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How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Toilet

Stains from hard water can be especially tough to remove, especially lime scale and rust. Our guide shows you how to remove hard water stains in no time.

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Your all-in-one toilet cleaning system.

Pre-loaded with powerful cleaning solution! 

Your all-in-one toilet cleaning system.

Pre-loaded with powerful cleaning solution! 

Clorox ToiletWand

Hard water stains can be pretty common in your toilet bowl. And while your first thought might be to treat them with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach to remove the stains, we don’t recommend it in this case. Hard water stains often can be the result of mineral buildup on your surfaces and can also include rust. Rust and hard water stains require acidic cleaners that have a pH less than 7. Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach is an oxidant with an alkaline pH (pH greater than 7). It should never be mixed with any acid since hazardous fumes may form.  

So what should you use instead? Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Lime & Rust Destroyer is your go-to. The thick formula clings to the surface to dissolve hard water stains and destroy mineral deposits, rust and lime scale. See detailed steps below for how to use it and get your toilet bowl back to sparkling clean. 

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What you need

Steps to remove hard water stains

  1. 1

    Flush toilet

    Flush the toilet before cleaning. 

  2. 2

    Apply cleaner

    Apply product under and around rim to coat the inside of the bowl. 

  3. 3

    Scrub area

    Using a toilet brush, scrub the area the stain covers. 

  4. 4

    Wait 5 minutes

    After scrubbing, let stand for 5 minutes. 

  5. 5


    Simply flush the toilet and you’re done. 

    Do not use or mix with products that contain sodium hypochlorite bleach. To do so may release hazardous gases. 

Frequently asked questions

How do I sanitize my toilet bowl?

Flush toilet before cleaning. Apply 6 ounces of toilet cleaner under and around rim to coat the inside of the bowl. Scrub the entire bowl with a stiff brush and allow to sit for 5 minutes to sanitize. Do not allow pets or children to access the toilet during this time. Flush toilet. For best results, reapply weekly. 

How do I treat heavy hard water stains?

For tougher stains, try turning off the water supply to the toilet first, then flush the toilet to get all water out of toilet bowl. Then when you apply the toilet bowl cleaner to a dry surface, the product will be more concentrated. 

Can I use toilet cleaner elsewhere in my bathroom?

You may also see hard water stains on other bathroom surfaces like your bathtub or bathroom sink. It’s worth trying to treat them with toilet bowl cleaner, especially if the surface is porcelain – just like your toilet bowl. Be sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses, thoroughly rinse any treated areas, and wash your hands after handling.