Rust stains generally occur when you live in an area that uses well water with a high iron content, or when you leave something metal on the edge of a sink or bathtub. In some cases, if you have an old metal tub, rust stains may occur if the porcelain wears away, exposing the iron. Whatever the reason for your rust stain, they are hard to get rid of and regular cleansers and cleaners will have little impact. Never fear, however, there are a wide variety of products that can help rid your porcelain palace of rust and restore its pristine appearance.
1. Shaws Pads
Shaws Pads are one of the greenest and most eco-friendly way of removing stubborn rust stains, since they don’t require any chemicals. The pad itself will safely remove rust and also a number of other problem stains like calcium or lime buildup as well as hard water spots. If you want a one-shot, all-purpose solution that works on a wide variety of bathroom issues, consider investing a few dollars in some Shows pads. If your rust stain is inside a toilet and you’re not one to enjoy sticking your hand directly down a toilet, you can even purchase a handle for a few extra dollars, turning your Shaws Pad into a handy-dandy toilet bowl cleaner.
2. Pumice Stick
A pumice stick is another great eco-friendly option that also does not use any chemicals. Much like a Shaws Pad, you just rub the pumice stick on the stain. The stick will dissolve slightly leaving a mildly abrasive paste, which will help to lift the stain from the porcelain. Pumice does not work as well on fiberglass, however, since fiberglass scratches more easily than porcelain. If your stain in on a fiberglass bathtub or shower enclosure, this might not be the best method for you.
CLR is probably one of the oldest and most tried, true and tested cleaners for removing rust stains. In fact, CLR stands for calcium, lime and rust, which is exactly what it works on. One of the best things about CLR is that there are a number of different products that work on a variety of different surfaces, so you can clean toilets, tubs, sinks and even bathroom fixtures with a variety of CLR products. Best of all, for a chemical cleaner, CLR is one of the most environmentally friends products on the market and even gets a seal of approval from the EPA.
While ordinary household cleansers won’t generally make a dent in a rust stain, Z-U-D is not your ordinary household cleanser. In addition to the mild abrasives found in most household cleansers, Z-U-D also uses oxalic acid to remove stains. While oxalic acid is a naturally occurring compound, it is also considered a poison, so use and store this one with care. If you have pets, children or elderly people in your household, this may not be your best option. This is also not a great option if you have a septic system, since it will kill the bacteria in the system, which is not advisable.
5. The Works
Probably the easiest cleaner to use, The Works is a product that you just simply spray on, let sit and wipe away. Unfortunately, its effectiveness is the result of containing 20% hydrochloric acid. Not only is it environmentally unfriendly, but it is also not recommended for use with septic systems. If you are not a big fan of elbow grease, however, this product will get rid of your rust stain with no fuss and no muss.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.