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Blog - How to Remove Those Unsightly and Stubborn Stains from Your Toilet

How to Remove Those Unsightly and Stubborn Stains from Your Toilet
By Gerald Peck 7/28/2016 12:55 PM

Let’s face it…some people just aren’t good at cleaning. And others move into a place that has stains and build-up from the start, and despite their best cleaning efforts can’t seem to restore it to like-new appearance. One of the worst places for this is the toilet. It can easily build up with minerals and rust stains, but the good news is that with a little know-how and the right cleaner, you can have that bowl shining again in no time. 


Wondering what causes these stains to appear? It’s the water, or rather, the natural minerals that are in hard water. Calcium, magnesium and iron all attach and create a hard scale on most surfaces exposed to water. This is why you’ll notice these things in your bathrooms and sometimes in, around and under your kitchen sink. Even if you have a water-softening system, it won’t eliminate all the minerals and you may still find yourself challenged with the task of removing them. 


So how do you remove these hideous stains from your toilet? If you’ve been scrubbing religiously with a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner and nothing has changed, it’s time to take a few tips from the pros to restore your bowl to its former glory.


- Shut down the shutoff valve and get that toilet water out

When working with plumbing fixtures, it’s essential to turn off the water shutoff as a safety precaution. Turn the valve clockwise until you can no longer turn it. Then flush the toilet and use your plunger to remove as much of the water as you can.


- Use an aggressive cleaner

That bleach cleaner from your supermarket isn’t going to cut it. It’s great for keeping a toilet clean when it’s in good condition but when you need to remove serious build-up, you need a serious cleaner. Bleach can also set in rust stains so go to your local hardware store and find one that contains hydrochloric acid instead. Pour it on your toilet brush and spread it all around the entire surface of the bowl. Don’t ever use one of those wire brushes. It will just scratch up your bowl. 


- Scrub it clean

Use your elbow grease to scrub the toilet brush back and forth, particularly under the rim where you see the holes. Those are called toilet jets and are where the water comes out. It’s usually where you’ll see the most staining too. Keep scrubbing until the stains are gone. You can add more cleaner as needed. Flush the toilet twice immediately after cleaning. 


- Use caution

When using a cleaner with hydrochloric acid, make sure that if you have an in-tank cleaner that has bleach in it, take it out first and flush several times to remove any of the residue from the bleach. The combination of bleach and the hydrochloric acid can create deadly vapours. To be on the safe side, vent the bathroom and once finished, flush the chemicals down immediately. Also, it can harm surfaces and your skin if it splatters so use rubber gloves and wipe down anything that it splatters on straight away.