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How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring: The Easiest and Most Effective Ways

We discuss the methods worth trying and the ways to prevent the ring from forming in the future.
Last updatedLast updated: December 09, 2022
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A toilet ring, although totally harmless, can be one of the most disturbing things to wake up to or see every day you visit the washroom. The worst thing is that the ring doesn’t choose.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to remove the unpleasant, stubborn ring in your toilet. The market is filled with affordable products that can easily remove hard water stains. Plus, you could use a couple of household items in your pantry for a homemade remedy. This article has everything you need to know about how to get rid of toilet ring, from the causes to the solutions, and preventive measures.

Why is there a ring in your toilet bowl?

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring: The Easiest and Most Effective Ways

A toilet ring can form whether you clean it regularly or not. However, if you take a while without cleaning the toilet, removing the ring will take more than just regular cleaning. Besides lack of cleaning, hard water is also a primary cause of toilet rings. The minerals in the stagnant hard water in your toilet create a film in your toilet bowl which attracts more stains and discoloration.

The stain that looks like rust in your toilet bowl is a result of mineral deposits in the hard water in the toilet, mold, or bacteria. If you have a green, orange or black ring, that may be mold. A pink ring could be bacterial. If bacteria or mold are the causes of the ring in the toilet bowl, it means there is a buildup of germs or fungi in your toilet bowl’s water. For instance, according to Microbe Wiki Trusted Source Serratia marcescens - microbewiki Serratia marcescens is a motile,short rod-shaped, Gram-negative, facultative anaerobe bacterium, classified as an opportunistic pathogen. It was discovered in 1819 by Bartolomeo Bizio in Padua, Italy. microbewiki.kenyon.edu , the bacteria that causes the pink ring in your toilet, Serratia marcescens, likes growing in places with lots of fatty substances. Your toilet is highly predisposed to the bacteria because feces contain fatty substances.

As for the rusty ring in the toilet bowl, mineral deposits in hard water are usually the main culprit. When the situation worsens, the ring becomes black. If that’s the case, you should get professional help getting rid of the ring with a heavy-duty cleaning product. The black ring is more stubborn to remove than other toilet bowl rings.

In some cases, the yellow rusty ring may be a result of irregular or lack of cleaning and maintenance. The yellow stain is pretty inevitable if your toilet bowl is exposed to urine for extended periods.

You can prevent this by flushing the toilet after use. A weekly deep cleaning should help prevent the ring from building up, but if that’s not the case, here are a bunch of solutions.

Method #1: Vinegar and baking soda

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring: The Easiest and Most Effective WaysVinegar and baking soda are powerful cleaning items in almost every household’s pantry. The two edible items are non-toxic and quite magical when used together. According to an Insider Trusted Source 16 Thing to Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar Combining baking soda and vinegar creates a reaction that can remove stuck-on stains. It’s a powerful cleaner with no harsh chemicals. www.insider.com article, the two are great chemical-free alternatives to commercial cleaners.

What you will need

  • Ordinary white vinegar
  • A cup
  • Baking soda
  • Toilet brush

Steps to take

Step 1: Add one cup of white vinegar to the toilet bowl, then let it soak for a few minutes.

Step 2: Pour in a full cup of baking soda, then follow up with another 2 cups of vinegar immediately. Cover the toilet with the lid and let the ingredients fizz and soak in for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Grab the toilet brush, dip it in the water and lightly scrub the ring. Let it sit for another 30 minutes.

Step 4: Finish by flushing the toilet twice or thrice. If the toilet ring is not removed completely, repeat the whole process until it’s completely gone.

Method #2: Bleach

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring: The Easiest and Most Effective Ways

Bleach is a fantastic solution for removing grime and discoloration in toilets. It is one of the best methods for cleaning old toilet ring stains that need deep cleaning. Moreover, bleach does not only clean but also disinfects the toilet. You must wear protective gear, including rubber gloves, goggles, and long clothing when handling bleach as it is toxic. You must also open the windows and doors to ensure there is enough ventilation for your safety.

What you will need

  • A gallon of water
  • Bleach
  • Protective gear (gloves and goggles)
  • Toilet brush

Steps to take

Step 1: First, clean your toilet like you normally do. Use your regular toilet bowl cleaner to remove grime and lighten the toilet ring. Pay extra attention to the rim, which is notorious for accumulating tough-to-remove stains. Plus, the bacteria on the rim can easily spread around the bowl from the rim. When you are done scrubbing, rinse the toilet bowl thoroughly.

Step 2: Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water and mix thoroughly. Pour half of the solution on the toilet bowl’s surface and the rest directly into the toilet.

Step 3: Let the bleach solution soak in the toilet for about 10 to 15 minutes. The longer the bleach solution sits in, the easier removing the toilet ring will be. However, you must be careful not to leave it on for too long, as prolonged exposure can eat away at the toilet’s finish.

Step 4: Scrub the toilet bowl lightly with a toilet brush, then rinse it off with a lot of water. Rinse the toilet bowl with at least two or three buckets of water to reduce the chlorine residue on the toilet’s surface. Thorough rinsing will ensure your toilet’s porcelain maintains a shiny and new look longer.

The popular Clorox Ultra Clean Toilet Tablets Bleach & Blue remains the most acclaimed bleach for cleaning the toilet. The tablets are easy to use, prevent stains and deodorize the toilet.

Avoid using bleach with other cleaning agents. According to an article by Healthline Trusted Source Never Mix Bleach and Ammonia: Yes, It Can Kill You Mixing bleach and ammonia creates a toxic gas called chloramine, which can hurt your lungs and even cause death in high concentrations. Learn safety tips and more. www.healthline.com , mixing bleach with other cleaning products, especially those that contain ammonia, can kill you.

Method #3: Borax

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring: The Easiest and Most Effective WaysBorax, just like baking soda and vinegar is affordable and readily available in supermarkets. It is an easier way of getting rid of the toilet ring, and here is how to use it;

What you will need

  • Borax
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Toilet brush

Steps to take

Step 1: Combine 2 tablespoons of the white distilled vinegar with 1 tablespoon of Borax and mix in one cup of water. Stir the mixture well until you have a slightly cloudy solution.

Step 2: Pour the solution into a spray bottle, then shake it well. Spray directly on the toilet ring and let it sit in. The solution can only work if it stays wet on the toilet’s surface longer. Therefore, you may have to spray the toilet ring twice or thrice every five minutes.

Step 3: Combine some more Borax with a little amount of water to make a thick paste. Grab your toilet brush and coat it with the paste. The paste will act as a mild abrasive scrub, use it to clean around the toilet bowl, with a little more focus on the toilet ring.

Step 4: Pour a full bucket of water into the toilet bowl to rinse off the residue completely. Finish by rinsing the toilet bowl once or twice.

If you try all these methods and your toilet ring proves too tough, try the mother of them all, pumice. Pumice is an effective natural way of getting rid of the ring in your toilet. It works perfectly well after the vinegar and baking soda method, but you can use it on its own. Put on your gloves, then grab the pumice and scrub the ring gently. You only have to be extra careful not to damage your toilet bowl’s porcelain surface. Careful and infrequent use goes a long way. Also, ensure the pumice is only for cleaning purposes. It would be so gross if someone in the house used it on their skin.

Method #4: Muriatic acid and pumice stone

You can also use muriatic acid and pumice stone to completely get rid of even heavy strains and rings caused by hard water. The video below shows how to do it, and here’s what you will need;

What you will need

  • Muriatic acid
  • pumice stone
  • Toilet brush
  • Protective gloves

Steps to take

How to prevent toilet stains in the future?

Preventing a toilet bowl ring will save you the frustration of seeing it every time you go and the hassle of looking for the best products to get rid of them. Prevention is especially critical if your toilet bowl is more prone to hard water stains. Here is what you have got to do.

Prevent bacterial growth

Toilet stains are usually a result of bacterial growth. Keeping the bacteria away reduces the chances of a toilet ring. You can get antibacterial toilet cleaners and place them somewhere you and your family can be reminded to use it. According to popular reviews, the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Bowl Cleaner is one of the best at removing stains and limescale. It also removes rust and comes in fantastic fragrance options.

Stock up on different types of toilet cleaning products

Any time you run out of toilet bowl cleaner, you are likely to neglect cleaning until you restock. With alternative products like dryer sheets and magic erasers, you will always have a backup so that your cleaning routine doesn’t stop.

Flush after use

Essentially, hard water stains if it sits for too long. Ensure you flush the toilet after every usage. Frequent flushes mean the hard water does not sit for long. If you have any bathrooms in your home that don’t get used often, try and flush them as much as you can.

Read our articles on the best flushing toilets for the best-rated toilets in the market. The buying guide will help you make the best-informed choice. For a smart toilet or modern toilet, our best smart toilet and best modern toilet pieces will sort you as well.

Clean routinely

You don’t have to use the strongest chemicals to clean your toilet. Vinegar, Borax, and baking soda do a fantastic job at cleaning and disinfecting a toilet bowl. You can sprinkle a cup of Borax on the toilet bowl’s surface at night before you go to bed, at least once every week. Ensure you have it all over the bowl’s sides and under the rim.

Leaving the Borax on overnight increases its effectiveness as it loosens up everything and makes scrubbing the nest morning a tad easier.

Pro tips

Here are a few more tips that could make your work easier when getting rid of the toilet bowl ring;

  • Keep away from products that can damage your septic system
  • If you don’t want to get your hands dirty removing the toilet ring, use a magic eraser. According to CNET Trusted Source This 2-second tip keeps your toilet clean - CNET Clean your toilet bowl less with this super fast tip. www.cnet.com , it is one of the best ways of keeping a toilet clean. It is an easier and mess-free method. All you have to do is cut a quarter of the magic eraser and drop it in the bowl then let it sit overnight. The next morning, use a long fish net to remove it before flushing the toilet to remove any residue left.

Final thoughts

We have provided the best hacks and pro tips on how to remove the toilet ring. The ring forms because of various reasons, but mineral deposits in the hard water in your toilet system are usually the primary cause. The good news is there are tons of solutions, and you don’t even have to break the bank to get rid of the unpleasant rusty ring in your toilet. You may only need to grab a few products from your pantry.

If you don’t see yourself getting down and dirty cleaning your toilet, you can seek professional assistance, especially if the ring in your toilet is black. All in all, ensure you clean your toilet regularly and flush often to prevent the hard water from sitting still for too long in the bowl.

References

1.
Serratia marcescens - microbewiki
Serratia marcescens is a motile,short rod-shaped, Gram-negative, facultative anaerobe bacterium, classified as an opportunistic pathogen. It was discovered in 1819 by Bartolomeo Bizio in Padua, Italy.
2.
16 Thing to Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar
Combining baking soda and vinegar creates a reaction that can remove stuck-on stains. It’s a powerful cleaner with no harsh chemicals.
3.
Never Mix Bleach and Ammonia: Yes, It Can Kill You
Mixing bleach and ammonia creates a toxic gas called chloramine, which can hurt your lungs and even cause death in high concentrations. Learn safety tips and more.
4.
This 2-second tip keeps your toilet clean - CNET
Clean your toilet bowl less with this super fast tip.
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