The 5 Best Toilet Bowl Cleaners For Tough Stains


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 a bleach tablet.

Starting with a classic liquid cleaner and fan-favorite brush, and ending with a super tough solution, the options below 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 percent of bacteria and viruses so you can be certain your toilet is spotless.

Not only does this product sanitize and refresh, it also banishes stains. One reviewer, who identified as a housekeeper writes, "I had a toilet to clean and it was very likely one of the worst cases I've seen. Enter Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner. I applied it according to directions [then] take out the brush and without much effort at all... clean. You know how nasty it can get under a toilet rim? Gone. Gone. Gone. I literally could not believe it."

Plus, at $2 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 Clorox is your answer. The kit comes with a plastic toilet wand and storage caddy (which you keep), as well as nine disposable sponge pads. Each sponge is already preloaded with Clorox toilet cleaner. All you have to do is snap it onto the wand, get the sponge wet, and watch the cleaner go to work. When you're done, press the button on the wand to release the sponge straight into the trash.

One reviewer writes, "My toilet bowl over time developed a mineral stain in the bottom. I tried a lot of products to remove it and nothing worked until I tried [this]. It took a few weeks (3-4 cleanings) but it is gone. My toilet bowl looks brand, new again."

3. The Best Tablets For Your Tank

If you want to make cleaning your toilet as hands-off as possible, these cleaning tablets from Clorox are as easy as it gets. Just drop a single tablet in your toilet's tank and let it fizzle. Each tablet sanitizes and deodorizes the toilet bowl water for up to two months before you need to use another one. Heads up, though: This product does contain bleach, which can stain towels and rugs if the toilet overflows or leaks.

One fan writes, "I had cleaned the toilets of our new home about 10 times (no joke) in 2 weeks and every time the gross stains were back within 48hrs - whether we used it or not... These dandies cleaned the stains and I think the whole tank and system b/c nothing new!"

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. "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," said one Amazon reviewer.

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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