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Thread: Descaling a toilet

  1. #1

    Default Descaling a toilet

    Hello. I have a toto toilet with some mineral deposits in the siphon jet, and I am thinking it could use some descaling. I have read on the forum about the virtues of using muriatic acid for this, but I am afraid of possible damage to my drain piping (copper and cast iron). I tried using CLR in the bowl for several minutes, but it didn't do too much. Can someone confirm that a bit of muriatic acid won't immediately dissolve my drain pipes? I don't really feel like taking the toilet outside because it's not too much of a problem at the moment. Maybe I should use a weaker acid like CLR or vinegar for longer (hours instead of minutes)?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    You don't want to use a stronger acid while things are inside...it smells nasty and the fumes aren't the greatest thing to inhale, either! A weak acid, given enough time should work - think about Carlsbad Caverns or some other limestone cave carved out over centuries (probably millennia) by a very weak acid. The stronger the acid, the less time the toilet is out of commission. CLR might take a few hours...this is a very uneducated guess as I've not needed to do this and don't have the real-time experience.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3


    I left a CLR/water mixture in the bottom of the bowl overnight. It seems to have dissolved the crud inside in siphon jet hole after several hours.

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Land of Cheese


    It sounds like you need to have your water tested so you can invest in a long-term solution. Hard water causes more problems than toilet scale, and can be easily treated.

  5. #5
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Warren, MI


    Quote Originally Posted by crosstalk View Post
    I left a CLR/water mixture in the bottom of the bowl overnight. It seems to have dissolved the crud inside in siphon jet hole after several hours.
    My old OEM toilet installed in 1956 which was replaced last October had a problem about ten years ago. After a good cleaning, I checked the jet hole and it was almost blocked solid! I used a small screw driver to remove most all of it which broke off in chunks. It was like a new toilet after that.
    Retired Machine Repairman
    Just a DIY'r

  6. #6


    It could be, but this toilet I picked up used from Craigslist (toto dorian). I cleaned it outside before installing it but didn't think about descaling until later. It had some brownish stains in the tank when i got it. Those removed easily with baking soda. It was sitting dry in my garage for a while and when I hooked it back up quite a bit of scale broke loose in the first several flushes. That's what got me thinking about internal scale.

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