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How To Clean Toilet StainsNovember 1st, 2022 by
Do you have stubborn toilet stains that won’t come clean with regular scrubbing? Hard water, mineral buildup, mold, and even old pipes can leave stains in your toilet bowl. If your regular toilet bowl cleaner doesn’t take care of the problem, you have a few options. These steps explain how to clean toilet stains. Plus, we cover the most effective methods depending on the cause of your toilet stains.
The Best Ways To Clean Stains in Your Toilet Bowl
White Vinegar and Baking Soda
The best way to clean stubborn stains in your toilet is with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda inside the bowl, then spray on the vinegar until it starts foaming. Wait ten minutes, then scrub the bowl vigorously with a toilet brush. While you can dilute one cup of vinegar with two cups of water, vinegar solutions are less effective than undiluted white vinegar. This method works on all stains but is best at removing brown or yellow stains and killing toilet mold.
If the vinegar doesn’t work, flush the toilet and then try hydrogen peroxide. Not only is it a natural cleaner, but it whitens and sanitizes like bleach. Spray the entire bowl with the peroxide and scrub vigorously with a toilet brush. Wait at least ten minutes and scrub the toilet again. Then flush the toilet to wash away the stains. A bleach alternative, hydrogen peroxide will kill mold and remove stubborn yellow and brown stains caused by minerals in hard water, rust, or copper.
The best way to clean toilet stains from tough mineral buildup is with lemon juice or any source of citric acid. Spray on the lemon juice and leave it overnight. Then spay on another light layer and wait a few minutes before scrubbing your toilet. Flush to rinse away the stain. Acidic lemon juice is most effective on hard water stains and mineral deposits.
You can scrub the porcelain with a pumice stone as a last resort. However, pumice is an abrasive material that can scratch your toilet. Keeping the stone wet and only using gentle pressure will help prevent scratches. It works best if you first use one of the methods above before scrubbing with the pumice. This is the best option for extremely tough stains and calcium, rust, or lime buildup.
What Causes Stains in Toilet Bowls?
Minerals from hard water can build up inside the bowl and leave chalky white, yellow, or brown stains. This includes lime and calcium build-up that cause stubborn toilet stains. Minerals can also wear out your pipes faster. If you have high mineral content, consider installing a water softener to prevent stains and make your pipes last longer.
Another common stain inside toilets is rust. This reddish-brown stain is caused by the metals in your toilet mechanism rusting. It is also a sign of wear on your water pipes. Over time, the oxidized metal will stain the bowl or settle into the base of the trap. Since rust is extremely corrosive, it can leave permanent stains on the porcelain.
Mold can leave black stains inside the bowl or around the inner lip of the toilet. However, it can also grow along the waterline if you do not use your toilet frequently. Toilet mold is the most common in humid climates, but it can grow anywhere if you have other mold problems in your home. While cleaning with hydrogen peroxide or bleach can kill the mold, removing stains may take more effort.
Greenish-yellow copper stains are common around the lip and in the base of the toilet trap. Even if you do not have copper water pipes, many city water lines have copper in them. While you can filter your water or take other steps to remove copper, replacing old pipes is the most effective way to treat the problem. Cleaning with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide works best on copper stains, but set-in stains may take a pumice stone.
Do You Need a New Toilet or Water Pipes?
You’ve invested time, money, and resources into making your house a home. Protect your investment with Five Star Rated® contractors. We have plumbers across the county that can replace your stained toilet or repipe your home to prevent future rust and copper stains. Plus, we offer the Fiver Star Guarantee – up to $2000 back when you are not completely satisfied with one of our professionals!