How to Remove Rust Stains from Toilet Bowl?

Rust stains on a toilet bowl can be unsightly and difficult to remove. Many people think that they have to purchase expensive products to get the rust stains out. However, this is not always the case!

You can use natural products and homemade rust cleaners to get rid of rust stains. For instance, some commonly used household materials like vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice can be used to eliminate stains. Apart from that, you can use chemical cleaners with acids to remove these bad-looking stains.

In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips and tricks for removing rust stains from a toilet bowl. We will also provide you with a few recipes for homemade rust stain removers that are effective and affordable!

If you have rust stains on your toilet bowl, first you need to know what might be causing them.

What causes the rust stain in toilets?

You may be wondering that the toilet is made of porcelain, so where do these rust marks come from? You already know that rusting phenomenon occurs when iron oxidizes in presence of moisture.

rust stains in the toilet bowl cause by iron-rich water
Image from Mr Rooter Plumbing of Etobicoke On

The water that is rich in iron, when comes in contact with the air in the bowl. Then, the dissolved iron in the water rusts, leaving orange-brownish stains inside the toilet bowl. In addition, if your house is quite old, and contains a plumbing system with iron pipes. Then, the rusting metallic pipe may be the reason for these stains.

It has been observed that the stains are especially in homes that are situated in regions with hard water and that have wells for their water supply. Furthermore, the conjunction of iron and the minerals in the water causes the rust particles to attach to the porcelain of bathroom accessories.

How to Remove Rust Stains?

Once you have known the sources of rust stains in the toilets, let’s talk about ways you can use to remove them. You can get rid of rust stains with scouring pads, vinegar, pumice stone, lemon juice, baking soda, and chemical cleaners.

Use Scouring Pads

Simple kitchen scouring pads can easily remove light rust stains from the toilet bowl. As there are no chemicals involved and good-quality pads may be washed and reused numerous times, this should be your first choice for cleaning stains.

When using these pads, first flush the toilet. And then scrub scouring pads on these stains. Flush again and see if the stains run out. If not, you can try other methods.

vinegar and baking soda in two bottles

Try using Vinegar

Vinegar is commonly used in kitchens. It is a natural acid that can dissolve rust.

So, to get rid of rust marks, pour vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few hours.  Scrub the stain with a toilet brush and flush the toilet.

Use Baking soda Paste

Baking soda is another natural abrasive that can be used to scrub away rust stains.  

To remove marks, you need to make a paste with baking soda and water. Then, apply it to the stain. For better results, it is good to leave overnight. Scrub the stain with a toilet brush and flush the toilet.

using pumice stone to remove toilet rust stains
Image from GeekyGet

Rub the Pumice stone over the Stains

Pumice is a safe and mild natural volcanic stone that may be used on porcelain.

Take a pumice stone and rub it over the rust stain in a circular motion. Be sure to flush the toilet regularly to remove the pumice debris.

Try Homemade Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid which can dissolve rust stains. It is not quite strong as vinegar; however, its concentrated quantity can be helpful. Lemon juice when used in conjunction with salt is more effective.

Pour lemon juice onto the rust stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub the stain with a toilet brush and flush the toilet.

pouring chemical rust cleaner in the toilet bowl to remove rust stains

Use Chemical Rust Cleaners

In case of stubborn rust stains, the homemade recipes may fail. So, you will need to use chemical cleaners for removing stains.  Chemical cleaners don’t mean all-purpose cleaners. They won’t be effective here. Especially, don’t use bleach, it will make things worse. It may make the stains permanent.

You need acid-based cleaners. Find cleaners with stronger acids like Sulphuric acid and Hydrochloric acid (HCl). The acids chemically react with rust and dissolve it within minutes. When using chemical cleaners, put on rubber gloves to prevent an acid splash on your body.

Some cleaners also have sodium hydrosulfite, which is a salt. This is also quite effective in removing stains and cleaning toilet bowls.  

One of the famous cleaners in the market is Calcium Lime Rust Remover (CLR). When using CLR or any other cleaner, first wear gloves.  Then, flush the toilet once. Pour a cup of in the bowl over the stains. Wait a few minutes and scrub the inside with a toilet brush. Flush the toilet, the stains would have been eliminated. 

Things to avoid when removing Rust Stains

When using all the discussed methods for cleaning rust stains, keep a few things in mind:

  • Never use bleach for removing rust because it will make the stain worse.
  • Try to avoid using anything that might harm the porcelain, such as an abrasive scrubber.
  • It is better to use homemade rust cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
  • Use a toilet brush or any non-abrasive brush to scrub the bowl.
  • For strong strains, use chemical rust cleaners.
  • Wear goggles and gloves to shield your eyes and hands.

How to Avoid Rust Stains?

You can get rid of stains, but isn’t it good if you prevent these rust stains before they develop on the porcelain bowl. To do so, follow these precautions:

water filtration system
Image from Active Water Filtration Systems
  • Install a water filtration system for filtering out iron from the water.
  • Get a water softener if your house receives hard water.
  • In case the plumbing system is old and is comprised of iron pipes that are prone to rust, use copper or plastic pipes.
  • Clean your toilet regularly.

Final Words

Rust stains in the toilet are a common occurrence. Nonetheless, if you take the necessary cleaning measures, you can avoid them from developing. However, if they develop you can use one of the methods we discussed to remove these stains.

We hope this article has helped teach you how to remove rust stains from the toilet bowl! If you have any other tips or tricks, please share them with us in the comments below!!

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