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How To Remove Limescale From Your Toilet

Limescale is a common problem in the UK that can leave unsightly stains in your toilet. In this guide we outline how you can remove limescale from your toilet, where it comes from and how you can prevent it coming back.

How To Remove Limescale From Your Toilet:

  1. Pour vinegar into the toilet bowl
  2. Leave for 3-4 hours
  3. Scrub the toilet bowl
  4. Flush the toilet
  5. Repeat as necessary

Step 1: Pour Vinegar Into Your Toilet

Nancy Emery, bathroom expert at Tap Warehouse raves about the uses of white vinegar, "it's a great natural cleaner which will be cheaper than most specialist cleaners your can buy. All you need to do is pour a litre of white vinegar into your toilet bowl and ensure it reaches all parts of the bowl to cover all areas that may have particularly bad limescale."


Step 2: Allow The Vinegar To Sit

After you've poured the vinegar into your toilet, leave it to work its magic for 3-4 hours. If your limescale is particularly bad you can leave it overnight.

Step 3: Scrub The Toilet Bowl

Now you've let the vinegar work, it's time to use your toilet brush to scrub the areas of limescale. At this point you can also add some more vinegar if the stains don't appear to be shifting.

If you have some particularly stubborn stains, grab a pair of gloves & scrub the areas more vigorously with the scourer side of a kitchen sponge. When scrubbing, it's important to apply vinegar or water to the area first and be very careful not to scratch the surface of the toilet.

Step 4: Flush The Toilet

Once you feel you've scrubbed all of the limescale away, flush the toilet a few times to clear any remaining vinegar and mineral deposits.


Step 5: Repeat Until The Toilet Is Clean

If you've followed these steps and your toilet still isn't clean, you can repeat the process above until you can hopefully remove all of the limescale. If the stains are really stubborn, try leaving the vinegar in your toilet overnight, which should hopefully shift the limescale. If this method doesn't work for you, it could be time for a brand new toilet!

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Remove Limescale With Cola

The acidity of cola makes it really useful for cleaning purposes, particularly when trying to break down limescale. This is another method which will save you having to buy expensive specialist cleaners.


1. Pour Cola Around The Bowl

First you'll need to pour the cola, making sure you coat the whole bowl whilst paying close attention to any problem limescale areas. Although there isn't a specific amount to use, roughly the size of a regular can of cola should be enough.

2. Leave To Sit

Next you'll need to leave the cola to get to work. This should be for at least an hour but you can leave it overnight if there's a large amount of limescale. 

3. Scrub The Limescale

As with the vinegar, you'll next need to scrub the limescale with your toilet brush. You can again use gloves and a kitchen sponge to work harder at particularly stubborn areas.

4. Flush The Toilet

You can now flush your toilet and hopefully see that the limescale is removed. If it doesn't work the first time you can always repeat the process again.

Removing Limescale With Specialist Products

There's a whole host of specialist limescale cleaning products available which should help remove any stains. If you choose to use one of these cleaners, make sure it will actually remove the limescale, rather than just altering its colour.

Sandpaper Or Pumice Stones

You might hear that people have had success removing limescale by scrubbing with something harsher such as sandpaper or a pumice stone. Although this may help remove the limescale, there's also a chance that you could damage the finish of your toilet, so this isn't something we'd recommend.

What Is Limescale?

Limescale is a chalky substance that you'll find on many items throughout your home that come into contact with water. When water moves through softer rocks like limestone or chalk, it will pick up some of their minerals. These minerals will remain in the water when it reaches your home which then leads to limescale stains.

Limescale, which is mainly composed of calcium carbonate, will appear in your toilet as a brown, orange or pink coloured stain.


Hard Water Areas

Limescale is a problem in hard water areas. Hard water has high concentrations of minerals within it, compared to soft water which will have a very small or no mineral content.

Whether you have hard water or soft water will largely depend on where you live. You can check with your water company but overall, over 60% of people in the UK live in a hard water area.

Preventing Limescale In Your Toilet

As limescale is caused by the mineral content of the water supply to your home, rather than a lack of cleaning, preventing limescale build ups can be difficult. However, using the methods above regularly will help remove the limescale before it becomes a harder problem to tackle.

Lemon Or Vinegar

Pouring a small amount of lemon or vinegar into your toilet once a month can help prevent the build up of limescale deposits. The acidity of these will help wash away any smaller limescale deposits without the need for intense scrubbing.


Water Softeners

Another, albeit more expensive approach is installing a water softener in your home. These devices will remove the minerals in the hard water supply, which should prevent the build-up of limescale in your toilet.

Looking to start fresh? Find out how to fit a new toilet.

Keeping your toilet free of limescale isn't easy but with a little bit of work, you should be able to keep it looking great. If you've scrubbed your toilet and the limescale doesn't want to budge, it could be time to replace it. Luckily, Tap Warehouse has an excellent selection of toilets to choose from.

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