Tips for descaling a toilet by Villeroy & Boch


How can you descale a toilet?

Regular descaling is important to ensure the hygiene and functionalityof your toilet. Unsightly deposits build up in the toilet bowl, below the rim and in the cistern. These consist partly of limescale from tap water. There is also yellow-brown urine scale: A chemical reaction occurs when urine comes into contact with limescale. The longer they remain in your toilet, the thicker the layer of limescale and urine scale will be. So descaling the toilet should be on your weekly to-do list if possible – as well as regular cleaning of the cistern.

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How to descale without using chemical cleaners

Good news: The more often you descale your toilet the less effort it will take. You don’t need to buy any chemical products to thoroughly remove urine scale from the toilet. Although many of these products are very effective, they are alsovery aggressive and harmful for the environment. You can find a wide range of products in your home that are equally suitable for removing limescale. Good news for your budget and the environment.

The The procedure for descaling the toilet is basically always the same: Apply the product to the deposits and leave them to work for a specified amount of time. It is therefore a good idea to clean the toilet in the evening,leave the product to work overnight and flush in the morning. If required, you can use a toilet brush afterwards to remove any residue.

To remove urine scale and limescale in the U-bend of the toilet, simply add the product to the bowl. To remove limescale below the rim,we have a little trick: Soak some kitchen towel or toilet paper with the product and wedge it below the rim. Remember to change the paper from time to time to stop it drying out and losing its effectiveness.


Descaling the toilet: Tips for the best everyday product

You can find more products than you might think around your home for descaling the toilet. Acids are particularly effective for cleaning toilets. They trigger a chemical reaction on contact with the calcium carbonate in limescale which helps to break down stains. Different acids can be used to clean the toilet. These are described briefly below.

Hydrochloric acid

30 per cent hydrochloric acid can be used for a wide range of applications around the home: It removes rust from the bath, iodine stains from textiles – and it can also remove unsightly stains from teapots or flower vases. Hydrochloric acid is excellent for descaling toilets and can even be used to tackle stubborn deposits. But take care: Hydrochloric acid is very corrosive so it’s important to wear safety glasses and protective gloves. One tablespoon of hydrochloric acid is enough to descale the toilet. Contact with water causes the formation of carbon dioxide and intense foam. N.B.: Hydrochloric acid must not come into contact with metal as this can cause the release of hydrogen gas.


Vinegar is very versatile too – you can use it to clean joints, for streak-free clean windows and to descale taps and fittings. Vinegar consists of five per cent vinegar acid in comparison with 25 per cent for vinegar essence. Vinegaressence is therefore a better choice for harder-to-treat limescale – but it should always be diluted with water. Always wear gloves when cleaning with vinegar to protect your skin from contact with the acid.


A special tip: Coca-cola – this fizzy drink contains phosphoric acid which also removes limescale and urine scale. Simply pour the contents of a one-litre bottle into the toilet bowl and leave it to work for a few hours to dissolve deposits. To intensify the effect, you can mix coca-cola with baking powder and spread it directly over the affected areas.

Citric acid

Citric acid is very commonly used to clean toilets. This is because It smells pleasantly fresh and is less pungent than vinegar. Mix two to three tablespoons of citric acid powder with one litre of water – always add the water to the bucket before the citric acid to avoid splashes.

Formic acid

If you have any formic acid at home, you can use this to descale your toilet. Standard products generally contain a 75 per cent concentration of formic acid. To use this product safely, dilute the acid to around five to ten per cent.

Baking powder

A little pack of baking powder for delicious cakes can usually be found in most homes. Baking powder generally consists of sodium bicarbonate (natron), aseparating agent and an acidifier such as tartaric acid. Contact with water triggers a chemical reaction between the natron and the acid during which carbon dioxide is released. Simply sprinkle a little powder over the affected areas and leave it to work.


Pure natron is another tried-and-tested solution for descaling – and not just for toilets. However, it works most effectively in combination with vinegar. Pour one or two cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl and then sprinkle a few tablespoons of natron on top. Spread the mixture using a toilet brush to allow it to work evenly.

The more often you clean your toilet the less chance limescale will have to build up. However, in hard water areas, limescale can develop very rapidly. A descaling system or using rainwater to flush the toilet can bea solution, but implementation is relatively complex.

How can you descale a toilet cistern?

We quickly notice any build-up of limescale in the toilet. However, we often tend to forget the cistern when cleaning or just give it a quick once over. This can have consequences. Limescale can also build up in the cistern and affect the operation of the flush mechanism. If you notice water trickling from the cistern into the toilet bowl, it’s time for some thorough cleaning. You can use the same product asfor the toilet bowl. Open the cistern lid, add the limescale remover and leave it to work. Once the appropriate period has elapsed, flush the toilet a few times and put the lid back on the cistern. That’s all there is to it.