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hard water stain in toilet bowl

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Have you ever gone to the bathroom only to look down in horror at the pesky hard water stain that you just can’t seem to get out? It could even be so embarrassing that you refuse to let any guests use that bathroom for fear of being judged. At Carter Services, we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone in these worries. Unfortunately, Torrance and many areas of Southern California are prone to hard water, which means your fixtures and glassware are prone to stains. But don’t worry, having hard water stains doesn’t mean you’re dirty! Either way, our plumbers have put together a list of safe and effective tips for removing these stubborn stains so your toilet bowl will be look clean and presentable in no time at all.

Why Do Hard Water Stains Happen?

Hard water is any water with an excess presence of sediments and minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. As you continue to use your fixtures and appliances, hard water will continue to build up and eventually leave rust and scale stains that seem impossible to remove. Toilet bowls are especially susceptible because they hold standing water.

To protect your fixtures and appliances, it’s important that you don’t resort to harsh, store bought chemical cleaners.

Tip One: Baking Soda & Vinegar

You might remember this combination from elementary school science fair projects. In addition to being useful for making a crafted volcano erupt, these two household items work great for removing any type of stains.

To remove hard water stains from your toilet bowl:

  • First, flush your toilet and then pour one cup of vinegar into the bowl, using the brush to mix it with the standing water. Let the mixture sit for anywhere from one to five minutes.
  • Next, add one cup of baking soda and another one to two cups of vinegar. The mixture will start to fizz and bubble up, much like your old science fair project. Let it continue to bubble up and then sit for 10 minutes.
  • Using a toilet brush, swish the mixture around and scrub the hard water stain in your toilet bowl. Be sure to get the area above the stain too.
  • Don’t flush just yet! Let the mixture sit for another 20 to 30 minutes and scrub with the brush a few more times until the stain is completely gone.
  • Flush the toilet and enjoy seeing it stain free.

Tip Two: Borax & Vinegar

If you’ve tried the previous tip and the hard water stains haven’t budged, it might be time to bust out the Borax, a chemical cleaning agent. First, flush the toilet and then pour a quarter of a cup of Borax into it, using your toilet brush to swish it around. Next, add one to two cups of vinegar and let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes. You should be able to scrub the stains away and flush the toilet to reveal a fresh, and clean bowl.

Tip Three: A Steel Wool Scrub

If there is still a ring around your toilet, you can try to scrub it out using 0000-grade (the finest) steel wool. We recommend using such fine grade steel because it is less likely to scratch up the porcelain of your toilet.

Still Having Hard Water Issues? Consider Installing a Water Treatment System

In addition to using any of the above tips to remove hard water stains, it’s also important that you get in the habit of routinely cleaning your toilet bowl so it’s harder and harder for stains and build up to accumulate. Feel free to get in the habit of using baking soda, vinegar, or Borax as they all help eliminate hard water stains.

We also recommend installing a water treatment system, such as a water softener or whole home water filtration system, which can eliminate hard water completely and provide you with fresh, clean water that will leave your fixtures spotless.

To learn more, just get in touch with our Torrance water filtration plumbers by calling (310) 872-1898 or contacting us online.