The Best Way To Remove Rust From Your Shower And Showerhead

Whether you prefer to shower in the morning or at night, most people in both camps want to enjoy their shower in a clean and peaceful environment that provides a cleansing reset before bed or a fresh start to their day. Unfortunately, as a damp space that gets heavy use, showers are top contenders for soap scum, mildew, and mold if they aren't cleaned regularly. How often, exactly? According to Merry Maids, you should aim to clean your shower at least once a week. 

While you may have an arsenal of cleaning supplies ready to tackle standard bathroom cleaning, you might stop in your tracks wondering what to use to rid your bathroom of a slightly more stubborn substance: rust. Thanks to its color, rust is much more noticeable than other dirty bathroom offenders. If you have this pesky presence in your shower and are thrown for a loop on how to deal with it, don't worry! There are highly effective simple solutions, and the odds are you already have the ingredients needed to eradicate the stains.

What causes rust?

As an iron oxide, rust forms when iron, oxygen, and moisture interact. While it's not too difficult to clean with the right tools, rust stains in your shower could indicate deeper issues that will cause them to reappear if not properly addressed. According to Express Sewer & Drain, rust stains in your shower could indicate high levels of rust particles or bacteria in your water, such as from rusty pipes. The problem could also be a sign that you have hard water, Express Sewer explains. 

Hard water, which contains increased levels of calcium and magnesium, also causes an increase in soap scum buildup and can lead to clogged pipes, not to mention dry skin and an itchy scalp. To stop rust stains from recurring, install a water filtration or softening system to treat the contents of your water. If the problem persists, you may want to hire a plumber to take a look at your plumbing and recommend their expert advice.

How to clean rust stains

Thankfully, one of the best ways to lift rust stains from the surface of your shower is with a simple combination of baking soda and vinegar. The powerful household duo is known for vigorously tackling tons of home messes, and the bathroom is no exception. According to Treehugger, using baking soda and vinegar in your shower has the added benefit of eradicating soap scum and hard water buildup.

To rid your shower of rust with this method, be sure first to don gloves to keep your hands clean and free of irritation. While baking soda and vinegar are safer than many harsh bathroom cleaners that are out there, their chemical reaction can still irritate or dry out the skin. Next, generously sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and follow with a dousing of vinegar. Scrub with a sponge or a brush to thoroughly dislodge the rust. Repeat the process if the stain persists, letting the solution sit for a while before scrubbing. For stains on the walls of your shower, you can put the baking soda and vinegar directly on your sponge for ease of application before scrubbing everything away.