How to Remove Hard Water Stains From a Toilet?

Hard water stains don’t interfere with the functionality of your toilet, but they look ugly and tell a lot about your cleaning habits.

But

Stubborn stains can make you feel uncomfortable in front of your guests, so it’s better to get rid of them on time. But how can you remove hard water stains from your toilet? 

Let’s see five easy ways to do it!

How Do Hard Water Stains Form In Your Toilet?

Regular tap water is just that, regular. It contains very few minerals except for chlorine and fluoride. Hard water, on the other hand, has higher levels of minerals that are either naturally present in some areas.

Hard water stains are mineral deposits that build up in your toilet over time. They usually come from calcium and magnesium, but sometimes you’ll find rust and scale stains in the toilet.

High magnesium and calcium carbonate concentrations are normal because these minerals occur naturally in rocks on Earth’s crust. The stains accumulate gradually, so the only solution is to clean your toilet.

5 Ways to Remove Hard Water Stains From Your Toilet

There are numerous ways to remove mineral stains from your toilet, but we selected five quick and affordable tricks. They will make your toilet white in no time.

Solution 1: White Vinegar

It’s hard to imagine a household without vinegar, a product you can add to countless meals. But you may not know that vinegar is acidic, which means it can remove hard water stains.

This solution only requires some vinegar, a small cup, a sponge, a bucket, and a pair of rubber gloves. We bet you have it all prepared, so let’s see how to use the tools for cleaning hard water stains from the toilet.

Start by emptying the toilet bowl because you want to make it perfectly dry before cleaning. Use a big sponge to soak up water from the toilet bowl — squeeze the sponge to pour water into the bucket. You may have to do this a few times.

Now that the bowl is empty, you can pour vinegar all over it. Start from the rim and let the solution flow down the porcelain until it covers everything. Some parts of the bowl are hard to reach, so you can use a piece of cloth to cover them with vinegar.

We are talking about rim jets and the siphon jet — these small holes often hide stubborn hard water stains. Pour some vinegar on the cloth and wipe it over toilet bowl holes.

After 10 minutes, you can grab a toilet brush and scrub the bowl. The toilet brush should help you remove mineral deposits, but sometimes the stains are too hard to dissolve so quickly. In that case, leave the vinegar to do its work for a few hours.

Solution 2: Vinegar and Baking Soda

What if vinegar alone doesn’t help? You can pair it with baking soda to create a more effective cleaning solution. The baking soda-vinegar mix does a fine job cleaning different surfaces, including the toilet bowl.

The method is simple — the only things you need are baking soda, white vinegar, a cup, a piece of cloth, and a toilet brush. Pour two cups of vinegar into the bowl, then cover the entire porcelain surface with baking soda.

After that, add one more cup of vinegar and spread the solution around the toilet bowl. You’ll probably hear the two components initiating a fizzing reaction — don’t let it surprise you because that’s how they interact.

Let the solution rest for 30 minutes before flushing the toilet. In the meantime, vinegar and baking soda will start reacting and removing mineral stains. The only thing left is to scrub the porcelain with the toilet brush to remove leftover debris.

A slightly different option is to apply vinegar to stained areas with paper towels. The solution is similar — cover the stains with vinegar and then sprinkle baking soda on a piece of cloth. Use the cloth to scrub the stains until you remove them.

PRO TIP: Don’t flush paper towels down the toilet after using them. Paper towels don’t dissolve in water quickly enough, so they might end up forming clogs in the plumbing system.

Solution 3: Borax

Borax a legit option that you might go for, too. You can sprinkle the substance all over the toilet bowl but focus on hard water stains in particular.

The next task is to scrub the stains with your toilet brush. You don’t have to do it too thoroughly but rather let the solution sit in the bowl for 20 minutes. This should be enough for borax to remove mineral stains.

After that, you are free to flush the toilet and inspect the bowl. If there are still some mineral stains, don’t hesitate to scrub them with the toilet brush. You can also repeat the borax cleaning process until you decompose all deposits.

Solution 4: Vinegar and Borax

A mix of vinegar and borax makes another toilet cleaning agent. If you have both components at home, don’t hesitate to use them. Borax is a natural mineral that you’ll find in most laundry detergents.

Many people use it as a multifunctional cleaner due to its effectiveness, so you might as well pair it with white vinegar. The two can do a fine job removing black mold and dissolving stains.

You’ll need a cup, some borax, vinegar, gloves, and a toilet brush to use this method. The first task is to empty the toilet bowl — it needs to be dry before using the mix. Now it’s time to combine one cup of borax with less than a cup of vinegar.

The combination of white vinegar and borax must become thick, so don’t add more vinegar than necessary. Use the paste quickly because it might dry out and stiffen if you wait too long.

Our suggestion is to wear rubber gloves while applying the paste to the stains. Let it rest for 30 minutes before scrubbing the bowl with a stiff-bristled nylon brush. Do it thoroughly to eliminate even the hardest mineral buildup.

After that, you can flush the toilet and watch the water taking debris down the outlet drain.

Solution 4: Borax

Some homeowners think it’s simpler to use borax alone — it’s a legit option that you might go for, too. You can sprinkle the substance all over the toilet bowl but focus on hard water stains in particular.

The next task is to scrub the stains with your toilet brush. You don’t have to do it too thoroughly but rather let the solution sit in the bowl for 20 minutes. This should be enough for borax to remove mineral stains.

After that, you are free to flush the toilet and inspect the bowl. If there are still some mineral stains, don’t hesitate to scrub them with the toilet brush. You can also repeat the borax cleaning process until you decompose all deposits.

Solution 5: Pumice Stone

The final method we’re going to cover is using pumice stones. A pumice stone is a very convenient tool because it’s easy to maneuver — you can cover all angles with it by moving the handle.

Most times, you won’t need anything but this little product to fend off hard water deposits. The idea behind this solution is simple — use your cleaning stone to eliminate hard water stains and mineral deposits.

Scratch the stains with the tool until they fall off the porcelain. The scrubbing action of pumice stones helps remove the stains, but don’t push it too hard. The stone may scratch the porcelain to create an ugly crack if you apply too much pressure.

Our advice is to use pumice stones to remove the hardest parts of the stains. After that, you can use another cleaning agent that works more delicately. It’s a good way to clean the bowl without risking cracks and scratches.

Can You Prevent Hard Water Stains in the Toilet?

Yes, you can prevent hard water stains from forming in your toilet by keeping it clean. That’s right – the simplest solution is often the most efficient. All you need is a bit of elbow grease and the right cleaning agents.

The point is that hard water deposits take a lot of time to accumulate and create nasty marks. If you clean the toilet weekly or biweekly, rest assured it will stop hard water from leaving ugly stains in the toilet bowl.

Besides that, regular cleaning will help you prolong the lifespan of your toilet.

The Bottom Line

Hard water stains can be quite annoying, so the best solution is to prevent them by cleaning your toilet often. But if you already have mineral deposits in the bowl, use vinegar, baking soda, borax, or pumice stone to get rid of it.

All solutions we described above are very efficient, so your only job is to choose the preferable method and clean those awkward stains.

FAQ

How do you get rid of limescale in the toilet below the waterline?

You can use white vinegar to get rid of limescale in the toilet below the waterline. Pour two cups of this substance all over the bowl, and let it do its thing for 20 minutes. After that, grab a toilet brush and scrub the area below the waterline.

Vinegar will dissolve most stains, while the toilet brush should remove the last traces of debris with its harsh bristles.

Is it safe to pour boiling water into my toilet?

No, it’s not safe to pour boiling water down your toilet. Most plumbing fixtures have plastic parts that can melt if you pour boiling water. At the same time, boiling water can also damage the porcelain bowl.

Although durable, porcelain can crack due to sudden and extreme temperature changes. That’s why it’s better to pour warm water into the toilet.

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