Brown rings in your pearly white sinks, bathtubs and toilets could be a result of rusting in your pipes or from water with a high iron count. Tough stains can develop over time, especially in areas where water sits in contact with the porcelain for long amounts of time like in the toilet bowl.
It’s a good idea to consult a plumber to identify the underlying issue, as even if you remove the stains it’s likely they will come back. If your pipes or water heater contains rust, these may need replacing. If your local water supply is high in iron, a water softening system can be installed which will help reduce the stains.
Methods To Remove Rust Stains
Rust stains etched into your porcelain are not going to go away easily. But with a little determination and elbow grease you might get the job done.
- Porcelain pumice scrubber. This tough, volcanic rock is well known for its scouring abilities so it’s ideal for busting through rust stains. It may take a while but with some effort, you should see an improvement in the rust staining.
- A scouring pad. Light rust staining may be diminished with a standard two-colour kitchen sponge. Deeper, ingrained stains may need a tougher, especially designed scouring pad for tubs and sinks.
- Lemon juice, salt and a toothbrush. Best used on sinks and tubs, this is a great natural method that’s highly effective. Mix together the ingredients and let sit for at least 15 minutes or even better up to a few hours. Next use the toothbrush to scrub the mixture over the stains.
- White wine vinegar and baking soda. Slowly pour vinegar into a cup of baking soda until it starts to fizzle. Mix together to form a paste. Pour the paste over the rusted spots and leave to sink in around 15 minutes. Using a spoon, start rubbing the paste into the stain them leave again for around 15 minutes. Repeat the process.
- Chemical cleaner. If the above natural methods don’t work, a last resort is finding a cleaner solution with hydrochloric acid in it and is safe to use on porcelain. Take heed of the safety instructions as these chemicals can be harmful to the skin.
To prevent further rust build up, make sure your wipe out sinks and bathtubs regularly to remove iron deposits. Store metal cans away from the porcelain as these can end up causing a rusted stain on the surface. Also keep the bathroom ventilated to reduce moisture and water pooling.