How to Remove Toilet Bowl Stains

Few people actually enjoy cleaning a toilet bowl, especially if it's teeming with stains. It helps to have a plan of attack so you can remove the stains quickly. At the same time, it might help to know you often can keep the stains from building up in the first place if you engage in some preemptive strategies.

White toilet bowl in a bathroom
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Bacteria, minerals and organisms all can result in toilet bowl stains.

Remove Dark Bacteria With Bleach

Step 1

Drain the water from the bowl by shutting off the water supply to the toilet before flushing. Locate the shutoff valve on the wall behind the toilet and turn the valve's knob clockwise until it stops. Flush the toilet to empty the bowl. This allows you to apply cleaning solution directly to stains that might otherwise be under water.

Step 2

Sprinkle a little oxygen bleach on the stains. Allow the bleach to dissolve the stains for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3

Scour the stains with a toilet brush. Turn on the water supply by opening the shutoff valve all the way and letting the tank refill. Flush the toilet to erase all traces of the stain.

Erase Hard-Water Stains With Vinegar or Baking Soda

Step 4

Add white vinegar to a clean spray bottle.

Step 5

Drain the water from the bowl as described earlier. Turn on your bathroom exhaust fan if you have one, especially if the smell of vinegar bothers you. Spray white vinegar directly on the stains.

Step 6

Give the vinegar 30 minutes or longer to break down the stains. Scour the stains with a toilet brush.

Step 7

Repeat the application and scrubbing process if the stains fade but don't disappear. Heat the vinegar prior to pouring it in the bottle, apply it more liberally and let it sit on the stains for at least one hour.

Step 8

Don kitchen gloves. Make a thick paste from baking soda and water and apply it to the stains if they have not faded. Let the paste sit on the stains for 20 minutes before you scour them with a brush.

Step 9

Turn on the water supply by opening the shutoff valve all the way and letting the tank refill, then flush the toilet.