Cleaning under the toilet rim can be a particularly difficult task. It’s hard to reach, and if you have left it too long, chances are there will be a fair amount of scrubbing involved.
An unclean toilet rim can be the cause of brown toilet water, and if your inlets are clogged, it may also lead to a low water level in your toilet. And while your toilet may eventually unclog itself if you’ve been flushing non-flushable items, your toilet rim will never magically get cleaner and whiter all on its own.
Here is what you can do to clean under your toilet rim.
How Do You Get Rid of Buildup Under Toilet Rim?
You can use a toilet cleaner, a combination of vinegar and baking soda or borax and vinegar to get rid of the buildup under your toilet rim. You can also use a pumice stone, or an angled toilet brush to scrub it away.
If you have been negligent when it comes to scrubbing your toilet under the rim, chances are there are quite a few stains down there. Black stains are usually mould, brown stains are caused by hard water and limescale, while pink stains can be caused by bacteria.
Lighter stains will be easily removable with the use of a toilet brush and a regular, albeit stronger, toilet cleaner. I use this OXO one, and it has lasted very well. As for your cleaner, you can try using Duck, or Harpic’s excellent cleaner that works particularly well on limescale buildup.
HG has a limescale remover that is even stronger, if you want something you can also use all over the bathroom.
You can also try a combination of vinegar and baking soda, use borax and vinegar, or try with a pumice stone.
Option 1: Toilet Cleaner + Brush
Using a store-bought toilet cleaner and brush is your simplest solution. Buy something strong and be sure to read the instructions very carefully. Always wear gloves when using strong cleaning agents.
Flush your toilet first, and then give the toilet rim a bit of a scrub with your brush. Apply your product and leave it on for the required amount of time (usually around an hour or so for tough stains). Do some more scrubbing and try to remove as much of the staining as you can. Flush again to rinse, and repeat the entire process if you need to.
You can also use your shower head to rinse off any product that remains in the areas that aren’t completely cleaned by the flush.
Option 2: Vinegar + Baking Soda
Adding baking soda to vinegar will give you carbonic acid (and sodium acetate, but it plays a less important role in this process), which is great for removing all kinds of mineral deposits.
You can pour your vinegar around the rims of the toilet, or you can even pour some in your toilet tank and let it be distributed from there. Let that sit for a while, and then start sprinkling baking soda over it. It will start to sizzle and fizz.
Let it do its magic for 15-ish minutes, then come back and do a bit of scrubbing. Flush the toilet, and you should be very satisfied with the results.
Another thing you can do is tape your rim jets shut to ensure all of the vinegar is concentrated under the rim. This will require you to cut off the water to your tank and empty it by flushing. Then seal your rim jets with tape, pour vinegar in the tank and flush.
After a couple of hours, remove the tape, sprinkle on the baking soda, and repeat the first process.
Option 3: Borax and Vinegar
Another option is to mix Borax with vinegar, but since you can’t find it in the UK, this may be an option only for my US audience.
If you do use borax, note that it can be dangerous. There are Borax substitutes you can order on Amazon, which should do an equally good job of cleaning under your toilet rim.
Pour a cup of Borax into your toilet and chase it with some vinegar. Then use your brush to scrub at the rims and let the mixture sit there for 15 minutes. Scrub again and flush.
You can repeat the process if you need to.
Again, since Borax is banned in the UK, you may want to steer clear of this method, and use something not as strong instead.
Option 4: Pumice Stone
You can also buy a pumice stone specifically for your toilet, and use it instead of a toilet brush. It’s great for scrubbing away any mineral deposits and stains, and will work especially well when paired with one of the cleaning agents I’ve recommended.
What is the Black Stuff Under the Toilet Rim?
The black stuff under the toilet rim is most likely mould. It can also be bacteria buildup, which will start out pink and then turn black. Mineral deposits that have been left untreated for a long time can also turn black.
Mould is the most likely culprit behind the blackness under your toilet rim. You can easily remove it with a cleaning agent and a brush. To prevent it from coming back, use a toilet freshener. I am partial to the Bloo Apple and Peach, but there are countless scents on the market you can try.
The black stuff may also be bacterial buildup. It will start out as a pink stain, and then over time become black. You can use citric acid to get rid of it, but vinegar and baking soda will be just as effective.
Finally, your black stain could be caused by a buildup of hard water, in which case you will need to use a limescale remover or your trusted vinegar and baking soda again. While you are at it, remove the limescale below the waterline as well, to completely refresh your toilet.
Why Do Toilets Get Dirty Under the Rim?
Toilets will get dirty under the rim if you don’t clean them regularly. You may also have mould growing in your toilet tank.
To check, just lift your toilet tank lid and see if there’s anything black in there. If there are stains, use vinegar or a commercial cleaner to get rid of them.
Remember that you still need to clean your toilet regularly to prevent other stains from forming under the rim.
Tips to Keep Your Toilet Clean Under the Rim
In order to keep your toilet clean under the rim, you will simply need to clean it regularly. Make sure there is plenty of air in the bathroom to prevent dampness that will promote mould growth, and use either quality products or your home-made mixture of vinegar and baking soda to deal with limescale and bacteria.
Wrapping It Up
Cleaning under the toilet rim may not be at all fun, but it is a necessary step in ensuring your home is clean and safe. Put some music on and you’ll get done with the chore much faster.