How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring Stains

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Toilets have the grossest, but necessary, jobs in the household. Nobody wants to use a filthy toilet, so when you see toilet bowl stains, it’s an off putting scenario. Figuring out what causes these stains is one thing, but getting rid of them is a challenging task, especially for deep-seated mineral stains from hard water. 

Frequent cleaning is a must to get rid of toilet ring stains, but when you’re already faced with the problem, this guide is here to help walk you through clearing out those rings from toilet bowls. Follow our guides below on how to get rid of toilet bowl rings, and how to prevent them in the future so you can keep a pristine bathroom!

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What Causes Toilet Ring Stains?

Mineral Deposits

Seeing those brown or yellow rings around the toilet bowl? It’s not what you think! Those stains are common in most toilets, which is why daily sanitizing is a must, even for unused toilets. Toilet stains can be due to a multitude of factors, but the most common cause of toilet rings is mineral deposits from hard water.

Hard water stains can present as toilet rings, building up minerals on where the water in the bowl ends, leaving behind trace amounts of minerals over time. When the toilet bowl is not properly cleaned, and is not frequently scrubbed, then mineral deposits can start to calcify and form a brown, yellow, or greenish stain around the toilet bowl. 

Grime Buildup

Due to the nature of the toilet, grime can easily build up in and around the toilet bowl. Body waste may contain minerals depending on the diet, and these minerals can cause staining around the toilet bowl. General grime can also create a toilet ring, but cleaning and scrubbing can get these out if a jiffy.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew love any moist area with lots of organic matter to feed on. The toilet is like prime real estate for mold and mildew spores, as they cling onto the surface of the toilet bowl, creating a fuzzy or slimy ring around the toilet. 

Algae Growth

Algae grows in wet, undisturbed areas that get a steady supply of sunlight. Unused toilets can sometimes get light that shines through the windows and doors, and the undisturbed water hosts a ton of microorganisms that algae can feed on. Any green, moss-like ring around your toilet might just be algae growth, which is fairly easy to get rid of. 

Bacteria Colonies

Is your toilet turning pink or getting a pink ring? A pink ring with an orange, or reddish hue in your toilet bowl indicates bacterial growth. Similarly to pink mold, these bacteria colonies create rings around moist areas like the toilet bowl and the toilet rim.

Gloved hand scrubbing toilet with sponge
Scrubbing away stains is a surefire way to clear your toilet.

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How to Get Rid of Toilet Bowl Ring Stains

While a number of toilet bowl cleaner solutions are available on the market, not all can take proper care of your toilet material, and many harsh solutions can scratch or etch the surface of your toilet. Our DIY home solutions are safe, effective, and work to keep your toilet clean. 


One of the best uses for distilled white vinegar is for cleaning surfaces, which is also true for cleaning toilet bowl rings. Vinegar’s acidic properties dissolves the hard water stains and mineral deposits that commonly form rings. Vinegar also kills off mold, algae, and bacteria colonies.

The best way to utilize the full effect of vinegar is to first cut the water supply and drain the toilet water. This will allow the vinegar to work at full capacity, and at maximum acidity. Use a spray bottle to accurately apply the vinegar onto your toilet, focusing on where the rings are located, and underneath the rim of the toilet seat. 

Allow the vinegar to sit for 10-20 minutes, then scrub away the stains using a toilet brush. Bring the water back and flush the toilet to clear off any remaining residue. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Adding bicarbonate soda to your vinegar spray makes a cleaning solution that works faster and stronger. Vinegar and baking soda is a known deodorizer too, which neutralizes that toilet smell from unclean toilets. Simply add a cup of the powder into your vinegar spray, or directly into your toilet bowl, and let the reaction take care of those nasty rings.


For an even stronger cleaning solution, reach for liquid chlorine bleach. Bleach makes a disinfecting cleaning solution that will surely remove any stubborn stains, from mineral deposits to mold and bacteria! Simply spray down your toilet with bleach, and let it sit to get rid of that heavy stain buildup. Brush away the grime and flush to “rinse.”

You can use the same solution to clean the exterior of the toilet too! Diluted bleach can also be used to clean other surfaces of your bathroom, and removes stains from grout and tiles. 

Denture Cleaning Tablets

Your grandfather’s dentures often get mucky from daily use, which is why denture cleaning tablets were invented to safely clean dentures without damaging the enamel. These tablets make a great toilet bowl cleaner, as they were made to dissolve mineral deposits. 

Drop a couple of denture tablets into the toilet water, and let sit for an hour. Scrub the grime away, and flush the toilet to rinse. Deep stains may need another application to completely dissolve.


Need an easy, contactless fix for those unsightly stains? A litre or two of Coca-cola does the trick! This carbonated drink surprisingly cleans muck and grime off of toilets, and clears away toilet ring stains formed by dissolved minerals. The drink works as a cleaner, as it contains phosphoric and citric acid, albeit in small amounts.

Pour a litre or two of Coca-cola into your toilet, and let it sit overnight - the longer the better. The next day, take your toilet brush and scrub out those stains. Flush the toilet to “rinse,” and repeat as needed. 

Magic Eraser

A magic eraser, also known as a melamine sponge, is a hard, rock-like material that can be used to scrub stains clean, similar to a pumice stone. This product is perfect for stains that just won’t come out, even with the methods stated above. You may want to wear rubber gloves at this point, since you will need to hand-scrub your toilet using a magic eraser. 

Hand cleaning toilet bowl with toilet brush
Regular cleaning with a toilet brush and cleaner is effective at keeping rings at bay.

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How to Keep Your Toilet Bowl Clean

As a general rule, you will need to clean and sanitize your toilets everyday to keep them clean. Hard water stains can build up over a week, so doing a weekly cleaning is definitely not an option if you want to make sure that your toilet is as clean as a whistle. 

We understand that toilet cleaning is not a glamorous task, so we at Luce Home train our professional cleaners well to properly handle cleaning tasks like the bathroom, and stain removal. Check out our blog for more cleaning tips, or check out our website for the full range of services we offer.

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