What Is the Process to Remove Hard Water Stains from the Toilet?

Stains caused by hard water don't have to be an issue. With our professional advice, you can learn how to remove hard water stains from toilet tanks, bowls, and more! 

You're one of the 85% of US families with water spots if your toilet bowl appears filthy within a few days after a thorough wash and your dishes have stains once they dry. While the visible stain is not harmful, it is unsightly and unwelcome. And you want to learn how to effectively and safely remove hard water stains from the toilet.

remove hard water stains from toilet

To help your toilet surfaces remain immaculate and guest-friendly, we'll show you how to remove hard water stains from the toilet bowl and tank.

"Hardness" refers to the concentration of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. Water absorbs minerals as it passes through the layers of rock. Your water gets harder the longer it interacts with rocks and absorbs these minerals. With this introduction, here are some expert-recommended do-it-yourself projects to get rid of toilet hard water stains:

  1.  Borax

Borax is a wonderful treatment for water stains in your toilet bowl. Mineral stains and dirt can be easily removed with this strong cleaning solution.


  • Borax
  • Toilet brush
  • Vinegar (optional)


  • Pour 1/2 to 2/3 cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl.
  • Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If you are treating extreme hard water stains, let it sit for an hour or longer.
  • Use the toilet brush to gently clean the toilet, attempting to remove as many loose minerals as possible.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Borax to the toilet. This should be lightly sprinkled all over the toilet bowl to eliminate all the stains. (If you are not using vinegar, start here.)
  • Scrub a little with the toilet brush.
  • As long as possible, let the borax sit in the toilet. The best is overnight.
  • Ensure all the stains are removed by giving the toilet one last thorough cleaning.
  • Flush.
  1. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are two of the most useful natural cleansers in your cupboard. The mix is excellent for removing hard water stains from your toilet and cleaning your stove, floors, and other surfaces. We call it the best hard water spot remover.


  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Toilet brush
  • Measuring cup


  • Pour vinegar into the toilet bowl, covering the whole bowl, paying special attention to the areas with rust stains.
  • For ten minutes, let the vinegar rest in the bathroom.
  • Pour a cup of baking soda.
  • After adding the baking soda, add one more cup of vinegar.
  • Give the two 10 to 15 minutes to fizzle in the restroom.
  • To remove the water stains, use a toilet brush.
  • If stains persist, repeat the process and let the solution soak for longer.
  • Flush!
  1. Commercial Cleaners

There are various solutions available if you wish to hire a commercial cleaner to remove the stains from your toilet.

  • On Good Housekeeping's list of the "best toilet bowl cleaners to speed up this nasty task" Scrubbing Bubbles Power Stain Destroyer came in at number one.
  • Additionally, Lime-A-Way Liquid Toilet Bowl Cleaner received several honours, including being named a top selection by Big Deal HQ.
  • When using a professional cleaner, you normally need to spray the cleaner all over the bowl and wait the recommended time before cleaning. Care should be taken because some of these cleansers damage the skin.
  1. Stubborn Stains

Don't give up if conventional cleansers and alternative remedies are insufficient. For those difficult water stains that cleaning agents can't seem to get rid of, a pumice stone or fine-grit sandpaper can be quite effective. To avoid scratching the porcelain on your toilet, use fine or extra-fine grain sandpaper if you must use sandpaper. In this way, you can remove hard water stains from the toilet.

hard water spot remover
  1. Pumice Stone Instructions

After employing one of the above mentioned techniques, any lingering stains can be scrubbed away using a pumice stone, or sandpaper.

  • Scrub the discoloration using a pumice stone, ideally one on a stick.
  • Scrub the water streaks all around the bowl.
  • Flushing can assist in eliminating any debris at various intervals.
  • Swirl the water around with a toilet brush to give it one last flush.
  1. Fine Steel Wool

Even while products containing abrasives are unquestionably helpful, you must be careful to avoid scratching the toilet bowl to remove those hard water stains. The Spruce advises using 0000-grade steel wool, the finest quality if none of your concoctions or cleaning solutions was successful. You may then use your favourite cleaning product with the steel wool providing additional elbow grease to finish the job—the steel wool acts as a hard water spot remover.

  1. Denture Cleaning Tablets

You might want to try this novel suggestion from Food52 - denture pills — if you've exhausted all the traditional techniques for removing hard water stains. You only need to put a few denture pills into your toilet bowl, let them soak overnight, and then clean away the loosened hard water stains to use this technique. This is a budget-friendly strategy that also doesn't take a lot of work because denture pills are often affordable.

  1. Lemons

Acidity is a powerful instrument to combat dirt and build-up, which is why natural ingredients like vinegar are efficient. This lemon tip from Tips Bulletin also works very well. It's also a fantastic option for people who like using more natural cleaners.

To use a lemon as a scrubber, cut it in half and utilise the exposed half with all the acidic fluids. As a bonus, those citrus aromas will make your bathroom smell fresh when you finish cleaning.

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Bottom Line

We all want to own a clean and shiny bathroom with a spotless toilet. However, hard water stains and limescale in the toilet bowl can make your whole bathroom look and smell bad. 

Using the advice above, you can remove hard water stains from the toilet with a natural or commercial hard water spot remover.  

But the best way to stop your rust stain trauma is to prevent rust from coming back. Pulitamin Magic Eco balls Sachet is a long lasting and easy to install green solution that keeps rust away from your entire toilet system and toilet bowl with every flush.