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How To Get Rid Of A Toilet Ring

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Toilet Cleaning

Where we want to see rings: weddings and the planet Saturn…

Where we don’t want them? Our toilets.

Toilet bowl rings are usually caused by hard water, although in more serious cases they’re caused by bacteria or mould.

The ways to get rid of a toilet bowl ring include:

You can also take steps to prevent toilet rings from forming, because who dislikes them? Put your hands up!


What Causes Toilet Bowl Rings?

Close-up, top view, dirty unhygienic toilet bowl with lime yellow stain in the toilet.

The most common cause of toilet bowl rings is hard water!

Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and iron. The water then leaves mineral deposits in pipes, sinks, tubs – and yes, toilet bowls.

Toilet stains caused by hard water will be yellow-orange, brown, or rust-coloured (due to iron oxidation).

Prolonged exposure to urine may cause a yellow staining in a ring form.

A pink ring in toilet is usually caused by Serratia marcescens, a type of bacteria. It thrives in moist environments, especially if you have a chlorine filter or low-chlorine water.

However, if you have a green or black ring in your toilet bowl, that’s a sign of mould. The spores will grow on the mineral deposits in the bowl.


Before Cleaning Toilet Rings

Always wear protective equipment when cleaning your toilet, including:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A face mask
  • Eye protection (optional)

Empty the toilet bowl before you clean toilet bowl rings. 

You can either shut off the water valve then flush, or pour a bucket of water carefully to “flush” without triggering a refill.


How to Get Rid of a Ring in the Toilet

There are a few different options for a toilet bowl ring remover. Hard water stains are easily cleaned, while bacteria and mould stains may require stronger cleaning agents.

If you don’t like being up close and personal with the dunny, no worries – we understand completely.

Just sit back and let a professional cleaner tackle the toilet bowl, seat, and everything else.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with a pumice stone

If the toilet ring stains are mild, you can try scrubbing them off with a pumice stone. This works best for stains along the water line.

Pumice is a volcanic rock, consisting of textured volcanic glass with bubbles. Despite the rough feel, pumice stones will not scratch porcelain.

Still, dampen the pumice stone and the toilet bowl surface before scrubbing.

NOTE: You can also use super fine steel wool to remove a toilet bowl ring.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with old dryer sheets

old dryer sheets can also be used for cleaning toilet rings

You can use dryer sheets even outside the laundry room!

In the bathroom, you can recycle a used dryer sheet to remove a toilet bowl ring.

Simply take the sheet and use it to scrub the toilet clean. You can use it in combination with some baking soda for increased effectiveness.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with baking soda and vinegar

Woman sprinkling white toilet bowl with baking soda

This is everyone’s go-to cleaning solution! And while it can be effective, you’ll need to deploy the combo properly.

Use vinegar and baking soda to remove toilet rings naturally.

Sprinkle baking soda all along the sides of the bowl. Make sure it covers the stained area.

You can use a toilet brush or sponge to scrub the toilet bowl and spread the baking soda.

Pour one cup of white vinegar along the sides of the bowl so it mixes with the baking soda. Alternatively, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spritz it into the bowl.

This will cause a fizzing reaction that’ll loosen the mineral deposits.

Take your brush and scrub to get the toilet bowl clean. Flush to rinse away any residue.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with borax

Be mindful when using borax and always double-check what you mix it with! Distilled white vinegar is safe, but never combine borax with bleach.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of borax into the toilet bowl. Follow with a cup of vinegar, then use a toilet brush to mix the solution and spread it over the stubborn toilet ring.

Let the solution sit for 20 minutes, then scrub again to remove the toilet ring.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with WD-40

Yep – WD-40 Multi-Use Product can soften rust and limescale deposits in a toilet!

Spray a small amount of the product onto the toilet ring and let it sit for a few minutes.

Take a toilet brush and apply a little elbow grease as you begin scrubbing.

Do not flush WD-40, though! It’s not greywater or septic-safe, so simply wipe it off once you’re done cleaning.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with toilet bowl cleaner

Zero Co Toilet Cleaner

One easy way to get rid of the toilet ring is by tackling it during your regular cleaning!

Your good old toilet cleaner can also remove a toilet bowl ring. Simply apply as instructed, then scrub with a toilet brush to clean.

Our recommended toilet cleaners include the Zero Co Toilet Cleaner Combo and White King Toilet Gel.


Remove a toilet bowl ring with bleach

Oxygen bleach is the strongest weapon in any cleaning arsenal. It’ll tackle very stubborn toilet rings, pink stains from bacteria, and even a green or black ring from mould.

However, it’s very important that you wear protective equipment and work in a well-ventilated room. Take precautions any time you clean with bleach!

Start by diluting the product according to the package instructions.

Pour the bleach solution along the sides of the toilet bowl, so it flows over the stains and down to the bottom. Let the solution sit for up to 20 minutes.

If the toilet bowl stains remain, lightly scrub the bowl, then flush the toilet to rinse.


How to Remove Toilet Bowl Rings Without Scrubbing

If you want to try a handy trick or two before giving in and grabbing the toilet brush, here are a few!


Get rid of toilet rings with magic erasers

hand with white gloves holding magic eraser

Cut off a quarter of a magic eraser and drop it into the toilet water.

Let the piece sit in your toilet overnight to work its… well, magic!

Do not flush the magic eraser down the toilet! Remove it in the morning, then flush to rinse away any residue.


Get rid of toilet rings with white vinegar

Cleaning vinegar can tackle even stubborn stains in your toilet bowl. It’s also septic and greywater safe so long as it’s diluted.

However, vinegar is less effective in killing mould, so keep this in mind.

Pour a few cups of cleaning vinegar into the toilet bowl. Let the solution sit in the toilet overnight.

Flush the toilet in the morning to rinse.

You may need to repeat this a few times to completely remove toilet rings.

TIP: This trick will also work with hydrogen peroxide.


Get rid of toilet rings with denture tablets

This isn’t the most cost-effective solution, but denture tablets have quite a few uses!

They’re formulated to clean porcelain and acrylic resin dentures, and we’ll give you one guess what your toilet is made of.

The ingredients are also common to household cleaners: sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, and sodium perborate.

In a pinch, you can toss a denture tablet or two into the toilet water. Leave for at least half an hour (ideally overnight) and let it fizzle.

Once time is up, flush the toilet to rinse.


How to Prevent Rings in Toilet Bowls

If you have hard water stains, you can prevent mineral buildup by installing a water softener in your plumbing system or even directly in the toilet tank.

It’s also essential to regularly clean the toilet alongside the rest of your bathroom. And of course, wash the toilet brush afterwards so it’s disinfected!

This will prevent minerals and organic matter from accumulating, which decreases the risk of mould.

Funnily enough, regular flushing will also help prevent a toilet ring from forming. The flow of water carries away any residue and deposits.

Knowing how to get rid of a toilet ring will always come in handy when cleaning your home. After all, when it comes to toilets – if you like it, then you shouldn’t want a ring on it!

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.