How to Prevent Rust Stains

Rust stains occur when iron in your tap water oxidizes and clings to the surface of your sinks and tubs. The telltale orange stains are common in areas that have a lot of iron in the water, and if you use bleach-based cleaners, you can actually make the stains even worse. If you’re experiencing a rusted bathtub in Phoenix, AZ, here’s how to clean and prevent rust stains.

Cleaning rust stains

There are two all-natural ways to get rid of rust stains in your bathtubs and sinks. First, lemon and salt make a highly-effective cleaning combo: squeeze lemon juice over the stains to dampen them, then sprinkle regular table or kosher salt over the stains. Allow to sit for several hours, then gently clean with a fresh microfiber cloth. Rinse clean to remove any lingering lemon juice or salt.

You can achieve similar results using baking soda and water. Make a paste by mixing baking soda and water together (it should be thick and hold its shape, similar to arts and crafts paste), then apply it to the rust stains. Let the mixture sit overnight, then use a clean cloth to wipe the stains away. Rinse and repeat if needed.

If neither of these methods works, try using a little elbow grease and a cleaning screen, available at most hardware stores, to get the job done. It’s slightly more abrasive then scrubbing sponges and will help remove any remaining rust. Oxalic acid can also remove the rust stains, although it is not natural like the other solutions.

Preventing rust stains

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the rust, here are some steps you can take toward rust stain prevention in Phoenix, AZ:

  • Install a water softener or purifier: The most effective way of getting rust stains out of your bathtubs is to eliminate the iron altogether. Installing a water softener or purifier that’s designed to remove iron will solve the problem at its source and provide the most long-lasting results.
  • Rinse and wipe down your tub after each use: You can keep your tub clean by making sure to rinse down its walls and sides after each use, then wiping them down with a towel. This helps remove any iron residue, even if you can’t see it in the water.
  • Don’t store metal in the tub: Do you have metal cans or other metal tools sitting around in your shower or bathtub? This can leave behind rings and other rusty remnants. Store your metal cans and items in a cabinet that will protect the metal from humidity.
  • Clean your bathtub once a week: Finally, cleaning your bathtub at least once weekly will go a long way toward eliminating rust buildup. If you notice stains starting to form, use one of the methods above to remove them—it will be easier the earlier you catch them. And remember, never use bleach.

If your tub is too far gone, call A-1 Porcelain & Fiberglass Service Co., LLC. We can refinish your rusted porcelain and fiberglass tubs and sinks in Phoenix, AZ so they look brand new.