Getting Rid of Hard Water Rings in Toilets

Updated on March 07, 2009
A.R. asks from Albuquerque, NM
35 answers

Hi Mommas,

My new house has very hard water, and a crazy looking water softening system. I have tried several cleaners to get the rings out of the toilet, but it's just not working. Anyone have any magic tips on how to get these annoying little rings out of there?

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F.H.

answers from Phoenix on

HI A., I asked this same question back in May when we rented a house that had nasty dark streaks in each toilet and the owner said she couldn't get them out. Well, all the responses that say pumice stone or sand paper or what I used was the simple copper wire scrubber in the kitchen section of the grocery store that sells the sponges, etc. I think you get 2 of them for a buck or two! and I just used comet and scrubbed and my bowls are WHITE! Good luck to you!

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G.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I have used wet/dry sandpaper- Seems to be the best solution. The higher the number, the finer the grit= more rubbing, less scratching. Lower numbers mean heavier grit= less rubbing with more scratches.

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M.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

I've found that Bartender's Best Friend works great on many stains and mineral build up and it is fairly inexpensive. If you want to avoid chemicals try a pumice stone and rub gently to remove the stain without scratching the porcelain.

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E.F.

answers from Tucson on

drain the water out of your toilet (turn off water and flush). heat distilled white vinegar to a boil. pour into toilet and scrub with FINE sandpaper, alternating. then finish with borax. this will DEFINITLY work. i was very excited when someone shared this with me and the results were amazing!!! Happy cleaning

1 mom found this helpful

F.H.

answers from Phoenix on

HI A., I asked this same question back in May when we rented a house that had nasty dark streaks in each toilet and the owner said she couldn't get them out. Well, all the responses that say pumice stone or sand paper or what I used was the simple copper wire scrubber in the kitchen section of the grocery store that sells the sponges, etc. I think you get 2 of them for a buck or two! and I just used comet and scrubbed and my bowls are WHITE! Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.J.

answers from Phoenix on

the janitors at thehospital where i work use pumice stones to get the hard stains out. i tired it and it works wonders. i only used it for some ugly stains arund the water level that i couldnt get off and havent had to do it since

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A.T.

answers from Phoenix on

Pumice stone works and....if you are in the Peoria area, there is a place called A-Peoria plumbing(crosstreets of Grand and 91st Ave). They carry an item called Shaw's Pads, they are like magic let me tell you! I worked at a hardware store in Peoria for seven years, we carried them there (the store has closed now). Now this product does not look like much, it almost looks like a thin sponge w/ window screen attached to it, but I do promise it will work. I actually like these better because they are flexible and easier to clean the bowl with, the pumice works but it is a hard stick so it's harder to get all the areas.

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L.R.

answers from Tucson on

Scrub with a pumice stone. AND,actually, there isn't enough of a difference between it and the one you use on your feet... get one at a 99 cent store and save yourself some money. That Kaboom cleaner works really well at getting stains out before you use the stone...which will make that "scrubbing" loads easier on you! :-) Good luck.
I was taught to clean by my father... we stick our hands and arms all the way in that toliet and clean it well! He used to swear it was the ONLY way to get a toliet really clean! That old saying "take it like a man and wipe it with your hand" had a whole new meaning with him! LOL

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E.T.

answers from Albuquerque on

I let bleach sit in the bowl for 24 hours and it seems to work to get rid of the rings. I also have very hard water and this works pretty well. I try to do it once a week.

Good luck!

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G.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I have used wet/dry sandpaper- Seems to be the best solution. The higher the number, the finer the grit= more rubbing, less scratching. Lower numbers mean heavier grit= less rubbing with more scratches.

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T.D.

answers from Santa Fe on

Hi A.,
This sounds crazy But, it works....A can of Coke poured into the Bowl and let sit for a couple of hours:)
Make sure it is Coke not Pepsi. Coke is stronger in the
ingredients:) Good Luck, T.

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L.T.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.
I went to a plumbing store called Central Arizona Supply in Mesa and bought a little scouring pad for about $5 that removed them right away, supposedly with no damage to your toilet and no harsh chemicals needed. It is a hands on process which is a little yucky but it worked pretty fast. Probably you could get them at any plumbing supply store or maybe even home depot or lowes...hope it helps
good luck!
Lil

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

pumice stone - wet it first and it works, amazing!

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D.J.

answers from Phoenix on

I use steel wool and LONG gloves, works great!

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S.G.

answers from Phoenix on

Best way I know how is by physically scrubbing with a pumice stone (you can buy these in the cleaning section in most stores, I believe). At least you can get an upper-body workout while cleaning! Good luck.

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T.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

Pumice stone. You can find it in the beauty section at Walmart. Works wonderful.

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M.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

The rings are calcium build up and I use bleach to soften them and then scrub with a Pumice stone. You can find them in grocery stores near the cleaning supplies.

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S.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Turn your valve off for the water (twist knob under & behind the toilet) and sprinkle borax and let sit for hours-scrub/rinse.

Plop 2-4 Alka-selzers into the water and let sit for an hour..scrub & rinse.

Vinegar & baking soda combine make afizzing scour pad.Sprinkle baking soda in then vinegar after.

Good luck.

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D.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I tried alot of stuff including ideas from on here, and low and behold what worked for me is the new Lysol deep reach. squirt it on wait a few minutes use a scrub sponge and a little elbow grease and all my toilets no longer have hard water build up. I was so amazed because when they were gone my husband said how much did it cost to clean the toilets and he was amazed I have been using it four months now on aweekly basis and problem solved. I will swear by this stuff and it smells good too!!!

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S.S.

answers from Phoenix on

We actually use Drywall, Plaster Sanding Screen from the hardware store. It looks like screen door mesh, but is much stiffer. Just cut a small piece like 2"x1" and sand directly on the hard water ring. If you don't want your hands in the water, then turn off the water and flush a couple of times till the bowl is empty. Works great and you can get a 10 pack of 4"x11" strips for less than $10. It is waterproof and can be used over and over.

Also it takes no elbow grease...the sanding grit does all the work for you. Lastly no harsh chemicals to worry about.

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S.G.

answers from Phoenix on

Brillo pad and elbow grease. Got rid of mine!

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K.R.

answers from Tucson on

We live in S. Az....only hard water. You can scrub the ring off with a pumice (ace hardware of something) then drop a bleach tab in the tank.....after that just clean them on a regular basis....little xtra scrub. It does work.
K.

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C.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

pumise stones work really well.

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M.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

I've found that Bartender's Best Friend works great on many stains and mineral build up and it is fairly inexpensive. If you want to avoid chemicals try a pumice stone and rub gently to remove the stain without scratching the porcelain.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

I had the same problem and nothing worked for me until I tried bleach. Flush the toilet and wait until the bowl fills then pour enough bleach in to cover the stain. Let it stand for a few hours or more and presto! it's gone.

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J.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Try using "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner. It is really tough stuff so be careful not to spill it. Leave it sit for about 15 minutes and then scrub it and flush. It may not take all the rings off but will help. (we have the same problem with hard water). I usually buy it at Walmart.

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L.H.

answers from Phoenix on

The ONLY way is with a pumice stone. It won't scratch the porcelain and it will come right off. I had the same problem and my cleaning girl taught me this trick... just clean it first with your cleaner, then rub the ring with the pumice stone and then go over it again with the brush and flush...it'll sparkle like brand new!

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K.E.

answers from Phoenix on

I agree the pumice stone works great, you should be able to get one at Lowe's or Home depot also.
Take care,
K.

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L.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

Hi,
I use a product call Bolex from Misty. I get it from the cleaning supply store. I haven't found it in any of the regular grocery stores. You have to be very carefull with it. It is very strong stuff (do not breath in the fumes)and will eat through carpet if it spills on it. But it is very worth it. I have even stopped using a pumice stone. I have been amazed at how well it works. We have horrible water here and after I clean it looks like a brand new toilet.

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J.P.

answers from Phoenix on

there is a pumice stone made for toilets. it is sold at ace hardware stores.

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J.B.

answers from Phoenix on

A.,
You need to get a pumice stone to remove the hard water ring in the toliet. Be sure to rub it gently against the ring after you have flushed the toliet to make the area wet so it will not scratch your toliet finish. This will need to be redone perodically due to the minerals in our water. I cleaned houses for many years and this is the most effecient way to remove the ring. Good luck. It will take a little elbow grease!
J.

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J.S.

answers from Las Cruces on

There is this thing called a toilet brick, it looks like a large pumice stone with a sponge on one side and the stone on the other. It is the ONLY thing I could find that would remove the ring. I found it at wal-mart. It takes some elbow grease but works great, and it did not damage the toilet. Still ring free like 3 years later. No chemicals. :o)

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R.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Use pumice from any hardware store.

A.D.

answers from Phoenix on

My husband found a pumice stone that is specifically for those kinds of stains in your toilet...but using it depends on your level to tolerate ickiness...I have a thing about toilets so I never did it. Basically it looks like a pumice you might use on your foot (but it's not the same!) and you scrub the inside of the toilet with it. I could never stick my hand in the toilet (yes, I make my husband do all the toilet cleaning!) but he said it does take a little bit of elbow grease to get it all gone. I think you can pick them up at the hardware store. Good luck!!

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G.C.

answers from Tucson on

You may have to use a pumice stone.

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L.G.

answers from Phoenix on

I have one too (large pumice stone). it is the only thing i found that works. Mine actually is for swimming pools (works well on feet too) and it has a handle so your hand doesn't actually have to go in the toilet (for a pool it would click on to that long pole for use).

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E.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I had the same problem with my toilets and had the plumbing company come out that installed them.I thought there was something wrong with the surfacing on my toilet. He told me that it was our hard water and the only way to get rid of the rings was to scrub it with a mesh looking sand paper which he gave me and it worked beautifully!! The only way I can describe this sand paper is it is red with big holes like mesh but doesn't have any paper backing on it. Go to your local home improvement store and I am sure they can direct you to what you need. Here's to beautiful toilets again!!

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W.E.

answers from Phoenix on

pumice stone for pools and toilets etc. in the hardware/housewares section at Fry's.
It works.

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