Have you ever peered down into the porcelain rim of your freshly flushed toilet bowl and been greeted by the surprising sight of a rust-colored chalky rim? If so, you are certainly not alone. Calcium buildup, or limescale as it’s sometimes referred to, is a common—albeit unexpected—guest that joins us in the bathroom. Read below for more information on how to manage and eliminate this pesky visitor.
Calcium buildup is the rusty or white colored rim of deposits that accumulate in your toilet over time. The rim forms when toilet water sits for a prolonged period of time and begins to stain the lower portion of the bowl. Though it poses no immediate issues for toilets and is not an indication of personal hygiene, it is certainly unsightly.
Calcium buildup is a side effect of the mineral-rich water that fills your toilet. Sometimes water supplies contain minute deposits of magnesium and calcium that are a result of the water passing through soft rocks before entering a home’s filtration system. This is referred to as “hard water”. These minerals can stubbornly pass through the filters designed to eliminate them before entering the home. Over time the water begins to deposit these minerals and they accumulate around the water line of the toilet bowl. As they build up, they form that visually unappealing, chalky rim.
There are a couple of tips and tricks you can use to eliminate calcium buildup without professional help. Regular toilet maintenance is the best and simplest option. However, if things have progressed past the point of return, some toilet cleaners are specially designed to break down the buildup. An at-home remedy of white vinegar works just as well.
Pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl, specifically around the outer edges where calcium buildup occurs. Let it sit in the toilet for 3-4 hours to allow the limescale to break down around the water line. Next, scrub down the sides with more vinegar and flush to rinse away any residue. If this still doesn’t do the trick, sandpaper can also aid in remedying. Use medium or fine grain sandpaper to buff away any calcium buildup that remains and then clean as you normally would.
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