky toilet bowl. Image Source/Getty Images/Image Source

Many homeowners are baffled by the stains they see in their toilets. They clean their bathrooms regularly and yet the toilet bowl has nasty brownish or yellow rings around it and on the bottom of the bowl, or stains running from below the rim to the water level. These stains are caused by a buildup of minerals from hard water [source: family handyman]. Many homes have hard water, which can cause damage to your toilet or sink and leave stubborn stains that are very difficult to remove. Toilets are made of porcelain, which is prone to picking up these stains and holding onto them. With the right know-how you can easily remove those stains. We will now give you a number of ways to get rid of those stains in your toilet bowl.

  • Vinegar - If you're sick and tired of cleaning your bowl with harsh abrasives and strong smelling cleansers, try the vinegar solution. One method is to place three cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub the stains with a toilet brush. The other method is to put the vinegar into a spray bottle, drain the toilet bowl and spray the vinegar directly onto the stains
  • Bleach - Bleach is a very strong cleaning agent. Place a half a cup of dry bleach powder into the toilet bowl and let it sit there for a couple of hours. When you see the stains have disappeared flush away the bleach.
  • Borax Powder - Borax powder is a very powerful cleaning agent that's not found in a supermarket, but in a hardware store. Shut the water supply to the toilet tank and empty the bowl by flushing it once. Sprinkle the powder directly on the stains and rub them with a toilet brush. After scrubbing, let the powder sit for thirty minutes. Then reconnect the water supply to the tank and flush the toilet.
  • Trisodium Phosphate - Add 1 tablespoon of trisodium phosphate to 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of warm water and mix well. Soak a cloth on the solution and use it to rub the stain clean [source: Do It Yourself].

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Originally Published: May 18, 2011

Remove Toilet Stains FAQ

What causes yellow stains on a toilet seat?
Yellow stains on a toilet seat are often a result of sunlight, discoloured over time by UV rays coming in through a window. Sometimes they may also be caused by urine, which wasn’t cleaned off within a few days.
How do you clean a badly stained toilet?
Pour a few cups of white vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush. If this doesn’t get rid of the stains, you can try using a half cup of bleach or Borax powder.
How do you remove calcium deposits from a toilet bowl?
The best way to remove stubborn calcium deposits from your toilet bowl is to use a pumice - a light, porous stone. Make sure to wet the pumice stone with water and apply only gentle pressure when scrubbing to avoid damaging the porcelain.
What are the brown stains in my toilet?
Brown stains indicate the a buildup of limestone, which forms when water evaporates and leaves the minerals behind. As it dries up, it collects dirt particles that slowly build a brown layer.
How do I get my toilet white again?
Regular cleaning keeps the bowl white and prevents hard-to-remove stains from building up inside the bowl. However, for more deep cleaning, you can use bleach, white vinegar, Borax or other store-bought cleaning products.

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