Urine scale in a toilet – how to remove limescale from toilets

Thanks for visiting our site with tips and household remedies to remove urine scale in a toilet and limescale as well. A frequent cause for smelly drains and dirty toilets are urine sediments. We’ll show you how to effectively remove urine scale and dissolve urine sediments in your toilet.

You should try to remove urine scale in toilet bowls right away once you notice sediments in your toilet. They don’t only look unpleasant but are also an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Therefore, getting rid of urine scale is also important in terms of bathroom hygiene. So if you are looking for answers to “How to remove urine scale / limescale from toilets?” or “Urine scale, what to do?”, look no further. Here, you will find plenty of household remedies that will help you to get rid of urine sediments.

Removing tenacious urine scale in a toilet? First, let’s find out what causes it to develop in the first place.

Having to clean your toilet regularly (also have a look at tips on clogged toilets) is not the most pleasant thing in the world. But here’s good news: you can simplify this task by following a couple of easy steps on how to remove urine scale. Keep in mind that not removing urine sediments regularly can have severe consequences:

Tenacious urine sediments can put toilets and urinals out of order.

But how does urine scale develop?

In general, urine scale in a toilet arises from a chemical reaction. Urine scale in a toilet forms when urine + water with high quantities of lime reacting chemically with one another.

Once this reaction is in full progress it will lead to a yellow-brownish sediment in toilets or urinals – usually in a rather solid form. The lime contained in the toilet water forms a chemical bond with the uric acid and the urine, more precisely a lime and magnesium compound. The solid substances can then be recognized as so-called urine scale sediments. Furthermore, bacteria play a role in the formation of urine scale in a toilet. The longer urine scale remains inside the toilet, the more difficult it will be to dissolve and remove it.

The best hacks and household remedies for removing and dissolving urine scale in toilets and urinals

Caution: You should always wear rubber grooming gloves when using household remedies / cleaning toilet bowls and urinals.

Tip #1: Removing urine scale with vinegar (proven method)

A cheap and effective method for dissolving sediments from your toilet, is using vinegar. Vinegar also efficiently removes urine scale in a toilet. Another advantage: vinegar isn’t only effective against urine scale, but also limescale deposits. You may know this method from cleaning electric kettles. But it also works out well with toilets (and is also a great household remedy for smelly drains).

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Use vinegar to remove bad odor from sink drain
Use vinegar to remove limescale and urine scale from toilet bowls and urinals

How to remove urine scale from a toilet by using vinegar – a step by step guide:

  1. Apply a sufficient amount of vinegar onto a cleaning cloth. You may also coat the toilet brush with it.
  2. Spread the vinegar extensively onto the affected area inside the toilet.
  3. Allow it to work for a sufficient amount of time. For instance, apply the vinegar onto the urine scale in the evening and let it sit there until the next morning. With this it can take effect and break up the urine sediments. If possible, use another toilet while the vinegar does its job.
  4. Then, flush the toilet a couple times and use the toilet brush to remove very stubborn sediments.

Top Tip:
Often times, urine scale settles in areas that are hard to reach, such as the toilet rim. What you can do to remove the sediments in such difficult areas, is to soak a paper towel or toilet paper with vinegar and stick it under the rim. This way, the vinegar can take effect and break up the urine scale in these areas. Afterwards you can easily remove it. You can also use the toilet brush to get in there. Or go for an old toothbrush or wire brush.

Have a look at this video on how to remove hard water stain from your toilet:

Tip #2: Breaking up and removing urine scale with baking soda (and maybe + Coke)

It is not a secret that combining Coke with baking soda makes for a strong effect. But please do not mix up this hack with the “Coke and Mentos” experiment! Please do NOT try this as it can cause serious trouble. Here, we only use Coke in combination with baking soda in order to break up and remove urine scale.

How to remove urine scale in a toilet using Coke and baking soda – a step by step guide:

  1. First, flush the toilet / urinal with water and remove the most severe dirt particles.
  2. Then add several spoons of baking soda to the toilet and let it sit there for at least an hour. If the urine scale sediments are very severe please increase the amount of baking soda accordingly.
  3. Baking soda contains acids and sodium bicarbonate. Due to this the urine scale slowly starts to dissolve and can be removed quite easily.
baking soda as household remedy to remove urine scale in a toilet
baking soda as household remedy to remove urine scale in a toilet

If baking soda alone doesn’t do the trick: you may add Coke

  1. First, pour some Coke into the toilet / urinal.
  2. Then add baking soda (1 to 3 spoons).
  3. Foam arises driven by the chemical reaction of Coke and baking soda. This can speed up the process of removing the urine scale from a toilet / urinal.
  4. Leave it there for about 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Then add some Coke and baking soda onto the toilet brush and scrub the toilet with it.
  6. Wait for a couple of minutes. Then flush several times and look forward to the result.
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Tip #3: Removing urine scale with chemical solutions

An alternative to household remedies for removing urine scale, are chemical solutions (find drain cleaners here). To protect our environment we recommend to always try the eco-friendly options first. However, if you end up being unsuccessful removing urine scale in a toilet with the help of household remedies: There are plenty of cleaning products that might help.

You can purchase chemical cleaning products for removing urine scale in every supermarket, DIY store or drug store. You can also try using denture cleanser tablets or dishwasher tabs. Just let them sit in the toilet water over night. Then use the toilet brush to remove the surviving stains.

Caution: Most chemical cleaning products for removing urine scale contain chlorine. So please make sure to always wear rubber gloves. And: Don’t allow the product to come in contact with your clothes as it might bleach them.

How to prevent urine scale from forming in your toilet or urinal?

The above tips are designed to help you remove urine scale in a toilet. But we’d also like to provide you with some hacks on what to do to prevent urine scale from arising. Here you can find the most important ways to prevent urine scale from developing:

  1. Flush often! Don’t let urine sit in the toilet. The longer urine stays inside the toilet bowl or urinal the quicker urine scale starts to arise.
  2. Clean your toilet frequently. This is the only way to remove sediments right away and with almost no effort.
  3. Clean underneath the rim. This is a tricky spot where urine scale starts to develop. Use the toilet brush or even an old toothbrush to regularly clean the rim.
  4. Pipes / drains should be cleaned regularly with vinegar or by using special toilet cleaning tabs. They dissolve limescale and also help removing urine scale in a toilet.
Clean toilet regularly to avoid urine scale in toilet bowls and urinals
Clean toilet regularly to avoid urine scale in toilet bowls and urinals

So always give your best to keep your toilet fresh and clean.

The above list of household remedies for removing urine scale and other tips assumes no liability for completeness. In case of doubt, always consult a professional to not risk damaging your toilet.

2 replies on “Urine scale in a toilet – how to remove limescale from toilets”

The science in the first section is wrong. Baking soda is a base, not an acid (pH about 8.1). It is also a salt and a buffer at the same time. When combined with an acid, it will foam. Coca Cola is very acidic (pH 2.5, but the sugar disguises it). The foaming action that happens when the two are combined can have a mechanical effect of knocking some of the scale/crust particles loose. It’s not a real strong effect in any case but if the acid or base you put in first, whichever it is, is allowed to settle into or under the scale/crust, the loosening process will be somewhat stronger.

Although urine itself is usually slightly acidic, the scale itself is basic. This means acids will dissolve it. This is why putting Coca-Cola (or vinegar, etc) in FIRST is the best way – the scale will start to dissolve, then adding baking soda to make foam will shake part of it loose. The best solution however is doing a little work – scrub it.

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