How to Clean Stubborn Toilet Bowl Stains

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Is your toilet bowl looking gross? Most people put cleaning the bathroom at the bottom of their to-do lists, especially when it comes to the toilet. The usual toilet bowl gunk comes off quickly with a little toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush, but some stains cling a lot harder and seem nearly impossible to remove. Certain household items you already have on hand could be the key to removing the stuck-on stains.

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What Causes Stubborn Toilet Stains?

The tough stains that won't scrub off easily often come from minerals in the water. If you have hard water, the excess magnesium and calcium in the water can build up and form stains that are difficult to remove. If you have dark red or brown stains, you're likely dealing with rust from pipe corrosion or iron in the water. You might also get stuck with green or black mold stains on your toilet bowl, which can cause a musty smell in your bathroom.

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Combine Vinegar and Baking Soda

Starting with a freshly flushed toilet, add 1 cup of vinegar to the clean water in the bowl. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of baking soda to the water along with an additional 2 cups of vinegar to create the bubbling reaction. After about 10 minutes, use a toilet brush to scrub the stains. Let it sit another 20 to 30 minutes, scrub it again, and flush the toilet.

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If baking soda and vinegar don't remove all of the stains, try this same method with borax instead of baking soda. Add the borax and vinegar to the bowl, let it sit, scrub with a toilet brush, and flush the toilet.

Try Borax and Vinegar Paste

If you need more intense cleaning, shut off the water to your toilet and flush it to empty the bowl. Create a cleaning paste by mixing together 1/2 cup of borax with just enough vinegar to create a paste consistency. Spread the borax paste over the stained areas, working quickly before it dries.

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Wait about 20 minutes to allow the paste to work. Use a stiff-bristle brush but not a metal brush to scrub the stained areas. Turn the water back on and flush the toilet to clear away the borax.

Use Lemon Juice

The acidity in lemon juice can also break up tough toilet stains. Add about a cup of lemon juice to the toilet bowl. Putting it in a spray bottle makes it easier to coat the rim and all surfaces of the bowl. Wait about 15 minutes before scrubbing the toilet. Flush the toilet and check for remaining stains.

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Pour in Some Cola

Instead of sipping a cola, try pouring it into your dirty toilet bowl. Even though it's brown, the cola won't stain the toilet bowl. It might help to eat away at those stubborn toilet stains due to the acidity of the drink.

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To use this method, pour the cola into the toilet bowl, starting around the rim. The cola will flow down the sides of the bowl to coat it and will settle in the water. Leave the cola in the toilet overnight. Flush the toilet and give it a scrub with the toilet brush to scour away any remaining stains.

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