We’ve all seen those rust looking stains in toilets. It looks horrible but it’s not as bad as it looks. It’s just calcium stains and they can easily be cleaned with some good old fashioned scrubbing and solvents.
We will be getting to the information on “how to” clean them but first, let us give you the scoop about these kinds of stains.
As we said earlier, they look pretty gross but they really are not. It’s not a sign that your toilet is not “clean”. The truth is that the calcium deposits that cause these stains will pop up wherever there is water flow. You may notice that if your bathtub has a dripping faucet, you will eventually see calcium stains in the tub. These brownish, rusty looking marks can also be found in sinks, shower doors, shower heads, etc.
Generally, calcium stains tend to be worse in areas with hard water or well water. The reason is that there is more lime and minerals in those kinds of water supplies. Atlanta, Ga is definitely one of those areas where hard water is the norm. According to Wikipedia, “Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.” But know that Atlanta is in the majority. We know that 85% of the USA has some degree of hard water.
According to Homewater101.com the top cities with hard water are:
- Indianapolis, IN
- Las Vegas, NV
- Minneapolis, MN
- Phoenix, AZ
- San Antonio, TX
- Tampa, FL
Best Fix For The Hard Water Problem
The best (but most expensive) solution to fixing problems with hard water is to install a water softener system. But of course, this is costly. The cost of water softeners differs. They can range from $400.00 to $3000.00 so take some time to decide what you can afford and which type will work for you.
Know that the water softener system will not only keep calcium stains at bay, they will save your pipes and it will help to save everything in your houses that uses water. Your washing machine, your dishwasher and your toilets and maybe even your skin!
So, enough about the information about calcium stains. Let’s get on to a less expensive way to deal with removing these calcium stains from your toilet (and other areas as well).
How Do You Remove Calcium Stains?
The least expensive approach is, of course, to maintain a cleaning schedule so that the calcium deposits don’t have the opportunity to create a stain. A weekly scrubbing of your toilet should do the trick. The sooner you can tackle the problem, the easier it will be to clean. Think of the stain like tartar on your teeth. The longer you go without brushing, the more tartar will build up. And hence, the harder and longer your dental hygienist will have to work on getting rid of it.
There are many over the counter products that you can use for this weekly cleanup. You can also go more “natural” and creat a paste using baking soda and vinegar. Apply the paste to the stain – let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then rinse.
But for more difficult stains we recommend the following steps:
- You want to make sure that all the calcium stains are not under water. So, turn of the water supply to the toilet and then flush it so that the water level goes as low as possible. If need be, use a plunger to bring the water level even lower. Keep this up until all the calcium stains are above water.
- Spray the calcium stains liberally with Distilled Vinegar. Let that sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour baking soda onto a stiff brush and scrub away the stains.
- Turn your water supply back on and you’re done.
If you have any questions about calcium stains or hard water – call the experts at Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570.