The Unexpected Aspirin Hack That Removes Unsightly Rust Stains From Your Bathtub

Nothing brings the mood down faster than a dirty bathtub. It makes your bathroom seem less like an oasis and more like a dingy motel bath. But what if your tub isn't actually dirty, but stained? There is a difference between having dirt and soap scum buildup and having rust marks. While the former can be wiped away using regular cleaning products, the latter requires more muscle power and experimenting to remove. However, if your issue is rust stains, aspirin might be able to help you remove the unsightly marks.

You may have rust stains in your tub or shower for a variety of reasons. Maybe you left your shaving cream on the tub's ledge, leaving behind a telltale red mark. Perhaps you have rust-colored drips scarring the area between the faucet and drain, hinting at a possible leak. Or maybe there is an unattractive rust ring around the drain. Whatever the location, aspirin might be able to help alleviate the stain. Here's how.

How to use aspirin to remove rust

It might sound weird, but the aspirin in your medicine cabinet can double as a cleaning product. To use it to remove rust, all you have to do is crush one to two tablets into a fine powder. Then, dampen the rusty area and add the powder directly to the stain. Allow it to sit on the mark for at least 10 minutes, allowing the aspirin to eat away at the blotch. Once enough time has passed, you can wipe it clean with a damp cloth, and the stain should disappear. 

If it's a stubborn mark, repeat the process a second time. But once 10 minutes have passed, rather than wiping the powder away, use the abrasive side of a sponge to rub at the stain. The aspirin powder should be coarse enough to help chip away at the stain, leaving behind a smooth surface.

Why this works

Wondering how a pill that alleviates headaches can also remove rust from showers and tubs? It turns out it works because of two things. First, the acid in aspirin helps break down the stubborn rust mark, allowing you to wipe it away more easily. And since acid creates a chemical reaction that removes corrosion, this works perfectly on bathtubs. Secondly, you create a somewhat abrasive powder when you crush aspirin. It's not so coarse that it will scratch the porcelain or acrylic in your tub, but it's abrasive enough to remove any stuck-on gunk. Combine those two features together, and you have a powerful rust-buster.

However, there is one caveat to keep in mind. This will only work on superficial rust stains. If you have corroded areas where the rust has eaten away at the tub, then it cannot be reversed with aspirin — this hack will only work on surface stains.