It is a rare person who loves to clean the bathroom. We don’t encounter them often. The opposite is true; we meet many who despise cleaning the bathroom. We know of something that makes cleaning the bathroom even worse than it has to be. This post is about removing bathroom rust stains.

What could that be?

Chief among the hard-to-clean bathroom offenders is an unsightly rust stain.

A rust stain is simply put not an attractive sight even if everything else is sparkling clean. There is no reward for a clean bathroom if you have a rust stain in your toilet, sink or bathtub.

Lucky for you, there are ways to remove rust stains from bathroom surfaces for good and to prevent rust stains from reoccurring. Take another item off your long to-do list.

Rust Stains: Where Do They Come From?

Red-brown rust stains in your toilet can result from the presence of iron in your water source. This can lead to rust staining of your toilet bowl, tub, and sinks. Air combines with the iron particles, which causes them to oxidize and turn that red-brown color. Over time, a red-brown stain occurs where water drips. With the right measures, you can reduce the presence of iron and the deposits on your toilet’s surfaces and washbasins, helping keep these surfaces stain-free.

You may also use some metal containers in your bathroom, and the metal on the bottom of the container may lead to a rust ring.

First Things First: Removing Any Rest Stains You Now Have

Avoid the use of bleach when cleaning rust stains. Many “bleaches” release oxygen once exposed to water. This may result in the existing rust stain being enhanced in the presence of this added oxygen.

You always want to be careful with your use of cleaning techniques, apparatuses, and cleansers, as scratching or damaging your toilet bowl makes it easier for a rust buildup to occur. The future removal of a rust stain may be much more difficult.

Use Gloves and Goggles and Try One of these Safe Rust-Removal Solutions:

You should also open the window for ventilation.

If the rust stain is in the toilet, then remove the water from your toilet bowl to make cleaning easier. Turn off the valve and flush the toilet to remove the water.

Remove Bathroom Rust Stains – Methods That Work

  • Spray-on a mixture of 1-part vinegar to 1-part water and scrub with a hard-bristled brush.
  • Make a paste of 3-parts baking soda and 1-part vinegar, scrubbing the bowl with it as you would a powdered cleanser.
  • Dust ¼ cup of borax onto bathroom surfaces, scrubbing with a brush to remove stains, odors, and bacteria.
  • Use a pumice stick. Wet it with water, and rub it directly on the stain.
  • A specific product designed to remove rust stains is Shaw’s Pads, which consist of a handle and scouring cloth and scrub your way to a rust-free surface.
  • Have any Barkeeper’s Friend stashed in the back of our cupboard? This tried-and-true cleaner is excellent at removing rust stains.

How to Prevent Rust Stains in Your Toilet, Tub & Sink

Now that you have removed rust stains from your bathroom’s surfaces, keep them away for good.

Clean Regularly

Cleaning your bath once a week will keep surfaces smooth, preventing the buildup of iron and other deposits from taking hold.

Keep Things Dry

As much as possible, wipe down bathroom surfaces exposed to water to cut-down on iron residue exposure. This is not something that you can do with your toilet.

Be Careful with Metal Containers

Metal-bottomed cans such as shaving cream and air fresheners can also contribute to rust stains on bath surfaces. Store them in a cupboard or cabinet – not on bath and sink ledges.

Add an Iron Filter or Water Softener

Iron filters and water purification systems can eliminate the problem at the source. Removing iron and other mineral deposits in your water will prevent future stains. Note that some softener salts are even specially formulated to reduce the possibility of rust stains.

Rust stains in your bathroom may make it seem unclean even when it may be clean. It is best to take some precautions to reduce them from occurring or also to prevent them entirely. In a worse case situation, you may need some help from your plumber.

If you need some general cleaning help, then A Clean Vision can be the solution. We have been helping homeowner keep their home clean since 1993! Give us a call at (802) 295-6065.


A Family Owned and Operated Upper Valley Cleaning Service since 1993