How to Get the Brown Stains Out of a Commode

Ugly brown stains can make your commode appear unclean.
Ugly brown stains can make your commode appear unclean. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Brown stains in your commode make it appear perpetually unclean. Hard water leaves behind mineral accumulations that turn the bowl of your commode into an unsightly mess with a reddish-brown stain. If despite regular cleaning these stains simply won’t budge, a little creative thinking is in order to effectively leave your commode looking as clean as you know it is.

Things You'll Need

  • Toilet cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Coca-Cola or chlorine bleach
  • Pumice stone

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Clean the toilet with a toilet cleaner and a toilet brush. Follow all manufacturer's instructions for the chosen toilet cleaning product. Cleaning the commode first helps to lift any easily removed surface stains.

Pour 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach or 1/2 can of regular (not diet) Coca-Cola into the bowl.

Allow the bleach or Coca-Cola to remain in the toilet for at least two hours; overnight is optimal if possible.

Scrub the commode with a toilet brush and flush to eliminate any residue that may have loosened from the toilet while it was soaking.

Dampen a pumice stone with water and gently scrub away any residual stain that may be left. Pumice stones can scratch your commode so use caution and don’t scrub too hard.

Tips & Warnings

  • A gentler alternative to a pumice stone is a damp cloth or sponge dipped in baking soda.
  • White vinegar can be used in place of Coca-Cola or chlorine bleach.
  • Wear long rubber gloves when scrubbing your commode to protect yourself from germs.
  • Do not mix cleaners. Vinegar and bleach can produce harmful fumes.


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