Toilet Bowl Ring

This is more home maintenance than repair, but maybe someone has a good solution.
After about 5 years of use, our new toilet bowls show rings around the inside water level in the bowl. There seem to be only two ways of dealing with this nuisance: a. mechanical abrasion with cleanser or pumice stone, or b. use of an acid that will dissolve the calcium deposits.
Both methods have a deleterious effect on the underlying porcelain, making the problem worse the next time around.
Is there a third method, which does not dissolve the porcelain in the cleaning process?
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Walter
www.rationality.net
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After 5 years, the toilet isn't new anymore. ;-)
We've got *very* hard water where we live. After 20 years, I still have no rings around the inside water level in the bowl.

Are you sure the damage hasn't already been done and/or you had a defective toilet in the first place? Like I said, I don't have any rings after 20 years, so I'm surprised that you do after only 5.
How often does this toilet get used?
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There were 5 new toilets. The ones that get used the most, are the ones that are most afflicted by rings. Maybe they get cleaned more often and the cleanser damages the porcelain?
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Walter R. wrote:

You shouldn't be using a cleanser that has anything in it hard enough to scratch glass (porcelain). Most don't. Pumice may.
Acid - other than hydrofluoric acid - won't affect porcelain. After all, it comes in glass bottles. Hydrofluoric is stored in wax bottles.
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dadiOH
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How is that possible??? You must be livin' right! ... or your wife is in there scrubbing every other day! :-)
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- is in there scrubbing every other day! :-)
OK, let's do a survey...
How many of you who own toilets of over 5 years old have a ring around the bowl at the water level?
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2007 11:58:10 -0700, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Mine has got to be 20 years old and is in fine shape. I use a "1000 Flushes" tablet in the tank and Sani Flush and a brush once a week.
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on 9/10/2007 2:58 PM DerbyDad03 said the following:

I don't, but I have a water softener. I am of the "if it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down" belief., so I have to brush the sides once in a while to get rid of the film that develops.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

I think a lot of this has to do with the water.

In Baltiomre, I cleaned my toilets none too often and they were fine for about 24 years.
Then, about 4 years ago,I started having to urinate often but not much, and although I am not of Willshaks belief, I hated to keep using a whole tank of water for a little bit, but every half hour. So I stopped flushing every time, and it started gettting dirty, including a ring so that flushing didn't clean it and a brush didn't clean it.
I had to use an acidic toilet bowl cleaner, first the one in the green container that that I can't find anymore, and now one from Lowes. Brands on request, but I can't remember them now.
Those work.
Do they do damage? I don't know. I wondered too, so I've tried feelign the bowl when it is clean and it feels very smooth. I guess I should compare it with the toilet I never use, but frankly, I don't think my fingers are sensitive enough to tell if something is more smooth than this one.
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Plenty of CaCO3 in our water so, yes, we have calcium build up at the water level. Coincidentally, I need to go look under the lid to see how old our toilet is. We just bought the house about 1 1/2 years ago but I'm not sure how old the toilet is. I think I need to replace it anyway (see my post not too far from this one).
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I bought an American Standard new at home depot 2 years ago and I have rings around the bowl
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2007 09:58:29 -0700, Walter R. wrote:

A product like CLR shouldn't damage porcelain and it hasn't in my years of using it. Your problem now is you no longer have a smooth surface and this exacerbates the collection of deposits. I would clean it more frequently with a bit of CLR before the deposits build to a noticeable level. I clean my bowl once a week but I do have soft water and use a one of those blue things you toss in the tank. Those really do wonders for keeping deposits down.
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2007 09:58:29 -0700, Walter R. wrote:

Try using a cup or two of household vinegar and letting things soak a few hours. Vinegar is a very weak acid and less likely to damage porcelain.
You might look at using softened water for the toilet. Not a complicated or expensive DIY task.
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wrote:

How do you know. Regarding the acid product?
I ask because I worried about this too, when I needed a stronger cleaner.
Are you talking about a toilet bowel cleaner that contains acid, or just plain acid (as it is sold, diluted with water)?
I ended up usinge an acidic toilet bowl cleaner, first the one in the green container that that I can't find anymore (I can find a cleaning product by the same name, but no longer can I find the toilet bowel clearn), and now one from Lowes. Brands on request, but I can't remember them now.
Those work.
Do they do damage? I don't know. I wondered too, so I've tried feelign the bowl when it is clean and it feels very smooth. I guess I should compare it with the toilet I never use, but frankly, I don't think my fingers are sensitive enough to tell if something is more smooth than the first one.
Is there a way to measure something smooth to know how smooth it is?
See my other post for a few more details.

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