How To Remove Hard Water Stains From A Toilet Bowl

Hard water stains in a toilet are a real eyesore and can be a challenge to remove. What causes them and what can you do yourself to get rid of them? Keep reading and I’ll show you.

What causes hard water stains in a toilet?

what causes hard water stains in a toilet

The water that flows in and out of your toilet bowl can pick up minerals from your water supply and deposit them in the bowl, creating hard water spots.

Toilet paper and other bathroom cleaners don’t remove these types of stains very well, making them difficult to remove without some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

What forms green or brown stains in a toilet?

Green stains in a toilet are usually caused by lime buildup in your water supply, while brown or rust stains can be caused by manganese or iron in your water supply. These stains can appear gradually over time, or they may suddenly appear overnight.

Whether they are caused by mineral deposits or organic matter, you can use the same methods to clean these stains from your toilet bowl.

How do I remove hard water stains from my toilet bowl?

how do i remove hard water stains from my toilet bowl

Removing hard water stains from your toilet bowl can be easy and inexpensive if you use products you already have at home. Try these tips but first, remember your safety should come first.

Make sure you wear gloves for any of these methods to protect yourself from being exposed to harsh bacteria or chemicals mixed in along with your cleaning solution.

You’ll also want to avoid getting these chemicals on your skin when possible. These chemicals can also be on cleaning supplies like a pumice stone.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and white vinegar are marvelous at removing hard water stains. Combine the two in a bowl to form a paste, then scrub it directly on the stained areas. Allow it to sit for an hour or so, and gently rub at the stubborn stains with a damp washcloth until they disappear.

If you need something tougher, you could use a scrub brush instead of the washcloth.

Borax and vinegar

Borax, the main ingredient in many laundry detergents, is a great way to remove hard water stains. Mix the borax with vinegar, then use a sponge or toilet brush to rub the mixture onto the stained areas of your toilet bowl.

Rinse well with water.

Using steel wool

You’ll need to use some elbow grease during this process, but it does work. First, use a piece of steel wool on the stained area by scrubbing in small circles.

You might have to scrub for a bit, but the mineral stains should come right off once you’ve spent some time cleaning with the steel wool.

Using Coke (Coca-Cola)

Yes, that’s right, you can use Coca-Cola to remove hard water stains. Keep in mind that this method won’t work on porcelain surfaces because the acid in the Coke could damage the bowl itself so you should only use it on newer toilets with vitreous china bowls.

Just pour a bit of Coke directly onto the stained area and allow it to sit for about ten minutes before scrubbing away with a sponge or brush.

Using WD-40 spray lubricant

The adhesive in WD-40 makes it a great option when you’re cleaning hard water stains from your toilet bowl. First, spray the affected area and allow it to sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a soft sponge or scrub brush.

Once you have finished, follow up with a bit of dish soap and some hot water, then enjoy your sparkling clean bowl.

How does Coke remove limescale from a toilet?

If you want to know how to remove hard water stains from a toilet bowl, you can see how Coke works to do this. Coke contains citric acid which is a natural cleaner and can break down limescale.

This makes it perfect for removing hard water stains caused by limescale deposits.

How to prevent hard water toilet stain buildup

how to prevent hard water toilet stain buildup

You can’t completely prevent mineral salts from depositing in your toilet, but there are ways to reduce the number of tough stains they cause.

  • First, remember that the problem usually appears when water sits in your tank for long periods, so being sure it’s flushed every day is one way to keep these toilet bowl stains away.
  • You can also fill up a water softener or mix vinegar with your water supply if you know it contains high levels of hard minerals.
  • Finally, if you want to avoid mineral buildup altogether, try using a toilet bowl cleaner to make sure bacteria don’t build up and create limescale deposits.

Can I leave vinegar in a toilet overnight?

can i leave vinegar in a toilet overnight

Keep in mind that vinegar is an acid that can erode porcelain if left sitting for too long.

For example, usually you would leave the vinegar in the toilet for about ten minutes to get rid of minor stains. However, if you have hard water stains that are more aggressive, you can safely leave the vinegar in your toilet for about 12 hours.

Don’t leave vinegar in a toilet for an excessive amount of time. Since people are likely to forget about things overnight, don’t do so unless you set a reminder for the morning, or even better, just wait until the next day to add it.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »