Cleaning the toilet is a disgusting (but necessary) feat. However, this chore can also become scary when there’s a nasty stain under the seat. If applying elbow grease leaves the toilet bowl squeaky clean but not spotless, don’t worry! Here’s an effective method to remove hard water stains from your toilet.
Why are there hard water stains on the toilet bowl?
Perhaps you know how these ugly stains form: the minerals in your tap water gather in the toilet thanks to the humidity, resulting in an unpleasant view. The worst part about having hard water stains is that they give an unhygienic impression, despite your cleaning efforts.
These stains usually come in a chalky, white form but can also be brown or rust-colored. In the end, minerals will be a constant problem because of the water in your area (unless you invest in a water-softening system). Meanwhile, try the following method to remove hard water stains every time they form.
How to clean hard water stains with vinegar and baking soda
For this method, you’ll mainly use baking soda and vinegar, two natural, low-cost products that you probably already have at home. These agents’ reaction dissolves the minerals in the toilet without much issue and won’t damage the appliance or your plumbing.
Why not use CLR?
You might wonder why not use a mineral dissolver such as CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover) instead. Although it is a good option, you could damage the toilet’s material if you’re not careful while handling such a potent product. So, try this less stressful method instead.
First, you will need a few things:
- A toilet brush
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
Step 1. Pour white vinegar
Add 2 cups of white vinegar and mix it with the toilet brush over the stained spots. Then, let it sit for roughly one minute.
Step 2. Add the baking soda
Pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl and top it off with another cup of vinegar. The mix will start reacting, and your toilet will fizz a lot. Let the mix work for ten minutes.
Step 3. Swish the toilet brush
Time to apply some elbow grease! Be sure to use a clean toilet brush in this part and go thoroughly but not too hard on all the stained areas.
Step 4. Let the solution sit
You’re almost done! Let the solution rest for half an hour. If you still catch stains above the water, give it another scrub. Finish by giving a full scrub on the ceramic once more and flush.
Extra: use Borax paste on stubborn stains
If you still see stubborn stains, replace baking soda with Borax. This mix is far more powerful in breaking down mineral deposits while also being a natural solution. Here’s how to boost Borax with vinegar in paste form:
- Shut off and flush. Close the water valve and flush the toilet to prevent the cleaner from being washed off.
- Make the Borax paste. Using ½ cup Borax, add enough vinegar to make a paste in a bucket.
- Spread the paste. Use your hand in a glove to cover the whole surface of the toilet bowl and let it harden—this will happen fast, so get ready to spread it all in one go.
- Let it sit and soften the water. The Borax needs 20 minutes to break down the mineral buildup before scrubbing.
- Remove the paste. Use a stiff brush to remove the paste and scrub the stains off. Don’t forget to turn on the water to your toilet again once you’re done!
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