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 toilet bowls. Over time, this water leaves rust and scale stains that are both annoying to remove and 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 likely get the stain out, here are some more cost-effective and safer options to try first with things you probably already have at home.

how to remove toilet bowl stains

Baking Soda and Vinegar

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 clean water in the bowl. Let the vinegar stand in the bowl for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl + an additional 1-2 cups of vinegar. Let the mixture fizzle and sit for about 10 more minutes.

Step 3: Use your toilet brush to mix the baking soda + vinegar solution around in the toilet 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 once or twice to rinse away the mixture.

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.

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

Borax and Vinegar To Clean Toilet

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.

Steel Wool Scrub

If you’re going to use this option, make sure to get a 0000-grade (the finest grade) steel wool. 0000-grade steel wool is recommended as it’s less likely to scratch up the inside of a porcelain toilet. Since steel wool is such an abrasive product on it’s own, you can either use it alone or, if the stains are refusing to budge, you can use the steel wool scrubber with borax or baking soda for extra abrasion. When using other abrasive products with steel wool, be mindful not to scrub too hard to avoid scratching and damaging a porcelain toilet bowl.

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

Avoid relying on 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 to regularly clean and disinfect will help 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!