Take the Plunge: How to Remove Rust Stains From Your Toilet With a Pumice Stone

Pumice stones aren’t just for pedicures

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated April 25, 2022
A ceramic toilet bowl
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock


You've got this!

Time to complete

20 minutes



Keep it wallet-friendly.

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What you'll need:


  • Bowl
  • Toilet scrub brush
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Natural pumice stone

Homeownership comes with all sorts of unpleasant tasks, with cleaning your toilet on the top of that list. While we all strive for a spotless bathroom, toilets can quickly become our nemesis. Despite weekly rotations with a bowl brush and some cleaner, stubborn rust stains can build up over time.

If your usual cleaning products haven't managed to give rust the boot, it may be time to try something else: a pumice stone. That's right! This small piece of volcanic rock is the best way to get rid of stubborn rust rings and restore the majestic sparkle to your porcelain throne.

Read on to discover how to clean your toilet with a pumice stone in four easy steps. 

4 Steps to Clean a Toilet With a Pumice Stone

A pumice Stone on towel
Photo: Achim Sass / Westend61 / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
  1. Pick Your Pumice

    If you don't already have one, pumice stones are available at your local hardware or big box store for about $5 (they're usually stocked in both the cleaning and cosmetics aisle). Any brand will work, but try to select one labeled “natural” to help prevent damage to your toilet bowl.

  2. Soak the Pumice Stone

    Soak the stone in a bowl filled with lukewarm water, giving it several minutes to soak thoroughly. While the stone is soaking, grab your toilet brush and get it wet. Note that it's imperative to keep both the stone and the toilet surface wet while cleaning to avoid scratching your porcelain.

  3. Scrub the Rust Ring

    Put on some rubber gloves to protect your hands and begin scrubbing the rust stain gently. Depending on the mineral contents of your water, you may have to scrub for a few minutes for the stain to begin lifting. Use light, even strokes and avoid pushing down too hard to help protect the porcelain.

  4. Rinse Clean

    A man flushing toilet
    Photo: boonchai wedmakawand / Moment / Getty Images

    Once the stain is fully gone, flush your toilet to rinse the area clean. Check again after the bowl refills to ensure you've reached all the rust. Repeat the process if you see more rust.

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro to Clean a Toilet

If you’ve tried tackling the rust stains yourself but they’re persistent, it may be time to call in a professional cleaning service near you. While most pros won’t come out for only a toilet cleaning, you can splurge on a whole-house deep clean so your entire home can feel brand-new. Most house cleaners charge a flat rate as opposed to a fee per room, so expect to pay between $90 and $200 for a professional cleaning.

Additional Questions

How often should I clean my toilet with pumice?

Using pumice is a deep-cleaning task and should only be done four to six times a year. If you use a pumice stone for your regular bathroom cleaning routine, you may wind up damaging your precious porcelain. 

What else can I clean with a pumice stone?

You can use pumice stones on most porcelain surfaces, including bathtubs and sinks. Just be sure to steer clear of grout, faucets, and other finishes because pumice can easily damage them.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.