How to Clean a Badly Stained Toilet

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If you’ve ever wondered how to clean a badly stained toilet and if that’s even possible, I can tell you that removing the stains can be quite of a challenge.

But if you follow the steps I’m about to share with you, the job will be a bit easier since there’s nothing worse than having a dirty and stained toilet bowl.

Other than bacteria that these stains contain, they also look very nasty, so you probably felt ashamed whenever you had guests.

Whether we talk about urine stain, faeces, limescale, mould etc., these stains can be really stubborn and difficult to remove no matter how strong of a solution you use.

However, if you follow these simple steps, you’ll learn how to clean a badly stained toilet in no time!

How to Clean a Badly Stained Toilet

How to Clean a Badly Stained Toilet

1. Discover the root of the stains 

Before you do anything, you should discover what’s the main source of the stains in your toilet.

And while the cleaning technique is almost the same for every type of the stain, you should know what you’re dealing with if you want to know how to clean a badly stained toilet.

The causes of the stains can be various. There can be marks from urine splashing, hard water, too much humidity etc. When it comes to my experience, I had the biggest trouble getting rid of the limescale from my dorm toilet.

2. Do a regular cleaning

Firstly, you should clean the toilet as you normally would – with a toilet brush and a cleanser that you can purchase in a store.

Of course, you can always use the alternatives if you don’t like the chemical properties of the store cleaners.

Good replacements are white vinegar, baking soda, bleach or borax.

After choosing which one you want to use, plunge the toilet in order to decrease the water level inside. Pour the cleaner or the chosen alternative, scrub with a brush and flush the toilet.

chemicals to unclog a toilet

Don’t forget to wear gloves since the solutions may be dangerous for your skin.

3. Pumice rock

The pumice rock is great for scratching off the stains caused by hard water. You probably already own it, if not, you can easily buy the regular pumice stone or the one on the stick if you find it more convenient. 

All you have to do is leave the stone in water for fifteen minutes and use it for cleaning.

4. Anti-static sheet 

Another way of getting rid of hard water marks is an anti-static sheet.

You can use both new and used dryer sheet, but I have noticed that the used one scrubs the toilet better.

Wear a pair of gloves and scrub the toilet with the anti-static sheet to get rid of even the most stubborn hard water stains.

You can use both pumice rock and anti-static sheet to clean the stains of the chemical products if cleaning went wrong and the toilet has bluish and purple marks of the chemicals.

5. White vinegar 

When it comes to mould, mildew and similar stains, the best way to fight them is by using white vinegar.

You can pour it inside the entire toilet bowl or spray it directly on the stains. Use a half a cup of the vinegar, brush the stains with and flush three times to avoid the damage in your pipes.


6. Bleach 

The same goes for Bleach.

If you’re unable to use the white vinegar, you can also try out this method. You’ll need to use a quarter of a cup in that case. Pour it or spray it on the stain, scrub with a brush and flush three times.

7. Tea tree oil 

Even though it may seem a bit unusual, the tea tree oil is great for fighting the mould and mildew stains, as well as urine and soil stains.

You can either insert 10 drops inside the toilet bowl or make a solution by adding 5-10 drops in a bottle of water if you want to spray it directly on the stains.

Now it’s time to use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl and then you need to flush three times. You can redo the process until the toilet bowl is completely clean.

8. Baking soda + vinegar 

This mixture is great for getting rid of limescale and hard water stains even when they become red and brown. This process lasts a bit longer so be sure not to use the toilet in between the steps.

How-to-Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda

Firstly, add a cup of vinegar inside the toilet and spread it with a toilet brush. After one minute, add a cup of baking soda and two more cups of vinegar. You’ll see the foam being created.

Leave it for ten minutes and then spread it all around the toilet bowl, especially on the stains.

Leave it to break and remove stains for 30 minutes. As said, do not flush the toilet while waiting. After 30 minutes, flush three times, and the toilet will look as good as new. 

9. Vinegar + Borax

This method is a bit quicker so if you don’t have much time, it will be as effective as the previously mentioned method.

Pour a quarter of a cup of the Borax inside the toilet bowl and spread it with a brush. Add a cup of vinegar and leave it for 20 minutes.

Scrub the entire bowl and especially the stains with your toilet brush or any other harsher object and flush the toilet three times. Don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands.

10. Coca-Cola

This beverage is probably very bad for your health and organs when drinking it, but it does a really excellent job when it comes to cleaning your home and toilet. 

Thanks to its acidity, it will break and dissolve any stain in a matter of minutes. It’s both affordable and really efficient so you should definitely give it a try.


Pour a can or bottle of Coca-Cola (depending on the number of stains) inside the toilet. Spread it around with the toilet brush, wait for 20 minutes and scrub away the stains.

A note on Stubborn mildew stains 

These stains can be a bit tricky to remove. Other than looking really ugly, the mildew can cause problems with breathing, and that’s why you need to remove them as soon as possible.

And while you can easily use the same products from before (tea tree oil, bleach or vinegar), the process will be a little different:

spray bottle

1. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle

After choosing between bleach+water, vinegar+water, tea tree oil+water mixtures, you should find a spray bottle to put the solution in. You can reuse an old spray bottle or buy a new one.

2. Flush and spray the mixture

Since mildew adores water, you need to flush the toilet in order to get rid of some of the water.

While the toilet is empty or at least close to being empty, spray the mixture on mildew and on the entire toilet bowl.

3. Clean quickly

You need to brush the toilet quickly until it fills up with water again. Use a normal toilet brush and scrub as fast as you can. You’ll probably need to redo the process if the amount of mildew is large.

Repeat until it’s completely clean and then flush the toilet three times.

Why you need to flush three times after the cleaning

What’s the point in knowing how to clean a badly stained toilet if you make a worse mess after doing it?

If you allow these products to stay in the toilet and pipes for too long, they could potentially damage them so you can have an even bigger problem than the stains.

If you flush three times, the water will rinse the toilet bowl completely and get rid of any residue of the products.

Toilet Flushes Slow but Not Clogged

Prevention is always the best solution

Even though all of these methods are really efficient and affordable, and after reading this post carefully you will know how to clean a badly stained toilet, be sure to clean the toilet regularly if you want to prevent those stubborn stains that could take hours to clean and remove.

As soon as you notice the limescale staying on the bowl or any other stains and mould forming inside, clean the toilet with the described methods.

It will make the cleaning much faster, and you’ll be less exposed to the evaporations of the chemicals that can be bad for your health.

Always wear gloves and preferably a mask over your nose and mouth if you’re using stronger store bought products.

Final Word: On Cleaning a Badly Stained Toilet

I know how stubborn all of the toilet stains can be, trust me I’ve been there. I really hope these methods help you with your cleaning because the last thing a home needs is a dirty toilet full of bacteria and mould. 

Do you have any other tricks and tips to share? Do you prefer store bought products or DIY solutions? Feel free to comment and join the conversation.