How to Remove Rust from Bathroom Fixtures? (Helpful Tips)

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Rust is a common problem around the home. It can cause big problems for water pipes and other light fixtures. Rust also leaves behind a stain that is difficult to remove from surfaces like porcelain or marble.

Luckily, there are many ways to get rid of rust and restore your bathroom’s metal fixtures to their original glory. Here you will learn simple steps you can have your bath looking new again in no time!

Why are My Bathroom Fixtures Rusting?

Picture this – you’ve just given your bathroom a revamp, maybe it was a weekend project or perhaps you hired someone to install your brand new fixtures. You’ve put in the time and effort, so it’s a bit baffling, even frustrating when those shiny fixtures start showing signs of rust. What gives?

Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret – rust happens. The main culprits behind it are moisture and oxygen, a perfect recipe for oxidation. Now, think about it, where does water splash around more frequently than a bathroom?

Here’s where it gets interesting. Remember the day your new toilet bowl was installed? Well, the installer might not have fully cleaned away all the old wax and grease from the previous fixture. It happens. We’re all human, after all, and sometimes we miss a spot.

Unfortunately, these missed spots can create a sort of moisture-trapping seal, effectively allowing water to pool underneath the fixture. And where there’s trapped moisture, rust isn’t far behind.

In my house, we make sure to keep our fixtures as dry as possible when they’re not in use. Trust me, it goes a long way in keeping that rust at bay. A lesson learned the hard way, but hey, it keeps my bathroom shining.

Is it Possible to Remove Rust from Bathroom Fixtures?

The short answer is yes. Various commercial cleaners, often containing phosphoric or citric acid, work well for removing rust stains from toilet bowls and sinks. However, they are usually ineffective at removing rust stains from metal bathtubs (they tend to be too acidic).

Rust stains are unsightly and can be difficult to remove. This is especially the case with porcelain plumbing fixtures, which are made up of layers of enamel. Enamel is a tough coating that resists most cleaners unless you have the right product on hand for the job.

How to Remove Rust from Bathroom Fixtures? (Home Remedies)

before after remove rust from bathroom fixtures

There are a few homemade remedies for rusted iron that you can use to banish this unsightly affliction back into the dark depths from whence it came! Listed below are a few rust removers for how to get rid of rust on bathroom fixtures safely, all of which require only natural ingredients found right here in your kitchen!

Boiling Vinegar

Try boiling some vinegar for an hour. Pour off the vinegar into a safe container and use it to rinse your fixtures. You can also boil water, pour it on the rusted areas, and then scrub with steel wool or non-abrasive cleaner.

Common Salt

A common kitchen ingredient you likely have on hand right now is probably the best homemade remedy for how to remove rust from bathroom fixtures naturally: salt!

Just sprinkle some salt on your problem areas, and leave it there for about half an hour or so.

After that time, simply wipe off any traces of salt you may have left behind with a damp cloth.

Salt & Lemon

Mix one part salt with three parts lemon juice, then apply this mixture to the rust spot and leave overnight.

The next day, wash away the solution, careful not to wipe any of it onto an area you want clean! If there is any remaining stain from the rust, mix 1 tablespoon of salt in 2 cups of vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

This should do the trick if you’re looking for home remedies to get rid of rust on bathroom fixtures.

White Vinegar

Vinegar is also an excellent rust remover! Just make sure to use white vinegar and not the apple cider variety! Just pour some straight white vinegar onto your problem areas, let it sit for a while (it will begin fizzing), then scrub clean with steel wool. Repeat if necessary until all traces are gone!

Also Read | How to Remove Salt Water Stains from Bathroom Tiles?

How to Remove Rust from Bathroom Fixtures? (Rust Remover)

Before using any rust removing products, consider these two points given below:

First, you need to ensure that the metal surface of your fixture isn’t flaking because that would make it more difficult to remove the rust on them.

Flaking paint means that there are already tiny particles of rust waiting to be released by other substances such as water. You may have noticed how your toilet bowl turns red sometimes.

That’s because some chemicals such as urine contained chlorides can cause galvanic corrosion resulting in flaking, especially on zinc plating, which doesn’t resist acidic substances well.

If you don’t clean this kind of damage regularly using something like CLR (calcium, lime, rust remover), you will end up with a much bigger problem.

Second, make sure that whatever substance you use won’t damage the plating or paint on your fixture, even if it is not made of metal but is plastic. You probably don’t want to remove that coating just so you can have a clean surface.

Using Rust Stain Removers

For rust stains, you can use WHINK or any other rust stain remover. These solvents can remove even deep-seated rust stains, provided that there isn’t too much embedded dirt covering their surface. Leave them for 15 minutes before wiping or scrubbing. You may need a toothbrush to remove rust from smaller areas like the inside of your toilet bowl.

ConcreteIron OUT Liquid Rust Stain Remover
ToiletsWHINK® Rust Guard Bowl Cleaner & Remover
Showers and BathtubsIron OUT Liquid Rust Stain Remover
Ceramic, Plastic, Vinyl siding, Chrome, and Stainless steelIron OUT Liquid Rust Stain Remover

Related | How Do You Remove Rust Stains Using Whink Products?

Using Rust Resistant Metal Primer

For the heavily rusted fixtures of your bathroom, you can apply Rustoleum rust-resistant metal primer spray. These primers can cover up and prevent rust from happening. Start with covering your surrounding surface to protect spray mist and then begin scraping the surface with a wire brush to shade off flaking rust. Hold the spray 6 to 10-inches from the affected surface and spray steadily.

How to Use Metal Primers On Rusty Surface (Detailed Video)

How to Prevent Bathroom Fixtures from Rusting?

Prevention is better than a cure. Keep bathroom fixtures away from water. Water, especially the high-moisture vapor in steam, corrodes metal fast and efficiently.

If your household has corrosion problems in bathrooms, check if there are any leaking joints of piping systems (especially those carrying hot water). In addition to checking for leaky joints with electronic leakage testers or soap bubbles, an actual inspection of walls and floors can help as well.

Look at the joints between bathroom fixtures (toilets, sinks, showerheads) and walls/floors; if you notice any corrosion there, think of how water must have gone through the plumbing system to reach these locations.

To remove rust from a bathroom fixture, you should use household items like baking soda and vinegar. These are the most effective methods for removing rust stains without damaging surfaces or requiring special equipment.

Test these out in your own house on an old washcloth before tackling that stubborn rust stain in your bathtub!

Wrap Up

Most of the time home remedies solve your problem and you don’t have to apply those primers or paints to your fixtures. However, if that doesn’t help, you can then think of trying out rust stain removers, primer spray, or paints.


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