Removing Mineral Deposit from the Toilet
Mineral deposits can permanently stain the toilet bowl if left unattended over a period of time. Many toilets are made from porcelain, which is an extremely porous material and mineral deposits left unattended over a long period of time can cause permanent discoloration of the bowl. Iron, magnesium, and lime are the biggest culprits and the discoloration can range from a chalky film, reddish to brown, and green to black. Here are some tips to help you remove mineral deposits.
1. After the toilet is cleaned, if the stains remain, you have a pretty good idea that it is mineral deposits. Try to remove as much of the deposits as you can manually with the toilet brush. Flush the unit to remove as much water as possible.
2. Fill the toilet bowl with enough white distilled vinegar to covering the remaining stains. Depending on how high the stains are in the bowl will determine how much vinegar you will need to reach the desired level to cover them. Leave the vinegar in the bowl overnight and make sure everyone in the household understands that the toilet is temporarily out of order. The acid in the vinegar will help loosen, if not totally dissolve, the deposits over the course of 24 hours. The next morning, use a toilet brush to clean the toilet bowl to remove the remaining deposits. If this particular method is not effective in removing all of the deposits, proceed to the next step. However, if the deposits have been cleaned, go to step 4.
3. Flush the vinegar and let the toilet bowl refill as you put on your gloves on and get a pumice stone. Get the pumice stone wet and make sure the bowl is full of water. Pumice stones are very effective for removing mineral deposits, however, it could take a good deal of time to remove the deposits. Pumice is softer than the porcelain and will not scratch the bowl when kept wet. In fact, you may notice during the scrubbing process that the pumice may crumble and the water becomes cloudy. Flush to the toilet. Keep in mind that you could be working at this for over an hour in order to remove all the deposits. Do not give up, keep working! If necessary, take a break and return to cleaning later.
4. After you have successfully removed the stains, flush the toilet again and consider it a job well done!
When dealing with mineral deposits, your first step in defense is daily maintenance in order to prevent the build up. If you find there are mineral deposits present due to lack of use, such as in vacation homes, using vinegar as your first step may do the job instead of having to use the pumice stone, which requires more effort in removing the deposits.