How to Clean Brown Stains in Bottom of Toilet Bowl

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Your toilet bowl is a veritable home for germs and bacteria, and it is absolutely essential that you clean it regularly. When you haven’t cleaned your toilet bowl in a long time, you start to notice brown stains develop at the bottom of your toilet bowl.

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Where Do Brown Stains in Your Toilet Bowl Come From?

Before we get to the actual removal of the brown stain in the bottom of the toilet bowl, it pays to understand what these stains are and where exactly they come from. They aren’t formed because of fecal matter as per common misconceptions actually. In reality, the formation of these stains has a lot to do with the soft and hard water circulating in your bathroom.

When rainwater passes through soft rocks, it tends to pick up various minerals such as chalk, lime, calcium, and magnesium. This is a gradual but relentless process. As the rainwater accumulates enough such minerals, it transforms into hard water. 

Soft water, on the other hand, has much lower levels of various dissolved minerals and chemicals. Sodium is the only exception to this rule as it can be found generously in soft water. 

Despite hard water containing most of the essential minerals, people do not prefer using it in their bathrooms. This is because the mineral buildup in the hard water can be hard on the various fixtures in your bathroom, including the taps and toilets.

Buildup of hard water on such surfaces will lead to the creation of the titular brown stains. Yes, the awful brown ring around your toilet bowl is the result of hard water build up and nothing else.

The buildup doesn’t begin in the brown shade though. The limescale in hard water first appears as a white and powdery layer. Over time, the limescale begins to start changing color with continued hard water buildup. It goes from white, to grayish, to green, and finally to everyone’s least favorite color — brown. 

This discoloration primarily occurs because of manganese or iron in the water that reacts with the limescale to change its color over time.

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How to Get Rid of Brown Stain in Bottom of Toilet Bowl

Now that you know what causes the dreaded brown stain in your toilet bowl, we can discuss the steps you need to take to eliminate it entirely. There are many methods to do this, and we discuss the best options in the section below.

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Use an Acidic Toilet Stain Remover

Any type of acidic cleaner will work better on removing toilet stains than other weaker variants. If you don’t have any store-bought stain removers, you can always make a DIY paste with vinegar and salt.

  1. Use either stain remover on the brown sections of the toilet bow and allow it to sit for several hours. 
  2. Scrub the region with a hard-bristle brush
  3. Rinse and flush

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Use an Acidic Cleaner

If you don’t have the time to spare to let the stain remover sit on the toilet for several hours, you can scrub the stain away with an acidic cleaner. The best ones contain a diluted concentration of muriatic acid that works well on stains. Make sure to avoid bleach cleaners at all cost.

Simply apply the acidic cleaner in the brown sections and scrub thoroughly with a hard-bristle brush. This is the most rigorous method but it gets the job done quickly.

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Use Power Pumice

Power pumice is the ultimate enemy of brown toilet bowl stains. It's usually made of volcanic pumice and is gentle enough to not leave any scratches on your bowl. Use power pumice with water to reduce the risk of scratches. You can combine this tool with any of the cleaning agents mentioned on this list for maximum effectiveness.

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Use Coca-Cola

Using just Coca-Cola to clean your toilet bowl has been suggested by a lot of DIY websites, but trust us when we tell you that just using Coca-Cola will not do the trick. 

To make the beverage truly effective on the brown stains, you will need to create a mixture with baking soda. This unorthodox combination is a potent toilet cleaner!

  1. Begin by applying a few spoons of baking soda at the bottom of the toilet
  2. Pour half a cup of Coca-Cola into the brown parts and allow the two ingredients to mix and foam
  3. Let the mix to sit for a few hours to really work its magic
  4. Once you notice that all the brown sections at the bottom of the bowl have been removed, you can rinse the toilet clean

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Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

You may have come across the combination of baking soda and vinegar in other tutorials before, and for good reason. This is a near-unbeatable mix when it comes to removing the brown stains in your toilet bow. To put them to work, follow these steps:

  1. Add any cleaning agent to your toilet brush and rub it across the brown sections of the bowl. Scrub thoroughly 
  2. Let it sit for half an hour before you rinse it clean
  3. Pour 250 ml of vinegar in the infected parts of the bowl
  4. Add 200 grams of baking soda and another 250 ml of vinegar
  5. Bubbles will begin to form at this point and this is natural
  6. Allow it to sit for five minutes before using a scrub to remove the stains
  7. Flush the toilet

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Use Sandpaper

Using sandpaper to remove the stains from your toilet bowl can be extremely effective. Unfortunately, you will have to get up close and personal with the stain if you intend on using this method. 

The sandpaper you’ll need for this process will need to be both fine grain and medium quality. You can find this variant in most home improvement stores. The medium grain version will help to clean up 90% of the stain, while the fine grain can be used for the touch up and polishing of the bowl.

Follow these steps to clean your toilet bowl with sandpaper:

  1. Use the medium sandpaper and gently rub the stain with it
  2. Using excessive force will scratch your bowl, so be careful with the pressure you use. Start soft and build up force as you progress
  3. Once you remove a majority of the stains with the medium sandpaper, you can buff the remainder of the stain away using the fine grain paper
  4. Clean your toilet and flush
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Brown be Gone

We are certain that the options presented in the section above will help you remove those nasty brown stains from the bottom of your toilet bowl entirely. Now that you know that hard water buildup causes the stains to appear in the first place, you can prevent this from happening again by eliminating moisture from your toilet bowl periodically.

Book an appointment today and we can find you a schedule that fits into your busy day. We offer home cleaning services to make your home at its top condition.

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