How to Remove Water Stains from Toilet Bowls (or Water Purification Made Simple)

Roy of Como says:

The problem we have in our house is stains to the porcelain toilet bowls.

Our house is only a few months old and we live in Como. Since we moved in we have noticed a build-up of stain marks running down the side and back of the both toilet bowls, they are a bluish brown in colour and run down the bowls a bit like small creeks running down a valley.

The bluish-green is copper, and this was confirmed in a conversation that Roy had with the Water Corporation.

So, what to do about it?

Roy had a go at it with CLR which worked reasonably well, but it will require regular cleaning which is a fair bit of effort to go to.

A better option may be to consider purifying the water before it enters the cistern.

So how would we do it?

There are essentially three ways to purify water – distillation, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange.

The first two are relatively slow processes and would require a reservoir to store the purified water, so they aren’t really practical in this case.  What you want is some sort of cartridge that is placed in line which simply purifies the water as it goes through.

There are several things in drinking water at trace level – many of them beneficial, such as minerals.  These minerals, however, can interfere with many industrial processes, and therefore they are removed industrially by large ion exchange systems.

Ion exchange is simply where the minerals are trapped by small orange resin beads and in doing so are removed from the water.

Now you may be asking “I have a water purifier under my sink – is that what this is?”

The answer is almost certainly no.  Domestic purifiers are almost always activated charcoal.  Their job is to remove any trace organics in the water which may contribute to an unpleasant taste.

So can you get small scale ion exchangers?  Probably, but there are many different brands of water purifiers on the market and I don’t know of one off the top of my head.

But I can tell you exactly what to look for.  You are looking for an “ion exchange” system. It will probably be a mixed bed system which is the simplest. Twin bed systems are available (the positive and negative ion exchange resins are separated), but are probably a case of overkill for a home system.

They should be available in single unit cartridges, and shouldn’t be that expensive.  It will come with a bag of small orange beads, which you simply tip into the cartridge.  They have a limited capacity, of course, and will need to be exchanged when they are spent.  The supplier should be able to give you an estimate of how long they will last based upon your water usage if you wanted to go down this route.

Tomorrow I will look at reverse osmosis as an option for purified drinking water.

By the way, I haven’t forgotten about the clothes washing articles.  I’ll get back onto them soon.

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