It’s a known fact, no one likes cleaning the bathroom. And what makes bathroom cleaning worse? When after all that scrubbing effort, you’re bath still looks dirty. Chief among such offenders: The rust stained toilet. A cringe-worthy sight, making your bathroom appear dirty and your toilet gross despite the number of hours you spend weekly cleaning it. Luckily, there are ways to remove rust stains from bath surfaces for good and prevent rust stains, preventing them from reoccurring and adding to your endless to-do list…

Rust Stains: Where Do They Come From?

Red-brown rust stains result from the presence of iron in water making itself at home in your toilet bowl, tub, and sinks. Air combines with the particles, causing them to oxidize and color. Over time, they build up atop surfaces where water drips. With the right measures, you can reduce the presence of iron, and thus the deposits on the surfaces of your toilets and wash basins, helping keep these surfaces stain-free.

First Things First: Removing Rest Stains

Though you may be attempted, avoid the use of bleach when cleaning rust stains, as they will actually chemically-charge and super-power rust stains, worsening the problem. You also want to be careful with your use of cleaning techniques, apparatuses, and cleansers, as scratching or damaging your toilet bowl makes it easier for buildup to occur, and the future removal of stains next to impossible.

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

You should also open the window for ventilation, and remove the water from your toilet bowl by turning off the valve and flushing, to make cleaning easier.

  • 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.
  • Pick up a pumice stick at your area retailer. Wet it with water, and rub it directly on dirt and stains.
  • Purchase 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 great at removing rust stains.

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

Now that you’ve removed rust stains from the surfaces of your bath, 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 exposure to iron residue. (Obviously this will not work in the toilet.)
  • Keep an Eye Out for Metals
    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 water to prevent future stains. (Some softener salts are even specifically formulated to fight rust.)
  • Upgrade Your Plumbing
    In older homes with iron pipes, rust deposits may continue from pipe breakdown until pipes are upgraded.