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Cleaning tips for stubborn bathroom stains

If your bathroom has stubborn stains, you don’t need to throw in the towel just yet — here’s how to remove even the toughest stains from your toilet, tiles and taps.

Woman cleaning a toilet

From scrubbing the toilet bowl to scraping grime from grout, cleaning the bathroom can be tough work. Mould and lime deposits can build up quickly, discolouring tiles, grout and fixtures.

The good news is that with the right products and techniques, the time you spend cleaning your bathroom can be cut dramatically. Even if you haven’t cleaned your bathroom in months you’ll be able to remove stubborn stains without too much elbow grease.


Toilets are often home to some pretty stubborn stains. From yellow rings around the rim to brown stains at the bottom of the bowl, if your toilet is looking less than pristine, it might be more to do with the water in the bowl than with any lacklustre cleaning habits.

Minerals from hard water can build up in your porcelain toilet which is likely to hold onto stains harder than a toddler holds onto a cookie. If you want a sparkling bowl, then your best bet is to run a toilet brush over the bowl every day. The less chance grime has to build up, the less work for you in the long run! And don’t forget to close the lid before you flush to prevent mist from exiting the bowl.

If you have stubborn stains that need removing, turn off the water valve at the back of your toilet, flush it once, then use a plunger to remove any residual water. Spray with an all-purpose cleaner and scrub with a nylon bristled brush. Don’t use a wire brush — this will scratch the porcelain and keep your toilet stained.

Once the marks are removed, turn the water back on and enjoy your pristine throne.


Soap scum and mould can quickly build up in wet areas such as showers and bath cavities. If you can, clean heavily-used bathrooms once a week as this will dramatically cut down your cleaning time in the long run. Wipe wet surfaces dry after you use them — a squeegee in the shower works well — to keep water spots and mould from forming.

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For stubborn stains, spray tiles and grout with a tailored product such as Mr Muscle Soap Scum Remover. Leave it for five to 10 minutes before wiping it off with a nylon scrubbing pad. If any stains remain, repeat the process. Scrub the grout clean with an old toothbrush before finishing off with an application of Mr Muscle Shower Clean to help prevent soap scum and mould build-up.


Taps and other water fixtures are another place where grime just seems to build up. Water marks and leaky faucets can create unsightly brown rings so make sure you get any leaks fixed immediately and wipe down bathroom faucets and taps each day with a soft cloth.

To remove built-up lime or mould from your taps, spray them with an all-purpose cleaner and leave them to soak for a few minutes before scrubbing away the scum with an old toothbrush. Wipe them clean with a damp cloth and dry with a soft cloth for shiny, as-new fixtures.

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