I've been tasked with cleaning a toilet.

I can't get rid of the scum ring.

I've tried the usual things, but they didn't do the job.

  • vinegar
  • vinegar and baking soda
  • baking soda
  • "The Works" (commercial product)
  • Lysol 10x Power
  • Lysol for "Lime and Rust"
  • Comet
  • Hard scrubbing with a brush
  • Various products at Walmart meant for Lime deposits

Got any more ideas for me?

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Same pic with high dynamic range applied:

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4 Answers 4


I have used these cleaning stones on toilets that I bet would need to be replaced, They worked great.

I invested in a condo that was left by a hoarder. It looked like a crime scene and my wife informed me that she would not be the one cleaning the bathroom. Business partner bought these cleaning stones and made the toilet look new. We use them on every flip or rental toilet and replacement numbers have been greatly reduced.

  • In most locales, toilets are made of ceramic coated with porcelain, i.e., glassy enamel. "Pumice stones are an excellent cleaning tool, but only when used cautiously. Porcelain toilets are extremely susceptible to scratches, which are permanent and collect stains and grime much more easily than a fully protected bowl." build.com/6-heavy-duty-ways-to-clean-the-toilet/a19770 Once that smooth porcelain is damaged, it will accumulate permanent stains that soak into the ,more porous underlying ceramic. Commented Apr 18 at 0:44

It could be a build-up of iron and manganese oxides. There are various commercial products to help, such as Red-B-Gone and Iron OUT that work by attempting to chemically reduce the oxides into a soluble form. They might help, if left in place for a few hours.

However, the toilet's porcelain has likely been scratched by the abrasive cleaners, and will quickly become discolored again.

It might be far more economical to replace that with a new high-efficiency toilet. After doing so in our home, we find they flush more completely, stay clean longer and use less water, lowering the bill.


Buy a new toilet. Gets rid of the ring every time.

If the finish of the toilet is damage at the ring, there is little you can do to remove it.

Lime/calcium removers are good for lime/calcium, not as good for other stuff.

New toilet and cleaning more often.


Get a single edge razorblade and slide it under the scum line all the way around the bowl scraping the scum off. For the lower parts, get some fine wet sand or emery cloth and gently rub the areas being careful not to scratch the surface.

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