What is of course ironic is that although toilets are meant to keep our homes clean, they are also some of the dirtiest things around. One of the things that you might notice in your toilet is a brown or yellow ring that forms right above the water line in the bowl.
Yes, a brown toilet bowl ring does look very nasty, and it’s not something that you want your guests to see. Luckily there are a few good ways to remove toilet bowl rings and to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
What Is a Toilet Bowl Ring Made Of?
Alright, so in order to get rid of that toilet bowl ring, it is probably important for you to know what that ring is made up of in the first place. So why does that brown ring form right about the water level in the bowl?
Well, one of the main causes of this brown ring forming in your toilet bowl is hard water or excessive iron amounts in your pipes. In other words, the iron in your pipes and in the water react with the oxygen in the air, thus creating what we know as rust. Yes, that is right, those brown rings in your toilet could just be rust.
Another cause of those brown rings forming in your toilet is due to left behind waste. If your toilet does not flush right, and especially if your waist is very greasy and oily, then it is going to have an easy time adhering to the porcelain above the water. Yes, that is right, those brown rings can be exactly what you think they are.
Yet another cause of those brown rings in your toilet is mold and bacteria. Organisms such as bacteria and fungi can build up around the toilet bowl. If toilets are not used often and are not often flushed, as well as if they have a very rough surface because the porcelain or enamel has been rubbed away, it can allow mold and fungi to easily take hold. It doesn’t take much bacteria for this process to start.
7 Ways to Remove a Toilet Bowl Ring
The good thing about toilet bowl rings is that they’re actually quite easy to remove, and moreover, there are various methods for doing so.
We are going to start with the simplest and easiest solution, and if that doesn’t work then you can always try the following methods. In other words, use the first method on the list, and if that doesn’t work, move on to the next one, and so on and so forth.
1. Using a Scrubbing Brush
The first thing that you should try doing to remove that ring in your toilet bowl is to use the toilet scrubbing brush that you have sitting beside your toilet. Now, chances are that you have already tried this, but if you haven’t, then you may as well because it’s totally free. Put some elbow grease into it and start scrubbing away. If the stains aren’t too severe, chances are that you can probably remove a good bit of them just by doing so.
2. Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great natural cleaner, so if you don’t want to resort to using dangerous chemicals just yet, then using baking soda is a great way to go. All you want to do here is to mix enough water with baking soda to make a very thick paste.
Apply that thick paste to the inside of the toilet bowl to everywhere that ring is present. Let this baking soda slurry sit on the ring for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes and then use your scrubbing brush to scrub away the stains.
3. Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
If the baking soda and water slurry alone was not enough to remove the ring from your toilet bowl, then you could always try using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. For those of you who don’t know, when you mix baking soda and vinegar, it creates a chemical reaction that results in the creation of a lot of oxygen.
This oxygenation power is very good at removing a variety of stains, which is why oxygenating laundry detergents are used for washing heavily stained clothes.
Spread a bunch of baking soda all over the inside of the toilet bowl, wherever the ring is present, and then pour a bunch of vinegar onto it. You will notice a fizzy reaction occurring. Let this continue until the fizzing stops and then scrub it away using a brush.
4. Using Toilet Cleaner
OK, so if none of those natural options worked to remove the ring from the toilet bowl, then your next best bet is to use a regular toilet cleaner. These generally contain bleach, and bleach is great at removing a variety of bacteria. If bacteria are what is causing stains, then this should work just fine. Just apply the cleaner such as you would to any other surface, let it sit for a little while, and then scrub it away.
5. Using Bleach
OK, so what you need to be aware of here is that bleach works really well at removing toilet rings that are caused by bacteria and mold, but it won’t remove those stains caused by hard water and may actually make hard water stains even worse.
Now, the official recommendation here is that you don’t actually use pure bleach, but rather use a bleach-containing cleaner.
With that being said, if you don’t have any cleaner on hand, but you do have a bottle of bleach, then this is always a solution. Simply pour a little bit of bleach into the toilet bowl and then swish it around so that it covers the whole surface, let it sit for a little while, then scrub it away, and follow that up with a good flush or two.
6. Using a Toilet Pumice Stone
No, here we are not talking about those rock-hard pumice stones that you use to scrape away dead skin from your feet, but rather about special pumice stones that are a bit softer, and specially designed for these exact kinds of cleaning applications. All you have to do is to take that pumice and scrub the stains away. If the stains are very stubborn, you can always combine any of the above methods with this one.
7. Using CLR
CLR is a special product that stands for Calcium, Lime, and Rust, so if the ring in your toilet is caused by rust, and nothing else has worked to remove the ring up until now, then your only real solution may be to use CLR. This stuff will dissolve hard water and other buildups in mere seconds, and even better is the fact that it is septic safe and non-toxic too, although it’s certainly not cheap.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks
Before you go, here are a couple more tips to keep in mind:
- Do not use bleach to try to remove hard water buildups, as it will only make the situation worse.
- The best way to stop toilet bowl rings from occurring is to employ a proper maintenance and cleaning routine. Regularly cleaning your toilet with a regular toilet cleaner chemical will be enough to prevent this from occurring.
There you have it folks, everything you need to know about it about why those brown rings form in your toilet and how to remove them.