How to Remove Rust Stains from Bathroom Sinks, Toilets, and Tubs

Sink with rust stains from hard water

As homeowners, we want our bathrooms to feel and look clean and refreshing. However, if you have hard water sometimes the mineral reactions can leave unsightly red stains that make it look like you haven’t cleaned your bathroom in weeks. Well, don’t throw in your cleaning towel just yet because there is a way to remove those unsightly rust stains from your sink, toilet, and tub.

How to Get Rid of Rust Stains in the Bathroom

Sick of rust stains in your bathrooms? Here are some DIY methods that can help remove rust stains from sinks, tubs, and toilet bowls:

Lemon Juice and Salt: Start by making a thick paste from these household items and apply it to the rusted surface. Allow the paste to set for several hours or overnight before you begin scrubbing. Use a toothbrush to scrub the area; then, rinse with clean water.

Pumice Stone: A natural and scratch-free option for your stained porcelain surfaces is a pumice stone. Simply wet the stone and the affected surface and begin gently scrubbing. If you’re working with fiberglass, don't use a pumice stone because it will scratch the surface. There are other, less abrasive, methods to use when dealing with stains on fiberglass.

Scouring Pad: For lighter stains, a scouring pad and some elbow grease should work nicely to remove the stains. Again, don’t use any type of abrasive material to remove stains from fiberglass, since it will scratch the surface.

Chemical Cleaners: There are several chemical cleaners that are designed to remove rust stains from sinks, toilet bowls, and bathtubs. These cleaners oxidize the rust, which then makes the stain easy to wipe off with a damp cloth. However, some of these cleaners contain harsh chemicals that produce fumes that many homeowners prefer to avoid, especially those with small children and pets.

Related Topic: How to Check Your Water Heater for Corrosion

How to Remove Rust from Bathroom Fixtures

Even though they’re designed to be in constant contact with water, faucets, and showerheads are still vulnerable to rust stains and susceptible to mineral buildup. With some simple, periodic maintenance you can reduce rust and mineral buildup and keep your faucets and showerheads flowing freely.

Vinegar: This all-purpose household cleaner is also great for keeping your faucets and showerheads clean. Pour 3 parts white vinegar and 1 part water into a spray bottle. Generously spray the rust stain with the solution and let it soak so the vinegar can break down the rust and mineral buildup. Then, with a lightly abrasive scouring pad, scrub the buildup away. You can also take the showerhead off to soak it in vinegar before scrubbing.

Baking Soda: This versatile powder can be mixed with water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain, and let it set for at least half an hour before gently scrubbing with a slightly abrasive pad. This should effectively remove any rust and mineral buildup.

Prevent Rust Stains in Toilets and Throughout the Bathroom

The bathroom is a prime spot for rust to form, but there are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce and even eliminate rust stains.

Clean regularly. Using the cleaning methods above on a monthly basis for your faucets and showerheads should help keep rust stains at bay. Towel-dry your tub or squeegee your shower walls after using them to keep hard water stains and rust from forming. Clean toilets and sinks weekly to prevent any rust buildup. Remove all metal toiletries—shaving cream cans, razors, etc.—from the shower area to prevent oxidation, which leads to rust.

Invest in a water softener. Installing a water softener or water filtration system in your home will significantly reduce the minerals running through your water. This makes it easier on your entire plumbing system, reduces issues with rust, and improves your water’s taste and smell. Although there is an initial investment, it will eventually pay for itself and save you a lot of extra time because you won’t need to scrub and clean your sinks, toilets, and showers as much each week.

Keep Rust Stains at Bay with Mr. Rooter Plumbing

Rust is a troublesome eyesore, and constantly cleaning it up can be exhausting, but it could also create bigger issues for your plumbing system. To learn more about how to deal with hard water problems and ways to improve your overall water quality, contact your local Mr. Rooter. We help thousands of homeowners clean up their water with filtration and water-softening systems. To get started give us a call or request an estimate online today.