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topic 19333

How can I get rid of a scratch in my toilet bowl?



A discussion started in 2003 & continuing through 2020
Summary of the thread: The most frequently recommended product, and readily available is Barkeepers Friend. Several other products were found effective as well. And next time use a Toilet Auger, not a snake or coat hanger :-)


2003

Q. Recently, I was flushing the toilet and suddenly the water was rising instead of draining out. The nearest available remedy was a coat hanger, which I used to clear the blockage. Now I am left with a scratch on the inside of the toilet bowl and need some ideas on how I can get rid of the scratch and restore the toilet bowl to it's original colour.

Thank you !

REUBEN O [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- KAMLOOPS, BC, CANADA

2003

? What is the bowl made from?

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

2003

Q. This is a response to Trevor Crichton who asked me what the toilet bowl is made of...I checked and it is made from Vitreous china. I guess the best way to describe the scratch is that it is just as though someone wrote with a pencil except I cannot erase it.

Reuben O [returning]
- Kamloops, BC, Canada


affil. link
Toilet Auger

2003

A. An earlier letter suggested a Pumice Stick [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] as the answer to getting "pencil-like" scratches off porcelain. You might try that.

As a plumber's helper and son of a plumber, let me warn the readers "for next time". You don't use a "snake" for a toilet because, yes indeed, it will badly scratch it as Reuben discovered. Rather, you use a "Toilet Auger [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]" which is the same idea as a snake, but is enclosed and rigid and plastic-covered down to where the water starts flowing up again--out of the line of vision.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2003

A. Reuben,

First of all, why don't you go to your local plumber and ask him?

Secondly, don't use sharp metal gouging things on enamel.

Thirdly, get some touch up paint ... as most of the toilet bowls in Canada are ceramic and white, get some high quality touch up paint not a latex, that's fersure! Preferably a lacquer paint ... and after drying the scratch, DON'T put in any water after painting for a good 24 hours. OK?

Our kitchen sinks happen to be white enamel and a dent/scratch is now no longer visible after being painted.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [dec.]
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).



2003

A. You can use a slurry of calcium carbonate (chalk) and try to polish the mark out. Alternatively, use dental chalk - the type that is sold to smokers to remove the stains from their teeth. You may find it easier to drain the toilet down before you do it. If the mark is very resilient you may have to use a fine grinding paste or even pumice, but the more aggressive the polishing, the more likely the area will be damaged. Your local hardware store may also be able to offer some advice.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

August 8, 2009

thumbs up sign Many thanks Trevor! I scratched the bowl with a metal topped brush and my wife said 'We'll need to get a new bowl!' Picture her delight when the pumice stone worked a treat! Thank you!

Charlie Johnston
- Newcastle Upon Tyne UK


2003

Suggest:
Wear Gloves
Drain Bowl to below scratch
Scrub with "Scotch Brite" and "Ajax [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]" cleanser.
The bleach, abrasive and cleaner always clean out the pot and pan marks in my sink so I suspect that it will do the same with the iron mark from the hanger.

Jon Quirt
- Minneapolis, Minnesota


2003

From your description the scratch sounds like what is commonly known as a 'metal mark'. These are often seen in kitchen sinks. The easiest way I've found to remove them is with a cleanser containing Oxalic Acid [affil. link to info/product at Rockler], such as Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. Don't use with a sponge, they dissolve! Use paper towels or a rag. Sprinkle it on the wet surface, spread it around, let it set 30 to 60 seconds, then scrub the mark off. Works every time! It does dry out the hands pretty well, so you may want to wear rubber gloves.

Tom Gallant
- Torrance, California


2005

I got my toilet bowl scratched badly today when trying to unclog it with a metal snake, and thought my toilet was ruined. Then I read the post from Tom about the Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], and Tom. . . I am eternally grateful! This worked perfectly! I can't believe it! THANK YOU!

Elin [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Port St. Lucie, Florida


2005

I read these posts and bought some of that Bar Keepers Friend. Man. I don't know if there are similar home or commercial equivalents, but that stuff works. I scratched my wife's precious toilet hacksawing off rusty bolts trying to change the toilet seat. Actually not scratched, rather the metal shavings from the old blade and bolt were ground into the porcelain and looked like big scratches. I contemplated touch up paint, but tried this stuff first. Voila! She threatened to buy a new (expensive!) replacement toilet... not now!

Dennis C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Westboro, Massachusetts


2006

I read this forum a week ago. I was looking for something to get scratches off my cousin's toilet bowl. Long story short, we had a plumber come out to fix her toilet because the flush was not powerful. He used a snake to flush everything down. His snake got stuck. So he scratched the heck out of her toilet. I was freaking out, because it's not like it was my house. Tried a whole bunch of cleaners she had at her house and nothing worked. So after reading this form I went out and got some Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. And it was like a magic. I poured it in, and cleaned it with a brush. The scratches came right off. This stuff is the best. And it only cost me $2.99. Not a $100 - $300 for a new toilet bowl.

Neda L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Washington DC


2007

Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] is excellent at removing gray marks from porcelain. If you don't want to order it on-line you can find it at Williams-Sonoma.

Lisa Roark
- Indianapolis, Indiana


2007

Hi All

I had the same problem today, Finally I removed all the marks with HARPIC - POWER PLUS from Reckitt Benckiser.

Regards,

Saheen M.
- Calicut, Kerala, India


2007

Hi,
The Baking Soda idea was great. It helped the scratches in my toilet bowl. Some dumb contractors have been dumping white cement into the toilet after their work. This has caused it to settle and stick to my toilet as its a apartment building and I'm the first floor.

I had no choice but to turn off the water, dry the toilet and to scrape it off but in the process I scratched the toilet pretty badly. Your baking soda idea worked it took most of it off. I'll try again as my baking soda was expired.

Anyone out there know how to dissolve white cement that is stuck in a toilet. Its going to happen again, so if there is some mixture or something I can use in to make it dissolve please tell me. I'll really appreciate it.

Sarah J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Melbourne, Australia

2007

Complain to the landlord, Sarah. That is the wrong disposal method and could become very costly to him.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2007

Hi,

I have tried telling he doesn't seem to care. So any ideas as to what will dissolve white cement that is in water. It somehow lines the bottom of the toilet and no matter how hard you try to scrub it won't budge. My toilet is fairly new the water saving kind without the very powerful force like old toilets.

Help me please! if you know what'll dissolve it tell me I'll buy and keep it so when it does happen again. I'll know what to do.

Sarah J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Melbourne, Australia

July 18, 2009

i moved into a new apartment last week. the previous tenants poured white cement into the toilet bowl and I can't get it out. it looks quite awful. someone else too has the same problem but no one seems to have given an answer. kindly help.
ps. tried telling the landlord but he says now that's my problem.
hazel

hazel b [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
education - bahrain

July 22, 2009

Hi, Hazel. I tried to give you the answer that tenants must not consider it their responsibility to repair damage of this type, particularly because it may include extensive hidden damage. The landlord may face many thousands of dollars in repairs if the cement blocks a low spot in the pipes. Put it in writing that it was there when you moved in.

Muriatic Acid [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] will probably dissolve the cement, but it is dangerous enough that it should be done by an experienced plumber, not someone who has never used it. And you will be accepting financial responsibility for consequential damage if the landlord claims the acid rather than the cement hurt the system. I think you'd be better off replacing the toilet than doing that.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

2007

HI! TODAY I WAS CLEANED MY TOILET BOWL WITH A X SCRUB FREE DETERGENT, AND WHEN I RINSE I SEE THAT THE BOWL TURNED GREY, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME TO FIND ANY PRODUCT TO BRING BACK AGAIN THE WHITE COLOR?
PLEASE ASAP
THANK YOU

Giovanna D'Amico
- MASTIC, New York


2007

Would you believe I used a toilet auger tonight and I still managed to scratch my toilet? I never used one before and the instructions were wrong or way too vague. The instructions read: 1. Pull handle to upward to position boring head at the end of tube. 2. Carefully insert end into toilet bowl so as not to scratch porcelain. Rotate handle clockwise while gently pushing handle downward. 3. Pull handle back to original position, remove tube slowly and flush toilet.
When first reading these instructions, I mistakenly thought "end of tube" meant the top end; if you would see picture along with instructions, you would understand why I thought this. After a couple of tries, but after the damage had already been done, I understood what I was doing wrong - a little too late!
I'm just glad there are some suggestions here; going to try a couple.

Kay Knopp
- Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
April 30, 2008

Like others, our toilet bowl was scratched considerably whilst being unblocked with a metal snake auger. I tried Barkeepers Friend as recommended on this site, and it was amazing. The toilet looks like new again! Thanks.

Sharon Jones
- San Jose, California


May 8, 2008

I had scratches on my toilet bowl resulting from using a plumbing snake. From this forum, it looks like Barkeepers Friend works miracles. Since I had some Barkeepers Friend liquid [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] around, I tried it out. I poured 1/2 cup in the toilet and let it sit for 2-3 hours. I didn't do anything else, just pour it in. Later, I simply flushed and voila, the scratches are totally gone. It is indeed a miracle.

Bart Leeson
- Santa Clara, California


August 11, 2008

Q. Hi there,

A couple months ago, I had a relative, who was trying to be helpful, pour some 'comet' down our toilet bowl and unfortunately they let it sit there for at least half an hour. When I finally saw this and flushed the toilet, the paint on the porcelain appeared to be chipped. My toilet is white and I can actually see the underlying beige color of the chip marks. It really looks bad, and I would like to paint it. Considering the chip marks are actually in the bowl itself is there any paint that anyone can suggest that can stand the continuous water immersion? I heard that Rustoleum does not work if water is consistently in contact with the surface.

Julie Daniel
- Laval, Quebec, Canada


A. Hi, Julie. Unless toilet bowls in Quebec are very different than in the USA, I find this very strange. My mom, my wife, and I have used Comet in toilet bowls as long as the product has existed. My suspicion is that your toilet was already painted, and that the comet attacked the paint, revealing the beige color porcelain.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


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