How To Clean Hard Water Stains In A Toilet

Hard water stains look awful no matter where they are, but when they are in the toilet they look particularly nasty. They look rusty and brown which makes many people think that they are, well let’s just say “leftover waste”.

You clean your toilet over and over again and even though you have scrubbed and scrubbed that awful hard water stain remains! Well today, I am sharing with you some tips on how you can clean hard water stains in your toilet.

What Is Hard Water?

Before we start, I feel that I should give you a little information about what hard water is. While it may look like someone has used the toilet and not flushed or even that the toilet has not been cleaned in ten years, the fact of the matter is hard water has nothing to do with cleanliness.

Clean Water Stains From Toilet

It is the result of water that has a lot of minerals in it and as it sits in your toilet for quite a while, be it in the actual bowl or when the water comes out, it can stay there for ages and that leads to the hard water stain.

What Do You Need To Clean Hard Water Stains?

In order to clean hard water stains in your toilet, you are going to need the following supplies. Do not worry, chances are you will already have most of them somewhere in your house which will be nice and handy.

  • A Plunger
  • Paper Towels
  • A regular old towel
  • check
    White Vinegar (you may need a couple of bottles)
  • check
    Rough scrubbing pad/scrubbing brush
  • check
    Baking Soda
  • check
    Spraying Bottle

How To Remove Hard Water Stains From Your Toilet

I will warn you in advance that you will need a little bit of elbow grease for this and you may have to do it a couple of times to fully get rid of those nasty looking stains. This is especially true if your stains have been there for a long time.

  1. Use your plunger in the toilet bowl. You want to plunge away like you are Super Mario (he did use to be a plumber you know!) until all of the water is gone from the bowel or as much as you can get. If there is a little bit left, use your old towel to soak it all up. Make sure you get under the rim (gross I know!) with the towel so that the whole toilet is dry.
  2. Spray the stains with white vinegar.Now, depending on where your hard water stains are and how bad they are will depend on how much white vinegar you will want to use. Just cover the toilet as much as possible, be sure to give the actual hard water stained area a real good soaking. Pro tip here, it is much easier if you put the white vinegar into a spray bottle. This way you can be sure to get under the rim and on the side of the bowl much easier, plus you will not waste as much.
  3. Stick paper towels soaked in vinegar to the bowl.Give your paper towels a good soaking in white vinegar and then stick them to the toilet bowl, under the rim is where you will be putting these. They will stick to the toilet bowl, just make sure they are nice and soaked. Some folks leave these to sit all night, others 30 minutes to an hour is enough. There is no harm in checking after 30 minutes to an hour as overnight is a bit excessive if you ask me as it puts your toilet out of commission all night!
  4. Remove the paper towels. Be sure to put them in the garbage, do not flush them!
  5. Now it is time to use your scrubbing brush/sponge. I think a rough sponge is much better as it is easier to sprinkle baking soda on. Starting at the top of the bowl, give the hard water stains a good scrubbing. Be sure to add baking soda as you go. The hard water stains will be softened thanks to the white vinegar and start to come away. Give the bowl a flush once you are done to get rid of any leftover “stain material”. The baking soda will bubble when it touches the white vinegar. Do not freak out, it is not going to blow up or melt your toilet!

Repeat The Cleaning If Necessary

That is all there is to it. If the stains are really, really stubborn or if they have been there for quite a while, you may need to do this a couple of times.

Or what you can try is, once the hard water stains have been loosened up a little bit by that first coating of vinegar. As you are scrubbing, give the stubborn area another blast with the white vinegar, scrub somewhere else and come back to that tougher area in a few minutes.

If this does not sound like it is for you, there are products in supermarkets and hardware stores that are designed to get rid of hard water stains. However, most of these will cost you far more than a couple of bottles of white vinegar and still require a bit of scrubbing. However, these products can get rid of those hard water stains so this could be something for you to consider.

How Often Will I Need To Remove The Stains?

In all honesty, it depends on where you live and the kind of water you have. I know some people who have no idea what hard water is as it has never been an issue for them! However for those of us who do live in a hard water area you are most likely going to have to clean hard water stains in the toilet every couple of months or so.

I always think that you are best to strike nice and early. As soon as those stains start to appear, get rid of them. It is much easier to do it that way than leaving it to get really bad for weeks and weeks.

This post was last updated on September 20th, 2018 at 01:42 pm

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