Get Rid of Sink and Bathtub Rust Stains

An old, rusty abandoned enamel bath tub.

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Do you ever notice how sometimes your sinks, toilets, and tubs develop stubborn brown stains over time?


These stains are not necessarily the result of rust problems in your plumbing system, it is not even in the water authority’s pipelines. Any water with high-iron content can leave such stains behind over time, and most of the time, the water appears to be clear and even tastes normal. So, if you live in an area with many iron deposits underground, the iron is most probably leaching into the groundwater and can potentially lead to troublesome porcelain stains.


As for cleaning such stains, you have some work cut out for you. Over time, these rust stains can etch themselves permanently into the porcelain. But, it you are up to the challenge, you may try these rusted remedies:



There are instances that all you will need is the rough side of a standard two-colour kitchen sponge. There are, however, versions of this product that are specifically designed for tough stains on tubs and toilets. This is a good first choice since they require no chemicals, eco-friendly, and cost-efficiency as high-quality scouring pads can be cleaned and reused several times before having to replace them.



This airy, crumbly volcanic rock is known for its gentle scouring abilities. In the market, there are a few pumice products that are best used for removing rust stains from porcelain. Try using a pumice scrubber or stick designed for tile and porcelain, just how you would with a scouring pad. You will need to apply some elbow grease, but you will definitely get to save money in the long run with multiple cleanings for each product.



If you do not have scouring pads or pumice on hand, don’t fret! You can still clean those stubborn stains without having to go to the hardware store. A wet paste of salt and lemon juice is a potent combination that effectively attacks rust stains when given the time to penetrate. It does not form a sticky paste, so this mixture can be tough to use on a toilet bowl, but it works best on flat surfaces like tub and sink drains. Leave the mixture for at least 15 minutes and let it soak for up to several hours, then start scrubbing away with a toothbrush.



If our environment-friendly cleaners still do now work for you and your fixtures, you can always go for a chemical cleaner – but you everyday cleaners will not suffice. Even bleach is oftentimes a poor match for such tough stains. The best cleaner you should look for is the one that contains hydrochloric acid and is safe to use as a tile and tub cleaner. Make sure to follow the safety instructions carefully – these products, if mishandled, are hazardous.


If you need more help, feel free to call one of our expert plumbers today!

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