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Guide to Removing Hard Water Stains From a Toilet

There are few things in life more satisfying and rewarding than a clean bathroom. Either from a hygiene perspective or just being proud of your house, everyone gets a special feeling when the bathroom looks and feels pristine. While dusting and general cleaning can help achieve this, bathrooms have problems like staining, limescale, and rust, which may take longer to sort out.

For example, if you have hard water in your home, this can easily stain your showers, toilets, sinks, and faucets. This means scale and rust can quickly build up over time, creating a very messy and unsatisfying bathroom. Since the toilet is one of the hardest places to remove these hard water stains, we’re going to focus on it today.

When it comes to eliminating hard water stains, these are the tips and tricks you need to know.

Clean Your Toilet Regularly

Woman cleaning toilet

The best way to clean your toilet and rid them of hard stains is to prevent getting them in the first place! While this can’t always be avoided, by bleaching, scrubbing, and brushing your toilet bowl regularly, you can prevent the build-up that causes the stains. This makes it much easier to get them off if they do appear.

The Classic Baking Soda and Vinegar

Soda and Vinegar

Everybody knows that baking soda and vinegar is one of the most effective home cleaning solutions there is, and it doesn’t matter what you’re trying to clean, whether it’s a kettle or a rusty coin, this solution does the trick. The same applies to your hard water stained toilet.
All you need to do is pour one cup of vinegar into your toilet bowl and mix it with your toilet brush. Let the vinegar sit like this in the water for around a minute. Now add a cup of baking soda to your toilet bowl, and then add another two cups of vinegar.

This is where the magic happens; the fizzing will start. It’s very satisfying to watch. Although, staring into your toilet bowl and smiling may freak your family out. Let the solution sit for ten minutes like this, then swish it all around the bowl again with your toilet brush and let it sit.

If you want the best results, continue to leave the solution here for as long as possible (up to 30 minutes), rather than flushing it. Only flush it when you next use it.

Using Borax and Vinegar

Maybe you’re looking for a little more power in your cleaning solution. You might want to get rid of tougher stains in your toilet bowl. For this, you’ll need access to a fantastic multi-purpose cleaning solution for the rest of your home, and you’ll want to get yourself some Borax. You should be able to find this is your local supermarket, general store, or online.

For this approach, you need to add ¼ cup of Borax into your toilet bowl, and just like the method above, mix it all around with your toilet brush. Then add a cup of vinegar, mix it around, and let the entire solution sit in the toilet bowl for approximately 20 minutes.

Once settled, use your toilet brush to scrub off the harder stains. Make sure the whole toilet bowl has been covered, and flush to get rid of the residue. Treat yourself to a nice sparkly bowl that’s as good as new!

Try Using Borax Paste

Borax cleaner

Sometimes, even if you’ve used both of the methods above, you may find some really stubborn stains won’t budge. Maybe they’re fading, but you’re not quite there when it comes to making your toilet bowl look pristine. You could try upping your game and using a Borax paste.

This approach is a little more complex and requires a bit of toilet know-how, but it will give you the very best results. Start by shutting off the fixture shutoff valve so you can drain the toilet bowl. This should be located at the back of your toilet. This will reveal any hard water stains that are covered by water.

To make your solution, add a ½ cup of Borax paste into vinegar and mix together to make a thick paste. Start by adding a bit, and then keep adding until you’re able to get a thick enough paste that’s spreadable.

As soon as your paste is the right consistency, completely cover the hard water stains. This kind of Borax paste mix will go hard very quickly, so make sure you’re not wasting any time, and don’t add any vinegar into the mix until you’re ready to put it on; i.e., the water in the toilet has drained.

Let this hardened paste sit between 15 and 20 minutes, and then use a stiff nylon or bristled brush to scrub all the paste off the stains. Flush the toilet to rinse everything away and refill your bowl. You should see the stains have vanished!

Using Sandpaper to Scrub

Toilet sandpaper

While we’ve used a lot of solutions to clean off your hard stains, the final option is to get rid of them manually. Sure, this might take a bit of hard work and elbow grease, but it can be effective, especially when used in line with other methods.

Just grab some sandpaper (the 0000 grade being the finest and the best), or some steel wool if you have it. Don your rubber gloves, and away you go! Using fine sandpaper or steel wool means you’ll minimize the risk of scratching, so just get stuck right in!

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