Preventing and removing rust stains

Preventing and removing rust stains


Rust can form on the inside of bathtubs and sinks and leave an unattractive orange-red stain behind. The rust forms when the iron residue from the water is left over and oxidizes on the surface of tubs and sinks. Home Guides provides a way to rid your bathroom of rust stains, without using bleach which reacts chemically to make it worse.

iron stains

Removing rust stains isn’t necessarily a daunting task. You will need a towel, pumice stone, oxalic acid cleanser, a hard bristled scrub brush, white vinegar or lemon juice, a spray bottle, and water softener.

Follow these steps to remove and prevent rust in your tub and sink.

  • First, it is important that after every use, you rinse out the tub or sink, and then wipe it down with a towel to remove iron residue left behind.
  • Use the pumice stone to form a paste with water, and rub the residue with that paste.
  • If the pumice stone doesn’t remove the rust, try using a mixture in a spray bottle that is equal parts water and lemon juice or white vinegar. Spray the residue and then use a hard bristled brush to scrub.
  • If there are still stains, try mixing one part of oxalic acid and 10 parts of warm water in the spray bottle, and scrubbing with the hard bristled brush. If the stains are particularly dark, spray the mixture and let it sit for one to three minutes before scrubbing.
  • To aid in the prevention of rust, try removing any metal cans, such as cans of shaving cream, from your tub or sink. Store them in a cabinet or closet, because their metal bottoms can leave rings of rust if left out.
  • Install a water softener in your home. Water softeners remove the dissolved calcium, magnesium, lime, and iron found in hard water that can cause rust.

Making sure to wash your sink and bathtub at least once a week can also help with preventing rust stains from forming. And remember to handle oxalic acid with care, as it can irritate your skin.