How to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring Properly: 9 Ways You Don’t Know

How to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Hard water can quickly build up on faucets, showers, sinks, and toilets and over time can leave rust and scale stains that are very unsightly and often extremely difficult to clean the toilet bowl ring. Nowhere is this more problematic than in a toilet, which sees a lot of use and holds standing water constantly. While there are many commercial cleaning products that can remove hard water stains in the toilet, several household products can be just as effective and will rid your bowl of the dreaded ring without harsh chemicals.

1. Use Magic Eraser to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Use Magic Eraser to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Simply cut a small piece of your Magic Eraser from the scrub pad and place it in the bowl overnight. Let it float, it doesn’t need to be submerged. In the morning you will find that most of the toilet bowl stains will be removed.

The downside to this method is that you have to fish out the Magic Eraser as you cannot flush it. Luckily, you only have to do this once.

Once you get the toilet bowl stains cleaned, you can place a piece of Magic Eraser in your toilet tank. Then every time you flush, you will clean your toilet bowl ring automatically. Just be aware of the placement of the piece of Magic Eraser in the tank.

If you don’t place it near the side of the tank, there is a chance it gets caught under the flapper, causing your toilet to constantly run. A solution to this problem is to secure it to the side of the tank so that you don’t have to worry about it getting caught.

Also Read: How to Clean Shower Curtains with Bleach: 11 Methods 2019

2. Use Coke to Clean A toilet bowl ring

Use Coke to Clean A toilet bowl ring

Take a can of cola soda (it doesn’t have to be name brand cola, a store brand version works just as effectively) and pour it into your toilet bowl.
Just let the cola sit for about an hour before you flush. The acid in the soda will work to remove stains and limescale.

The nice thing about this option is there is no scrubbing. Of course, if your stain is really stubborn, you might have to get the brush out and scrub, but many times you won’t have to go this route.

3. Use Alka Seltzer to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Use Alka Seltzer to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

This trick is probably the easiest on the list. All you have to do is drop two Alka Seltzer tabs in your toilet tank and/or bowl and let them dissolve. The effervescence and citric acid work to keep your tank fresh.

I would suggest you start off by placing the tabs in your bowl where the rings are and letting the Alka Seltzer work its magic there first. As with cola, in some cases, you might have to scrub really stubborn rings.

Once the stain is removed though, you can place the tabs in the tank so that when you flush, you have the Alka Seltzer working for you.

4. Use Denture Cleaning Tabs to Clean toilet bowl ring

The reason you might want to use denture cleaning tabs instead of Alka Seltzer is that the denture tabs are less harsh.

5. Use The Pumie to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Use The Pumie to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

The Pumie is a pumice stone cleaner for your toilet. You might have heard of or even used a pumice stone to scrub away dead skin on your feet.The key is to submerge the pumice stone into the water. This will soften the stone so that it doesn’t scratch.

Well, this is the same thing, only with a handle for using on your toilet. Now, this one does require some manual labor in the form of scrubbing, but everyone I know swears by this thing.

Grab a pumice stone. Pumice stones are known for their ability to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. If you have one of these objects lying around, it can do wonders for your toilet bowl! You can also purchase a pumice stone affixed to a stick–known as a Pumie–created for this very purpose.

If you’ll be using a traditional pumice stone, you will need to submerge your hands in water, and you may want to wear rubber gloves and a plastic apron.

Submerge the stone in water. Before you begin scrubbing your toilet, it is important to soften the pumice stone in water. Place the stone inside your toilet bowl and wait 15 minutes.

Rub any toilet rings with the stone. Once the stone has softened a bit, simply rub it against the rings in your toilet. The pumice stone acts almost like a pencil eraser, removing hard water rings before your eyes! When you are finished, give your toilet a flush.

Also Read: How to Remove Rust Stains From A Bathtub

6. Using Vinegar to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Using Vinegar to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

It seems like vinegar is the magic potion that cleans everything. But what about toilet bowl rings? Yes, you can clean toilet bowl rings with vinegar.
To clean your toilet, simply add 1/2 cup vinegar to the toilet bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes then flush. This will work for most basic stains. But for stubborn stains or toilet bowl stains from hard water, you should let the vinegar in the bowl for up to an hour. And you might have to scrub a little too.

In a few cases, vinegar alone won’t work. Luckily there are a couple more options for you to try.

7. Vinegar With Baking Soda to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

A stronger solution than vinegar alone is to clean your toilet stains with vinegar and baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda in your toilet bowl. Baking soda is an effective, natural, and non-abrasive cleanser that can safely remove the rings in your toilet. Simply open a box of baking soda, and sprinkle a generous amount around the bowl of your toilet.

Wait 1 hour (or longer). Allow the baking soda to begin breaking down your hard water stains by giving it some time to sit. Set a timer, and let the baking soda sit for at least 1 hour. While you wait, place some diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Moisten the baking soda with vinegar spray. Used together, vinegar and baking soda create a powerhouse of natural cleansing. Take your spray bottle of vinegar and spray the inside of your toilet bowl. Use only a small amount of vinegar at a time, and add more as needed.

Scrub the toilet bowl vigorously. Using a toilet brush, vigorously scrub away your rings. If it is left to sit in your toilet system for too long, vinegar can potentially cause damage to your toilet’s inner-workings. In order to prevent this, be sure to flush your toilet at least three times after your scrubbing is done.

You will want to close the toilet lid as the mixture is going to foam. It won’t overflow your toilet, but the foaming and fizzing will have some water droplets fly out of the toilet.


Pour about 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and swish it around with a toilet brush. Let it sit for about 1 minute.

Add about 1 cup of baking soda to the toilet bowl, then add another 1 to 2 cups of vinegar. This will create a fizzing action. Let the solution sit for about 10 minutes.

Use a toilet brush to swish the solution around the bowl, making sure to get the solution onto any stains that are above the waterline. Don’t flush the toilet.

Let the vinegar and soda solution sit for up to 30 minutes, swishing one or two more times until the stain is gone. If any stain remains, scrub it with the toilet brush or a stiff-bristled nylon brush. Flush the toilet to rinse.

Tip: While you have the baking soda and vinegar out, use them to give the bathroom sink drain a boost with some homemade drain cleaner.
8 Lemon Kool-Aid

Apply lemon Kool-aid to the toilet bowl. Open a small package of lemon Kool-aid. Sprinkle the Kool-aid powder all over your toilet bowl, making sure it covers the rings.

Wait 1 hour. Once you have successfully applied the Kool-aid powder, set a timer for 1 hour. Make sure that no one in your household uses the toilet during this time.

Scrub your toilet. Using a toilet brush, scrub the lemon Kool-aid into your toilet bowl. Work in a circular motion, paying particular attention to the rings. When you are done, flush the toilet.

8. Dryer Sheets to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Save your old dryer sheets. Another effective tool for removing the rings in your toilet is a regular dryer sheet. In fact, used dryer sheets work a bit better than new ones! After you remove the clothes from your dryer, retain your used dryer sheets.

Wear rubber gloves. This method for removing toilet bowl rings involves placing your hands into the toilet water. In order to avoid contact with germs, you want to wear rubber gloves.

Dryer Sheets to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Scrub your toilet. Rub the dryer sheet against the rings in your toilet and watch them vanish. When you are finished, give your toilet a flush. Dryer sheets can be used for cleaning your sink, tub, shower and any other surfaces in your bathroom, as well.

9. Borax and Vinegar to Clean A Toilet Bowl Ring

Borax is a great multi-purpose cleaning product that can be effectively used to clean hard water stains in the toilet and other plumbing fixtures.

  • Pour 1/4 cup of Borax into the toilet bowl and swish it around with a toilet brush.
  • Add 1 cup of vinegar and allow the mixture to sit in the bowl for about 20 minutes.
  • Finish by scrubbing the bowl with a toilet brush to remove the stains. Flush the toilet to rinse.


For really stubborn hard water toilet stains, try using Borax paste.

  • Shutting off the water to the toilet at the fixture shutoff valve, then flush the toilet to drain the bowl. This is necessary so that the hard water stains are not covered by water.
  • Make a paste by mixing 1/2 cup of Borax and enough vinegar to form a thick paste.
  • Spread the paste immediately onto the hard water stains in the toilet so they are completely covered by paste. The Borax will harden quickly so don’t add the vinegar until you are ready to apply the paste.
  • Allow the paste to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the paste and stains by scrubbing with a stiff-bristled nylon brush. Flush the toilet to rinse.

How to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Toilet

  • Don’t use apple cider vinegar, use white distilled vinegar. The brown color could stain your toilet. Sure, it will clean just as well. But you don’t want to have to worry about staining.
  • Spray some white vinegar inside the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. I usually let it work for at least 10 minutes. You can also let it sit for several hours or even overnight.
  • You can even just pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl’s water and let it sit. This is especially effective if there is a toilet ring at water height. I’ve done this when we leave the house for a while.
  • When it comes time to scrub your toilet, use a toilet brush dipped in the clean toilet bowl water. Then start scrubbing. You will be surprised at how well the grimy mess comes off after soaking in vinegar.
  • Still got some stubborn stains? Try the vinegar one more time. If it still doesn’t work, then consider a hydrogen peroxide-based bleach or a non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner product (this is the one that I use when I don’t use vinegar).
  • The acidity in vinegar kills germs, bacteria and mold on contact. Vinegar can be used to clean so many things, including using vinegar to clean a showerhead and even using vinegar to kill weeds outdoors.

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