Why Is Toilet Water Yellow (Causes And Fixes)

Home toilets are intended to be fresh and clean, otherwise, there will be no difference between them and the public ones. Noticing that your toilet water has become yellow can remind you of the dirtiness of the public toilets, so you would want to get rid of it ASAP. To do so, you will need to know what are the causes of yellow water in the toilet, and what are the possible solutions.

The most common cause of toilet water turning yellow is the high amount of minerals in the water supply, which develop on the toilet sidewalls. Another cause may be iron in the water which can be produced by rusted pipe fittings, or just the water containing it. The flush tank should not be forgotten as well since it can often contain rusted bolts.

In order to get rid of the yellow water in your toilet even after flushing, you should first learn what causes this occurrence. Luckily, this article has everything you need in one place, and after reading it, you will definitely know how to get rid of the yellow water. If causes and fixes are the things you are looking for for your toilet water, then carry on reading!

What Causes Yellow Water In The Toilet? 

Noticing that the water in your toilet has turned yellow can be quite alarming and unfruitful. You may try to flush it, but nothing changes, and that is a sign that there is something else than just dirty water. There are several things that can cause the water in your toilet to become yellow: 

  • Presence of a high amount of minerals in the water supply. 
  • Presence of iron in the water due to rusted pipe fittings. 
  • Rusted bolts in the flush tank. 
Toilet tank inside view with rust and calcium buildups. Fixing a toilet cistern at home.

High Amount Of Minerals In The Water Supply 

The most common cause of yellow water in the toilet is the abundance of minerals in the water supply. The minerals have the tendency to develop on the sidewalls of the toilet, so even when you flush the water remains yellow. The chances that minerals are the reason for the yellow water in the toilet are greater if you are using water from a good pump. 

Usually, a water supply that comes from a pump is rich with minerals, which start evolving after a long time of use. Minerals, such as magnesium and chloride are harmless when they are not in a sufficient amount. However, when there is too much of their presence in the water, they start causing trouble. 

Namely, they are not particularly dangerous, but they are signs that something needs to be changed or replaced in the toilet. 

rust in toilet pipe
Image from All American Plumbing

Rusted Pipe Fittings That Create The Presence Of Iron In The Water

Sometimes, the water supply can contain iron due to its natural source where it comes from. This option should not be excluded although this is rarely the cause due to modern sewer technology. On the other hand, iron usually appears in water because iron pipes get rusted over time. 

When pipe fittings get rusted, water starts mixing with iron appearing in yellow color in the toilet. Therefore, when you notice that the water in the toilet has become yellow, that means that it has been contaminated. So, whenever you flush the toilet, you will be mixing fresh water with iron. 

two flush tank rusted bolts
Image from Paula Fairbrother

Flush Tank With Rusted Bolts 

The pipes are not the only things in the toilet system that might get rusted. You should not forget that the flush tank contains a lot of iron bolts that may get rusted after a long time. When this happens, the end result is yellow water in the toilet. 

Namely, there are several bolts in the flush tank that can get rusted really fast since they are constantly exposed to water. When rusted, the bolts become brown, but water in the toilet turns yellow due to the mixing of rust and water. 

How To Solve The Issue With Yellow Water In The Toilet? 

Depending on the cause that has made the water yellow in the first place, you will know how to proceed. It is important that you keep in mind that this issue needs to be resolved since it will not go away on its own. In other words, although it may not seem like a dangerous and serious problem, you should still deal with it. 

cleaning a toilet tank

Clean The Minerals 

If you know that minerals are causing the yellow water in your toilet, you should simply get rid of the minerals. You will need a regular scrubber or a brush for this procedure, and some liquid toilet cleaner intended for cleaning minerals. You should follow the steps below to get the job done quickly and easily. 

  1. Remove the lid from your toilet. 
  2. Add a little bit of toilet cleaner. 
  3. Scrub the sidewalls of the toilet using a scrubber or a brush. 
  4. Flush the toilet 2-3 times, and check the color of the water. 

If you have successfully dealt with the minerals, you will not see yellow water in the toilet after flushing. 

Replace The Pipe Fittings 

When the yellow water in the toilet is caused by iron from rusted pipes, you will need to consider replacement of the same. Since this is not an easy job to be done by yourself, you will need to call a professional plumber. 

Some people tend to find a way to clean the rust instead of going through the trouble of replacing it, but this is not usually a permanent solution. Therefore, it is better to go with a replacement instead of cleaning. 

flush tank bolts replaced
Image from Joe Tominsky Jr

Clean Or Replace The Rust Bolts From The Flush Tank

Your first option would be to clean the bolts from rust. For this procedure to be successful, you will need a hard brush for scrubbing. However, you should know that this is a difficult process and it may take a lot of time. 

Therefore, it might be better to replace the rust bolts instead of cleaning them. This is not a pricey solution, and it will save you a lot of time. 

Does Yellow Water Leave Stains In The Toilet? 

Not always, but it is possible that the yellow water will leave stains on your toilet. In order to get rid of these stains, it is not enough to just flush your toilet. This means that you will have to perform a special procedure that will remove the stains. 

  1. Use a borax powder and pour it down in the toilet. 
  2. After a few minutes, pour 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet. 
  3. Wait for 30 minutes, and start brushing the toilet with a toilet brush. 
  4. Flush the toilet. 

This is usually a successful method, meaning that in most cases the stains disappear immediately. However, you may get some stubborn stains that will require repeating the procedure twice. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

A man attaches a home water softener to the wall with a special key. Close-up of a compact water softening and filtration system. Universal water softening system for home

Can A Water Softener Be A Cause Of Yellow Water In The Toilet?

If you are using a water softener to clean your water, you should expect some changes in the color. Sometimes, the water can stay yellow for months due to the water softener, while other times, it will disappear quickly. 

Is Yellow Water In The Toilet Harmful? 

In many cases, yellow water in the toilet is not seriously dangerous. If it is due to minerals, you should not panic because you can easily clean them. However, you should also be on the lookout for contamination. If your skin gets in touch with contaminated water, it might cause some consequences. 

pouring bleach

Can You Use Bleach To Clean The Yellow Stains From The Toilet? 

Bleach is a strong substance, so it is not recommended to be used for cleaning yellow stains in the toilet. Bleach can cause damage to internal parts of the toilet, so it is better to use white vinegar instead. 

Final Thoughts 

Yellow water in the toilet is not good news for your home, meaning that you have to get rid of it immediately. If you know the cause of it, you should react as soon as possible in order to obtain successful results. Now you know the possible causes along with their fixes, so you can go on and handle your toilet appropriately. 

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