Cleaning the bathroom, especially the toilet, does not rank high on most people’s lists of things they love to do. But throw hard water stains into the mix and it’s even more of a pain. Luckily, there are some easy ways to remove hard water stains from toilets and keep them from coming back.
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You clean your toilets regularly, so where do those stubborn stains come from? The water, of course. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, hard water is water with high mineral content.
The offending minerals that are responsible for the hard water stains you battle are magnesium and calcium, both of which are picked up by the water as it percolates through mineral deposits in the ground on its way to you.
There’s no need to fear drinking hard water because your body benefits from the minerals in it. It’s really your house that you need to be worried about, the evidence of which you’re probably staring at in your toilet bowl right now.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Toilets
Have you been shopping for a solution to the problem of your toilet hard water stains? There are a ton of products out there that are advertised to take away buildup caused by hard water.
In most commercial toilet-bowl cleaners and cleaning products that profess to rid your toilet of hard water stains, hydrochloric acid is the main ingredient.
The problem is that if you’re not careful, the hydrochloric acid can damage the surface of your toilet bowl, making it even more susceptible to stains in the future.
Luckily, there are a few natural ways you can attack toilet bowl stains that are the result of hard water. It just takes a little elbow grease and the use of a few products you probably already have on hand.
Victory with Vinegar
White vinegar is a really great thing to have around your home because it has so many household uses. Leave your laundry in the washing machine too long and it smells funky? Wash it with vinegar.
Need to clean your windows and leave them streak-free? Vinegar will do the job. Need to dye 100 Easter eggs by tomorrow morning? Vinegar is your friend.
You get the point. Vinegar has a lot of uses and one of those just happens to be tackling those tough toilet stains. To attack hard water stains, you first need to flush your toilet to empty the tank and turn off the valve that supplies water to your toilet.
Then, use your plunger to empty your toilet bowl of water. After that, dry the inside of the toilet with paper towels to absorb any extra water. The dryer you can make the surface, the better, since water can dilute the power of the vinegar.
Now, pour vinegar into the toilet bowl up to the waterline. Next, take a rag and spread the vinegar all over the toilet, including into the areas that are difficult to reach like under the toilet rim.
Then, close up shop and leave it just like that overnight, making sure to close the room off so no one accidentally uses the toilet (we’re looking at you, children). The next day, attack those stains with a toilet brush, preferably with a rather stiff nylon toilet brush (never use a metal brush).
If you have super tough stains, then you might need to move to a pumice stone. Yes, the pumice stone you use to smooth your rough heels is perfect for cleaning the toilet.
All you have to do is scrub gently as you pour more vinegar over the stain to help loosen the minerals up. Once it’s done, restore water flow to your toilet, flush it, and voila! Hard water stains, gone!
Baking Soda Sweep
If you feel like you need something a bit more powerful to clean those hard water stains, then you need to bring baking soda on board. Mixing together baking soda with vinegar creates a chemical reaction that cleans your toilet and your toilet drain. Two birds, one stone.
Just as with the previous cleaning tip, empty your toilet tank, plunge the water from it, and wipe it dry. Then, mix together vinegar and baking soda to make a paste – just be careful to add a little together at a time or it might fizz up over the sides of the container you’re mixing it in.
Once you’ve formed a paste, put on your rubber gloves and apply the mixture thickly to the inside of the toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then use a toilet brush or pumice stone to scrub. Once that’s done, restore water to your toilet and flush to wash away any remaining paste.
Avoid a Repeat Performance
You’ve worked so hard to banish those hard water stains from your toilet that you certainly don’t want them to come back. The good news is there are preventative actions you can take to keep stains out of your toilet bowl.
The easiest is to simply to scrub your toilet bowl regularly to keep the minerals from building back up. It’s not a bad idea to scrub your toilet daily to prevent the mineral from taking hold.
If your water is so hard that you can’t keep the stains from reappearing, then you may want to consider a water softening system that helps to remove the minerals from your water and reduce the problems that hard water can cause beyond your toilet bowls, such as mineral buildup on faucets and dishwashers.
Cleaning toilets with some serious hard water stains can be a bit intimidating, but with the right tools and a few hard water cleaning hacks, it’s a job that you can do well. If you want to make sure you never have to go to these lengths again, then a water softener may be in your not-too-distant future.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Toilets
Using one of the above methods, you can easily remove hard water stains from toilets. We at REthority are big fans of anything natural, so the less chemicals involved, the better. We prefer using vinegar, baking soda, or a pumice stone. Make sure to let us know what natural method worked for you.