The Experts Share their Best Tips for Cleaning Toilet Bowl Stains

Cleaning toilet bowl stains

There’s a reason many people anecdotally refer to the toilet as “the throne.” The toilet is the most used seat in the house. For this reason, you need to ensure that you clean your toilet regularly. Many don’t like cleaning the toilet, particularly when it comes to cleaning toilet bowl stains. They think it’s hard work and “dirty.” But with this article we want to share with you some ways to keep your toilet sparkling and germ free.

With this article we share with you some expert tips on cleaning toilet bowl stains. If you follow these tips you can keep your toilet clean quickly and easily.

Cleaning Toilet Bowl Stains

What causes toilet bowl stains?

Before going into how to clean toilet bowl stains, it’s important to understand what causes the stains. There are a number of factors that cause the stains. By understanding the causes, it’s easier to work out what the solution is.

Here some of the most common causes:


If you have pipe corrosion or iron in your water supply, you may notice that your toilet bowl has dark brown or red stains. These stains can be unsightly, especially against a white porcelain toilet bowl. If you have stains like this, then it’s time to contact a plumber to make sure that the source of the problem is fixed so that you don’t have to continuously treat the stains.


Mould leads to a combination of dark green or black spots and an unpleasant odour. Mould is dangerous, so if you notice it you should make amends immediately. Ignoring mould will lead to this fungi multiplying and can cause health problems. Is important to treat the causes of mould such as in adequate ventilation in order to prevent this issue in future. We’ve got another article specifically about how to remove mould naturally.


Calcium stains are yellow in colour and often caused by a hard water supply. The minerals in hard water build up over time. It’s important to deal with calcium build up as soon as it is noticed. If you let the build up grow too much you may end up with bigger problems including blocked pipes.

Blue Stain

If you notice blue stains this is usually a result of acidic water that is copper-rich. A once-off clean will usually not resolve these stains and you will have to clean your toilet more regularly. You may need to consult with a plumber if you think the problem seems over the top.

Now that we have covered the types of stains you may notice, here is a recommended step by step process to follow to ensure your toilet sparkles.

How to clean toilet bowl stains

Step 1 – Gather your supplies and have them within reach

The first thing you want to do is ensure that you have the right supplies within reach. You may want to create a toilet cleaning bucket. The items you want to have in the bucket include disinfectant spray and wipes,  paper towel, gloves (make sure they are long armed so you don’t get any unfortunate run off), your cleaning solution (either DIY or store bought), a toilet brush, and a pumice stone. 

Step 2 – Leave a cleaning solution to soak

The first step in cleaning toilet bowl stains is often leaving your cleaning solution to soak. You have a number of options for cleaning solutions. 

You could use white vinegar and baking soda. Alternatively you could leave a can of coke in the toilet bowl and let the acid start to work it’s magic with the acid starting to remove stubborn stains. Alternatively you may decide to use a commercially made toilet bowl cleaner. 

Let’s look at each of the alternative cleaning options in more detail.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution – If you want a natural solution for cleaning toilet bowl stains, made with vinegar and baking soda, start with the vinegar. Pour a cup in your bowl and swirl it around with the toilet brush. Then add 1 cup of baking soda and another cup of vinegar. Leave to soak for up to 30 minutes. 

clean hard water stains toilet

Source: The Spruce

Coke/Cola – You might think it’s an old wives tale but it really works for cleaning toilet bowl stains. Pour a can of coke (e.g. Coca Cola) into your toilet bowl and make sure you coat the whole bowl. Whilst most of the coke will drain down into the water, it will leave an acidic residue on the bowl as well. You need to leave the coke in your toilet bowl for at least an hour, overnight is better. You then flush away the residue and move to the next step.

If you are using a commercial grade product, make sure you follow the instructions that are on the packet.


Step 3 – Clean the outside of the bowl & make it sparkle

Yes, you may notice any stains inside the bowl but don’t forget to also focus on the outside of the bowl. It’s just as worthy of attention. Grab your disinfectant spray and wipes from the bucket and ensure every area is given a liberal dose of disinfectant. You need to get all the way around the bowl, as well as the wall and floors around the toilet. Leave the spray for a few minutes and then wipe clean. 

Step 4 – Start scrubbing

Once you have left your cleaning solution in your toilet bowl to soak (the longer the better) it’s time to get out your toilet brush again and get scrubbing. You need to spend some time here. You need to make sure that you get into all the nooks in your bowl. You need to get right down into the U-bend. Then you should flush away the toilet cleaning solution. If there are more stubborn stains you need to remove, this is when you bring in the pumice stone. 

If you find that, after flushing the toilet, there are still stains in the bowl, then you will either need to scrub harder or find a stronger cleaning solution. If that doesn’t work you may want to consult a plumber to make sure there is no physical damage to your toilet.

How often should I clean my toilet?

We know. We get it. We understand. Cleaning your toilet is not a particularly appealing chore. It is something that most people will put off if at all possible. But, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes to clean your toilet each time. 

There are other reasons you should clean your toilet often. Cleaning your toilet not only removes stains but it can remove bacteria. Lastly, it helps to ensure that the risk of it building up in the future is minimised.

If someone in your house is sick you should clean your toilet daily or every couple of days.  If not, cleaning your toilet once every couple of weeks should suffice. Just remember you should also clean and disinfect your toilet brush and/or pumice stone every time you clean your toilet.

Depending on the shape of your toilet brush holder, placing toilet bowl disinfectant in the brush holder and allowing your brush and pumice stone to soak in the holder will be an effective way to clean them. You can drape them over your toilet bowl allowing them to drip dry into the bowl after they have soaked for some time. We have some more tips about how to do this easily in this article – 12 tips from professional cleaners.

Safety Tips

You will generally have less safety problems if you use natural products when cleaning toilet bowl stains but sometimes, when either dealing with hard to remove stains or killing viruses when a household member is sick, stronger chemical solutions may be needed. If you are using these stronger chemical solutions in your toilet, then please follow these safety precautions.

1. Always wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from harsh chemicals that can burn you. Wearing gloves also minimises the chance of you being exposed to bacteria or viruses.

2. You need to ensure that your bathroom or toilet area is well ventilated to avoid inhaling potent fumes. If you have a window make sure it is open. If no windows, make sure that the door is open at the very least. We also suggest leaving the extractor fan on.

3. Don’t mix chemical solutions together and always follow manufacturer instructions. If you mix chemical solutions together you could end up creating dangerous toxic fumes. Some cleaning solutions could also cause damage if combined with harsh scrubbing.

Some Final Advice

If you are trying a new toilet bowl cleaning solution we recommend doing a spot test in a non visible area before trying to clean the whole bowl. 

Replace your toilet brush regularly. If you use a dirty brush you’ll get dirty results. Clean the toilet brush holder regularly. 

There you have it. If you follow the tips process mentioned above for cleaning toilet bowl  stains you will find that you have a toilet that is sparkling white and that your family and household reduces their risk of catching a virus. The more often you clean your toilet the easier it becomes to maintain that cleanliness. 

If you have had a read through this and decided that it’s all too hard we can still help. We’d love for you to get in touch for a no-obligation quote on cleaning – and how ensuring your toilet bowl maintains a sparkling shine will form part of this regular cleaning.

Book a home cleaning service or end of lease cleaner online instantly!

Book a home cleaning service or end of lease cleaner online instantly!

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