Removing Limescale from the Toilet

The porcelain toilet bowls are the unsung heroes of every home. They support us as we do the unmentionable during our best and worst time. The serenity and hygienic environment make doing an otherwise dirty task easy and straightforward.

Looking down an immaculate white toilet bowl without blemish insight can be weirdly satisfying. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t share the same sentiments. They are left looking down a scaly yellow layer that has developed around the toilet bowl. Despite your best efforts, it just won’t go away.

You’ve tried every trick in the book and on the internet, but it still sticks around. If you finally want to rid yourself of this unsightly look, have a read at this quick guide on how to get rid of limescale from your toilet.

What is Limescale?

To get rid of Limescale, you need to know what you’re up against. Limescale, also known as calcium carbonate, is deposited on the bowl by water that has passed through soft rocks like limestone or chalk.

As the water passes through the rocks, it picks up the minerals contained in the rocks. As the water picks up the minerals, it hardens and becomes hard water.

Some of the minerals are incredibly stubborn and survive the vigorous process of purifying the water. The minerals that make it through the purification process travel through the pipes around the house depositing limescale on the surfaces like the toilet bowl, inside the pipes and taps around the house.

The deposits appear as a powdery white substance that appears on various surfaces like the walls, mirrors, showerheads and in this case, toilet bowls as well. Sometimes, limescale also appears as orange, pink or brown streaking stains.

Why should you remove limescale?

The biggest risk of letting limescale build-up is not how ugly and unsightly it makes the toilet bowl look, but the ability to restrict water flow in pipes, showerheads, and dishwashers.

For most homeowners, however, is the unhygienic look that results in the heavily stained toilet bowls. The stain issues is a much easier challenge to handle compared to restricted airflow.

Limescale removal myths

The dire need to remove limescale stains from the toilet has driven many people to try some extreme measures. There are numerous magical fixes advertised as easy and stress-free ways to get rid of limescale.

Some of them work albeit with very minimal and often unnoticeable results and others don’t work out at all. Some of the most popular limescale removal myths include:

  • Cola – this is the most common myth. It claims to get rid of limescale stains in your toilet bowl by simply pouring a large bottle of cola into the bowl and letting it sit overnight. The myth is based on the acidic nature of cola dissolving the limescale. When tried out, this method not only failed but strengthened the colour of the limescale stains.
  • Bleach – this is the most powerful household helper around the house. It kicks out even the toughest stains and sanitises almost everything. It’s logical why most people fall for this one because of how practical it sounds. Unfortunately, bleach doesn’t hold up to the standards. At best, it only lightens the stains. The toilet might look cleaner, but it’s still encrusted.

If you’ve tried using these methods to no avail, you must feel defeated. You’re thinking the ugly brown stains on your toilet bowl are here to stay. But, all is not lost. There are ways to get rid of limescale with the help of readily available products.

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How to get rid of limescale with vinegar

You can buy toilet cleaners designed to remove the stains from your toilet. If you’re not willing to dig into your pockets, you can use vinegar and some elbow grease to achieve the same results.

Vinegar is acidic making it perfect for softening and lifting limescale. What’s more, it won’t cost as much as a commercial toilet cleaner.

  • Flush the toilet until only clear water is left.
  • Pour one litre of undiluted white vinegar directly onto the bowl. If the stains are high-sitting, you can block the toilet outlet. When pouring the vinegar, pour it around the sides of the bowl as well.
  • Let the vinegar sit for about four hours
  • Scrub the toilet bowl with more white vinegar
  • Flush the toilet to rinse away the residue
  • Repeat until you’re happy with the look of your toilet bowl

Removing limescale with sandpaper

Another budget-friendly way of getting rid of limescale is by using sandpaper. This method is perfect for those stubborn limescale stains that make you consider changing the toilet bowl.

This is usually a last resort when commercial cleaners and vinegar don’t yield any results. Before you throw in the towel, this sandpaper trick might just salvage your toilet and an expensive toilet bowl replacement bill.

The downside to using sandpaper to remove limescale is, it’s neither pleasant nor enjoyable. But it works. You need to get two grains of sandpaper: medium grains and fine grain. Medium grain removes most of the stains while fine-grain finishes the job.

  • Once the toilet is adequately flushed with only clear water in sight, start with the medium sandpaper. Gently rub it against parts of the toilet bowl with limescale build-up.
  • Keep rubbing until most of the stains are removed. Don’t be too aggressive or hard when rubbing to avoid scratching the bowl.
  • Next, use the fine-grain sandpaper to buff the remaining stain build-up away.
  • Flush the toilet to rinse away the residue scraped off
  • Proceed to clean the toilet normally.

Once the bowl is clean, you might notice a few stains that stick around. Keep persisting. A few more scrubs should get your toilet sparkling.

Keeping your toilet clear of limescale

After so much time, you finally conquer the bad case of limescale. Now, you just need to figure out a way to keep the limescale out of your toilet.

Luckily, this isn’t as hard as removing the build-up. All you need to do is give your toilet a white vinegar wash once a week.

Add four cups of white vinegar to the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight before flushing the toilet. The beauty of white vinegar is it doesn’t hurt the septic tank so all homeowners can use. It also comes with the benefit of getting rid of urine smells. There you have it! Some great and cheap ways to get rid of limescale build up in your toilet. They are effective and efficient and won’t dry your finances dry!

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