How to Clean a Stained Toilet
It can be frustrating to clean the toilets in your restroom on a regular basis and still end up with ugly stains around the bowl. Toilet stains are different from actual toilet dirt, because they aren't a result of waste but rather of the type of water you have in your plumbing. Even the cleanest restroom can suffer from toilet stains, depending on the minerals and organisms present in the local water supply. To learn how to clean a stained toilet, you first need to find out exactly what's staining it.
If you see brown streaks or a brown ring just above the water line, you're probably dealing with rust stains. These can be caused by residue flaking off from the inside of rusted galvanized pipes or rusted components in the toilet hardware. Normal cleaners with powdered bleach or bleach solutions won't rid your toilet bowls of ugly rust stains. Look for a commercial cleaner that combines oxalic acid and a fine abrasive powder. Mix the cleaner with the water in the bowl and allow it to sit for 90 minutes. Brush the bowl after soaking, then flush until all the residue is gone.
Hard water, or water with an excess amount of minerals in its makeup, leaves a dull, white film built up over porcelain toilet bowls. One way to clean hard water deposits uses a very old recipe. Cleaning pros have known a simple trick for how to clean a stained toilet with hard water rings for a long time: Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply the paste to the stains with gloved hands. Allow the paste to sit for about 10 minutes, then scrub the bowl with a wet pumice stone. One flush should clear away both the paste and the stains.
Often toilet stains aren't caused by the water in the city supply, but the water in your toilet tank. Bacterial stains can be orange, yellow, brown, or black, but they almost always come from organisms growing in your toilet tank. Remove the tank lid to inspect the interior of the tank. If the sides have colored buildup, it is made from bacterial organisms. Pour in a gallon of bleach and allow it to sit for two hours. The bleach will liquefy the buildup as well as kill the bacteria. Brush the sides of the tank after soaking, then flush the toilet. Use your restroom cleaning solution inside the tank on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing back. Once the tank is clean, use the same bleach treatment to remove the stains from inside the bowl.
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