Three Methods To Clean Stains In Toilet Bowls Effectively

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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There is a saying that goes, if you want to see a clean home, visit the toilet. The reality is as exact as the saying. The toilet should be the most comfortable place in your home; that is why we have come up with this article on ways to clean stains in toilet bowls to help you achieve cleanliness in your bathroom area and keep off germs and diseases. To be on the safe side you can use the best flushing toilets that keep off bacteria

This article will get insights on some methods to clean stains in the toilet bowl that will leave your toilet bowl sparkling clean. To clean your toilet perfectly, you must familiarize yourself with the type of stains you are dealing with to use the right product to remove the toilet stains. Let us look at some types of toilet stains before going into the cleaning part to understand what you are dealing with.

Types Of Toilet Stains

If your toilet has stains, you should determine the type of stains you are dealing with to know if you will use regular bleach or even if it is extreme enough to call a professional. The first step to cleaning a toilet stain is to try cleaning it at home with regular toilet cleaners; if they fail to work, you know the stains are tough and need serious attention. If the stains persist even after washing and scrubbing, it means they are mineral stains that may have come via your plumbing. These are just some of them:

Rust Stains

Rust stains can emerge from a rusty component within your plumbing system. For example, when you flush water down the unit and interact with the rusty component, it turns the water to a brown color that settles on the sides of your toilet bowl. If a rusty component causes the stains, then it is time to call for professional help so that they can examine the plumbing system of your bathroom.

If the rusted pipe is causing discoloration, you will need to replace them. If you leave the rust stains, they will only bring you complications.

Hard Water Stains

Toilet stains can also be caused by hard water in your plumbing system. Your toilet bowl may develop soap rings or stains that can end up being a menace during removal.

How To Diagnose A Hard Water Stained Toilet Bowl

In each household, you will find two types of water; soft water and hard water. The difference between the two is that soft water has no minerals dissolved in it and is less abrasive to appliances than hard water.

On the other hand, you will find that hard water contains many minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which, when you use them frequently, will leave a residue on your appliances due to mineral build-up.

Also, if you use hard water to clean the toilet bowl, the calcium reacts with soap, creating a film. The film is referred to as soap scum. If the soap scum builds up over time in your toilet bowl, it can be difficult to remove, or you will have to buy specific detergents to get done with it.

Soap scum tends not to get off while using regular detergents. As a result, you may find yourself spending a lot on detergents that will not remove them. Worse still, if you heat hard water, the calcium in it solidifies and creates hardened calcium carbonate deposits, which, when it builds up, damages most of your home appliances. The same case is to the hard water in your toilet, which can cause soap scum and mineral deposits that will end up destroying your toilet bowl. However, some scum removers can help you clean the toilet.

There are three methods in cleaning toilet bowl stains:

  • Home Remedies
  • Chemical Products
  • Seeking Professional Help

Home-Made Natural Remedies

White Vinegar/ Borax/ Baking Soda

If you are looking for home remedies to clean the toilet, the best way is to mix some white vinegar with baking soda to form a paste. If you don't have the ingredients mentioned above, you can also use borax to replace them. For the procedure of removing toilet bowl stains, you will sprinkle baking soda or borax generously into the stains areas. Next, use a toilet brush to scrub the toilet bowl as you spread the powder around it. Onto the powder, you can add one cup and a half into the toilet bowl. Let the paste rest for like 15-30 minutes before rinsing with clean water. If there are still visible stains, you can repeat the process.

Coca Cola

Ever had that coke removes toilet bowl stains? Well yeah- it does. But, if you have not read this, you will not understand the science behind this magic. To clean your toilet using coke, follow this procedure:

Switch off the water supply to the toilet unit and flush the toilet to remove any water before plugging the hole in the bottom with something waterproof. For example, buy a 3by 3 liter of coca coal and pour all of the bottles into the toilet bowl up to where they cover the stubborn stains. You can let it sit for up to 24 hrs and then remove the plug to let the coke drain. You can afterward flush the toilet to see the extent to which the coke has cleaned it. If you feel that the toilet bowl is not clean enough, you can go in with some scrubbing.

Lemon Juice And Essential Oils

Most people who use lemon as a disinfectant for surfaces praise it for its ability to brighten surfaces. Lemon juice achieves this because of its acidic properties that help remove yellow staining and calcium build-up on porcelain and ceramic materials. However, even after using the lemon juice, you will have to go in with some little scrubbing to ensure you have completely removed the stains from your toilet.

For this procedure, you will use a clean spray bottle to add a cup of lemon juice with 10-15 drops of either tea tree oil or lavender. The following oils are selected to use with lemon since they remove mould formulations.

To clean the toilet bowl:

  1. Spray the entire bowl on the stains and all over the bowl.
  2. Go in with your scrubber and scrub thoroughly before letting it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Flush the toilet and inspect if there are still visible stains. If you see any stains, you can repeat the procedure.

Chemical Products

If you are dealing with a very stained toilet bowl, you may have to sort some products with a chemical formula to deal with the situation. The following products may help:


If your toilet bowl has stubborn stains, you can try out using the WD-40 to clean it out easily. First, spray this chemical product on the stains and wait for some minutes. Then, wipe the product out using a clean cloth, do not flash the product down the drain because the chemical may harm some good bacteria in your septic system, which may cause more harm than good.


CLR stands for Calcium Lime Rust; it is an effective cleaning agent used to remove hard water stains and rust stains. It is used in homes since it is non-toxic and has no chemicals yet removes tough stains efficiently.

If the stains are above the toilet, you can apply CLR and remove the yellow stains using a toilet brush. Make sure the water in the unit is turned off completely. If the stains are in the toilet, you can soak a paper towel in the CLR. Stick the paper towel on the entire surface of the toilet and let it sit overnight. You can scrub the toilet bowl later in the morning and flush it. Do not use abrasive materials like steel wool or a steel brush since it might destroy the surface of the toilet bowl. Find the best toilet brushes that are gentle to the surface of your toilet bowl.


Liquid toilet cleaner pouring in toilet bowl

Bleach is highly corrosive and dangerous; that is why it should be your last option If your toilet is very worse. While using bleach, you should always put on protective gear such as gloves and ensure you open the windows to allow free air circulation. After pouring bleach on your toilet seat and bowl, let it rest for 15 minutes before cleaning it. However, if the smell worries you, you can keep the toilet closed until you are ready to clean it with plain water.

Seeking Professional Help

If you have tried cleaning your toilet with all these methods and have not removed the stains, you should seek help from a professional plumber.

A plumber will tell you if cleaning the stains is impossible, and you should probably get another bowl. The plumber may also recommend ways to remove those stubborn stains.

If the stains you removed were caused by rust, you would need to call a plumber to install new pipes that are not prone to rust.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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