What Causes Yellow Stains on Toilet Seat

Yellow stains are pretty common in most toilets, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t gross. You’ve probably seen them in most public restrooms, but they’re also commonplace in homes. Let’s look at what causes yellow stains in the toilet and what you can do to remove them.

Urine, hard water, sunlight, and cleaning chemicals can cause yellow stains in the toilet. Different methods like bleach, vinegar and soda, and lemon juice can remove these stains.

We all know that icky feeling when we say a yellow-stained toilet in a public place like a bar or a restaurant. We don’t want the same sight in our houses, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Urine stains can be the primary reason, but there are reasons worth exploring. Let’s look at what can cause yellow stains in the toilet and how to remove them effectively.

What Causes Yellow Stains on Your Toilet

urine on toilet seat
Image from Amanda Moore

1.    Urine

Urine contains a yellow coloring agent called Urochrome or Urobilin. Stains due to urine are very common, especially when odd splashes aren’t cleaned regularly.

Urine residue can build up and convert into stubborn-looking yellow stains. If these yellow stains are left on plastic for a long time, these stains can get darker and ickier. This makes them harder to clean.

     2. Hard water

Places with hard water are more prone to have toilets with yellow stains. As you flush the toilet, the water can splash on the undersides of the cover. When this water evaporates, it can still leave limestone deposits.

These limestone deposits have a natural yellow color that can build up and damage the plastic.

      3. Sunlight

You’ve heard of pets and people getting sunburnt by the sun. However, the sun also affects plastics, including toilet seat covers. Where it turns skin red, it has a yellowing effect on plastics.

If your toilet is near the window and in direct sunlight, it can cause a yellow stain on the plastic due to sunburn.

pouring chemical cleaning product on toilet

    4. Chemical Cleaning Products

Some harsh chemicals in commercial cleaning products can discolor and damage plastics. This discoloration can appear as yellow stains and patches.

How to Effectively Remove Yellow Stains On Toilet Seat

The main reason our toilets get yellow stains is often our relaxed attitudes towards them. We forget to clean them or regularly maintain them. So if you get yellow stains on your toilet, here are some effective methods to clean them:

pouring bleach down the toilet

Method 1 – Bleach

Bleach is a very effective disinfectant and cleaner ingredient used in most toilet cleaners. Bleach can be highly corrosive, so you must use it when necessary.

Make sure you have all available windows and ventilation open. You should wear goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and skin from it. Here is what you’ll need:

  • A bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • 1 cup bleach
  • A toilet brush or a sponge

Let’s look at how to use it:

  1. Pour ⅓ cup of bleach while wearing your gloves on the edges of the toilet seat
  2. Use a mild toilet brush or a sponge to scrub the stained area thoroughly
  3. Take a bucket of water and add the remaining bleach to create a diluted solution
  4. Pour this solution into the toilet bowl
  5. Now, scrub the toilet’s remaining parts, including the outsides and the lid, etc.

Method 2 – Coke

Although Coca-Cola isn’t a disinfectant, you can still use it to remove limescale. It contains phosphoric acid, which is effective against limescale. You’ll need roughly two cans of the drink to get the job done following the steps below:

  • Measure two cups
  • Pour them around the edges and rims of the toilet seat
  • Let this sit for 6 minutes
  • Scrub the softened stains with a brush or a sponge
  • Flush the toilet

Method 3 – Pumice Stones

If the culprit behind the yellow stains on your toilet seat is hard water, your only saviors are pumice stones. Mineral buildup in the toilet seat can cause damage to the seat and your health. You’ll need a pumice stone scouring stick and gloves to get this done. Follow the steps listed below:

  • Wear gloves for cleaning inside the toilet
  • Wet the pumice stone scouring stick
  • Use the stick to rub the edges of the surface that needs to be cleaned
  • Once you’ve cleaned the surface, run water over it to thoroughly wash off the stains

Method 4 – Vinegar

Vinegar is a mild acid and can deodorize and also clean stains effectively. It is a straightforward method for cleaning yellow stains from your toilet seat. You’ll need a toilet brush, a soft cloth, white vinegar, and a disinfectant.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Dampen the soft cloth with a little bit of distilled vinegar
  • Cover the stained areas with this soft cloth and let it sit for 2 hours
  • Remove the cloth for scrubbing with the toilet seat
  • You can keep using the vinegar till the stains disappear completely
  • You can also apply disinfectant after the stains are gone

Frequently Asked Questions

toilet seat with yellow stains
Image from Angiee Aguilar

1.    Why is my toilet seat turning yellow?

Your toilet seat might be turning yellow due to different reasons, including limescale buildup, sunburn, or urine stains. Whatever the cause, a yellow toilet seat looks and smells terrible, and you can use the stain removal methods we’ve listed above to get your toilet seat looking clean again!

      2. What is the best cleaner for my toilet seat?

Hand soap and water are the mildest and most easily accessible cleaners for your toilet seat. The solution is mild and will protect the glossy finish of your seat while also ensuring it remains clean. You can use more aggressive measures, as mentioned above, if stubborn stains develop.

        3. How often should I clean my toilet seat?

Scientists suggest we should clean our seats at least once a week. As far as being dirty and having germs go, our seats aren’t that dirty. However, we should still regularly clean it to avoid stains and germ buildup.

Final Thoughts

Yellow stains can look pretty disgusting in a toilet, whether in a public place or in our homes. Luckily, we’ve listed some easy ways to help you clean them up effectively. Hopefully after using one of the methods provided, your toilet can be sparkly white again!

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