Porcelain Toilet Stains

porcelain toilet mineral depositsPorcelain is porous and due to this factor, it is extremely prone to stains. Many cleaning products on the market such as freshening tablets and chemical based cleansers can leave stains in the bowl, as well as hard water stains. Commercial cleaners do not completely clean all types of stains to maintain a porcelain toilet. Therefore, the task of cleaning a porcelain toilet is a dreaded chore. To properly maintain the surface of a porcelain toilet, it is first necessary to identify what the stain is and then alter the cleaning accordingly.

Mineral Deposits

Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as iron and copper and can stain the bowl in a short amount of time if not treated properly. Although hard water is not considered a health hazard, it is tough on porcelain toilet bowls. Hard water can leave rust colored stains around the bowl that are difficult to clean. If the hard water contains manganese, the stains will be brown or black in nature and both are best treated with acidic cleaners. One tip to cleaning these stains is to create a paste of lemon juice and borax and apply the paste on the bowl stain and then allow it to dry. Scrubbing the area with a brush recommended for use with porcelain and then rinsing the paste should remove the unsightly stains.

Lime Deposits

Calcium and magnesium create the lime scale which is often chalky and white in appearance. To eliminate this particular stain drain as much water from the bowl as possible. Using borax and white vinegar in equal parts poured into the toilet bowl allowing for a few hours to penetrate the stain then proceed to scrubbing to remove the lime deposit from the bowl.

Rust Deposits

Many homes that have wells have water that contains a higher amount of iron which will also cause staining to a porcelain toilet in the form of rust characterized by is orange to reddish color. Choosing a cleaner that contains oxalic acid will effectively remove this unsightly stain from a porcelain toilet bowl without damage to the porcelain. Because of its strength, oxalic acid purchased undiluted should be mixed with 10 parts water before applying to the stain.


Vinegar is considered the all purpose cleaner because of its acidic quality and its effectiveness in breaking through stubborn stains. Many homeowners will pour undiluted vinegar into the toilet bowl and let stand for up to five minutes before scrubbing the bowl. Once completed, flushing will remove the water and wash the stain away.


A low PH balance in water produces acidic water that can cause stains to the porcelain toilet bowl which will range in color between blue and green. Ammonia is a great product to use to remove these stains and should be used with extreme care due to the toxic nature of its fumes. Mix with equal parts of water and clean the bowl making sure to flush the toilet a several times to clear the mixture from the bowl and pipes.

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