Need Advice on Cleaning Water Line Stain

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Andrea in PA, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Andrea in PA

    Andrea in PA New Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Plumbers, Homeowners, Bathroom Cleaners -
    This is not actually a plumbing problem, but I need help. We are moving our Toto Promenade upstairs to the guest room and installing a new Clayton in the powder room. My husband drained and disconnected the old toilet last night.
    I would like to get the horrible stain of the water level line off of the bowl while the water is out of it. I have tried everything! Any suggestions?
    We have well water and in the beginning the water was too acidic. So, we had an acid neutralizer installed which made the water too hard. So, we had a softener installed. The water has always had normal levels for calcium, iron, and everything else.
    The toilet was always used and cleaned on a regular basis (often cleaned daily because of the poor bowl wash), however the water ring stain always remained. I'm not sure if it is from the acid or hard water or both.
    I tried all of the usual bathroom cleaners without success. I also tried Soft Scrub with bleach (it is a white toilet) and Lime Away. I've used a cloth, scrubbing sponge, and a toothbrush.
    I would appreciate any suggestions for a cleaning product or any suggestions of where to look for an answer (cleaning websites?).
    Thanks so much,
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire

    Is it per chance one of the Sanagloss models?

    Post #19 under the POLL thread in toilets describes a problem with an unremovable yellow stain at the water line of a Sanagloss toilet. There has been no answer suggesting a resolution of the problem.

    If yours is also a Sanagloss model, it probably supports a hypothesis that there could be something about the Sanagloss finish that makes it susceptible to something in some water supplies. It may be smooth but if it is not totally inert or if it is porous it could develop a permanent stain. Being smooth does not preclude microscopic porosity.

    If I were manufacturing these things I would get one of my agents to replace the toilet and send it back to me for analysis, unless I already knew what the problem was. I suspect that someone with a scanning electron microscope or some of the other high tech analytical systems could determine what the elements of the stain are and why it is occurring.
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    It wasn't a Sanagloss toilet she was referring to.

    And to say that Sanagloss is not better is just funny.
    I'm selling hundreds of the Sanagloss bowls every year. Most of them repeat sales.
    It is a better bowl finish.

    Most of the people polled on it would buy another one.

    But just to repeat, the question was not on Sanagloss, but the regular glaze, which would be true with any brand of toilet installed in that home.

    When you have bad water, you have problems.

    There are liquid bowl cleaners that can be used. The powder based cleaners are not recommended.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    What color is the stain?
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity be caring and loving to a
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    muratic Acid

    Muratic acid is what I suggest you try...

    I have told this to countless people over the years

    Go buy a gallon and pour itin the bowl, then COVER THE BOWL
    with a plastic garbage bag to keep the fumes from stinking up the
    house.... tape it down...seal it off

    this stuff stinks and can stink up the house...

    ALSO open a window or turn on a fan in the room......

    the smell can make you gag, so be warned...
    but its basically tame....

    let it sit for as long as you can stand it.....a few hours anyway...

    then flush it on out down the drain line ...

    flush it maybe 6 times to dillute the acid down to neutral...

    its either going to be perfectly clean like the day
    it came out of the box, or
    you simply need a new toilet....
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Personaly I would not acid the toilet in the house. Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid reduced to a specific baum/strength. Muriatic acid will etch/eat the porcelan finish on a toilet or sink. When mixed with water it causes a exothermic reaction which creates heat and could , under the right conditions, crack a toilet spilling it on the floor. The fumes are not tame.

    MURIATIC ACID CONTAINS HYDROCHLORIC ACID. CORROSIVE LIQUID AND VAPOR. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Avoid breathing vapor. Do not take internally. Handle with extreme caution and keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer liquid to unlabeled container. DO NOT MIX WITH CHLORINE-TYPE BLEACHES OR ANY OTHER CHEMICAL SOR HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS. Acid may react with chemicals, metals and other materials to form highly flammable or toxic gases, which may be fatal. Use only when ventilation is equivalent to outdoor conditions. It may be necessary to use mechanical ventilation if normal air movement is not sufficient to disperse fumes completely.

    FIRST AID: If swallowed, give a glass of milk, milk of magnesia, lime water or aluminum hydroxide gel. DO NOT induce vomiting. Avoid use of baking soda. Drink several glasses of water. Follow with olive oil, vegetable oil, milk, or egg whites. If splashed on skin, wash with large amounts of water and then apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate. id splashed in eyes, flush immediately with running water for at least 15 minutes. If overcome by vapor, remove to fresh air. In all cases call a physician or poison control center immediately.

    STORAGE & DISPOSAL: Acid vapors will permeate a sealed container over a period of time. Do not store for a prolonged period near articles of value. In case of spill, flood areas with large quantities of water. Product or rinsates that cannot be used should be diluted with water before disposal in a sanitary sewer. Do not reuse empty container but place in trash collection. Do not contaminate food or feed by storage, disposal or cleaning of equipment.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  8. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity be caring and loving to a
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    muratic acid

    we use it all the time. and recommned it often
    to people with a warning to --USE COMMON SENSE

    my doctor used itin a toilet in his office with
    great success, little old ladies I know have handled it ok...

    of course you are not suppposed to bathe in it or
    splash it all over you

    you can actually put your hand into it and watch it
    start to tingle your skin after about a minute....
    you just wash it off...
    I have done that out of curousity before....

    brick men use it to clean the lime off brick on homes
    ect....they dillute it to half strength...

    its never been a problem but
    the smell can about knock you down

    but it does
    clean out the internal trap of an old toilet
    better than anything else
    out there..........and thats why we recommend it

    you know that some drain cleaners are far more
    dangerous that this stuff...

    pouring gas into a hot lawnmower is
    actually far more dangerous too
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2005
  9. Cal

    Cal New Member

    May 10, 2005
    Northern Virginia

    "you can actually put your hand into it and watch it
    start to tingle your skin after about a minute....
    you just wash it off...
    I have done that out of curousity before...."

    Is that you getting all smoked up in that picture ??!!

    I've used A LOT of this acid (Tile & Brick) ,,,,please don't put your hand in it again .

    It ain't NOW you got to worry about .

    I'll have what your drinkin'

  10. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity be caring and loving to a
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    acid and hands

    Useing acid to clean brick moarter and tile floors
    is pretty common and getting it on your hands occasioinally
    is par for the course....

    I was simply curious about how really caustic it was , the best way is
    to simply "test it" was on any available "dummy" around .

    Since their were no other "dummies" available, I tested it on myself....
    it was not a big deal at all, but I would not want to spill it all over myself either..

    Actually the VAPORS are what
    will really mess you up with muritic acid.

    If you use your hands for a living, it should not
    bother you that much at all. , brick men use it all the time and
    have hands like leather.

    I honestly worry much more about the PVC glues we all
    breathe in all the time in close quarters., most people cant stand the
    intence odor that permeates the room you are working in

    thats whats gonna kill ya some day.


    I have tangled with much, much worse.... when cleaning out
    kitchen drain lines....

    people will throw literally every drain cleaner they got
    in the house down a drain , mixing hydrocloric acid with
    sulfuric acid, ect ect... bleach and ammonia too....

    you dont realize what you are into
    till you notice a "slick " feel to your hands....
    thats the acid takeing off the top layer of your fingerprints..

    rubber gloves really do come in handy a lot...
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Yeah' the glue is not real good methaleenchloride (sp?) is the main solvent and is bretty bad if you use it day after day. I do very little new work because of that. That way my exposure is minimal.
    The drain cleaners are the other bad stuf. I will walk out of a job where the people tell me they had dumped 2-3 bottles of Liquid Fire, Clobber, Ect. (pure sulphuric acid) down the drain. It can/will remove the temper out of a drain snake and they are to expensive to ruin that way.
  12. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    New York
    Your skin can tolerate acids much better than bases. Drain cleaner (Caustic-High pH) dissolves organic tissue. That's why you put lie in an outhouse. Not muratic. That slick feeling of bleach is the lipids in your skin breaking down. NaOH (a lot of liquid drain cleaners) will dissolve everything in your body except bones. Acid eats those.
  13. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity be caring and loving to a
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    shiney drain snakes

    muratic is really pretty tame
    compared to the stuff you run into
    going out to peopels houses to clean the drains...

    like you said, clobber, sizzle, ect and some of the others out there
    actually sort of burn the steel cable you put down the drain
    and it comes back all shiney

    thats not good to get into at all...
  14. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005
    meuratic acid

    I'm with you Mark.....Have used it since way back when.............
  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    I have used it but no more. It will ruin the glazing on the toilet and the fumes can burn the cilia in your lungs, outdoors is fine but not in.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  16. julia

    julia New Member

    Dec 22, 2005
    I've used a little piece of broken red brick and very gently scrubbed a little at a time. It worked great when nothing else would. Maybe I hurt the finish in some way but it still seems fine.
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