This Is What's Really Causing Your Toilet Bowl Stains

When it comes to germ hotspots around your house, the bathroom is near the top of the list. With all the things that go on behind closed water-closet doors, it's understandable that our toilets, in particular, can get pretty nasty pretty fast.

However, you might be surprised to hear that the toilet isn't the germiest place in the bathroom. While your toothbrush, faucet handles, doorknobs, and towels are all breeding grounds for bacteria and germs, according to Reader's Digest, the floor is actually the dirtiest place in your bathroom. It gets covered in bacteria that are propelled through the air every time you flush the toilet, and it's not cleaned as frequently as other surfaces.

Despite the fact that your toilet isn't quite as dirty as you may have thought, it does need regular cleaning to keep it spick-and-span. Otherwise, you may be faced with pesky brown stains that frequently form in your toilet bowl. What causes these stains, and how do you get rid of them? Keep reading.

That brown toilet-bowl stain isn't what you think it is

If you get brown stains in your toilet bowl, the good news is that it's not caused by anything that you, ahem, do in the bathroom. It's actually due to high concentrations of minerals in hard water, like calcium, iron, and manganese, that build up inside the toilet bowl over time, according to Hunker. In particular, iron oxide, or rust, is the main problem. If you don't clean your toilet regularly, these stains will naturally show up and darken over time.

To remove brown stains in the toilet, you may want to turn to a heavy-duty acid cleaner that will dissolve the rust. But a harsh form of acid could damage your toilet, as could vigorous scrubbing.

Instead, try pouring half a gallon of white vinegar into the bowl to tackle stains on the bottom. If you have rings near the rim, apply a paste of vinegar, borax, and salt; leave it there for half a day; and spray occasionally with more vinegar. Scrub gently with a toilet brush, and then flush. Problem solved!