Why Is My Toilet Water Yellow? Causes and Fixes

Everyone wants to have their toilets as clean as possible. However, some people will go further and maintain a clean environment in their bathrooms. But, people will still see their toilet water yellow after they flush correctly.

The leading cause of yellow toilet water is mineral deposits in the hard water. Although it may cause concern about the structural stability of your toilet bowl, yellow water does not pose a health hazard. 

However, it can still be an eyesore and can make you question the hygiene of your toilet.

You will learn more about why toilet water turns yellow below.

Why Is Toilet Water Yellow?

At first glance, the yellow water in your bathroom might be urine residue. However, this usually isn’t the case, and it can still occur even after you flush. The following list shows the various causes of yellow water in your bathroom.

Hard Water

If the water supply in your home is heavily affected by hard water, then you might experience yellow water in your toilet. It arises because of various minerals, such as iron, copper, and manganese.

If your water supply is not maintained, then yellow water is inevitable. It is because magnesium and salts in the water can cause it to turn into a staining color. It can also make your toilet appear dirty.

If the minerals in your hard water build up on the bowl’s interior, it can cause your toilet to lose its aesthetic value. You can prevent this by scrubbing the bowl’s interior regularly. Once the mineral deposits have accumulated, the water will become discolored.

Rusting of Galvanized Steel

Before the 1960s, most homes had a plumbing system that used iron and galvanized steel pipes. These materials were solid and resilient and were commonly used to supply water to homes.

Iron and galvanized steel tubes are prone to rust, which can cause them to oxidize and turn into a rust-colored water-rust mixture. When the water flows through the lines, it can dislodge the accumulated rust pouring into your toilet bowl.

It’s important to note that high-pressure water flowing through old steel pipes can cause rust particles to get stuck in the lines. If the water in your toilet has a deep yellow color, this could be the corrosion of the steel.

Rusted Bolts

If you see yellow water in your toilet bowl, it could be because of rust, which is the corrosion of the metal component. Your toilet cistern may also have several types of bolts.

The steel components of your bolt come close to water, which eventually causes them to rust. Even though they form from solid metal, they become thinner over time due to their exposure to water. The water particles collected on the bolt’s surface can create a rust-contaminated mixture when you flush your toilet.

The accumulation of rust on the bolt may cause the water in your tank to have a deeper yellow color. It could also cause a yellow stain on the surface of the bowl. Take the necessary steps to remove the rust from your tank to prevent this.

Standing Water

After you leave your home for a couple of months, your toilet water might start to look yellow. The buildup of bacteria in the water can also cause this. It will also smell nasty after some time.

Water Is Contaminated

Sometimes, the water in your bathroom’s supply line may mix with the wastewater in your building’s sewer lines. It can cause yellow water to form in your toilet bowl. This unpleasant and unclean water often comes from the supply line itself.

How to Fix Yellow Water in Toilet?

Getting yellow water in your toilet bowl is not something you want to happen in your bathroom. Here are a few ways to avoid this issue.

New Pipe Fittings

If the primary cause of your yellow water in the toilet bowl is the presence of corrosion, then you can replace the old PVC pipes with new ones.

However, this method might require you to dig deeper to install the new pipes. You can also limit the cost by identifying the areas of your bathroom where the water supply lines conceal.

If you have the necessary resources, it’s probably a good idea to replace all of your steel pipes with PVC pipes, which are more durable and can resist rusting. You can also hire an experienced individual to do the job.

Scrub Minerals

Over time, mineral deposits can collect on the surface and interior of your toilet bowl and cistern. It’s essential to clean them regularly.

The mineral deposits can get attracted to the hard water and quickly deposit. It’s necessary to check the interior of the tank.

Before scrubbing the mineral deposits off, you must identify the areas where the deposits become apparent. You can then flush the toilet twice to prevent them from settling back in the bowl. If there are still mineral deposits on the bowl’s interior, you can use a brush and a cleaning product to remove them.

After thoroughly flushing your toilet, use it again at least two times to remove any remaining stains. If the mineral buildup in your water was the cause of your yellow water, then it should be crystal clear after scrubbing.

Clean Rusted Bolts

If you suspect that the rusting of the bolt causes the yellow water in your toilet, then it’s essential to clean the damaged parts of the tank. Aside from the bolt, various metal parts in the tank can be challenging to find.

You can easily remove rust by using a brush to remove the accumulated rust. To avoid damaging the delicate parts of the toilet, scrub gently. After cleaning, flush the bathroom at least twice to remove all rust residues.

Getting rid of rust can be very challenging, especially for those who live in tight areas. You can try various methods to remove the rust without affecting the functioning of the entire system. However, if the bolt negatively affects the toilet, it’s best to replace the old ones with new ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is My Toilet’s Yellow Water a Health Hazard?

Generally, yellow toilet water is not a health hazard. It’s not uncommon for people to ask themselves if the yellow water in their toilet bowl is harmful. However, it’s important to note that it mainly contains minerals and rust.

Although yellow water may not harm you, you should avoid using water treated with yellow water. Also, it’s important to avoid using faucets that have yellow water.

Can a Water Softener Cause Yellow Water?

A water softener can cause yellow water. When it’s time to substitute the salt or brine in your water system, use whichever product is not as yellow as it should be.

After several months, water may become cloudy due to the addition of yellow salt. This natural phenomenon will usually clear up on its own.

If you use a water softener, check the water regularly. Although the water may still be yellow after cleaning, the issue could be related to how you structured the water system.

How to Remove Yellow Water Stains in Toilet?

Sometimes, the toilet bowl’s yellow water can stain the bowl’s surface, making it look dirty and unpleasant. To remove the stains, you will first need to distribute small borax around the bowl.

You will need to add a cup of white vinegar to the bowl and spread the borax. This mixture will have to activate in around half an hour.

After 30 minutes, use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl. When you don’t see any yellow stains, use a gentle scrubbing technique to get the stains out.


Toilet water turned yellow mainly because of the rusted bolts and galvanized steel installations. Determine the source of the problem and develop a strategy to remove it.

Aside from being caused by corrosion, other factors such as mineral deposits and standing water can also contribute to the development of yellow water.