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How to descale a toilet

Updated July 05, 2018

Mineral deposits are often the result of hard water. These deposits build-up in your toilet bowl over time, resulting in scaling. Lime scale, for example, is caused by calcium and magnesium deposits. Descaling your toilet isn't any easy task, but it can be done with the right acid products and a lot of elbow grease.

Pour white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. The ideal vinegar to use in your toilet is between 4 and 8 per cent.

Squirt the inside of your toilet bowl with the vinegar. Vinegar is a natural acid that can eat away at mild cases of lime scale. Place a few sheets of paper towels over the vinegar and spray again. This will keep the vinegar in place for the next three hours.

Remove the paper towels and scrub the toilet with a toilet brush, or any other type of brush used for cleaning porcelain.

Flush two to three times to remove the scale, as well as any traces of vinegar.

Slide a pair of rubber gloves over your hands, and place a mask over your nose and mouth. Chemical acids are toxic. If your homemade descaler wasn't strong enough to remove the scale, however, you will have to resort to using the chemicals.

Mix your acid cleaner with water as directed on the product label. Acid cleaners you may use to descale the toilet include phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid and oxalic acid.

Pour the acid mixture over the scale in the toilet bowl. Let the acid eat away at the scale for the next 30 minutes.

Scrub the toilet bowl to remove all traces of the mineral deposits. Use a toilet brush, or a cleaning brush designated safe for use on porcelain.

Flush numerous times to remove the scale, and any remaining traces of the chemical descaler.

Tip

Baking soda can be sprinkled over the vinegar before scrubbing. It makes for a great all-natural abrasive cleaner.

Warning

Ventilate any bathrooms where you utilised a chemical descaler.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mask
  • Chemical descaler
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About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.