The toilet bowl is one of the areas in the house which can be quite difficult to keep clean.
Even when you think you finally have it looking great, it gets used again, and it needs more attention.
Some homeowners will notice that their toilet bowls tend to get a grey stain on the bottom.
There are a few things which can cause grey stains in your toilet bowl.
Luckily, most of the reasons the grey stains show up can be quickly corrected with a little extra cleaning.
What Causes Grey Stains in a Toilet Bowl?
Grey stains in the toilet bowl can be caused by mineral build-up from hard water or by scratches from cleaning with an abrasive material.
If your toilet is grey because of a mineral buildup or some other type of bacteria growing in your toilet, there are ways to fix it.
For those that have scratches from cleaning with something like a Brillo pad, there may be no way to remove the grey stains.
Let’s take a look into the ways to identify what the stain is and whether or not you can fix it.
How to Clear Grey Stains in a Toilet Bowl
There are many different toilet cleaners on the market.
Although some of these cleaners have varying levels of success, there are two that really stand out as being better.
Those two are bleach and vinegar.
If you are struggling with grey stains in the bowl, we recommend following this process to help clear things up.
Step 1: Clean with Bleach
The first step is to take a bit of bleach and pour it into your toilet bowl.
Use the brush to wash the inside of the toilet using this bleach water.
Let the toilet sit for about ten minutes after you have washed and then flush it.
When you flush, try to see if any of the stains have gone away or gotten lighter.
For some people, the bleach will get the toilet completely white again while others will have to move to the next step.
Step 2: Empty the Toilet
For the next step, you are going to want to have more access to the stains themselves.
To do this, you will have to control how much water is in the toilet.
By opening the top of your toilet, you can use the flapper to drain the toilet and then shut it before it fills back in.
This gives you access to the stains without having the water in the bowl, washing away the vinegar.
The next step involves putting vinegar on the stains and then using a soft-sided sponge to scrub out the grey stains.
We recommend this as the second step because the first step will also help you sanitize the toilet.
When you have finished with a sponge you are using on the toilet, it is best to throw that sponge away.
Continue to scrub the grey stains with vinegar.
When you are finished scrubbing the stains, pour a bit more vinegar to sit on the area.
While you have the toilet emptied, it is a good idea to scrub the entire bowl with the vinegar and sponge.
This helps to make sure that everything is clean before you start flushing again.
Let the vinegar sit in the toilet bowl for about twenty minutes before flushing.
The smell of vinegar will seem a bit strong, but it will dissipate over time.
Step 3: Flush
Now that your toilet has been scrubbed and the vinegar is on the stains, you can release the flapper and flush the toilet.
You will hopefully notice at this point that the stains have started to go away.
If you are noticing that things look better but are not entirely gone, you may need to repeat the process.
For those who are noticing almost no decrease in the stains, it could be that your toilet bowl is scratched.
This tends to happen when someone uses an abrasive cleaner on the toilet.
You must be careful with the cleaners you use so that this does not happen again in the future.
Once those scratches are there, there won’t be much you can do to get rid of them.
Can You Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean a Toilet?
If you follow our blog long enough, you will notice how often we use the baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution to help us with a variety of household projects.
Not only is vinegar and baking soda a great choice for cleaning the toilet, they can actually help you unclog a stuck or slow toilet.
When you do this process, you will want to go through the same steps of clearing the bowl of water.
You will want the baking soda and the vinegar to be able to work together, and with the water in the bowl, this won’t happen.
When the bowl is clear of water, sprinkle baking soda around the entire inside.
You will not need to dump your entire box of baking soda in the toilet.
A light sprinkle around the edges and in the center will do the trick, but don’t worry if some of it goes down the drain.
Once you have the baking soda in place, you can then start pouring in the vinegar.
If you have an old spray bottle you can use, the best way to do this is to spray the baking soda with vinegar.
Sometimes when you pour vinegar in, it will wash away the baking soda, and your experiment will not be all that effective.
When you can lightly spray the baking soda, you will instantly see that the baking soda’s reaction is quite a strong one.
There will be bubbling and fizzing, and this solution will work to break down the bacteria and hard water stains in the bowl.
In addition, when you flush the toilet again, you may notice that it flushes a bit better.
The baking soda and vinegar will continue to react as they head down the drain of your toilet.
Watch Out for Stains from Toilet Auger
Have you noticed that there are stains in your toilet after you have recently released a clog or a back-up?
Chances are some of those stains could have been caused by the toilet auger.
The good news is that it is likely just rust that was pulled up when the auger worked its way back up the drain of the toilet.
With a good rust remover built for toilets, you should be able to get the stains out.
Sometimes when investigating stains or scratches in your toilet, you need to stop for a minute and consider how it could have gotten there in the first place.
Can You Use Dish Soap on a Toilet?
Knowing how effective dish soap can be for cleaning dishes, you may wonder if it will work to clean your toilet.
Not only is dish soap a good idea for cleaning a toilet, but it also will work to clean the drain.
Sometimes if you have a clog in your toilet which is caused by some kind of buildup on the sides, you may find that dish soap will work to clean it.
You won’t need to use a ton of soap as you don’t need bubbles coming out into your bathroom.
Simply put some soap into your toilet and then use the scrub brush to get it clean.
The scrubbing will help to remove any stains and help the soap dissolve in the water.
If you don’t scrub while you put the soap in the toilet, you may notice that the soap sticks and never really gets to work.
Does Bleach Damage a Toilet?
As you probably know, bleach is a harsh cleaner.
If you decide to use bleach in your toilet, make sure that you dilute it with water.
We recommend saving the powerful bleach cleaning for once a month instead of a daily or weekly cleaning.
Sometimes bleach can damage the porcelain of the toilet because it can be a bit harsh.
However, this is a rare occurrence and usually only happens when the bleach is not diluted.
Always mix about three or four parts water to every one part of bleach to avoid any long term issues.
Be sure that there is good ventilation in the area where you use bleach.