6 Ways to Clean Rust Stains
No one likes to see a rust stain dirtying up their bathroom or kitchen. Commonly found around faucets and drains in tubs, sinks, and toilets, these reddish-brown marks most often are the result of water containing high levels of iron. But the source also could be from rust inside your kitchen or bathroom piping making its way up where you can see it.
Even just a little rust can make an entire room feel more unpleasant and dirty. Rust can also easily stain clothing and is a terrible nuisance to remove. Your normal soap and water won’t help, and reliable cleaning products like toilet bowl cleaners and bleach can make the stain worse.
But we’ve got some solutions to help you there. Try out these methods instead when you’ve got a tricky rust stain that won’t seem to go away:
1. Salt and Lemon Juice Mixture
This homemade cleaning solution only needs a few ingredients that may already be in your pantry. Pour some lemon juice and salt on the rust stain, then let it sit. You may only need the mixture to sit for a few minutes to be effective, but other stains may need a few hours if they are extra tough to get out.
Finally, rub away the mixture with a toothbrush and your stain should be gone! Again, for those tougher stains this may take a little more effort. This method is easier to use for rust stains on flat surfaces because the mixture is runny and won’t set.
2. Baking Soda or Vinegar
More easy, home solutions involve using either baking soda or vinegar. These work well on metal surfaces like faucets or metal rings around drains that may be covered with rust. With baking soda, create a paste by adding water and placing it on the stain for a few hours. Bring out your old toothbrush again to scrub away your homemade paste and rinse off any excess for a stain-free surface.
When using vinegar, soak the affected area overnight to scrub away the rust the next morning. If soaking isn’t possible you can also place a vinegar-soaked rag on the stain overnight for the same effect.
3. Scouring Pad
If homemade solutions aren’t for you, you can get rust stains out by scrubbing away at them with a scouring pad. This could be the rougher edge of a kitchen sponge, a piece of steel wool or another pad for cleaning off surfaces.
Some specific scouring pads are even designed for harder-to-get-out stains on porcelain and tile. Just be careful with the stronger, more abrasive pads that you don’t scrub too much or you might also scratch certain surfaces.
4. Pumice Stone
Pumice stones have many uses, including cleaning difficult stains. Like a scouring pad, these stones made of volcanic rock can be used to scrub away rust stains without needing to use other solutions.
Simply soak your stone for a couple of minutes before scrubbing away. Make sure that the surface you are scrubbing is also wet, otherwise you may risk scratching it. Too hard of strokes may also scratch the surface. Often, this will require you to scrub a little longer with lighter strokes. It’s good to note as well that pumice shouldn’t be used too often for everyday cleaning purposes, just when you have those tricky stains.
5. Chemical Solutions
The last few methods for removing rust stains are all eco-friendly solutions, which may be more of what you want. You won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals getting on your skin or into your drains, something to avoid especially if you have a septic system. But chemical solutions can also get the job done, just as long as the chemicals you do use don’t have bleach in them.
Chemical cleaners, unlike some of the other methods, require a lot less effort on your part. Simply spray or put the cleaning solution on the stain and wipe it away after it’s done its work. When picking a solution, check that it’s safe to use on the surface in question and that it consists of hydrochloric acid.
6. Call the Professionals
Some stains go beyond the surface and may keep popping up again even after you’ve tried out some of these methods. To identify the source of the problem, the best course of action may be to call professional plumbers to come take a look. They will know how to find and evaluate what’s causing your reoccurring rust stains and what should be done the best solve the problem.
Don’t let rust stains stay where they are; get rid of those stains today! Give your home the deep clean it deserves with these 6 simple methods for fighting even the toughest of stains.
When you need help cleaning your drains or finding the source of your rust stains, contact F.H. Furr! Our business has proudly served Delmarva for more than 80 years as plumbing professionals you can rely on for a job well done.