how to remove hard water stains from toilet

Untitled design 41
Untitled design 41

Hard water spots are unsightly and embarrassing. Even worse, they can damage fixtures and hardware, shortening the life of your toilet and costing you money. Fortunately, there are a number of options for removing hard water stains from your toilet. In this article, we’ll explain how to use baking soda and vinegar, how to scrub with sandpaper, which commercial cleaners work best for this task, and more.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar can be used to remove stains from your toilet bowl. To clean a stain with this method, you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a plastic container that’s large enough to fit the stained area of your toilet bowl. You might want to put on some rubber gloves while mixing, as the mix may bubble up when poured into the water. You’ll also want to make sure there’s no other cleaner present before adding this mixture; otherwise, it could react negatively with them and cause damage to your toilet!
  • Pour about half of the mixture into your toilet bowl at night before bedtime so that it has time for its acidity level to work overnight without being agitated by flushing or sitting in liquid form during daytime hours when someone might use the bathroom (or at least not have time for all-night cleaning). This step is optional—if you’re really impatient or don’t mind dealing with messy cleanup later on after waiting around all night long while this stuff dissolves away stubborn stains then feel free just put down all three cups right now!

Borax and Vinegar

You will need:

  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • A toilet brush or sponge


  • Mix ½ cup of borax with ½ cup of vinegar in a small bowl or container. You can also purchase a pre-mixed combination if you don’t want to make it yourself. Let this mixture sit for 3-8 hours or overnight before scrubbing. This can be done outside since it won’t create fumes unless the solution is left too long, in which case you could always add more water to dilute it further and try again later. If you’re going to mix up something yourself, make sure that your bowl isn’t made from fiberglass—otherwise, mixing may cause fumes from the chemicals used during manufacturing/kiln firing process!
  • Scrub away by hand using a toilet brush or sponge while wearing rubber gloves (to avoid getting any chemicals on your hands). Rinse thoroughly after cleaning each time until stain is gone; repeat as needed over several days until no more stains remain visible when looking down into bowl at normal angles (not when looking straight down into area where water would normally collect).

Very fine steel wool  

  • Use a good quality brand of steel wool. I like to use the 3M brand, which is known for its high-quality products and excellent customer service.
  • When cleaning your toilet, be sure to use white vinegar instead of lemon juice or other less acidic liquids. Vinegar is also great for cleaning up after any hard water stains that you may have left behind when using the method above!

Commercial Cleaners

Commercial cleaners can be expensive, and they may not be very effective. Commercial cleaners can also have harmful side effects for your health, the environment and even your toilet. Toilets are made of porcelain or vitreous china (which is made of high-quality clay). Many household cleaners are designed to remove stains from other materials, like clothing and countertops. These chemicals can damage the surface of a toilet bowl over time. This can cause discoloration or cracks that will leak water into your bathroom flooring when you flush the toilet!

Borax Paste

Borax is an excellent cleaner for both hard water stains and soap scum. The following steps will show you how to use borax paste to remove hard water stains from your toilet:

  • Make a paste of 1 cup borax and 2 cups warm water in a bowl or plastic container.
  • Use a soft cloth to scrub the toilet bowl, making sure not to let any cleaner sit on the surface for too long—this can cause damage!
  • Rinse with clear running water and dry with a clean towel or soft cloth

Scrub With Sandpaper

If your toilet has a lot of hard water stains, you might want to consider sanding the surface. Sanding is an excellent way to remove stubborn, mineral-based buildup on your toilet bowl.

If you decide to use this technique, keep in mind that it can be quite labor-intensive and time consuming. To do it well requires some elbow grease and patience—but if it gets the job done right, the results will speak for themselves!

There are many different materials that can be used for sanding:* Stiff-bristle brush* Coarse-grit sponge* Sanding sponge* Sanding block (like a block of wood)* Sanding pad—this is usually found at hardware stores with paint supplies.* Sanding disk


You can now easily remove all the hard water stains and rust from your toilet bowl by following this step by step guide. Whether you’re dealing with a stubborn stain or just want some peace of mind, we’re sure that these tips will help you get rid of any unwanted rust buildup in your bathroom!


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