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Orange Ring In Toilet Bowl? (Easy Fix!)

Toilets seem to have a way of telling us that something is off, either within our bathroom’s environment or within our plumbing system. For instance, our toilets may start to develop different types of stains. An orange ring might make you think your toilet is rusting, but rust isn’t the culprit here.

Getting rid of orange rings in toilet bowls requires some thorough cleaning and reducing the humidity that exists in your bathroom. It may also require some tinkering with your home’s water pressure to eliminate elements in your water that could be leading to orange stains.

Once you can determine what has caused the orange ring to form in your toilet bowl, you have a better chance of determining how to get rid of the orange ring in your toilet bowl once and for all.

What Causes An Orange Ring In A Toilet Bowl?

An orange ring around the inside of your toilet bowl is often a sign of bacteria called Serratia Marcescens. This specific kind of bacteria usually manifests in orange staining that cakes the interior of a toilet bowl, though sometimes the bacteria will appear in shades of pink and red as well.

Serratia Marcescens is not an inherently harmful bacteria for many people since your body won’t come into direct contact with it. However, those who have compromised immune systems could potentially become harmed from exposure. This bacteria can cause issues such as urinary tract infections and respiratory problems.

You definitely don’t want Serratia Marcescens living in your toilet. The growth of this bacteria likes the warmth and moisture of a humid atmosphere. When it’s also able to feed off of waste and minerals in your water supply, it’ll only continue to flourish until it’s banished.

This bacteria can also attach itself to other parts of your bathroom, so getting rid of it should be a high priority.

Other Potential Causes Of Orange Rings In Toilet Bowls

Hard water can also lead to staining in your toilet, including orange rings. This is because there is a high concentration of minerals that can lead to discolorations and the breaking down of a toilet’s outer shell. Hard water can also cause staining in numerous other water fixtures as well as a host of other problems.

How To Get Rid Of Orange Ring In Toilet Bowl

You should be able to clean an orange ring out of your toilet bowl fairly easily unless it happens to be a very intense stain that has been inside your toilet for a while. That said, it’ll keep coming back until you figure out what has caused it so you can find a permanent solution.

Do A Thorough, Deep Clean Of Your Toilet

The first thing you’ll want to do when you notice the orange ring is to complete a careful cleaning of the toilet. You want to try to eliminate any chance of harmful bacteria spreading as you take care of the underlying issue.

Control Humid Conditions

Since Serratia Marcescens feeds off humidity, you need to work on getting the conditions of your bathroom under control. This could simply mean opening a window when you have a hot shower or cleaning out your bathroom fan. It could also mean that there is some kind of ventilation problem lurking inside your bathroom that needs to be taken care of.

Install A Water Softener

Hard water doesn’t just cause an excess of minerals to cake and discolor your toilet and other water fixtures, but it can also cause your water fixtures to work less efficiently. Hard water can also be tough on your skin and hair and can impact how well your cleaning products work, such as dish soap, detergent, and body washes.

How To Clean Orange Rings Out Of Toilet Bowls

The good news is the best solutions for tackling orange rings are likely already in your home. All you need are a couple of inexpensive household products to get the job done. You should only have to reach for a toilet bowl cleaner or something more heavy-duty if the stain is particularly bad.

Baking Soda

When you mix together baking soda and vinegar, it creates a frothy paste that works extremely hard to get rid of pesky stains of all kinds. It tends to be quite effective at getting orange rings out of toilets too regardless of the cause.

To use this method, start by sprinkling baking soda into your toilet bowl. You’ll want to use about one cup. Next, you’ll want to slowly pour in a total of three cups of vinegar, making sure you’re doing so slowly to avoid causing a big reaction. You’ll then want to use a toilet brush to scrub the mixture into the stain and throughout the bowl.

Once you’ve given your toilet a good scrub, let the baking soda and vinegar continue to marinate inside of the toilet for at least half an hour. Afterward, you can flush and the ring should be gone.

Distilled Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is another inexpensive and natural solution you can use to get your toilet back to its pristine white condition. You can spray some distilled vinegar mixed with some water over the stain and scrub it away with your toilet brush.

Give your toilet a flush once you’ve let the distilled vinegar do its work. Not only should this help clean the stain, but it’ll leave your toilet smelling fresh as well.


Stains that are a little bit too stubborn for baking soda – though there won’t be many – can also be managed by using borax and vinegar together. To try this method, you’ll sprinkle some borax into the toilet bowl and rub it into the bowl with your toilet brush.

Next, you’ll pour your vinegar in and let both ingredients work together to penetrate and break down the orange ring. After about half an hour, you can flush your toilet and the stain should be gone.


You can kill the bacteria that may be contained inside your toilet bowl with some disinfectant. It’s a lot less harsh than bleach but can still get the job done. Whether you want to use a disinfectant spray or some wipes is up to you. It’s good practice to disinfect before and after cleaning the orange ring just to make sure all germs and bacteria are gone.

Toilet Cleaners With Bleach

You may not have to reach for a strong toilet cleaner or a product containing bleach unless the orange ring is especially severe. Bleach can help restore your toilet back to its original, bright white color while also killing anything that’s living inside of your toilet. Just be sure your bathroom is well-ventilated and you only use a small amount of bleach.

How To Prevent Orange Rings In Your Toilet Bowl

The best way you can prevent orange rings from developing in your toilet once again is to maintain your bathroom’s cleanliness and ensure it remains well-ventilated. It’s also a good idea to look at your home’s water pressure to see how hard your water is.

If you continue to have issues with staining because of mineral buildup in your water fixtures, it could be time to invest in a water softener. If your bathroom doesn’t have a window or a fan, a small dehumidifier can do the trick to get air circulating much better in the room. You should also clean out your bathroom vents regularly, getting rid of dust and debris.

Outside of the regular wipedowns of your toilet, consider using your baking soda and vinegar solution once a month inside your toilet bowl. It’s gentle on the toilet and on your water supply and offers your toilet a thorough and refreshing clean that can help protect it against developing future stains.