How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring and Never See It Again

Deborah Beams
Deborah Beams
Research Writer
Deborah is an incredibly talented journalist who's been working for numerous online magazines for over 8 years now. She's also our main research writer who can turn any bori read more
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Charles Eggleston
Charles Eggleston
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Charles's been a plumber his entire life. Thanks to his vast experience we can always rely on Charles' expert opinion when creating any of our articles. He's also a fantasti read more
Last updated: September 04, 2023
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Cleaning the toilet looks like one of those daunting jobs, especially when you have to deal with the dreaded toilet ring. If you’re wondering how to get rid of a toilet ring, the good news is that there are multiple ways to do it so you’ll be able to enjoy a sparkling clean toilet in no time.

Hard water that builds over time on faucets, sinks, showers, and toilets can cause unsightly rust and scale stains that are quite difficult to remove. This issue is quite problematic in a toilet, mostly because it holds standing water constantly and also sees a lot of use.

There are numerous cleaning products out there that are effective at removing hard water stains in the toilet, but you can also try some staple household products if you want to get rid of the toilet ring without using any harsh chemicals.

The source of the toilet bowl ring

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring and Never See It AgainThere could many reasons behind those unsightly toilet rings, ranging from hard water and mineral deposits to bacteria. You can typically tell the source of a toilet bowl ring by looking at its color. Knowing what caused the toilet ring can help you decide the best way to get rid of it.

Yellow ring

Yellow, orange, and red toilet rings are typically caused by rust that forms from magnesium and calcium deposits that come from your water.

Black ring

In most cases, a black toilet ring is caused by mold. You will need to use products that are specifically intended for removing mold from toilets to get rid of them. Sometimes, black rings are caused by hard water. When minerals accumulate in the toilet bowl, they can form a ring that may appear gray or black in color. This type of ring can typically be removed with the help of common household products.

Pink ring

A pink toilet ring is a rarer occurrence, but it’s often caused by serratia marcescens Trusted Source Serratia marcescens - Wikipedia Serratia marcescens is a species of rod-shaped, Gram-negative bacteria in the family Yersiniaceae. It is a facultative anaerobe and an opportunistic pathogen. , a bacterium that looks pink. This is an airborne bacteria that thrives on dust, moisture, and phosphates. Again, you’ll need to use specific products to target this type of toilet ring. It’s also important to remember that occasionally flushing toilets that are not used often can reduce the chances of bacteria growth.

Solutions to cleaning toilet rings

When you’re cleaning a toilet ring, there are multiple ways to go about it, but it’s important to do a basic clean first. Get your equipment together, which typically includes a clean toilet brush, rubber gloves, and a cleaner of your choice.

Safety first

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring and Never See It AgainWhile using natural products is typically safer than cleaning a toilet with harsh chemicals, it’s still important to follow some safety precautions, regardless of the type of cleaner you’re employing.

  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin not just from the chemicals in the cleaning agent, but also from the bacteria in the toilet. Make sure you remove and disinfect the gloves after each use.
  • Open the bathroom window when you clean the toilet to make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area. Wear a mask as well if you’re using chemical produces to protect yourself and avoid breathing in vapors.
  • Always make sure you check the instructions provided by the manufacturer before using a cleaning product. For example, some materials don’t respond well to vigorous scrubbing or abrasive cleaners. If you can’t find any particular instructions, test the product on an inconspicuous area before cleaning the toilet. This is particularly important if you have a smart toilet that may require special care.


Bleach is a common method used to get ring of that unpleasant toilet ring. To clean the toilet using bleach, carefully pour 1 cup of liquid bleach into the toilet bowl, then allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Next, scrub the inside of the toilet with a toilet brush. Always make sure you wear rubber gloves and a mask when handling bleach. If you don’t want to use plain bleach, you can opt for a professional cleaner that contains bleach, such as the Lysol Bleach Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

Pumice stone

Pumice stones do a good job at cleaning a toilet ring, but don’t just use any regular pumice stone to clean it. There are numerous pumice stones created for this very purpose, like the Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover TBR-6, for example. This pumice stone can erase toilet rings in seconds and it also scours away rust, stains and scale, and mineral deposits with a gentle abrasive action.


How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring and Never See It AgainAnother solution is to use a Calcium, Lime and Rust remover, which removes calcium deposits instantly. CLR removers typically include powerful non-toxic formulations and are effective even on very difficult or old lime and calcium build-ups. What’s even better, they can be used to clean other household items too, such as sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, humidifiers, and coffee makers.

Cleaning sponge

You can also clean a toilet bowl with the help of a cleaning sponge. Non-scratch scrub sponges work best for toilets, as they can be used on most surfaces, including fiberglass without damaging them. You can use a cleaning sponge with bleach products or other solutions, but make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves at all times to avoid damaging your skin.


Vinegar does an excellent job at cleaning a toilet ring on any time of toilet, modern or not, but you need to combine it with baking soda or borax first. Vinegar is an acid, which means that it can dissolve the minerals that stained the toilet bowl. By adding baking soda or borax, you neutralize it, which makes it foam, and this reaction is all that it takes to break down the minerals and remove them from the surface of the toilet bowl. Borax is stronger than baking soda, so if you have a particularly stubborn toilet ring, sprinkle ¼ cup borax into the bowl, add one cup of vinegar, and allow the mixture to sit for 20 minutes. Scrub the bowl with a brush to finish the cleaning.

Magic eraser

Magic erasers such as the very popular Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable are a very convenient way to keep any type of toilet in tip-top condition. This is a product that is safe to use on any type of toilet, including pressure assisted toilets, and is can be used on lots of other places around the home, including the oven door, doors, bathtubs, and more. Magic erasers are a great choice for those who want to use a product that doesn’t contain any chemicals, as they do a great job with water only.

Other popular products

How to Get Rid of Toilet Ring and Never See It AgainThere are other products you can choose to clean a toilet ring. Some of them are rather unexpected, like Coca Cola or Lemon Kool-Aid. These products work by dissolving the mineral deposits in the toilet bowl, so all you have to do is pour a can or two in the toilet, let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then scrub it off. In many cases, the acid in the Cola will do the job so well that the toilet ring will be gone without scrubbing. Just flush the toilet go about your business.

Alka Seltzer tablets also work when it comes to cleaning a toilet ring. They contain citric acid, which will clean even stubborn stains right away. What’s even better about this tablets is that you can use them to prevent toilet rings, too/ Just put one or two tablets into the toilet tank to keep your toilet clean for a longer time.

How to keep your toilet clean

Cleaning the toilet regularly is not a very pleasant task, but it needs to be done. The best way to keep your toilet clean is to stick to a regular routine. Cleaning your toilet weekly with a mix of vinegar and baking soda or a professional cleaning product is typically enough to prevent hard water stains. By sticking to a routine, the chances of having to deal with a stubborn toilet ring reduce significantly.

Final thoughts

It’s not difficult to get rid of a toilet ring with the right cleaning supplies. Knowing how to clean a toilet is important, so if you’re wondering how to get rid of toilet ring, the good news is that there are lots of ways to employ that result in a sparkling clean toilet. Whether you’re fine with using chemical products or you’re looking for natural ways to keep your toilet clean, you can choose from multiple options, including bleach, vinegar, pumices, and even Coca Cola.


Serratia marcescens - Wikipedia
Serratia marcescens is a species of rod-shaped, Gram-negative bacteria in the family Yersiniaceae. It is a facultative anaerobe and an opportunistic pathogen.
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