How to Remove Brown Stain in Bottom of Toilet Bowl? – 5 Ways

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to remove brown stain in bottom of toilet bowl

Cleaning the bathroom is already tiring as it is, and there’s no question that a brown stain in your toilet basin is sure to dampen your mood and gross you out. However hard you scrub, the stain just won’t come off. So you might wonder how to remove a brown stain in the bottom of the toilet bowl effectively.

Fortunately, removing this kind of stain is not as arduous as it seems. We are going to show you four steps to get the job done quickly and without any drama, and you will get a spotless toilet in no time!

Ways to Remove the Brown Stain

You can choose to call a professional worker to get the brown stain out of your toilet, but there is no doubt you can also do it yourself at home as well, with the “solutions” easily found in the kitchen.

Method 1: White vinegar and baking soda


What to prepare:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Toilet brush

The mild amount of acid in vinegar, together with baking soda can wash away rigid, annoying stains in the toilet.

To make a strong cleaning substance, use 500ml of vinegar with 200 grams of baking soda. Before you pour them into the toilet, follow these steps as below:

  1. Use your already-owned cleaning agent to scrub the brown stain at bottom of the toilet first, let them sit for 30 minutes, and flush.
  2. Then, pour a half amount of vinegar into the toilet to act as a base, as this layer will stick to the toilet hole’s wall.
  3. Next, put baking soda and the rest of the vinegar into the toilet, consecutively. At this point, foams and sprinkles will appear and you can hear some kind of bubbling sound. This is how carbonic acid is formed.
  4. You can wait from 5-15 minutes before scrubbing the toilet with a toilet brush, or you can even let it sit overnight to destroy stubborn brown stains in the toilet completely.

Another way you can try is to mix vinegar with some spoons of lemon juice. It will probably give an effective result.

Method 2: Coke and baking soda


What to prepare:

  • Coke
  • Baking soda
  • Toilet brush

Coke – Why not give it a try? Due to the phosphoric acid in coke, it can be used to clean greasy stains on clothes, and remove stubborn stains as well. You can just pour a can of coke in, and leave it overnight.

On the next day’s morning, after a flush, it is possible that you completely get rid of brown stains in toilet bowl. Repeat the process until you think the bowl is squeaky clean.

We really recommend you add baking soda for a quicker and more effective result since only coke alone might not do the job.

With coke, you may find it a bit time-consuming. However, this is the most affordable and fun cleaning experiment that you might want to try and show your kids!

Method 3: Power pumice/ Pumice stone


What to prepare:

  • Power pumice, or a pumice stone

This method involves putting your hands down the toilet bowl. If you don’t fancy the idea of it, a pumice stone with a handle will assist you with the task. Before you start using it, leave the toilet’s surface wet. If you use a pumice stone on a dry surface, it will get scratched easily.

Try to scrub slowly, but hard enough to get the brown toilet bowl stains to go away.

Method 4: Chemical substances


What to prepare:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • or Citrid acid
  • Toilet brush

In case you have tried the three methods above, but just can’t remove brown stains from the toilet bowl, it’s high time chemical substances came into use. Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and citric acid used for cleaning are two solutions for getting rid of brown water stains in toilets.

For citric acid, you can start by pouring hot water into the toilet bowl and adding 250ml of citric acid. To yield the best result, leave it overnight, or at least for a few hours before you scrub the toilet.

Another way to remove brown toilet stains is to use hydrogen peroxide – a reagent for stubborn stains. The process starts with you pouring half the cup of hydrogen peroxide into your toilet. Then, leave it be for 30 minutes to make the brown stain at the bottom of the toilet go away.

Method 5: CLR


What to prepare:

  • CLR
  • Toilet brush

A cleaning agent will be an option that does not need you to look too far. You can opt for CLR – an acid-based and toxic-free substance. CLR is widely used for calcium forming on household plumbing and sink hole, or old, rigid rust in the bottom of the toilet bowl.

As CLR removes brown toilet stains, use CLR to where you need to clean brown toilet stains, and just let it sink in for 2 minutes. Remember, there are only 2 minutes for the substance to get absorbed by the toilet’s wall, if it stays for too long, the ceramic bowl will be damaged.

So remember, when using CLR, you only need to wait for 2 minutes.

The last step would be, of course, scrubbing your toilet again, and flushing to get dirt in the bottom of the toilet bowl out through the drain pipe.

Why is the Toilet Bowl Stained Brown at the Bottom?


You may wonder why your toilet could get brown stains formed on the toilet hole’s wall. Believe it or not, these stains do not come from fecal matter as many people have thought, they actually come from the water source you use in your bathroom.

When the water source collects minerals from rainwater, such as lime, calcium, magnesium, iron, or sulfur, it is called hard water and it can cause brown stains in the toilet bowl. The discoloration effect, which makes the limescale change colors, is due to the reaction of iron or manganese in the water source with the limescale.

With more and more amount of hard water flowing in and out every day, the buildup of minerals in the water source also picks up the dirt along the way, then make the limescale change its color from white, to gray, or green, and finally the brown color that we know you hate to see.

Why Should You Clean Brown Stains in Toilet Bowls?


Brown stains lying on your toilet bowls could be gross if you look at them, and since they can accumulate over time, they only get worse. You wouldn’t want to use a dirty and smelly toilet, and at least, so do the guests visiting your house and using your bathroom.

What is more, a dirty toilet is a preferable place for pathogenic enteric bacteria to develop and spread widely to the sinks, and the bathroom walls, which is not a good sign for your well-being.

Cleaning brown stains in the toilet bowl is something you must do regularly, and to prevent brown stains in the toilet from developing, it is recommended that you invest in water treatment equipment for your house.

You can try testing your water system at an EPA-certified water testing facility to analyze the water components which might cause stains in your toilet bowl. You can also call a professional worker or plumber for assistance with the task of getting dark stains out of the toilet bowl, and how you can prevent it from happening again.


It is surely a pain in the neck when you have to deal with a stained, dirty toilet. But if you got the right tools with proper protection, it will be done really quickly without you knowing about it.

To remove stains inside the toilet, you don’t need to think too complicatedly, just start searching for baking sodas in the kitchen and try if it works! We hope our guide on how to remove a brown stain in the bottom of the toilet bowl would help you with your cleaning work.

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