A toilet ring is one of those things that really disturb you, even though it can’t harm you. To make things worse — it probably isn’t a matter of cleaning and hygiene.
Toilet rings mainly occur due to hard water deposits, so all you can do is clean the toilet bowl frequently. In this article, you will learn what causes a toilet ring and how to get rid of it.
What Is a Toilet Ring?
A toilet ring is an unpleasant buildup of bathroom residue that makes it look like you didn’t clean the toilet. It’s an ugly discoloration due to hard water deposits, but it can also be mold or bacteria.
You can easily see it by looking at the water-line on the inside of the bowl. There is a dirt mark on the water level or slightly above it. We recognize three common types of toilet rings:
- Pink rings suggest bacteria buildup
- Dark and black rings indicate hard water and mineral deposits
- Yellow rings usually indicate mold formation and mildew
How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring?
The only good thing about toilet rings is that you can clean them quickly. We have a list of 12 ways to get rid of the toilet ring.
Solution 1: Magic Eraser
Magic Eraser is a household cleaning tool that is perfect for removing the stubborn ring. It’s a sponge containing melamine foam, making it suitable for removing dirt and stains from the toilet bowl.
All you need to do is trim a small piece of Magic Eraser and put it in the bowl. It can stay in the bowl the entire night but don’t use the toilet in the meantime. When you go to the bathroom in the morning, you’ll notice that the toilet ring is not there.
The downside of Magic Eraser is its floating ability, so you can’t just flush it down the drains. The easiest solution is to put on a pair of rubber gloves and pick it up manually.
We also encourage you to put a small piece of the product in the toilet tank — it will keep the tank clean while sending clear water into the toilet bowl.
Solution 2: Bleach
Another idea is to clean the toilet ring with liquid chlorine bleach. You can add a small cup of the product into the toilet bowl — let the bleach stay there for some 30 minutes. After that, use a toilet brush to firmly scrub the bowl in the toilet ring area.
Our suggestion is to keep scrubbing the entire bowl, especially under the rim. The rim hides jet holes that can accumulate black mold and debris, so why not clean them while you’re at it?
However, avoid using too much bleach — it can easily add to the waste in the outlet drain, creating clogs that block the plumbing system.
Solution 3: Vinegar
Vinegar is a reliable toilet bowl cleaner that will probably clean the ring even if you don’t scrub it. All you should do is pour some white vinegar into the bowl and let it stay there for about 15 minutes.
After that, you can flush the toilet to check whether the toilet ring is still there. It shouldn’t be — vinegar can eliminate most stains with ease. However, sturdy mineral deposits may stay in the bowl for longer.
In this case, you must leave vinegar to do its work for an hour or two. After that, scrub the porcelain with a toilet brush and rinse it to wash out debris. We recommend repeating this solution weekly to keep the toilet bowl clean.
Solution 4: Vinegar and Baking Soda
Who says vinegar has to do everything alone? Baking soda is a cleaning agent that pairs well with vinegar, allowing you to remove the toilet ring without too much scrubbing. How does it work?
Firstly, pour a small cup of white vinegar into the bowl. Grab a toilet brush and spread the substance all around the toilet ring. Vinegar takes only a few minutes to react with the dirt mark, after which you can sprinkle a small cup of baking soda.
We suggest adding the second cup of vinegar immediately after that — it makes the mix more powerful, so you’ll notice a fizzing reaction in the toilet bowl. Let the two compounds rest in the bowl for 15 minutes.
After that, scrub the area and flush the toilet — the toilet ring should disappear in the process. Baking soda makes a particularly good choice for removing mineral deposits and limescale, so it’s worth keeping it in your cleaning arsenal.
Solution 5: Borax
Borax is a naturally occurring chemical compound that serves as a powerful cleaning agent. If you’re looking for a more powerful toilet bowl cleaner, borax is the way to go.
Using it fairly simple — add a cup of it to the toilet bowl and let it stay overnight. In the morning, you can scrub the stains using a toilet brush. Borax will eliminate even the hardest toilet ring, so you can flush the waste remnants afterward.
Solution 6: Pumice Stone
A pumice stone is one of our favorite tools for cleaning the bowl, particularly the toilet ring. The tool quickly removes hard water mineral deposits, but it doesn’t harm your white toilet and its gentle porcelain surface.
You can take the pumice stone and scrub the stained area of the bowl until all signs of dirt disappear. Commercial pumice stones have a convenient handle that simplifies the cleaning — you can turn it however you want to get the right angle.
In a way, the pumice stone is like a pencil eraser — it eliminates unwanted marks from the white surface. If you flush the toilet after cleaning, the bowl will look brand new.
Solution 7: Abrasive Sponge
Abrasive sponges are lightweight and easy to manipulate, which is exactly what you need when cleaning the black ring. An abrasive sponge probably won’t remove stubborn stains, but it will fend off fresh mold and mildew.
If you want to clean with an abrasive sponge, remember to wet it slightly before spreading some dishwashing liquid over its surface. Use only a drop or two — more than that may leave unwanted soap foams in the bowl.
Then, scrub the stained area with the sponge until it’s completely clean. The last task is to flush the toilet, so it can send leftover waste down the drains.
Solution 8: Steel Wool
Steel wool is the opposite of an abrasive sponge — it’s thick and rough, so it can remove even the toughest black ring marks. It can clean the toilet by itself, but you’re free to add cleaning agents like dish soap or vinegar.
Remember to put on rubber gloves before using steel wool. After that, use a piece of steel wool to scrub the toilet ring. It will likely remove the stains after a few wipes because the material is so thick.
However, don’t forget that steel wool comes in different grades — the more “coarse” the grade, the thicker it will be. Our suggestion is to use fine-grade steel wool because it provides a more delicate touch that doesn’t harm the toilet bowl.
Solution 9: Alka Seltzer
Alka Seltzer contains citric acid, a substance that makes this product an excellent toilet bowl cleaner. To clean the black ring with Alka Seltzer, drop a couple of tablets into the bowl and let them dissolve completely.
Wait for 30 minutes to see the result. You probably won’t have to scrub the black ring because Alka Seltzer tablets are strong enough to remove the dirt. If you still see traces of the black circle, use a toilet brush to clean them.
Another tip is to use these cleaning tablets periodically — you can drop one in the tank biweekly to keep the entire toilet neat and clean. However, don’t exaggerate and exceed this limit because strong chemical products can backfire.
Harsh chemicals in the toilet tank can gnaw its rubber and metal parts — toilet flappers, tubes, gaskets, and bolts. That’s why it’s better to use cleaning products in the toilet tank moderately.
Solution 10: Denture Cleaning Tablets
Another way to address stubborn toilet bowl rings is to use denture cleaning tablets. They make a fine stain remover that does a similar job to Alka Seltzer tablets. All you need is to put a couple of tablets into the toilet bowl and wait.
Acidic elements in denture cleaning tablets dissolve dirt and debris in the toilet bowl, eliminating the black ring in minutes.
The thing we need to mention about denture tablets is their strength – the product is not as harsh as the previous one on the list. This means you can choose between the two cleaning agents. Here’s how we do it:
- If toilet rings are old and look sturdy, use Alka Seltzer
- If toilet bowl rings are new and mild, go for Denture cleaning tablets
That way, you can clean the toilet bowl ring without adding more chemicals than necessary.
Solution 11: Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most useful cleaning solutions that we have on our list. It doesn’t cause damage to the surfaces it cleans, which is why it makes a popular choice for households with children and pets.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a fine sanitizer and also serves as a reliable stain remover. If you’re struggling with the toilet bowl ring, don’t be afraid of testing this cleaning solution.
The procedure is simple — pour a few tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide into the toilet bowl. The substance immediately reacts with the toilet bowl ring and other dirt in the toilet (if any).
Feel free to scrub toilet rings with the brush — it only makes Hydrogen Peroxide more efficient. If you don’t see the toilet bowl ring anymore, flush the toilet and let the liquid waste flow out.
Solution 12: Dryer Sheets
You probably use dryer sheets to reduce static cling in clothes, but they can also help clean toilet bowl rings. The only additional gear you need is a pair of rubber gloves — but the same goes for almost every item on our list.
Grab a few dryer sheets and rub the toilet bowl’s surface with them. Focus on the toilet bowl ring and press hard while cleaning. If the toilet bowl ring is not too strong, dryer sheets will remove it quickly.
How to Prevent Toilet Bowl Stains and Rings?
Now you know how to get rid of toilet bowl stains and rings, but it’s even better to prevent them in the future. Perhaps it sounds like a big deal, but it only requires an occasional effort from your side.
First, it’s good to clean the entire toilet regularly — it prevents rings in toilet bowls and keeps the whole fixture clean at the same time. Stains in the toilet bowl usually need some time to form, but regular cleaning makes it nearly impossible.
Secondly, sometimes it’s good to flush the toilet one more time. If your poop sticks to the toilet too often, it may add to the existing stains and help the ring form even faster. Flushing it twice will minimize the buildup of waste particles.
We already mentioned the third option — dropping a tablet of your favorite cleaning product in the toilet tank. Doing it once in 15 days gives toilet bowls the power to get rid of annoying rings and prevent future stain formation.
The Bottom Line
If toilet bowl stains and rings really piss you off, it’s time to get to work. You now know 12 ways and tools to remove the ring from your toilet.
Choose your favorite cleaning solution and remove stubborn stains – you’ll feel much better afterward!
What causes the ring around the toilet?
Bacteria, mold, and mineral deposits cause the ring around the toilet. Your toilet is a natural habitat for bacteria and mold because it’s damp and dark. On the other hand, mineral deposits come from hard water with lots of calcium and magnesium.
Does vinegar remove the toilet bowl ring?
Yes, vinegar removes the toilet bowl ring. It’s one of the most popular cleaning solutions because it’s natural — it doesn’t harm nature or the toilet. You only need to pour some in the bowl and let it work — the substance will clean the ring shortly.