How to Get Yellow Stains Off Toilet Seat in 7 Easy Steps

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It's no secret that toilets contain a plethora of pathogens and odors if you don't clean them regularly. In fact, studies show that salmonella loves to congregate beneath toilet seats, living for up to 50 days.

So, how to get yellow stains off a toilet seat?

To remove yellow stains off of your toilet seat, make a paste of equal parts bicarbonate of soda and distilled white vinegar. Apply the paste to the toilet seat and leave it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Scrub the stains with a non-abrasive sponge, then wipe the toilet seat with a cloth dipped in clean, warm water.

Unfortunately, no matter how squeaky clean you keep your bathroom, pesky yellow stains can appear on toilet seats, so you need to also prevent it from happening again. If you're at your wit's end about how to get yellow stains off your toilet seat, rest easy. We'll guide you through a foolproof step-by-step process.

What Causes Yellow Stains on Toilet Seat?

Here's some potentially reassuring news—assuming you scrub your toilet regularly, it's unlikely the yellow stains you're seeing are from urine. 

Instead, the following items can also cause yellowing:

  • Mineral deposits from hard water
  • Strong chemicals such as undiluted bleach
  • Sunlight

When it comes to the sun, the chemical makeup of your toilet seat determines how the ultraviolet (UV) light interacts with it and whether it'll change its color. We've all experienced the impact of sun fading objects and, in contrast, how UV light darkens wooden trinkets and our skin.

Plastic toilet seats are notorious for turning yellow. It's also common to encounter yellowing in the bowl, particularly at the water level line, if hard water really is the culprit. Nevertheless, many types of toilet seat material can stain under the right conditions. So, let's dive into how to get yellow stains off a toilet seat.

Step-by-Step Guide for Removing Yellow Stains From Your Toilet Seat

By following these seven easy steps, you'll soon have a toilet that won't make you blush when visitors ask to use your restroom.

Step 1: Choose Your Cleaning Product

The type of cleaning product you choose to use on your toilet seat will depend on the person. 

If you're concerned about the environmental or health implications of chemical cleaners, white vinegar is a nice option. You can use vinegar directly on your toilet without diluting it.

Otherwise, if you're looking for something stronger, try one of the following products:

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
Savogran 10621 Trisodium Phosphate...
Borax Powder
Milliard Borax Powder Laundry...
Napisan Oxi Action Powder
Vanish Napisan Oxi Action Powder...
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
Savogran 10621 Trisodium Phosphate...
Borax Powder
Milliard Borax Powder Laundry...
Napisan Oxi Action Powder
Vanish Napisan Oxi Action Powder...

Step 2: Let the Product Soak In

According to the scientists that the New York Times spoke with, many people don't allow enough time for a cleaning product to do its job. We're quick to spray on a product and then wipe it away with a cloth.

Instead, it's crucial to let your cleaning product sit on a stain for a while before you put some elbow grease into scrubbing it away. Best of all, allowing the product to sit requires less muscle to scrub it off.

If you're using a store-bought product, read the label to see the recommended wait time. Otherwise, leave vinegar or other homemade cleaning products on the yellow stain for five to ten minutes.

Step 3: Remove the Product

Wet a rag and wipe away the product you left sitting on your toilet seat. 

Depending on the product you use, the stain may or may not start pulling away at this point—and that's okay. The important part is that you now have a sanitary surface to work with.

Step 4: Create a Baking Soda Paste

Here's where the real stain-fighting magic starts. To make a baking soda paste, mix the following ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • ½ cup of water or vinegar

Make sure to use warm water, as this will make it easier for you to remove the yellow stain. You can even use vinegar instead of water for an even greater punch.

In either case, your goal is to create a thick paste that you'll then place on top of your toilet seat stain. You guessed it—you'll now need to let the paste soak into your toilet seat.

We recommend leaving it there for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Start Scrubbing

It's time to put your muscles to work. Use a sponge to scrub the baking soda into—and away from—the stain.

To make your scrubbing most effective, keep the following in mind:

  • Use warm water
  • Circular motions are best
  • Don't choose a sponge with an abrasive surface

The reason it's crucial to avoid abrasive materials is that they can scratch your toilet seat. As a result, whatever is causing your pesky toilet stains will have more surfaces to spread their yellow color in the future.

If you don't have a non-abrasive sponge, you can buy this non-scratch scrub sponges:

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Step 6: Repeat Step #5

Knowing how to get yellow stains off your toilet seat is one thing—achieving a sparkling white toilet is another. So, don't feel discouraged if your toilet isn't stain-free after your first baking soda paste application. It could take a few times.

Step 7: Making the Final Touches

Once your toilet seat is free of stains, it's a good idea to give it a final cleansing with vinegar or a store-bought disinfectant.  That way, you don't have to worry about your bottom encountering stray granules of dried baking powder the next time you use your toilet.

Maintaining a Stain-Free Toilet Seat

More often than not, yellow stains on toilet seats are a recurring issue due to factors outside of your control, such as mineral deposits from hard water.

Therefore, if you notice that your toilet seat routinely turns yellow, it's best to set up a maintenance schedule for periodically following these stain removal steps before the yellow color has time to build up.

While you're at it, scrub your entire bathroom; experts recommend cleaning bathrooms at least once per week since E. coli often lives within six feet of toilets and sinks. 

The Bottom Line

According to the British non-profit UKActive, adults spend over double the amount of time on the toilet each week as they do exercising. Although they only ran this study with British participants, the three hours and nine-minute average weekly toilet time is likely a number that people across the globe can relate to.

Needless to say, that's a lot of opportunity for urine or mineral deposits to build up if you're not diligent about cleaning your toilet. 

So, if you don't have the means to buy a non-plastic toilet seat, following the steps we described here will help you nip yellow toilet seat stains in the bud and keep them away for good.

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Sofia Rodriguez

As a professional house cleaner, I'm passionate about cleanliness. I write this blog to help anyone take better care of their homes and ultimately their loved ones.