How to Remove Hard Water Stains in Toilets

grimy toilet
What You'll Need
Rubber gloves
String or wire
Thin rubber mat or stopper
White vinegar
Lime scale cleaner
Toilet bowl cleaner
Toilet scrubbing brush
Brillo pad

Hard water stains can be extremely irritating to remove from surfaces where lime scale builds up. Sinks, faucets, toilets, baths and shower that are all affected by hard water can cause premature aging of the utility and look grubby and unclean, regardless of how often you scrub them.

Hard water stains are caused by a buildup on lime scale, which leaves a yellowish crust around the areas where water can remain. This can prove difficult to remove, but there are methods which can assist in making your toilet look clean and fresh again.

Step 1 – Preparing

Most toilets will suffer from scale and hard water stains in areas where the water has a chance to settle. The lime in the water will harden as the water evaporates, leaving a scaly residue around the top of the water line or underneath the rim of the toilet bowl. Lift the lid off the tank and flush the toilet.

Step 2 – Emptying the Toilet

Prevent the water from refilling the tank by lifting the ball cock away and supporting it with string or wire. This will stop the tank from filling up. When the water has emptied from the tank, flush the toilet again to remove the water from the bowl.

Step 3 – Plug the Hole

Use the thin rubber matting in the hole of the toilet to stop any fluid you will use from escaping into the waste pipe. Plug the hole as best you can and then use pure undiluted white vinegar to fill the bowl over the level of the water line. Let the vinegar settle and leave it over night to remove the stains and scale crust.

Step 4 – Brushing

After an overnight soak, the lime scale and stains should be easier to remove with the use of a hard bristle toilet brush. You can also use a Brillo pad or heavy abrasive cleaning pad to remove it. The porcelain should not scratch or scar, but use caution just in case.

Step 5 – The Rim

Underneath the rim of the toilet is harder to clear of stains from hard water. The best solution is to use a lime scale removing cleaner that can be squirted up into the rim to dissolve any stains away.

Step 6 – Future Prevention

You can prevent future problems caused by hard water stains by adding white vinegar to the water tank of your toilet once a week. Allow the water to fill the tank by only one third and then hold the ball cock up, fill to the level with white vinegar and then release the ball cock. It will find the level and the water will not continue to fill the tank.

Step 7 – Flushing

When you flush the toilet the vinegar will be distributed into the bowl. Use a lime scale cleaning toilet bowl cleaner to keep the stains from coming back. Bleaching will discolor the stains and make them white again, but they will not entirely disappear away from the toilet.