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The very first house I rented as a 25 year old single woman had well water.
This was my first experience having/using/cleaning with well water.
I am sad to say, I had no clue what I was doing. I cleaned the toilet every day, the shower once a week. Yet the toilet had calcified, brown/orange stains that would NOT come out and the grout in the shower stayed orange. I always cleaned with bleach and even tried a bleach pen for the grout. This worked every other place I had lived… But not on well water.
I remember taking a butter knife and scraping away the calcification in the toilet to try and get it clean because it was so embarrassing having people use my bathroom and the toilet was perpetually dirty looking.

Fast forward to 30 years old, I am married and my husband and I are homeowners. Our house has well water…
So again I’m over here cleaning and cleaning…. Still. Getting. Orange. I’m thinking how in heavens am I supposed to get this clean… Why isn’t bleach working????


Once I learned this, I rushed out to get what I needed!

A cleaner with HYDROCHLORIC ACID as the active ingredient.


I found this 2 pack of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner for $3.33 at Walmart.


There was a Lysol specifically for rust, but why pay more when I just need the one ingredient. Just a heads up, this kind smells like Bengay. So if you don’t care for that smell, I suggest you try a different scent.
I got home and went to work.
I did not take a photo of our toilets because they were seriously embarrassing. My husband was talking about buying new toilets, they were that bad.
BUT…. After using it in the toilets, they look like BRAND NEW. I’m not even kidding.

After taking care of the toilets, I started out by squirting some of the cleaner on the grout in the shower. It dripped down and when I came back after about 10 min, it was clear that I had a bigger problem than I’d thought! There were just drips of clean tile…

I squirted more on the walls and tub and brushed it with a cleaning brush to spread everywhere. It worked but still missed a lot. So I squirted the cleaner on a sponge and wiped it on the remainder of the wall and tub.

(Before and after)

The bathroom looks like we just moved in to a brand new house!

I am so happy I found the solution and I feel pretty stupid for not having figured it out sooner.

I hope this helps anyone else who was as desperate as I was to get this CLEANED!!