(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Dirty bowl. Very dirty.

  1. #1

    Question Dirty bowl. Very dirty.

    The toilet bowl in the house we rent has these gray streaks coming down the back. They have formed over the last seven years we've lived here. It looks like some sort of mold to me. I have tried emptying the bowl and shutting off the water and soaking them in Clorox, then scrubbing them with Ajax, but they resist all this. Any suggestions on how to get rid of them?

  2. #2


    You might want to try using a pumice stone after draining it again. That seems to work.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Wally Hays's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    New England


    If clorox didn't touch it, it's probably where the finish has worn off the porcelain. Just about impossible to get rid of and even if you do, it will probably return. Unfortunately it's a rental so I doubt you want to change out the toilet. Pumice or any abrasives like Ajax will only make it worse.
    Perception is 3/4 of reality

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Northern VA


    Could be stains on a hard water deposit. It might be worth trying something like CLR or some other lime deposit removal. Vinegar may work some, but it is weak. If using vinegar, try using vinegar soaked toilet paper on the stains and let it soak for a few hours.

  5. #5


    Paint it ... with a porcelain paint ? if nothing else works?

  6. #6
    In the Trades CSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    I've found that it's usually the finish like Wally mentioned. I see this on a lot of jobs I go on. Most homeowners usually end up getting a new toilet. I know it's a rental, but if you're going to live there for another 7 years, why not get a new one if it bugs you a lot? Nothing like a brand new toilet!

  7. #7

    Default Thank you

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I think the best one for our situation is to try to paint. We are actually going to move out of there soon and I simply don't want to owners to think we were pigs. There must be some sort of leak because this did not happen to the other two toilets in the house, and this one is the least used.
    Now, the problem with painting it is that when I shut off the water and flush, the tank empties completely but the water in the bowl returns to almost the usual level. My sister says that to paint it, the bowl must be completely dry.
    Well, I'm going to try the pumice stone (or a variation - we have these great fine sanding blocks) and the CLR... if painting is possible I'll try that too.
    Thanks again, you guys and gals re great!

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Paint on porcelain in a toilet has little chance of lasting very long with any you'd normally have access to. Is that area rough? Does it feel like the glaze has been worn off? If it is not depressed, or worn off, then CLR or s similar cleaner may help. If the glaze has been eaten off, there's not much you can do about it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member jastori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008


    You wil need to sponge out the remaining water in the toilet if you want to get it dry. If you shut of the supply, and flush the toilet once, you can sponge out the remainder of the water (the water in the bowl will not return).

  10. #10
    DIY Member Firemark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Southern NJ


    Don't go painting without written permission from your landlord. If a tenant of mine did that, I'd charge a fee for replacing the toilet due to an unauthorized repair.

Similar Threads

  1. Hammered well is dirty so far.
    By Tug Hill in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 06-24-2009, 11:03 AM
  2. ultramax dirty bowl
    By cattledog in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-29-2006, 05:47 PM
  3. dirty water
    By jon61 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-13-2005, 06:29 PM
  4. Caroma leaves dirty water in bowl
    By autumn in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-13-2005, 06:09 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts