How To Remove Poop Stains From Toilet

How To Remove Poop Stains From Toilet

Let’s face it, nobody wants to use a dirty-looking toilet, but sometimes you can’t get that bowl clean no matter how hard you scrub. If your toilet has poop stains, it can be a real turn-off. Plus, it can be frustrating to clean your toilet and still not get a sparkling clean finish.

To remove poop stains from a toilet, it’s best to clean the bowl as normal, then follow up with a secondary method. Possible options for this second-phase clean are vinegar, bleach, borax powder, and even Coca-Cola. Afterward, flush several times to get these products out of your plumbing system and admire your sparkling toilet.

Of course, the best and easiest way to a sparkling toilet is regular upkeep and cleaning to avoid stains from forming. But, sometimes, well, s*** happens.

Give Your Toilet An Old-Fashioned Scrub

Before you jump right into the extra-special cleaning, start with the basics. Grab a toilet brush and give your toilet bowl a good old-fashioned scrub.

You can use either a regular toilet bowl cleanser or white vinegar, baking soda, bleach, soda, or borax. Incidentally, these are the products that will feature prominently in your second effort to tackle the poop stains.

Turn off the water supply using the shut-off valve on the wall behind the toilet.  Then flush your toilet to get rid of most of the water in the bowl.

Place the cleaner of your choice all around under the rim of the toilet and on the toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub vigorously with a wet toilet brush.

Turn the water supply back on and allow your tank to fill for about one minute. Then flush the toilet, let the tank fill, and flush again.

It’s also a good idea to do a bit of an assessment to determine the exact source of the stains. Although you can clean many stains using similar methods and products, there are a few variations depending on the source.

Once you’ve given your toilet a regular clean and determined you’re dealing with poop stains, time to choose your weapon.

Use Commercial Cleaners

Yes, you can purchase heavy-duty toilet cleaners at the store to try and get rid of the poop stains. You can try Zep Acidic Toilet Cleaner, Lysol or Clorox Toilet Cleaners, or a multi-surface bathroom cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles.

Look for cleaners that will work well on a toilet bowl’s vertical/sloped surfaces, such as foam and gel cleansers. These types of cleaners can work well at banishing poop stains–unless you’re dealing with some extremely intense tracks. But, what if you prefer not to use cleaners with harsh chemicals (or spend the money on them)?

Four Household Items To Remove Poop Stains From Toilet

If you prefer to go with some regular household products to clean your toilet, try one of these options. No matter which product you choose, it’s always wise to wear gloves.

Plus, safety goggles will protect your eyes if the water and product splash up into your face. Also, keep in mind you might need to repeat the process for stubborn stains.

1. White Vinegar

Image source: Pat_Hastings

You can attempt to clean the poop stains from the toilet using white vinegar in a couple of different ways. The great thing about vinegar is that it’s a product that most people tend to already have at home.

You can either clean your toilet by pouring about 3 cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl or using a spray bottle. If using a spray bottle, spray the vinegar directly onto the poop stains.

Regardless of the application method, once you apply the vinegar, let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Next, scrub the toilet bowl with a toilet brush, and flush the toilet to rinse it.

2. Coca-Cola

Image source: Karolina Grabowska

And you thought soda was just for drinking. Actually, if you’re into DIY, you probably already know that you can use Coca-Cola for several household tasks. It’s useful for small jobs like unclogging a drain or removing stains and odors from clothes.

It almost makes you question whether you should drink it, doesn’t it? But no matter the status of its drinkability, Coca-Cola can help you get rid of those pesky poop stains in your toilet.

The reason Coke works well as a stain remover is its acidity (similar to vinegar’s acidic qualities). The acid breaks down stains as it sits over a period of time.

You can pour the soda all over the toilet bowl, letting the carbonation go to work. Use enough Coke to cover the entire bowl. Alternatively,  you can also spray the soda directly onto the stains.

Keep an eye on the stains to see how the soda affects them. You should see them breaking down, but you need to let the soda sit.

For stubborn stains, if you have access to another bathroom, let the Coke sit overnight. After the soda sits, scrub the toilet and flush.

3. Bleach

Image source: Richard Villalonundefined

Bleach is a great stain remover, but use it with caution. Keep on your goggles and gloves, and don’t use bleach with any other cleaners. The mixture could set off a potential reaction, creating toxic fumes.

Pour about a half cup of bleach into the toilet bowl (with water in it). Scrub with a toilet brush and let sit for a couple of hours before flushing.

4. Borax

Image source: Janine Lamontagne

You can purchase borax powder at any hardware store. You’ll need to shut off the water supply for this one and flush the toilet to get rid of as much water as possible. Next, sprinkle the borax powder all over the poop stains and lightly scrub to work it into the stains.

Don’t scrub so much that you remove the powder from the stains. Let the Borax sit for a couple of hours, scrub again, then flush.

Extra Tips For Keeping Your Toilet Clean 

Regular cleaning, at least once a week, is the best way to keep your toilet clean. Plus, if you or someone else has a particularly eventful bathroom experience, do a courtesy flush. This extra step is to make sure all the waste goes out of the toilet.

You can also use scrub-free cleaners like Kaboom, which cleans your tank every time you flush. Plus, it leaves your toilet smelling clean and fresh.


After cleaning stubborn stains, no matter what you use, flush a few times. These extra flushes ensure the product moves along through the pipes and out of your plumbing system.

Also, if you start to notice stains forming, clean them right away. This prompt response will help you avoid more intense scrubbing later.

If the poop stains don’t seem to disappear despite all your efforts, you might need to get a new toilet. This possibility is another reason regular cleaning is so important.

It can prevent you from having to pay for a new toilet and costly plumbing fees. Depending on the toilet, you could pay between $100 and $400 and another $150 to $200 for installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of urine stains in the toilet? 

Poop stains aren’t the only stains plaguing toilets; urine stains can also be a hassle. You can use the previously mentioned solutions of vinegar, bleach, etc.

But tea tree oil can also help eliminate urine stains. You can put about 10 drops in the toilet bowl or spray a diluted mixture onto the stains. If using a spray, put about 5 to 10 drops in a spray bottle of water.

Let the oil sit for about 10 minutes, scrub with a toilet brush, then flush a few times.

How do I get rid of hard water stains in the toilet?

If you have hard water, the build-up of limescale and minerals can lead to hard water stains on your toilet. There are commercial cleaners specifically designed for hard water.

Or, you can use a pumice stone to scrub the stains. You can purchase a pumice stone at a drugstore, spa, or beauty supply store.

You can also scrub the stains with a dryer sheet like Bounce. Baking soda and vinegar is another popular household cleaner powerhouse that can banish hard water stains.

Pour one cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then add a cup of baking soda.

Pour two cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl, and close the lid as it starts to foam. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then scrub the toilet and let it sit for another 30 minutes before flushing several times.

You can do a similar clean with vinegar and borax. Put about ¼ cup of borax in the toilet bowl and spread it with a toilet brush. Then pour in a cup of vinegar and let everything sit for about 20 minutes. Scrub it with the toilet brush and flush it several times.

How do I get rid of mildew stains in the toilet?

For pesky mildew stains, aside from a commercial cleaner, try either white vinegar or bleach. You can use the same method described when using these products to remove poop stains in the toilet.

Does muriatic acid clean toilet stains?

Plumbers often use muriatic acid to handle major clogs. Muriatic acid can also work well against toilet stains, and it’s included in many toilet cleaning/clog products. But undiluted muriatic acid is a highly intense product.

You need to be extra cautious when using it, wear safety gear, and dilute it properly. If you’re at all unsure about it, it’s best to choose something safer.

You also want to make sure your bathroom has proper ventilation while you’re using muriatic acid. Plus, in some areas, you can typically only get pure muriatic acid from certain stores and need special qualifications, like a plumber’s license.