Stains from Tubs, Sinks and Toilets – How to Remove Them

An old, rusty abandoned enamel bath tub.

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Do you ever see brown stains on your tubs, sinks, and toilets? These stubborn stains are not necessarily the result of the rust problems in your plumbing system – not even in the water authority’s pipelines. Any water that has a sufficiently high iron content can be the cause why these stains are left over time. This can happen even if it appears to be clear and tastes normal. So, if you live in an area that has lots if iron deposits underground, then that iron is probably leaching into the groundwater. That can potentially lead to the troublesome porcelain stains that you have been experiencing.


It normally takes a good amount of contact between porcelain and rusty water for tough stains to appear, so you are most likely to see such stains in areas where there is standing water, such as your toilet bowl. If you see brown streaks leading down from the outlets where water flows into your bowl or a brownish ring around the water line, then these can be rust stains that will not come clean using the usual toilet cleaner and scrub brush.


In tubs and sinks, the place where these stains usually form is in the little ridge around the drain. So, if you have a leaky faucet, then there might also be brown stains right where the water drips.


You may need the help of our team of professional plumbers in identifying and correcting the underlying issues. If you are dealing with rusty pipes or a rusty hot water heater, then you will need to have those items replaced in order to stop the flow of rusty water. If it is coming from iron-rich water, then installing a water softening system can also help bring this problem under control.


In terms of cleaning those stubborn stains, know that you have your work cut out for you. Here are some of the trusted remedies you can try:


Abrasive scouring pads – The rough side of a standard two-colour kitchen sponge might be just what you need to lift away those light stains, but there are also specific sponges that are designed for tough stains on tubs and toilets. This is a good choice for starters because there are no chemicals, and high-quality scouring pads can be reused several times.


Lemon juice and salt – If you do not have scouring pads, you may still be able to clean those stains without going to the hardware store just yet. You can try a combination of lemon juice and salt. This wet paste can effectively attack rust stains but be sure to give it enough time to penetrate those stains. It does not form a sticky paste, so it might be difficult to use this combination on a toilet bowl. However, it works great on flat surfaces like tubs and sink-drains. You should let the mixture soak for at least 15 minutes up to several hours – once done, you can scrub away using an old toothbrush.


If you need a professional plumber’s assistance or knowledge on these things, contact us today! Here at Hayes Plumbing, you are our top priority!

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