Jeff Betman wrote . . .

Help.  I need advice on best way/products to clean my toilets.  I' m embarrassed to say, but I don't get around to it much and it shows.

They look awful with hard to remove stains and ring around the bowl.  I've tried tons of products (Lysol toilet cleaner, bleach, vinegar) and elbow grease.

"Rod & BJ"  wrote:

Use either a phosphoric or hydrochloric acid bowl cleaner, use reasonable precautions to avoid splashes to the eyes, skin etc....Use bowl brush to push water out of the bowl and over the trap, apply cleaner liberally then let soak several minutes or longer..... scrub, rinse well(flush<G>) then use a pumice stone to remove any stains or rings still showing (use always on a wet or moist surface)....  Weekly use of either scouring powder (more effective after pushing water over the trap) or a mild bowl cleaner (phosphoric acid base) will usually keep rings or stains from returning.

Soggy (20 yrs as a cleaning contractor)

I've had good success with a grocery store toilet bowl cleaner called Sno Bol, made by the Dial soap people.  [Update:  Dial sold this product to another company.]  It's main active ingredient is hydrochloric acid, like Soggy recommends.  And, as a bonus you can use it to restore tarnished brass.  You apply it to the bowl, wait a few minutes (I wait 10) and a bowl brush whisks everything away with essentially no effort.  They sell it thick and thin -- look for the bottle that says "Thick Formula" -- jim

Note 1: A pumice stone is a piece of grayish white volcanic material, cut into a block similar in size and shape to a stick of butter and used as an abrasive. 
Note 2:  Take care not to leave these acid type cleaners in the bowl for hours as they can etch the surface of the porcelain.  
Note 3:  Hydrochloric acid can mar metal finishes, so take care not to get these cleaners on chrome parts.
Note 4:  I haven't had much success pushing the water out of the bowl with the bowl brush.  I dump a half-full mop bucket of water into the bowl rapidly to cause a flush, which leaves a small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl. -- jim

Follow-up: Recently, at WalMart I couldn't find Sno Bol so, I bought a bottle of 'The Works'. Thick Formula.  It did the job too.  (I've found The Works at the Dollar Tree.  It does as good as Sno Bol and it's a lot cheaper.) The Works people no longer make the Thick Formula. I liked it better--it's clings to the sides of the bowl while soaking into the grunge, but this may just be a mental thing.  -- jim

You really need the gooseneck kind of bottle to get at the stuff up under the rim of the bowl, so if you have a gooseneck bottle keep it until you get your new supply, and if it doesn't come in a gooseneck bottle rinse your old one and put the new stuff in it.  Remember this stuff is caustic, so be careful with hands, eyes and splashing.

Main Page