How to Clean Your Toilet With WD-40

You can use WD-40 to break down tough lime stains or hard water lines in your toilet bowl.

Got hard water stains or a ring in your toilet bowl? Try WD-40 to remove it! Hard water stains are typically caused by minerals in your water. The water in some places naturally has more minerals which can lead to unsightly stains in your bathroom and plumbing components. 

Supplies for cleaning your toilet with WD40 arranged on a toilet.

Because WD is a lubricant it’s not as harsh as most chemicals you use in the bathroom. That means it’s great for getting rid of hard water stains and other stubborn stains without harming the porcelain or other surfaces. 

What was WD-40 originally made for?

The name WD-40 stands for “water displacement, formulation successful in 40th attempt.” Convair, a unit of General Dynamics, first used WD-40 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion. The product worked so well that employees sneaked WD-40 cans out of the plant to use at home.

What should you not use WD 40 on? 

There are many different types of plastic, but there are two kinds that you should avoid using WD-40 on—polycarbonate and clear polystyrene plastic. Polycarbonate is a transparent plastic that is commonly used in greenhouses, and polystyrene is typically used for styrofoam and soft drink lids among other items. Here are some other items you should not use WD-40 on:

  • Door hinges. Sure, WD-40 will stop the squeaking, but it also attracts dust and dirt.
  • Bike chains. WD-40 can cause dirt and dust to stick to a chain.
  • Paintball guns. WD-40 can melt the seals in the guns.
  • Locks. Over time it can wear down the internal mechanisms.
  • iPods and iPads. It can damage the plastic.
  • Other electronics. It can damage the external casing and internal components.
Spraying wd40 into a toilet bowl.

Is WD-40 safe?

Generally it is safe as long as you don’t ingest it, or breathe in the fumes for a prolonged period of time. Try to avoid contact with your skin and don’t leave it around children unattended. WD-40 can irritate skin so it is not recommended to use it on your joints or for arthritis pain relief despite old wives tales touting it as a cure for arthritis and other ailments.


  • 1 can of WD40
  • 5 Gallon bucket
  • Toilet brush
  • Paper toewls

Time needed: 15 minutes

Learn how to clean hard water stains from your toilet bowl with WD-40.

  1. Fill a bucket with water

    Fill a 5 gallon bucket with water and pour the entire thing into the toilet to to force it to flush

  2. Spray the bowl with WD-40

    Spray the WD-40 directly onto the hard water stains and all over the inside of the bowl.

  3. Wait

    Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Clean another part of the bathroom and the outside of the toilet while you wait.

  4. Scrub

    Use a toilet brush to scrub away the stains.

  5. Flush

    Flush the toilet and repeat the steps if necessary.

Scrubbing the inside of a toilet bowl with a brush.


What causes brown rings in the toilet?

Brown stains are caused by high mineral content in the water. This happens when there is a lot of iron or another mineral in the water. The minerals cause stains which is why just scrubbing won’t get rid of them completely.

Is WD-40 good for limescale?

WD-40 will break down limescale and mineral deposits. Scrub with a brush and those minerals will easily dissolve. You can also use it on rusty garden tools.

Will WD-40 remove calcium deposits in other places in the bathroom?

Yes! You can clean calcium deposits off of a glass shower door with WD-40. Give the glass a quick spray and leave it for a few minutes. Go back and scrub it off followed by a rinse with water and then dry it with with a clean rag.

Does WD-40 wash off with water?

“WD” stands for “water displacement,” which is what the product does — it acts as a buffer between a surface and water. Because of this, water is not usually an effective way to clean up WD-40.

Learn how to clean a toilet with WD40.

Check out this video from The Silver Guy where he shows us his before and after.

Adrienne Carrie Hubbard
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