Tips And Tricks For Removing Unsightly Rust Stains Around Your Bathroom

Bathroom rust is a very common problem that plagues residents everywhere. No matter how diligent you are about regularly scrubbing your bathroom, the reality is that a little rust is unavoidable from time to time. Due to the unsightly, orange-hued appearance, rust stains can also make you feel like your space isn't as clean as you'd like it to be. Although it may seem like these rust stains are just something that you have to live with, that isn't the case at all.

Not only are there things you can do to remove rust stains in your bathroom, but you may already have many items lying around your house that can help. While some of these methods are based on anecdotal evidence and the results of social media influencers experimentation, others are backed by science. Keep reading to learn about some of the best tips and tricks to remove those stubborn rust stains from your bathroom.

Stained sink? Vinegar can help take care of that

Vinegar may be something you're only used to reaching for in the kitchen. However, it can also come in handy in your bathroom. Vinegar can be a powerful tool to help remove rust stains from your sink. All you need to do is this: Mix three parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray your sink (or any other rusty area in your bathroom) with the mixture, and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, scrub the area with an abrasive tool, such as a Brillo pad. If there's still a little rust left behind after following these steps, you may want to repeat the process.

This method works due to a scientific process called neutralization. When the acid in the vinegar meets the rust, it creates a salt-like substance that can be easily removed. That being said, it's important to note that the vinegar alone won't make the rust disappear, which is why it's important to scrub the area thoroughly after letting it soak, and then wiping away the residue to ensure the rust is removed.

Add a potato to your cleaning recipe to keep your tub rust-free

Putting a potato in your bathtub (or anywhere else in your bathroom) has likely never crossed your mind, but that's about to change. One of the world's most beloved starches can also double as an excellent cleaning agent for removing rust. All you need to do is cut a potato in half and coat the cut side with a mild abrasive, such as salt. You can then use the potato as a scrubbing tool to remove the rust inside of your tub or other areas of your bathroom. In fact, it might be the perfect tool to scrub with if you decide to use the previous vinegar method we mentioned.

So, why does a potato make the perfect match to fight rust? It's because potatoes contain oxalic acid, which works to dissolve the rust. Oxalic acid is a very common ingredient in many cleaning products, such as Oxiclean and Bar Keepers Friend. By using a potato, you're getting oxalic acid straight from the source!

Lemon and salt can have your bathroom shining like new

Have your previous rust removal attempts left you feeling lightheaded after using chemical-heavy cleaning products, only to still be left with terrible stains? You'll be happy to know that you can officially kiss those days goodbye. Salt and lemon are the perfect natural pairing for removing tough rust stains with ease. Simply add equal parts lemon juice and salt to a bowl to create a paste-like substance. You can then dip a rag or an abrasive pad into the paste and start wiping the rusty areas in your bathroom.

The acid in the lemon juice helps to separate rust from the surface of your bathroom, which makes it easier to wipe away. The salt acts as a mild abrasive, which aids in the scrubbing process. It's important to note that if you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear a pair of gloves to avoid any irritation from the salt.

Did somebody say baking soda?

Baking soda is a popular kitchen product, most commonly used to help baked goods rise. But did you know that it's also a powerful household cleaning agent, and it can be especially useful against rust? By mixing baking soda with water, you create a paste that you can use to scrub rust from the surfaces in your bathroom. Similar to the previous method, you can then scrub the paste on the affected areas to remove the rust. Using an abrasive pad will give you the best results.

While there doesn't appear to be any chemical connection between baking soda and rust, this method works because baking soda is abrasive, which can help loosen and lift rust when rubbed onto the surface. Since removing rust this way requires a good amount of time and lots of elbow grease, it's best when employed on smaller rust patches, as opposed to large rusted surfaces.

Pumice stones aren't just good for your feet!

Anyone who has ever dealt with dry or dead skin on their feet knows just how handy pumice stones can be. However, these stones aren't only for helping you remove the calluses from your feet; they can also help you remove the rust from your toilet. All you need to do is get a clean pumice stone and soak it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. During this time, you'll also want to ensure that your toilet bowl is fully wet. Grab the stone from the water and use it to gently scrub the rust ring in your toilet. Ensuring that the toilet bowl is wet before scrubbing can help prevent scratches.

As with baking soda, there is no scientific connection between rust and pumice stones. However, the stone's abrasive surface can help loosen and easily remove rust from your toilet and other surfaces in your bathroom. It's important to note that you'll want to use a pumice stone labeled as "natural," as it will be gentler on your toilet bowl. 

Could ketchup be the cure for rust?

Ketchup is easily one of the most popular condiments in the world. However, after learning about this hack, the next time you reach for a bottle of ketchup, it might not have anything to do with food. That's because ketchup can also be very helpful when it comes to removing rust. To put this method to the test, you'll need to cover the rusted area in a coat of ketchup. Experts recommend letting the ketchup sit for a couple of hours, so this hack won't work if you're short on time. After letting the area soak, you can wipe the area to remove the rust. If the stain is especially difficult to remove, you may want to scrub it with something abrasive.

Now that the instructions are out of the way, you may be wondering how on earth ketchup can compete with rust. The answer is actually somewhat simple. Ketchup contains vinegar, which allows the neutralization process, mentioned earlier, to occur.

Rust won't be sticking around with a little help from molasses

Molasses has been a common cooking and baking ingredient for hundreds of years. But despite its popularity in the kitchen, not everyone is aware that it can also be used for cleaning. Combining molasses with water can create a mixture that is tough against rust. Internet users recommend using a ratio of one part molasses with eight to 10 parts water. Soak the affected area in the mixture and then wipe and rinse. Since the solution will primarily be made from water, you shouldn't have to worry about leaving a sticky mess behind.

When molasses and rust come together, a process called chelation occurs, which draws oxygen away from the rust and makes it easy to remove. It's important to note that molasses should only be used on iron surfaces, as it could possibly be damaging to other metals. In addition to being cost-effective, this solution is also great in a pinch since many people already have some molasses in the kitchen.

WD-40 for the win!

Squeaky hinges aren't the only things that don't stand a chance against WD-40. This beloved product can also help you get rid of rust stains in your bathroom and other parts of your home. Spray the product on the rust and let it sit for a few minutes before gently scrubbing the area with a mild abrasive. The company suggests using a toothbrush when scrubbing drains and/or faucets.

According to the official WD-40 website, the product works on rust because, "Its lubricating qualities loosen the bonds between the rust and the metal surface it has adhered to. And because it's also a moisture deterrent, it offers temporary rust protection after its initial use." While the original WD-40 product works well against rust, the brand also makes a product called Rust Remover Soak that was specifically designed to remove rust, which may be a better fit for particularly large rust stains.

Hydrogen peroxide can help you wipe the rust away

From cleaning cuts and washing produce to lifting hair dye stains, hydrogen peroxide is known for being multi-purpose. Surprisingly, though, hydrogen peroxide's ability to get rid of rust isn't something usually included on the list of all the things the product can do. By mixing hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and cream of tartar (equal parts of all three), you can make a paste to apply your rust stains. Let the mixture sit on the area for around 30 minutes, and then wipe the surface clean. You should be left with a nice rust-free surface.

In addition to being slightly abrasive, this concoction works because decomposition occurs when rust and hydrogen peroxide come in contact with each other. This causes the rust to loosen, making it easier to remove. Keep in mind, however, that this method isn't ideal for all surfaces. Some metals, like copper and zinc, can be damaged if exposed to hydrogen peroxide.

Rust be gone with a little Borax

Borax is a tried and true household cleaning product that has helped keep homes spotless for generations. That said, there's a good chance you're already using Borax to clean your bathroom. However, you may not have thought to give it a try on those annoying rust stains that have been staring back at you for the last few weeks. Now is the perfect time to change that. Grab a bowl and pour in equal parts Borax, water, and lemon juice. Mix them until the ingredients turn into a paste-like consistency. Apply the paste to the rust and let it sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing.

Oxidation occurs when Borax comes in contact with rust, which creates a protective layer on the metal surface that prevents rust from forming and makes existing rust easier to remove. If you're dealing with some serious rust stains, this method could definitely be worth your time and effort.