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toilet rust stains

How to Prevent Rust Stains in Your Toilet

It’s a known fact, no one likes cleaning the bathroom. And what makes bathroom cleaning worse? When after all that scrubbing effort, you’re bath still looks dirty. Chief among such offenders: The rust stained toilet. A cringe-worthy sight, making your bathroom appear dirty and your toilet gross despite the number of hours you spend weekly cleaning it. Luckily, there are ways to remove rust stains from bath surfaces for good and prevent rust stains, preventing them from reoccurring and adding to your endless to-do list…

Rust Stains: Where Do They Come From?

Red-brown rust stains result from the presence of iron in water making itself at home in your toilet bowl, tub, and sinks. Air combines with the particles, causing them to oxidize and color. Over time, they build up atop surfaces where water drips. With the right measures, you can reduce the presence of iron, and thus the deposits on the surfaces of your toilets and wash basins, helping keep these surfaces stain-free.

First Things First: Removing Rust Stains

Though you may be tempted, avoid the use of bleach when cleaning rust stains. Bleach will actually chemically-charge and super-power rust stains, making the problem even worse. Also, be careful with your use of cleaning techniques, apparatuses, and cleansers, as scratching or damaging your toilet bowl makes it easier for buildup to occur, and the future removal of stains next to impossible.

Don Your Gloves and Goggles and Try One of these Safe Rust-Removal Solutions:

You should also open a window for ventilation and remove the water from your toilet bowl by turning off the valve and flushing, to make cleaning easier. Here are a few of our best recommendations for how to remove rust stains from a toilet bowl:

  • Spray-on a mixture of 1-part vinegar to 1-part water and scrub with a toilet brush.
  • Make a paste of 3-parts baking soda and 1-part vinegar, scrubbing the bowl with it as you would a powdered cleanser.
  • Dust ¼ cup of Borax onto the toilet bowl, scrubbing with a brush to remove stains, odors and bacteria.
  • Purchase Shaw’s Pads, which consist of a handle and scouring cloth, and scrub your way to a rust-free surface.
  • Have any Barkeeper’s Friend stashed in your cupboard? This tried-and-true cleaner is great at removing rust stains.

How to Prevent Rust Stains in Your Toilet, Tub & Sink

Now that you’ve removed rust stains from the surfaces of your bath, here’s how to keep them away for good:

  • Clean Regularly
    Cleaning your bathroom once a week will keep surfaces smooth, preventing the buildup of iron and other deposits from taking hold.
  • Keep Things Dry
    As much as possible, wipe down bathroom surfaces exposed to water to reduce iron residue build-up. (Obviously, this will not work in the toilet.)
  • Keep an Eye Out for Metals
    Metal-bottomed cans such as shaving cream and air fresheners can also contribute to rust stains on bath surfaces. Store them in a cupboard or cabinet – not on bath and sink ledges.
  • Add an Iron Filter or Water Softener
    Water filters and purification systems can eliminate the problem at the source, removing iron and other mineral deposits in water to prevent future stains.(Some softener salts are even specifically formulated to fight rust.
  • Upgrade Your Plumbing
    In older homes with iron pipes, rust deposits may continue to form due to pipe breakdown, until the old pipes are upgraded.

Need more helpful tips? Here's a helpful toilet cleaning technique from Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.

Rust stains in your bath have you seeing red? Eliminate them for good by scheduling an appointment online with Mr. Rooter® Plumbing today. Or you can call us at (855) 982-2028 for assistance, any time.