Informational Guide

7 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Toilet Ring - Plumbing Lab

Toilet bowl rings not only look bad but are also unhygienic. Thankfully, it’s easy to learn how to get rid of toilet bowl rings, here’s how.

by Ian Haynes

Toilet bowl rings not only look bad, but they can also be unhygienic. Bacteria festers in toilets, which is what produces the foul smell.

Thankfully, it is relatively easy to get rid of stubborn toilet bowl rings. Here is how.

  • 1
    Borax and vinegar.
    Borax and vinegar combine to make a powerful disinfectant solution that can eat through stains and other organic residues. Borax is cheap and can be bought at your local department store. Combine the two in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few hours to eat away at stains.
  • 2
    Baking soda and white vinegar.
    Baking soda and vinegar is another combination that creates a strong disinfectant and cleaning solution. The acidic vinegar reacts with the basic baking soda to create a frothy mixture that clings to the toilet bowl and removes stains and residue.
  • 3
    Bleach is a great all-around cleaner as it can cut through even the toughest of stains and materials. However, pure concentrated bleach can be corrosive, so it is recommended you make a bleach solution that is 2 parts water to 1 part bleach.
  • 4
    Pumice stone.
    A pumice stone is a kind of rock that is used for scrubbing and scraping. Pumice stones can be used to scrape away ring stains in the bottom of your toilet bowl. Pumice stones are lightweight and can be bought at a local home goods store.
  • 5
    Magic eraser.
    Magic erasers are sponge-like products designed specifically for removing tough stains. A magic eraser will easily get rid of any toilet rings from rust, mold, or bacteria. Magic erasers can also be used to clean sinks, bathtubs, and showers as well.
  • 6
    CLR remover.
    CLR remover is designed to remove calcium deposits, rust, and lime. CLR cleaner will easily wipe away any stubborn toilet rings, especially those that are caused by hard water buildup. CLR remover can be bought at any local hardware store.
  • 7
    Regular toilet bowl cleaner.
    Regular toilet bowl cleaners like Lysol or Zest can also be used for normal toilet ring stains. These cleaners are cheap, effective and are also designed to be gentle on the internal components of your toilet and plumbing system.

What Causes Toilet Bowl Rings

Toilet bowl rings can be caused by a wide range of factors. Here are some of the most common issues.

  • Bacteria.
    Bacteria like to hide out in your bathroom, and the toilet is no exception. Bacterial growth can be one cause of toilet bowl rings.
  • Mold.
    Toilet rings can also be caused by mold and other microorganism growth
  • Mineral deposits (hard water).
    Toilet rings can also be caused by calcium buildup from hard water in your system.

Types of Toilet Bowl Rings

You can often diagnose the cause of your toilet bowl ring based on its appearance and color. Here is what we mean:

  • Black
    Black toilet rings are most often caused by mold. When we flush, we think that everything goes down, but some of it sticks to the side and can form these kinds of rings. Mold and other microorganisms grow thickly and create a blackish-green film.
  • Red or brown
    A red color ring could be a sign of rust or mineral deposits from hard water. Both calcium and magnesium can turn red under the right conditions. This kind of residue can permanently stain your toilet bowl if not cleaned out quickly enough.
  • Pink
    Pink rings are mostly a sign of bacteria. Bacteria mixed with airborne contaminants can create that pink film in your toilet. This film can be composed of bacteria, feces, urine, dead skin cells, and more

How to Keep a Toilet From Getting a Ring (Preventative Care)

The best way to treat toilet rings is to not have them in the first place. This can be done by regularly cleaning your toilet and keeping a solution on hand to put in the bowl after you flush and are finished with your business.

A lite bleach solution works wonders at keeping toilet rings away. Just put a small bit in when you are finished, and it will keep any bacteria or mold from growing on the sides of the bowl.

You can also buy an automatic toilet bowl cleaner that will clean it after every flush.

Related Article - How To Replace a Toilet Wax Ring


Does WD40 remove toilet rings?

WD40 can be used to soften up residue and growth so you can more easily scrape it off, but it will not clean the bowl by itself.

Can Coca-Cola remove toilet rings?

Sort of. Coca-Cola can be used for smaller stains, but ultimately it will not clean your toilet as thoroughly as another solution.

What is the best toilet bowl cleaner?

The best toilet bowl cleaner is a solution that is specifically made for the job. Bleach is also very good when used correctly.

Can you remove toilet rings without scrubbing?

It depends on how thick the rings are. Sometimes you can just leave a solution, and it will remove them, but other times you might need to scrub them a bit with a brush or sponge.


Toilet bowl rings are frustrating and gross, but they aren't permanent. Follow these steps, and you can get rid of toilet rings and prevent them from growing in the first place.

Also See - Tightening a Toilet Seat

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.