Bathroom limescale deposits

Toilet limescale removal is a dirty job. Most people prefer to wash their hands from it, outsource it, and forget about it. But if you’re reading this, you’re not most people. You want to get your hands dirty. You want the raw, unadulterated sense of accomplishment that comes from handling something most people avoid.

You’ve set your mind to it and there is no stopping you. What you need right now is not a pep talk, but a limescale remover recommendation. Something powerful that would allow you to obliterate all the annoying mineral deposits in one fell swoop.

I have just the thing.

In this article:

  • What is limescale and what's it doing on your toilet bowl?
  • Why you should absolutely remove limescale deposits
  • How to descale your toilet with white vinegar
    • Step 1: Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle
    • Step 2: Spray the limescale deposits
    • Step 3: Let the vinegar sit for a few hours
    • Step 4: Start scrubbing
    • Step 5: Flush the toilet
  • Does bleach remove limescale?
  • Toilet limescale removal methods you should avoid
  • Conclusion

What is limescale and what’s it doing on your toilet bowl?

Limescale is a mineral deposit, resulting from water dissolving soft rocks like chalk or the eponymous limescale. When water passes through these soft rocks, it picks up mineral particles and ironically becomes “hard water”.

Hard water then transports these minerals directly to your home and leaves them in your plumbing, washing machine, shower, and yes – your toilet bowl. In time, the deposits grow and become noticeable enough that you look for a way to remove them.

That’s when you realise getting rid of these limescale deposits is easier said than done. They can be especially stubborn and difficult to deal with.

The colour of limescale depends on the types of minerals the water carries. In the case of your toilet, it’s probably going to be reddish-brown, suggesting iron compounds in the water.

Why you should absolutely remove limescale deposits

Aside from the obvious, aesthetic reasons for removing limescale, there are more pragmatic ones. Limescale is especially bad for plumbing, but it can also damage your toilet bowl given enough time. Descaling is absolutely crucial if you want to avoid long-term damage.

How to descale your toilet with white vinegar

White vinegar is great at dealing with limescale – it’s cheap, it’s natural, and it’s easy to use. The only downside is that it smells funny, but that’s another issue you can fix.

If you want to cut right through those annoying mineral deposits, follow this process:

Step 1: Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle

If you haven’t followed our scented vinegar guide, then pour some white vinegar into a spray bottle.

Step 2: Spray the limescale deposits

Most other guides recommend pouring litres upon litres of vinegar into your toilet bowl, but that’s unnecessary waste.  What you should do instead is spray vinegar directly on the deposits you want to remove.

Step 3: Let the vinegar sit for a few hours

Now comes the best part – the waiting game. Let the vinegar sit for three to four hours. This will give it enough time to cut through the minerals.

Note: If you feel your case is particularly stubborn, then you can leave the vinegar sit overnight.

Step 4: Start scrubbing

Take a brush or a sponge and start scrubbing. Avoid scrubbing dry areas. Instead, keep applying white vinegar to the places you scrub. This will reduce the chances of scratching your toilet bowl.

Step 5: Flush the toilet

Once you’re done with scrubbing, flush the toilet and marvel at the result.

Note: You might want to consider investing in water softening tablets to avoid this problem in the future.

Does bleach remove limescale?

The short answer is “no”. The long answer is “no, it doesn’t, because bleach is not the great cleaning product you’ve been lead to believe”.

Bleach is great for disinfection and for whitening, but it’s a terrible cleaning agent. Not to mention there are many downsides to using it in your home, such as it can be dangerous if you mix it with other chemicals.

To remove mineral deposits, you need a cleaner with acidic properties (like vinegar). The only problem is, bleach is actually a base.

Toilet limescale removal methods you should avoid

Look, this is the Internet. Any tip you decide to follow is at your own risk. And there is a lot of bad information flowing out there. Here are some of the limescale cleaning tips you should think twice before trying:

  • Cleaning your toilet with sandpaper – I’m not entirely sure how this one came into existence but it’s terrible advice. Don’t get me wrong – using sandpaper will definitely help you descale your toilet bowl. It will also scratch it beyond repair. You’ll be looking at the grotesque results of your failure for years (or until you move out – but then you’ll probably lose your security deposit for damaging the toilet bowl).
  • Cleaning your toilet bowl with cola– a black, sugary, carbonated liquid is hardly the ideal cleaning product. Even though there are plenty of videos “demonstrating the miraculous cleaning powers of cola”, most of these are myths. You won’t clean the limescale from your toilet using cola.

Note: Whatever advice you read online, it’s best to try it on a small, out-of-sight area. This way, if it turns out the advice doesn’t work or worse – it will cause damage, the problem won’t be too severe. This is true for all cleaning tips – from bathroom cleaning to cleaning your cupboards.   


Removing the limescale from your toilet bowl is not a pleasant job but once you’re done, the results bring an amazing sense of satisfaction. As long as you don’t follow the plethora of bad advice online, your toilet should be nice and shiny. And, of course, if you don’t feel like cleaning it, you can always give us a call.

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.