Black Rings Inside a Toilet Bowl

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - February 17, 2015
person cleaning a toilet

Black rings around the toilet not only look disgusting, but they may be a buildup of toxic materials that smell bad and can potentially put your health at risk. A constant shift between wet and dry conditions inside a toilet bowl makes the perfect breeding ground for dirt and mold. Knowing what type of stain you are trying to remove will help determine the proper cleaning solution.

What Creates Black Rings Inside a Toilet Bowl?

Hard Water Deposits: Anytime a surface comes in contact with your home’s water supply on a regular basis such as faucets, shower heads, and toilet bowls, it becomes susceptible to an accumulation of residue. Water flows from the toilet tank and into the bowl through a series of small holes or ports located under the rim. Over a period of time, hard water deposits will begin building not only in the ports but also around the port openings and the rim of the toilet. When this happens, residue provides a non-slick coating for waste and other grime to collect where it will not wash down the drain after each flush. Mold and Mildew: Your toilet is its own enemy when it comes to fighting off mold and mildew. Both fungi require a moist environment to stay alive. Because water deposits build up under a toilet’s rim, it can take only 24-48 hours for colonies to start breeding. As it grows, you will see what looks like black debris or rings inside the bowl. This can cause respiratory problems for people as the mold and mildew release tiny spores into the air. Sewer Organisms: These are living things, not visible to the naked eye that feeds off the waste in sewer systems and drains pipes. During hot and humid weather, they may pass through a toilet trap and make their way into the bowl. Once this happens, they will live under the rim and release a smell similar to a sewer after each flush.

Get Rid of Those Rings!

Commercial cleaners and bowl scrubbers alone will not entirely get rid of the black ring in your toilet. For hard water deposits, add ½ cup of vinegar into a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes before adding ½ cup of baking soda. You will notice the ingredients in the water will begin to fizz. When this happens, oxygen is released and starts to break down the stain. Use a brush to remove leftover residue. To clean, sanitize, and eliminate mold/mildew stains or sewer organisms use bleach. Flush the toilet before cleaning. Apply 6 oz. under and around the rim to coat the inside of the bowl. Scrub the entire surface and allow the solution to sit for 5 minutes for sanitizing; then flush. Do not allow anyone or pets to access the toilet during this time. Because your safety is our top priority, please use proper safety measures when addressing these stains! Use rubber gloves and safety glasses when cleaning.

NOTE: Never mix cleaning solutions! When certain chemicals are combined, they will release a toxic gas that is extremely dangerous or fatal when inhaled.

If your concerns go beyond a simple cleaning of your toilet or require a professional, contact us. Four Seasons only hires licensed plumbers with years of experience capable of addressing any plumbing job large and small. We offer emergency plumbing services 24/7 with no extra charge for nights, weekends, or holidays. Contact us today!

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