What Causes Toilet Stains And Rings? 🚽
Toilet bowl stains have many different causes, but the 2 most common causes are microbes and hard water. Possibly both at the same time. The growth of microorganisms such as mold, fungi, bacteria and viruses can often cause the appearance of a ring around the edge of the toilet water. This can easily be confused with hard water stains.
Cause #1: Microbes 🦠Mold, fungi, bacteria and viruses grow in the water in our toilets. Each of these microbes multiplies and reproduces and cling to the toilet bowl and become concentrated together. The water that is in contact with the sides of the toilet bowl is a great environment for the growth of fungi, mold, bacteria, and viruses. The water evaporates very slowly and allows the microbes to concentrate around the edges of the water and grow under these perfect conditions.
This concentration of microbes leads to the ring around the toilet. Also, certain types of microbes have a color which can be confused with hard water. For example, serratia marcescens is a bacterial species that leaves a pink ring around the toilet and can be confused with hard water containing iron. 💦
Cause #2: Hard water 🌊
Most water has differing concentrations of minerals dissolved within the water. Hard water can have metals such as iron, magnesium, and calcium dissolved within it. The development of hard water stains can make your toilet increasingly harder to keep clean after some time. As the water on the edge of the toilet bowl dissipates, the metals that have broken down in the water have nowhere to go other than right on the toilet bowl that is in contact with the water. As an example, iron (iron oxide) has a trademark orange rust tone that it leaves on the toilet bowl.
The higher hard water concentration somebody has, the quicker hard water stains show up. People with city water or a water conditioning system will have significantly less hard water than people with well water. Water softeners can help remove the hard water concentration of minerals, but can't get 100% removal. 💦