Cleaning toilet with a pumice stick

Old 12-10-18, 07:09 AM
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Cleaning toilet with a pumice stick

The hardware store sells a pumice toilet cleaning stick. Any chance of doing any damage to the ceramic when using it? There aren't any cautions in the instructions so I assume that even though pumice feels extremely harsh, ceramic must be much tougher?

I have a rust ring at the water line that has resisted cleaners, cleansers & chemicals so I want to take it to the next level. The stick is what "the helpful hardware guy" recommended.
Old 12-10-18, 07:51 AM
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Most toilets are glazed porcelain. Pumice has a hardness of about 6 on the Mohs Scale which is about the same as glass and glazed ceramic. I would test a small area first to make sure the pumice doesn't scratch. Since everything is about the same hardness it will come down to your specific piece of pumice and your toilet. In some cases it wouldn't scratch but if your toilet is on the softer end of the scale and your pumice is on the harder end it could scratch the toilet.
Old 12-10-18, 08:23 AM
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I've had good luck using Oxalic Acid to dissolve the ferric oxide (rust) on porcelain.

It succeeds by detaching the oxygen atom from the rust molecule leaving the iron atom loose to be flushed away.

Your local Pharmacist should be willing to sell you an ounce or so of Oxalic Acid once s/he knows your intent . . . . it is a mild POISON.

I've also used it to dissolve pitted rust on the chrome Bumpers of cars and trucks.

Last edited by Vermont; 12-10-18 at 10:18 AM. Reason: ferric oxide; NOT ferrous oxide
Old 12-10-18, 11:52 AM
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As far as the pumice stick, the ones I've used say to keep it (and I suppose the porcelain) wet while you are using it. Dry stone on dry porcelain would be bad.
Old 12-10-18, 11:54 AM
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Just to add to Vermont's post... oxalic acid is available in pail form... it's sold as "Savogran wood bleach".
Old 12-10-18, 10:41 PM
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I've used "metal prep and etch" on rust in toilets. It's basically a dilute phosphoric acid. Lots of uses so I always keep some around. Don't ever let it sit in a thin aluminum foil pan though....
Old 12-11-18, 07:19 AM
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I've used the pumice stick in my toilet to get rid of hard water stains, just soap it up really good, it will act as lubrication. Lightly rub the stick on the stain and it removes it quickly and easily with no scratching. Don't use pressure, let the stick to the work.
Old 12-11-18, 07:29 AM
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I frequently use Lysol clinging toilet bowl cleaner (hydrochloric acid).
Also Iron Out powder (oxalic acid).
Between these 2 corrosives the bowl is sparkling white--except for a visible thin shadow line at the water line. I really don't know if it's actually iron stain since the acids do remove the rest of the orange in the bowl. That's why I thought physical scrubbing (chemical name: elbow grease) might be what's needed to get that last bit of "dirt".
Old 12-11-18, 09:14 AM
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I've used the pumice sticks without problem. As others have said, keep it WET, and let the stick do the work; no need to push hard. It does well removing the ring of lime buildup at the water line.

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