How to clean really badly stained toilets?

catherinetJanuary 19, 2009

Hi all,

We're remodling a rental to sell, and the toilets are in bad condition. They have really bad toilet stains (from hard water). I've tried scrubbing them with a clorox-type cleaner and it had absolutely no effect.

Any suggestions? Would the things that clean it, actually scratch the porcelain?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get a sheet of wet/dry sandpaper, the finest grit they have. Clean the toilet as ususl and then using a piece of the wet sandpaper, with a gentle touch, "sand" the areas that have the hard water stains. This type of sandpaper is sold everywhere regular sandpaper is. Wal-mart, K-mart, Lowes, etc. Works beautifully and no chemicals.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Also can use a pumice stone if sandpaper isn't enough. Available at hardware stores.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Use a pumice stick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pumice Stick

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

See if you can find ZAP. It should come with a scrub pad. It's the only thing I found to remove the stain. It will also take a little elbow grease.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you had any laboratory instruction in handling harsh chemicals? If you have had instruction in how to handle it you can get sulfuric acid or muratic acid at large hardware stores. Both are quite nasty unless you've had instruction.

We live in one of the many suburbs of the southwest where boron in the water is a problem. My spouse prefers pumice. I use the wet "sandpaper" mentioned if accumulation is not to bad. In sever situations I use sulfuric.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I saw a pumice stick like the one graywings linked to at Walmart today...hanging on and end cap display. I think that would work nicely.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Warning about pumice. I had really, really hard water and was advised to use the pumice. It worked like magic. Only problem is that is does score the porcelain and will make the hard water stain appear more quickly. The toilet will always need cleaning with the pumice. At my new house I have better water and so I got fresh start with clean toilets. I have been really careful and have used a scotch brand pad that is used for porcelain stovetops. It works and does not cause the scratching. I also now use those drop in bleach tablets, not the blue ones, and they keep toilet really sparkly.

I was also advised to use pumice on pool waterline. Then again was told that will do same thing, scratch and cause buildup to occur twice as fast. I will pay the $200 to have it professionally done every few years just to be safe.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This worked for me. Flush the toilet and turn it off right away. This will empty it most of the way. Empty the rest of the water out. Fill with full strenght vinegar and let sit for a couple of hours. That will get hard water deposits and other deposits out.

A Magic Eraser works well, too. In fact a Magic Eraser got my hopelessly stained bathtub clean.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I swear by Barkeeper's Friend. It removed rust stains in a toilet that nothing else would remove.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You might try those effervescent denture tablets. They supposedly work well on this kind of stuff. (have heard this, don't know from personal experience. fortunately, there is enough chlorine in our water that the toilets never get stained.) Don't know how many you would need though.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I got to thinking about this yesterday while cleaning the toilet.

Toilets have changed over the last couple of decades so and the sort of toilet one has now may make a difference.

For example mine is a 1983 American Standard. I can just dump a couple of gallons of water in it and it will flush and not refill. Then that old surface will withstand pumice or strong acids or automotive polishing materials.

Will all (Any?) of the more modern models tolerate the things mentioned in my previous paragraph?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've seen my favorite Queens of Clean saturate paper towel with lemon juice and "wallpaper" the cruddy areas with it. Let it soak for 30 minutes or so and the citric acid in the lemon juice will loosen up the junk. Then they used a pumice stone to dislodge the rest.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When we moved here the toilets were stained. I flushed the toilet to get the bowl wet, and turned off the water. Then I soaked heavy paper towels in Lime-Away and covered the stains with the towels. I let them sit for 24 hours (we hadn't moved in yet, so don't get excited!) and the stains were gone. This method would probably work with chlorine bleach, Barkeeper's or any other liquid cleaner. I wouldn't recommend using anything that will scratch the porcelain.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 4:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Has anyone tried Green Works?
I see Costco has Green Works. DH and I are planning...
hard water marks on glasses
Can anyone tell me how to clean hard water marks from...
Film on glasses from dishwasher: etched?
The drinking glasses now look cloudy. I have been using...
onions on wood cutting board odor removal?
I tried searching and haven't seen this-- We use a...
cleaning a black granite sink
I am new to this forum and after enjoying scrolling...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™