Cleaning Really Tough Toilet Stains

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Cephus, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    We just bought a house and sometime in the last month, while escrow was going through, one of the contractors or inspectors that we had go through the house used the restroom. Of course, they didn't know that I had shut off the water to that bathroom because it needs to have the flapper replaced and it runs, so instead of turning it back on and flushing, they just left it.

    Now there's a yellow stain in the toilet. I tried using regular toilet bowl cleaner, that didn't work. I tried using the Zap heavy duty cleaner, that didn't work. I even tried a pumice stone, that didn't work. I've heard that either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide might work, maybe straight bleach, but I wanted to see if anyone had any other solutions before I go up there again this weekend. We move in next Thursday and I really don't want to have to replace the toilet if I don't have to. Thanks.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Do you have a well? If so, get a water test that includes iron, manganese, and hardness number. If you don't have septic, you could consider something stronger. Do not use sulfuric acid, whatever you do.

    If the staining is iron, Super Iron Out may be helpful. Look in the tank, and if there is iron, you will see orange there.

    Is this an older toilet in a new-to-you house? If so, do you really want to spend time cleaning this toilet when a new very functional toilet can replace your old toilet?
     
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  4. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    No, it isn't on well water, but it is on septic, although whatever chemicals I use, I wasn't planning on flushing down regardless, I'll just suck out with the wet dry vac so it won't affect the septic at all. It's not an old toilet, it's a high efficiency model that's probably no more than 10 years old. The stain isn't iron, the stain is urine.
     
  5. lanachurner

    lanachurner Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Reach4,
    I am curious about your advice.
    We have fairly hard water here. Get a lot of calcium deposits in the toilets.
    City water/sewer.
    Scouring the bowl is not only a pia but it potentially scratches the glazing.
    About every couple of years I use murat acid - which I think is a mild sulphuric.
    I use about 2 qts of acid in a full bowl.
    It does a fantastic job of cleaning any stains and deposits.
    I even put the pump from my wet saw into the bowl and let it pump the solution down the over flow tube and let it clean out the small holes under the rim for a couple of hours.
    I close the bathroom door, leave the fan on and use a respirator when I go in there. Have done this 3 or 4 times in the last 10 years with no ill effects.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Muriatic is HCl in water = hydrochloric acid. Sulfuric is H2SO4. HCl produces chlorides when it reacts with materials. Chlorides tend to be soluble and not colorful. I thinks sulfates tend to be not soluble and at least some are colorful. I tried H2SO4 in a toilet once, and had a bluish stain for a long time where there was apparently some glaze crazing. It turns out that chlorine bleach got rid of the color.
    Those muriatic acid fumes are very strong. You want a lot of ventilation, and still holding your breath is probably a good idea. I hesitated to suggest muriatic because of the harsh fumes. But I agree that it is the most effective for the purpose for some deposits. I like phosphoric, because it not so harsh. It does a reasonable job on many deposits. Pumice has been more effective for me for deposits at the waterline. I even used pumice on Sanagloss after having failed with other things including muriatic. The pumice was very effective where the acids and bleach had not been.

    With a septic tank, I don't want to put 2 quarts of muriatic into my bowl. I wetted tissue I had put at the waterline, and let that sit. I experimented with melting a layer of wax just below the normal waterline, to let me have a thin layer of muriatic for a period. The wax did not form a good seal; I suspect it shrank as it cooled rather than forming a good seal to the bowl. Neutralizing the HCl took a lot of baking soda with a lot of foaming.
     
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