How to Get Rid of Iron Stains From Well Water in the Toilet

Mary Ylisela

An orange or brown ring around the inside of your toilet is a disgusting sight when you're in the bathroom. Iron stains caused by mineral-laden well water build up inside the toilet over time.

Removing iron stains doesn't have to be as daunting as it seems.

Anything that comes in contact with the water on a repeated basis is fair game for these ugly stains, particularly the toilet bowl. You don't have to live with ugly iron stains in the toilet. You can remove them and prevent the stains from returning with the right supplies and stain removal techniques.


Alternative home remedies for minor rust stains can be used to avoid chemicals. Make a paste of lemon juice and table salt or white vinegar and baking soda to scrub the inside of your toilet.


Open the window in the bathroom when using commercial rust remover to circulate fresh air and eliminate odor from the fumes.

  1. Turn off the water to the toilet. Flush the toilet once to empty the bowl.

  2. Rubber gloves provide a protective barrier against chemicals.
  3. Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands against chemical irritation. Wear old clothing to avoid staining or bleaching it with the chemicals.

  4. Pour a commercial rust remover containing oxalic acid into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit as long as possible, according to the package directions.

  5. Turn the water back on. Flush the toilet to rinse the rust remover out of the toilet.

  6. Use a scouring pad to wear off rust stain buildup.
  7. Wet a scouring pad with water. Sprinkle scouring powder over the pad.

  8. Scrub any remaining rust stains with the scouring powder and pad until removed. Flush the toilet to rinse.