How to remove hard water stains in a toilet bowl

Removing hard water stains in a toilet bowl

Have you ever looked down in your toilet bowl in frustration because there are gross-looking hard water stains in a toilet that you just can’t scrub out? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, nor does it mean that you’re a dirty person.

Hard water can quickly build up around faucets, shower drains, sink drains, and at the bottom of your toilet bowls. Over time, this water leaves rust and scale stains that are both annoying to remove but also very unsightly. Toilet bowls can be especially problematic because of the standing water in the bowl.

While there are plenty of harsh chemicals available that will definitely get the stain out, here’s an option to try that’s more cost-effective and a safer solution – especially if you have pets in your home that are likely to try and grab a drink out of the toilet because your son (or husband) still hasn’t quite learned to put the lid down when he’s done.

how to remove toilet bowl stains

Baking Soda and vinegar

Literally 2 of the most useful household cleaning products you can ever own, a combination of baking soda and vinegar is a safe and effective way to get stains out of almost anything. Here’s our recipe for success, when it comes to creating a mixture that will knock out stubborn hard water stains in a toilet:

Step 1: Flush your toilet. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and use your toilet brush to mix it around with the water in the bowl. Let the vinegar stand in the bowl for about 1-5 minutes.

Step 2: Add about 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl + an additional 1-2 cups of vinegar. If you learned anything in elementary school when you made a paper mache volcano, the mixture will begin fizzing. Let the mixture fizzle and sit for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Using your handy dandy toilet brush, swish the baking soda + vinegar solution around in the bowl. Scrub the area where the hard water stains in the toilet are still sticking to the bowl, making sure to get the solution above the water line, too. Don’t flush just yet!

Step 4: Let the vinegar and baking soda mixture sit for another 20-30 minutes. Swish and scrub the solution around a few more times until the stain is gone. Flush the toilet to rinse.

While you’ve got the baking soda and vinegar out, don’t forget to clean out any of the drains that might need a little TLC. Here’s a recipe for a homemade drain cleaner.

Stains still sticking around? Let’s kick it up a notch.

Borax and vinegar

Borax is an amazing cleaning agent that can help remove hard water stains in a toilet bowl, as well as stains in other plumbing fixtures.

Step 1: Flush the toilet so the water is clear. Pour about ¼ of a cup of Borax into the toilet bowl and mix it around the bowl with your toilet brush.

Step 2: Add about 1-2 cups of vinegar and let the solution sit for 20-30 minutes.

Step 3: Scrub the toilet bowl to help remove the stains and then flush.

Stains still not coming out?? There’s still one more DIY option.

Steel wool scrub

Get a 0000-grade (the finest grade) steel wool. Since steel wool is such an abrasive product, you can either use it alone or in addition to borax + vinegar +/or baking soda for better results. 0000-grade steel wool is recommended as it’s less likely to scratch up the inside of a porcelain toilet.

Once the stains have been lifted, be sure to clean often!

Avoid having to use harsh chemicals and wasting your time having to scrub out hard stains by being proactive about cleaning your toilet. Using borax, vinegar, and baking soda regualarly will help with cleaning and disinfecting and, when used often, they’re able to keep hard water stains from building up in your toilet bowl.

Hard Water Woes

Struggling with hard water in your home? It’s not just affecting your toilet bowl. Hard water is a major issue in the Greater Dayton area. Contact A-Abel plumbing to ensure your water is safe enough for drinking. We’ll provide a free water assessment to make sure the hard water in your home is just leading to toilet bowl stains and not anything worse!