If there’s one thing I don’t look forward to, it’s cleaning the toilet. This is already a pretty odious task that no one like to get stuck with…for obvious reasons. But cleaning the toilet is especially painful if you’re dealing with hard-water stains. Just like on your sink faucets, hard water (which is essentially water that is bogged down with lots of minerals) causes stains and white deposits in your toilet. As anyone who has ever dealt with hard water in the kitchen can tell you, these stains are impossible to get out – no amount of scrubbing will do the trick, we assure you.

Mineral stains may leave the toilet bowl looking brown and rusty. But you don’t have to get rid of the toilet. Just take a little time to do some cleaning.

After doing some research, we’ve found there’s a simple, fool-proof way to get your toilets free of hard water stains! It’s a simple trick that will get your toilets gleaming again, and all you need to pull it off is one simple ingredient.

The secret ingredient? Cleaning vinegar.

If you’ve never heard of it before, cleaning vinegar is slightly more powerful than regular distilled vinegar; distilled white vinegar is 5% acidity while this cleaning vinegar is 6% acidity. Although this specific vinegar works best because it’s a tad stronger, regular white vinegar will do the trick if it’s all you can find.

You’re going to want to make sure you have a plunger handy, as well as a towel, a scrub brush, and the vinegar (don’t worry – it’s not expensive and you likely already have in your house). Oh, and you’ll need some toilet paper, but we’re guessing you already have that!


  • Plunger
  • Towel
  • Scrub brush
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning vinegar

Step 1: Use the plunger to clear all the water out of the toilet. Use a towel to soak up any extra so that the bowl is completely empty and dry
Step 2: Pour the cleaning vinegar into the bowl until it covers up the hard water stains.
Step 3: Soak toilet paper in the vinegar and apply it under the rim of the toilet, making sure it sticks to the bowl. Let that all sit overnight.
Step 4: Once the toilet is soaked, remove the toilet paper and use a scrub brush to scrub away the loosened up stains. Flush to finish.
Step 5: Apply another coat of vinegar as necessary, until all of the hard water stains have been scrubbed away.

It’s pretty awesome to see the toilet come out good as new! Seriously, for almost no money at all, your toilet is as shiny as it was the day you bought it. No more embarrassing hard water stains in your bathroom!

Do you have any tips for cleaning toilets? Tell us in the comments below.

Also, if you’re into toilet cleaning videos, here’s another approach that uses a different ingredient and cleans the bowl in 15 minutes or so (we haven’t tried this one but it looks like it works well too).