How to Clean a Stained Toilet

cleaning toilet

Whether the stain in your toilet is from hard water, mold or mildew, more than likely it’s an eyesore that you’d like to get rid of.  There are some very effective, easy to do methods for cleaning up that gross looking toilet and making it look like new again.  Before you start cleaning begin by plunging the toilet to get rid of excess water and allow better access to the stained area.  Then determine what the cause of the stain is.  If it’s a hard water stain it will appear as rings inside the toilet usually red, brown, or pink.  If the problem is mold you’ll know it because it’s slightly fuzzy and blue, green, black, gray or yellow.  Mold stains can be found anywhere on the toilet rather than just the ring inside.  Finally if mildew is the source of your problem look for it to begin white but then turn yellow or brown over time.  While mildew can also be located anywhere on the toilet it’s most common near the top of the toilet bowl or near the tank.

Once you’ve determined the cause of your issue, it’s time to get started tackling it.  Here are some tips for each scenario.

Hard Water – there are a few different ways to get rid of hard water stains.  The most common and generally most effective, is to use borax and vinegar.  Pour ¼ cup of borax into the toilet bowl and swish it around with a toilet brush.  Then add 1 cup of vinegar and let it sit for 20 minutes.  Finally scrub the bowl well with a toilet brush.  This should take care of your hard water stains, but for really persistent stains make a paste out of the borax by adding a very small amount of vinegar and then spreading it on the stain.  Let it sit for another 15-20 minutes and then scrub it off.

Mold – to get rid of mold, and all of the health hazards that go along with it, use either bleach or white vinegar.  Pour ½ cup of either product into the toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush.  Be sure to flush several times afterwards to completely remove the cleaning products from the toilet, and prevent damage to the inner works of your system.

Mildew – getting rid of mildew requires the same products as mold.  Choose either white vinegar or bleach and create a spray by putting a small amount of the cleaning product in a spray bottle and then filling with water.   Make sure the toilet is as dry as possible and then spray the solution to completely coat the inside of the toilet bowl.  Finally scrub with the toilet brush and repeat as necessary until all of the mildew is removed.

While stains in your toilet may be bothersome to look at, they’re simple to remove, and require the most basic of cleaning tools.  This is a task you can easily handle in an hour and dramatically improve the look of your bathroom.

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