The 5 Best Toilet Bowl Cleaners For Tough Stains

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by Andrea Hannah
Originally Published: 

Let's be real: Cleaning your toilet is pretty much the worst chore. Between scrubbing stains and blasting away germs, it can also take forever. To get a deep clean without all the scrubbing, you need the best toilet bowl cleaners for tough stains.

Before you buy, you'll want to consider which types of stains you're dealing with. If you have hard water, you'll need a special cleaner to remove the chalky white build-up that tends to stain porcelain. Otherwise, you may want to consider a standard liquid cleaner or eco-friendly solution to keep it squeaky clean.

While some people don't mind getting up close and personal with their toilet — opting for squirt bottle cleaners and sponges — others prefer to stay as far away as possible. In that case, it may be best to go with a hands-off approach like disposable pads for your toilet wand or an automatic toilet bowl cleaner.

In a hurry? Here are the best toilet bowl cleaners:

1. The Best Liquid Cleaner: Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner

2. The Best Toilet Bowl Wand: Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush Toilet Cleaning System

3. The Best Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Gel Toilet Cleaning Stamp

4. The Best Chemical-Free Cleaner: Earthborn Elements Pure Borax Powder

5. The Best For Hard Water Stains: Kaboom BowlBlaster Toilet Bowl Cleaner

6. You May Also Need: A Pumice Stone For Extra Scrubbing Power: Comfun Toilet Bowl Pumice Cleaning Stone with Handle

Starting with a classic liquid cleaner and fan-favorite brush, and ending with a super tough solution, the options on this list are organized in the order in which I recommend you should try them. Below, the best toilet bowl cleaners for tough stains out there to help you clean up in a flash.

1. The Best Liquid Cleaner

When it comes to a deep clean, you can't beat this powerful liquid solution from cleaning giant Lysol. The angled bottle allows for easy access under the rim, and the thick formula easily clings to the porcelain to maximize the solution's cleaning power. The best part? It cleans up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses so you can be certain your toilet is spotless. This formula is also great for any built-up limescale or rust stains on your toilet.

Not only does this product sanitize and refresh, it also banishes stains. One reviewer raves, "I have rusty water and it really started causing problems with my toilet bowl. My toilet got to the point that it always looked dirty I used this as an experiment and it worked like a charm. It changed it back to white in seconds. It's the only cleaner I use now. I order multiple bottles at a time since my local store doesn't carry it anymore."

Plus, at less than $5 a bottle, it's an amazing deal.

2. The Best Toilet Bowl Wand

If you hate the idea of a bacteria-laden brush sitting near your toilet, this disposable cleaning system from Scrubbing Bubbles is your answer. The kit comes with a toilet wand and storage caddy (which you keep), as well as four flushable pads that are already preloaded with toilet cleaner. All you have to do is pop a pad onto the handle, get it wet, and watch the cleaner go to work. When you're done, press the button on the wand to release the pad straight into the toilet bowl, then flush it down.

One reviewer writes, "Love how easy and convenient these are! They are easy to click onto the brush wand, swipe it around the toilet bowl real quick, un-click from the wand right into the toilet bowl and flush! Affordable, easy and convenient."

The standard Fresh Brush pads are very convenient and budget-friendly, but they don't always stand up to prolonged scrubbing, according to users — for more stubborn stains, consider opting for the non-flushable yet still disposable Heavy Duty refills instead.

3. The Best Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner

If you want to make cleaning your toilet as hands-off as possible, this automatic toilet cleaner system from Scrubbing Bubbles is as easy as it gets. Just press the gel stamp against the inside of your toilet bowl and let it clean the bowl with every flush. Each stamp contains cleaning agents to help prevent stains from building up for up to 12 days at a time.

One fan writes, "I love these 'stamps' they keep your toilet clean and make the entire bathroom smell fantastic, clean, and deodorized at all times. They are very easy to use [...] You just stick it on the inside of the toilet and it will stay in place and clean the toilet each time it is flushed. I love these!"

4. The Best Chemical-Free Cleaner

This powder cleaner by Earthborn Elements may be all-natural, but it still packs a powerful punch. Borax is simply sodium borate, a natural cleaning mineral found in a variety of detergents, soaps, and deodorizers. To remove tough stains on your toilet, create a paste from Borax and water, apply, and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub for extra oomph or simply rinse for a sparkling fresh toilet without the chemicals.

Reviewers love this product for cleaning, pest control, and everything in between. One reviewer writes, "I had forgotten just how many applications Borax has. [I]t's effective anywhere dank odors can accumulate, and when you've got good borax powder on hand, you've got an economical, honest, odor free, chemically simple and stable all-purpose helper."

5. The Best For Hard Water Stains

To eliminate even the toughest stains, this heavy-duty cleaner by Kaboom is the perfect solution. The specialty formula sticks to the inside of the toilet bowl and gradually dissolves rust, limescale, hard water build-up, and everything in between. And at only $6 a bottle, it's a total steal.

There's a reason why this product has so many positive reviews — it works miracles. One reviewer explains: "I was resigned to the fact I would need to replace [my] toilet. I had a small hard water stain in my other toilet that came out so easily with this product, I decided to really put it to the test with the horribly stained one. OMG is all can say. It was was spotless with minimal scrubbing and cleaning."

You May Also Need: A Pumice Stone For Extra Scrubbing Power

No stain can stand up to this pumice stone tool by Comfun. While it may seem odd to clean a toilet with the same tool that banishes dry skin, this stone is just soft enough to scrub without scratching. The attached handle makes it even easier to put more elbow grease into your cleaning. Plus, the hole at the top of the handle makes it easy to hang and store when you're done.

One fan raves, "If I could give more than 5 stars I definitely would!!! I'm in shock! We have 3 toilets [and] the water here is as hard as they come. I just cleaned the first (and worst) of the 3 toilets. It looks brand new!"

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