How to Clean Hard Water Stain in Toilet

Do you find yourself cleaning your toilet regularly, only to be frustrated by stubborn hard water stains? The minerals present in water, such as magnesium, calcium, and iron, can cling to surfaces, leaving unsightly rust-colored or chalky white stains in the bowl.

Fortunately, you can banish these stains with a bit of effort, patience, and common cleaning products.

How Often to Clean Hard Water Stains

If you’re wondering how frequently to tackle hard water stains, the answer is more often than you might think. While regular toilet cleaning is recommended weekly for freshness and sanitation, it also plays a crucial role in preventing the buildup of hard water stains.

Consistent cleaning helps avoid the need for intensive stain removal. If you’ve skipped a few cleaning sessions or your water source is particularly mineral-rich, act promptly when you notice stains forming.

What You’ll Need


  • 1 toilet brush
  • 1 set of measuring cups
  • 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • 1 small bowl


  • 1 bottle of cleaning vinegar
  • 1 box of baking soda
  • 1 box of laundry borax
  • 1 container of Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend

Easily Remove Toilet Hard Water Stains

  1. Start with Distilled White Vinegar:
    • Flush the toilet to clear any debris.
    • Pour two cups of distilled white vinegar or cleaning vinegar into the bowl.
    • Use a toilet brush to swish the vinegar around, making sure to reach all hard water stains.
    • Allow the vinegar to sit for 5 minutes to let the acetic acid work.
  2. Add Baking Soda and More Vinegar:
    • Add two cups of vinegar and more one cup of baking soda.
    • Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the fizzing subsides.
  3. Scrub and Wait Some More:
    • Use the toilet brush to scrub the bowl thoroughly, including under the rim and above the water line.
    • Step away for 30 minutes.
    • Give the bowl a final scrub and flush to rinse.

Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend Method:

  1. Flush the Toilet:
    • If there’s a noticeable ring, turn off the water valve to lower the water level.
    • Flush the toilet to remove debris and dampen the bowl surfaces.
    • Put on rubber gloves.
  2. Add the Cleaner and Wait:
    • Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend throughout the bowl.
    • Ensure the cleaner reaches all stains by making a paste with a few drops of water in a small bowl.
    • Apply the paste to stubborn stains and wait for 5 minutes.
  3. Scrub the Bowl:
    • Use a toilet brush with extra elbow grease, focusing on the toughest stains.
    • Flush to rinse (ensure the water valve is open), and repeat if stains persist.

Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Toilet with Laundry Borax


  1. Turn Off the Water Valve and Flush:
    • Shut off the water valve and flush the toilet to clear debris and dampen the bowl surfaces.
    • Wear rubber gloves for protection.
  2. Make a Paste of Borax and Vinegar:
    • In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of laundry borax with 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.
    • Wearing gloves, apply the paste to hard water stains, ensuring coverage under the rim.
    • Step away and let the paste work for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub and Rinse:
    • Use a toilet brush or scrubbing sponge to thoroughly scrub the bowl.
    • Flush to rinse.

Tips to Prevent Hard Water Stains

  1. Regular Cleaning:
    • Clean the toilet weekly using an acid-based cleaner to prevent hard water stains from accumulating.
  2. Monthly Maintenance:
    • If you reside in a hard water area, enhance your cleaning routine by using the baking soda and vinegar method twice a month to keep stains in check.
  3. Install a Water Softening System:
    • Consider installing a water softening system in your home’s water supply lines to reduce mineral content and prevent stains.
  4. Upgrade Rusty Plumbing Pipes:
    • Address rusty plumbing pipes to prevent the introduction of iron into the water, which can contribute to hard water stains.

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