Toilet Bowl Cleaner

33 responses

  1. Betsy
    August 26, 2012

    If I could fill my toilet bowl up all the way I could remove the stains from many many "jets" with the powdered rust remover from my hardware store. I partially filled my bathtub and added the powder and all the stains disappeared. I don't know how to get the toilet filled up more.

    • Tim Carter
      January 6, 2013

      Betsy, your question requires lots of typing, plus I have some questions for you so I can give you the correct answer(s). I only do pithy answers here in the comment section. If you want to protect the investment you have in your house and not waste time or money *hoping* you make the right decision, you should talk to me on the phone for just 15 minutes. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your home!

  2. Keitha
    November 17, 2013

    Our water is pretty neutral but we still had the buildup in the bottom of the toilet and sluggish flushing in that toilet. We also have a septic system with some leach field problems. We worked on the leach field to let the old field “rest.” We put a little Stain Solver in the toilet last thing at night and let it sit all night. After a few weeks the toilet flushed well again and the stain was getting smaller. Now we put stain solver in the toilet overnight twice a week for maintenance. The stain is gone, the toilet flushes, and the leach field is dry. I've tried muriatic acid before and really hated it so while it takes longer for results, I prefer Stain Solver.

  3. Rene LeBlanc
    November 20, 2013

    I have used muriatic acid to remove mineral deposits from our toilets, and yes, it does work. However, I have found another product that works at least as well, and it isn't as dangerous and doesn't emit the acrid fumes that muriatic acid does. It is called "The Works Disinfectant Toilet Cleaner".

  4. Amy
    November 20, 2013

    Hi Tim,
    Where can I get this product, muriatic acid, for toilet, bathtub and around the faucet areas covered with hard deposits that cannot get rid of.
    Thank you,

    • Tim Carter
      January 2, 2014

      home centers and hardware stores

  5. Jacky
    November 20, 2013

    I have just finished cleaning my toilet with muriatic acid and it works like a dream. It's wonderful stuff and it is the only thing which works. I have the same problem as Amy, so I know what she is going through. I didn't realize one had use baking soda, so will next time.

  6. Tom Brack
    November 22, 2013

    I had the same problem as Amy until my neighbor turned me on to a product that works great on hard water stains. It's "LIME BUSTER" from Whink. In comes in a 16oz green bottle. You just squirt it onand then let it sit for a bit (you'll see it working as it foams up on the deposits). I apply a little more just before I use a Scotch pad to scrub with. As long as you don't let the stains build up to much it only takes some light scrubbing after application. It works great on stainless steel sinks too.

  7. Kathy Kral
    November 25, 2013

    I just had to say WOW, does this ever work! Thank you so much for the tip. I've lived in a small town forever and our hard water just made toilets too nasty to look at, no matter how much you scrub and clean. I just had a new one installed last year and it already looked like you dumped a bucket on mud in it and after a 30 minute treatment it looks like new, thank you so much!!! I really enjoy your newsletters!

  8. deb stone
    January 19, 2014

    Haven't been this satisfied with my housecleaning results as I am today after following your muriatic acid instructions to the letter. We have very hard water - and well water - so we don't always flush after every use. Perfect conditions for creating an impossible to clean toilet bowl. I was also happy to read your explanation why I was having this trouble. Thank you so much.

  9. Mike W.
    March 5, 2015

    I use pumice stone to remove hard water rings. It takes some elbow grease to work it off, but you eliminate the chemicals. It does not seem to hurt the porcelain. I got the pumice stone at my local hardware store.

    • Tim Carter
      March 6, 2015

      A pumice stone WILL RUIN the thin glaze on a toilet. You may not notice damage the first time, but after a few uses, you'll notice the glaze is not high gloss, but starting to dull. I'd NEVER EVER use an abrasive cleaner that contains pumice, or a pumice stone, on glazed china of any type.

  10. KD
    April 2, 2015

    I have this problem (the clogged siphon jet) and was considering the muriatic acid approach but then read several warnings that muriatic acid can cause damage to porcelain (etching) and is also hard on (can eat away) pipes and other parts of the toilet and plumbing, especially in an older (built in 1958) house.
    Your thoughts?
    Safe or not?

    • Tim Carter
      April 3, 2015


      Did you take chemistry in high school or college? Do you remember what they stored the HCl in on the shelves? It was a clear glass bottle.

      Was it etched? Do you know what the glazing is on toilets and other china? Ultra-thin clear glass.

      This is why you can TRUST the information here at because everything here at my website is based in fact, science or decades of hands-on experience.

      Those other places that said muriatic acid can do damage are not 100% correct. What's more, you can neutralize the acid in the toilet bowl BEFORE flushing it away. I say so above.

      I urge you to subscribe to my FREE newsletter so you get funny and factual tips each week from me. Stop listening to the other people that aren't giving you the real scoop.

      • KD
        April 3, 2015

        Thanks Tim,
        Well high-school chemistry was so long ago I don't recall that glass had been invented yet 😉

        My confusion was not helped by the pieces of acid info I did have still in my head: use of acetic "acid" for photography; using acid to etch glass and ceramics in my crafting endeavors; hydrochloric acid (Hcl, right?) vs muriatic acid; dilution ratios...

        I did note the neutralize recommendation and had baking soda on my shopping list, so I'm going onward with your suggestion.

        Thank you so much for your quick reply.
        I'm on my way to take advantage of the newsletter!

  11. Sharon
    April 3, 2015

    Hello, I would like to know why you are suggesting putting Muriatic Acid into the water system? We may not be drinking from there, but it goes into the ocean at the end and can do a lot of damage. This is not a good idea! Try using a Pumice stone, it's more work but less damage.

  12. Ted
    April 3, 2015

    If you follow Tim's instructions in neutralizing the muriatic acid, it is no longer acid and is not harmful to either you water system or the environment. A pumice stone WILL damage the toilet's glazing. This will make it easier to collect deposits and for it to stain.
    KD, the type of acid will determine what things it will react with. Some will damage or etch glass. Muriatic acid isn't one of them.

    • KD
      April 3, 2015

      Thanks Ted for clarifying the acid/etch/reaction confusion.
      And thanks for the support on the use of the MA.
      My toilet is 25+ years old and we've already (manually and carefully) poked out as much of the buildup as possible.
      Use of anything to scrape, scratch, gouge, or poke further is not an option--a pumice stone would NOT work in this situation to resurrect the functionality of my toilet.

  13. Bill
    April 3, 2015

    Tim, can I put muriatic acid in the toilet tank? Mine is pretty stained up and I thought it would help clear out the rim when I flush it.

    • George Blakey
      November 12, 2016

      I think the acid might damage the rubber gaskets in the tank if you do that. What I have done to get acid into the channel and the holes under the rim is to pour the acid through a funnel that is long enough to go through the opening at the bottom of the tank (under the flapper) so it doesn't touch any non-porcelain parts in the tank.

  14. Denise
    April 4, 2015

    Thanks Tim. I've been trying vinegar soaked paper towels to break down the hard water deposits. It works well on the showerhead but doesn't seem to be doing much for the toilets. I think the muriatic acid will do a much better job.

    However, I'm a little confused on the beginning part of the instructions where you add 5 gallons of water to simulate a flush. Do you completely empty the tank and bowl first? It could very well be that I don't fully understand how toilets work but I certainly don't want to overflow the toilet either.

    Thanks for your help!

    • George Blakey
      November 12, 2016

      The purpose of pouring the water into the bowl from a bucket is so you don't have to empty the tank or the bowl by any other means. With newer water-saving toilets you likely don't need 5 gallons of water - a couple might be enough - just enough to get the bowl to self-empty and not retain extra water. There will be a little bit of water left way down in the bottom of the bowl as the siphoning action will not suck it completely dry.

  15. Ed
    April 6, 2015

    May I add that one should also use a respirator when working with acid that close and in a tightly confined area.

    My sister a few years back was using "diluted" muriatic acid to clean/etch the basement floor in order to paint it. This scorched her lungs even using water and a diluted solution of the chemical.

  16. Ladyoutdoor
    May 3, 2015

    How about the toilet's tile walls. How do i apply this? I can also see the yellow stain on our walls ( hard water / lume deposits)

  17. Ladyoutdoor
    May 3, 2015

    SUPER DUPER THANKS for this article!!! It solved our toilet bowl problem for decades!!! Yes! Decades! We were at the verge of changing our toilet bowl. i just followed your instructions thanks for the specifics 🙂 i made it sit for 3 hours and when i flushed its 98% gone. We just need to do one more round. Btw, on the baking soda, do u flush as soon as you pour or wait seconds? As it bubbled /foamed almost pouring out of the bowl when i started to flush, i hope i did it right. Thanks again!!

  18. Cynthia
    June 26, 2015

    Worked beautifully, THANK U. I have septic/well and once I completed this procedure, I flushed Yeast

  19. Julie
    July 24, 2015

    once neutralised with baking/bicarbonate of soda is it safe for the aquatic environment/wukdlife?
    I am very sensitive to chemical smells. Can I just leave it to do it's job?

  20. Donny
    October 5, 2015

    I have heard after cleaning use a good car wax to prevent this from reoccurring..... use a sponge to get all the water out before waxing?

  21. J K
    February 18, 2016

    You guys rock! Moved into an old apt with nasty, and I mean nasty black stains and lime deposits in the toilet bowl. Took the hints, went to Lowe's, bought a gallon of muriatic acid, took precautions, and boom! Toliet sparkling in 5-10 mins. I was at my wit's end too. Now I won't have to be embarrassed about having people over and apologizing up front.

  22. Ann
    April 15, 2016

    BEST Advice ever! We were going to change the toilet bowl because the plumber said the holes were too small and that's why the flushing was inadequate. Your post made me realize that the holes in the toilet bowl are clogged! Hope acid clears them up.

  23. Lance Wright
    April 17, 2016

    OMG! This works exactly as described!

    Used this in Hertfordshire, England. The water is VERY hard here.

    Moved into long disused flat with blackened toilet bowls.

    Tried using cola: nothing.

    I used hydrochloric acid, which is supposed to be identical.

    Let the chemical do its work and about 90 later, I used only a toilet brush, and the stains left.

    A few observations: If the deposits are heavy, expect to see some gas vapors coming from the toilet.


    Hold your breath and get into fresh air before you inhale...

    Adding baking soda causes another reaction, foaming. But scrub gently.

    I found that if I had left it longer, it would have dissolved the larger pieces of limescale.

  24. Brian Engel
    October 26, 2016

    Tim, our toilets are etched at the water line. I can feel the indention with my fingernail. So, is the toilet shot or salvageable? We have a H2O softner and it doesn't seem to help. We have hard city water here in Florida. Thanks, Brian

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