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Why is the Toilet Water Brown [6 Reasons + Solutions!]

You could be the cleanest person ever and still your toilet water could be turning brown. That can be very frustrating.

But nothing to worry about as this is a normal occurrence. The brown water does not have anything to do with being unclean.

Of course, it does not mean that cleaning doesn’t help. It could only slow the process. 

Why is the toilet water brown? 

There is not just one reason for the toilet water being brown. But the most seen for it is the pipes being corroded. What this means is the pipes become old or dirty. Other reasons could be rust, mineral deposits, clogged pipe, deteriorating well, leftover waste, or something as simple as a storm. 

To look at the solutions to these problems, why don’t you just hop on over to the rest of the article!

Why the Water Could Be Brown

Sudden brown water in the toilet is not a pretty sight. Therefore, we will try as best as we can to find the cause and solution. 

Two things could happen. One is that all the water in your house could be brown. That is tap water or any other source from where you could get water. 

If this happens it could be that there is just too much iron in the water. The plumbing systems of some houses are dated way back into the 1960s. And back then the pipes were made out of galvanised steel. 

This material gets damaged when it comes in contact with oxygen or water. These two chemicals convert iron to rust. And this rust tends to enter the tap water. 

Another situation is when only the toilet water is brown. This could happen also due to corroded pipes. But these pipes are attached only to your toilet. 

You could be thinking that all the water in the house comes from similar sources. But even if this is the case, the pipes could be of different materials. Hence the pipe connected to your toilet could be made of iron. 

On the other hand, the water source of your house could be, let’s say, a well. Then if the well is damaged the water inside as well will be damaged. 

These are just some of the common reasons why your water could be brown. There could be many more reasons for your brown water. Even if the toilet water is dirty after flushing. 

And we will discuss them thoroughly below. 

Reason 1: Increased Mineral Deposits

The water of your toilet should usually have deposits in them that are minerals. But too much of this deposit is bad. This causes the deposits and the porcelain coating to become intertwined. 

The increased amount of deposits also causes the colour of the water to become brown. The way these minerals work is that they settle on the stains. And this causes deposits which make the water turn brown. 

Solution: Using Vinegar 

You will need white distilled vinegar in four cups. After you have that ready, pour the four cups into the tank of the toilet. Then flush the toilet. 

Not only will this clear the deposits but it will also clean the tank. Vinegar helps a lot with brown stains in the toilet bowl as well. Hence, you can understand why this is highly recommended. 

Reason 2: Clogged Pipe

Clogging is another major reason for the water to end up looking brown. As we all know clogging can happen if you flush more solid substances. Anything other than a tissue will cause clogging. 

Sanitary pads or baby wipes are a huge reason for clogging. When you end up flushing these, the toilet is bound to get clogged. When this happens the water backflows and brown water is caused because of debris.

The only solution for this situation is to unclog. We will discuss this solution in length below. 

Solution: Unclog 

You can unclog it in three ways. The options are; using Epsom salt, drilling with a toilet auger, and using a toilet plunger. 

You can use the Epsom salt in the following three steps. First, pour one cup of it into the water of the toilet. Then pour one bucket of hot water and just wait 15 minutes. 

We’ve shown other two alternative ways in case you’re not a fan of salt. You can always break the blockage by using a toilet auger. Or you could unclog the toilet by simply using a toilet plunger. 

Given below are powerful toilet augers that will surely get the job done!


There is also another easier way which is just pouring dish soap. 

Reason 3: Deteriorating Well

There could be some dissolved matter in the well that is organic. If this happens then the water will be brown and associated with sediment. If the toilet water comes from this source it is most likely to be brown.  

Solution: Call a Professional

 There could also be sediments in the water because of construction going on nearby.  The only solution to this is to call a plumber. 

Reason 4: Rusting 

At times the moisture of the toilet slowly wears down. This happens due to the metal parts of the toilet. Rubber and plastic aren’t the only components that make your toilet. 

This metal component rusts. And the toilet losing its moisture makes it oxidise.  Sometimes the toilet gets stained on its own. And this stain looks ten times worse because of the rusting. 

And rusting is also caused by iron. But it isn’t the only problem, because of it black spots appear on toilet seats as well. 

Rusting can bring a bad smell into your bathroom as well. And cause yellow-brown water in the toilet.

Solution: Replacing and Cleaning

You just have to look for any part of the toilet that has turned rusty. Metal supply hoses, toilet base bolts, metal handles, tanks, and tank bolts are some of the parts that can get rusty. 

The minute you find these rusty parts immediately remove them. Another way you can remove rust is with water softeners. But keep in mind that this solution is temporary.

Your water softener will keep the iron away. After all, rusting occurs due to iron being in the water. But if you want a permanent solution just remove the pipes. 

Reason 5: Leftover Waste 

The waste stays back because there is not enough power in the flushing. Because the water is not flowing fast enough the waste cannot properly exit. Low-flow toilets do not have enough strength to remove the waste. 

Solution: The Flush Power Should Be Increased

Increasing the power of the flush is only as I’ve guessed already. To do this you have to change the position of the cylinder float. The cylinder clout happens to be inside the tank of the toilet. 

From this, we hope you can understand how to exactly do this. This will not only make the water clear. But also prevent the toilet from getting dirty. 

Reason 6: Brown Water After Severe Storm

You might be thinking, why is there brown water in the toilet after rain? The reason is sometimes the storms are so violent that they submerge water supplies. This causes the well of your house to become dirty. 

Because water becoming flooded can bring in mud and dirt. The storms can also hamper other water sources. The only solution for this is to wait for the water company to fix this. 

These solutions for sure should clear out how to fix brown toilet water in your mind. 

Some Ways to Prevent Toilet Water From Turning Brown

If you came all the way here you should know the solutions by now. But, some of the solutions are lengthy and will take time. 

What better way to save time than preventing the problems in the first place. Install a good water purifier and filter. You can also look into a water softening system as well. 

Be careful when installing these or better yet make a professional do it. You can also clean your toilets weekly. Vinegar is another thing that will leave your toilets squeaky clean. 

You can also rub the bowl with car wax that is polymer-based. Or just squirt some Teflon into the bowl. Teflon will prevent staining in the bowl.


Given below are some questions that you can relate to!

How long will it take for the brown water to clear up?

The water is supposed to take from an hour to four to properly clear up. Meanwhile, try not to use the hot water at your home. By doing this the sediment will clear up in the water heater. 

Is brown water considered safe?

You can say brown water is not safe when it comes to clothes and fixtures but it is not necessarily bad for health. But refrain from using it and try to clear it as soon as possible. 

Can a water heater be the cause of brown water

Water heaters not getting cleaned regularly can cause sediment to build up. And this can essentially make the water brown. 


We hope you got your answer to “why is the toilet water brown?”. We’ve tried to state as many reasons and their solutions.

While some fixes are complicated we’d like to think we explained them easily to you. 

Never hesitate to call a plumber as this can be a tricky job.

Good luck!