What Causes Yellow Stains On a Toilet Seat?

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We have all had experiences with going to the bathroom and finding the toilet seat in a different color than it should be. This is an unpleasant experience for everyone.

Whether we had this situation in a hospital, school, at an airport, a restaurant, at our friends' place or at our own home - it is always uncomfortable. Truth be told, all of us wish we could forget it and that the owner of the bathroom took proper care of it.

Well, since all of us own a bathroom, knowing how uncomfortable it can be for anyone to see this, it is our job to keep our toilet seat clean.

Before spending too much money on buying a new one, consider cleaning it yourself. This can be done in a few simple steps in a number of different ways.

From using vinegar and different types of powder - there is a way to clean for everyone's taste. So, relax, we will fix this problem together. Let's see how!


What Causes Yellow Stains On a Toilet Seat

Many people are surprised when they witness their seat having yellow stains on it when actually, this is a very normal and often occurrence.

No matter how careful men are, or how good your toilet hygiene is - yellowing of the toilet seat will happen over time. The stains' color can vary - from light yellow to brown, and it can be found not just on the toilet seat, but on sides or bottom of the bowl, as well as below the rim to the water level.

Don't worry, it's not that you are doing anything wrong with your toilet if stains appear. These stains are created from minerals which build up. These minerals originate from hard water, which many of us have at our homes.

Hard water can cause damage to sinks and toilet seats by leaving stains which can seem impossible to remove. It contains calcium, magnesium and iron which catch on to any surface that they find themselves on.


A rarely known source of yellow seats is sunlight. Few people know about this, but sunlight is actually pretty good at yellowing white toilet seats.

The UV light, which is invisible for us, can cause sunburn for people and for toilet seats. It's just that sunburnt toilet seats turn yellow instead of red. This gives people the idea the seat is dirty, while it just changed color because of the UV light.

Whether your seat is plastic (like most) or wooden, it is a great spot to pick up this type of stains and hold onto them. These stains ruin the look of your entire bathroom but can be easily removed in different ways in just a couple of simple steps.

How to get rid of yellow stains on the toilet seat

Depending on your preference and what you already have available at your house, there are different options for cleaning your toilet seat. Some prefer simple and more natural substances while some people prefer premade chemical solutions that can be bought.

1. Vinegar

This solution doesn't have a strong smell and everyone who has vinegar can do it. Pour it on a brush and then clean the toilet seat. Scrub it until the seat is completely clean.

Another way to do this with vinegar is to pour it in a spray bottle and then spray the area which is dirty. Use a rag or a cloth to wipe the toilet seat clean afterward.

This process might have to be repeated a couple of times until the seat is back to its original color.

2. Borax powder

This is a very powerful cleaning agent which can be bought at a hardware store, so don't go looking for it at a regular supermarket.

When you buy Borax powder, sprinkle the powder to the dirty area. Grab a brush and rub the seat.

Then, leave it there for about 30 minutes. Wash away the powder from the seat and voila! Your toilet seat is clean!

3. Trisodium phosphate

Prepare about 4 liters of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of trisodium phosphate.

Mix the compounds and then prepare a piece of cloth or a rag. Soak it into the mix and then rub the toilet seat until the toilet seat is fully clean.

4. Napisan powder

This solution is very practical for situations when you have yellow stains on the underside of your toilet seat. These types of stains are very tricky to clean.

We have found that you can use Napisan powder in these cases. It's a strong chemical mix so just be careful around it.

Spread it on the decolorized parts of the toilet seat and leave it there for a few hours. Make sure no one uses it in the meantime. After this, scrub the paste off and wash the cleaned parts.


How to whiten your toilet seat?

The following 4 steps explain how you should go about permanently whitening your toilet seat. This is great to do once or twice a year at least, to keep your bathroom looking fresh and clean.

All of your guests will surely value that your bathroom has good hygiene.

Step 1 - Prepare everything that is necessary

First off, prepare rubber glovesit is always recommended to use gloves when attempting to do this to keep your hands free from bacteria.

You are also going to need a toilet brush - one you won't use anymore or one you wouldn't use anyway.

Finally, prepare some white vinegar and baking soda and an old rag or cloth you won't need any more after this. Once you have all of this, you are ready to proceed on to the next step.

Step 2 - Mix vinegar and baking soda

Put 1/4 of a cup of baking soda and 1/4 of a cup of vinegar in a bowl. Mix the combination and see a foamy paste form.

baking soda

When you see this, you are ready to proceed with the process. Bring the paste with you to the bathroom and prepare to use it.

Step 3 - Flush the toilet

Place your toilet brush in the toilet and flush it (do this with your gloves on!). Flush the water down the U-bend so that the level of water is now below the regular level.

You can leave the brush in the toilet and then move on to the next step in this cleaning process.

Step 4 - Spread the toilet cleaner and scrub

Spread the mix of vinegar and baking soda which you created to the yellowed areas and let it be there for a couple of minutes. It won't hurt to put the mix not just on the toilet seat, but also on other dirty areas on the bowl and under the rim.

How to Dissolve Poop Stuck in the Toilet

Then, scrub the toilet so that the foamy mix is gone. Your toilet should now be sparkly clean! Flush the toilet one final time and remove the brush from it.

Final Thoughts: On the Causes of Yellow Stains on Toilet

The bacteria which are collected from urine stains can lead to odor spreading through the entire bathroom. It can also spread from a person to a person.

All of this can be avoided with regular and short hygiene checks of the bathroom. Even though men's bathrooms are more prone to having yellow stains, it happens also for the ladies.

So, don't neglect this article if you don't have men visiting your bathroom, these stains will eventually happen for you as well. 

Although it can be tempting to go out and buy a new toilet seat when you spot yellow stains on your current one, consider being more sustainable by first trying to clean your existing toilet seat.

Hopefully, in this article, you saw how easy it can be. Just by using the ingredients you already have at home or by easily acquiring them, you can freshen the look of your entire bathroom.

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