One of the most annoying and painstaking tasks in the world is having to clean your bathroom, particularly the toilet. The simple reality is that nobody wants to have their hands and face inside of a toilet bowl more than absolutely necessary.
With that being said, one of the things that may cause you a bit of trouble is hard water, specifically the stains left behind by it. What we’re here to do today is to explain exactly what hard water is, why hard water stains occur in toilets, and we also have a few good ways for you to prevent the in the first place.
What Are Hard Water Stains and Why Do They Form in Toilets
The simplest definition of hard water is water that has a high amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium. In other words, hard water is very high in dissolved minerals, and yes, this generally comes from nature. Water in some areas is just harder than in others.
In case you were wondering why that hard water ends up staining your toilet, there is one big reason for it, and it is because there is always water in the toilet. Whenever you go to flush the toilet, any droplets of water left behind on the bowl of the toilet, especially above the usual water level, will dry.
Once that hard water dries and the moisture has evaporated, all that will be left behind are the calcium and magnesium deposits. In this case, what you will end up seeing are white or gray colored stains.
Now, what is very important to note when it comes to hard water stains and your toilet is the fact that if they’re left for too long, they can actually become permanent and they can end up damaging various types of surfaces such as glass and porcelain.
4 Best Ways to Prevent Hard Water Stains in Your Toilet
Now that we know exactly what hard water is and why hard water stains occur in toilets, we can therefore figure out exactly how to prevent it from occurring. There are a few good ways, so let’s get to it.
1. Using a Water Softener
Perhaps the easiest way to ensure that your whole home has a soft water instead of hard water is to install a whole house water filtration system. Specifically, what you want to get here is of course a water softener system, something that removes the minerals from the water before they ever get into your pipes.
Using a whole house water softener is of course a good idea because not only will it prevent hard water buildups in your toilet, but it will also help prevent hard water buildups in your other appliances, such as your coffee machines and dishwashers.
With that being said, getting a whole house water softener is of course a fairly big investment to make, but most people would agree that it is well worth the investment due to long-term benefits, particularly when it comes to the health of pipes and appliances (and fixtures) that use water.
2. Lowering the Water Temperature
Although we really don’t want to get into the exact science of it here, the fact of the matter is that the lower the water temperature is, the lower the buildup of mineral and scale deposits there will be on your fixtures and appliances.
Minerals generally need a certain temperature to adhere to various surfaces, and if the water is too cold, then those minerals will have a hard time adhering before they get flushed down the drain. Now, this is admittedly not the number one solution to go with, but it certainly won’t hurt.
3. Using Vinegar
One of the most common, effective, and environmentally friendly ways to keep hard water stains from occurring in your toilet is to regularly clean the inside of the bowl as well as the tank with vinegar.
Even better is if you use a combination of vinegar and baking soda, because as you probably know from your science experiment days, when you mix vinegar and baking soda, a chemical reaction occurs which produces a whole lot of oxygen, and that oxygen is great for removing mineral buildups.
If you regularly scrub the inside of your toilet with a combination of baking soda and vinegar, it should loosen up the minerals enough to help flush them down the toilet rather than causing them to build up over time.
If you want to be lazy about it and you just want to undertake regular preventative measures, then you could always just pour a few cups of vinegar into your toilet tank every week or so, and this will help to keep those minerals moving.
4. Using Commercial Cleaning Products
Now, we aren’t going to get into brand names here, but with that being said, there are many commercial cleaning products that are specifically designed for this task.
There are liquids that you can pour into the toilet tank, powders that you can put into the bowl that are used for scrubbing, as well as special toilet tablets that adhere to the inside of the toilet bowl, which help to keep minerals moving.
However, what you do need to be aware of is that commercial cleaning products of this nature generally aren’t overly environmentally friendly.
Although hard water stains in a toilet can be quite a nuisance, as you can see, there are some prevention methods to keep them from building up.