how to remove rust stains from porcelain bathtub

How to Remove Rust Stains from a Porcelain Bathtub: Expert Tips

Last Updated on August 30, 2023

Rust stains on porcelain bathtubs are a common problem. In fact, over 40% of American households have reported experiencing rust staining on their porcelain baths. Rust can appear from any number of sources, and getting rid of it can be quite difficult. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of removing rust stains from your porcelain bathtub using various methods. You’ll also learn some preventive tips to help keep your tub free from rust in the future.

Causes of Rust

Rust can be caused by exposure to damp conditions, leaving metal fixtures vulnerable to corrosion and discoloration. Rust stains on a porcelain bathtub or toilet bowl are unsightly and difficult to remove without the right cleaning materials. Pumice stones, microfiber cloths, white vinegar, cleaners, cream of tartar, baking soda and lemon juice with salt are all helpful in removing rust from porcelain surfaces. To start the process of rust removal, begin by using a pumice stone or microfiber cloth wet with warm water to gently scrub away any visible rust spots.

If necessary, you may also use natural cleaners such as white vinegar or cream of tartar mixed with baking soda to form a paste for tougher stains. For stubborn spots that won’t come off easily with either method above, try combining lemon juice and salt together into a thick paste before applying it onto the stain. This mixture should be left on for an hour before being wiped away with a soft cloth – when done correctly you should see results! With patience and persistent scrubbing, it is possible to get rid of even the most difficult rust stains from your porcelain bathtub or toilet bowl.

Lemon Juice and Salt

an elegant bath tub

You can use a combination of lemon juice and salt to add a sparkle to your tub, like sprinkling fairy dust. Since lemon juice is an acid, it helps to dissolve the iron oxide that makes up rust stains. Salt adds an abrasive element to help scrub away the rust particles. This method works especially well on tough stains or those caused by hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium carbonates.

Here’s what you need:

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Clean Cloth
  • Scrub or scouring pad (optional)

Mix equal parts of lemon juice and salt together until the salt is dissolved in the liquid. Apply this mixture directly onto the rust stains in your bathtub and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a cloth or brush. For really tough stains, you may want to combine this process with a scouring pad containing volcanic rock particles for extra cleaning power. You should see immediate results as the rust particles start lifting off from your bathtub surface!

Once all the rust has been removed, rinse off any residual salt-lemon mixture with clean water and dry completely with a soft towel. This will leave your porcelain tub looking sparkling clean and free from any stubborn rust stains – no magical powers required! Pumice stone is another remedy that can be used for additional stain removal…

Pumice Stone

Give your bathtub a magical makeover with the help of pumice stone! Pumice stone is a great way to remove rust stains from porcelain without using harsh chemicals. You can find pumice stones in most stores or online, and they are relatively inexpensive compared to commercial rust removers. To use the pumice stone, you’ll need to wet it first and then rub it over the area where there is rust. It may take several hours of rubbing before you see results, but will be worth it in the end!

Pumice stone can also be used to get rid of water stains on your toilet bowl or other porcelain surfaces. Make sure you have some clean water nearby when using the pumice stone so that you don’t scratch up any surfaces while scrubbing hard. For extra cleaning power, mix some baking soda with lemon juice and apply it directly to the surface before scrubbing with the pumice stone. This will help loosen any tough spots and make them easier to remove without damaging your bathroom fixtures.

After giving your bathroom fixtures a good scrub-down with a pumice stone, finish off by wiping down all surfaces with warm water and an iron free cloth. This will help prevent any further staining from occurring in the future and keep your bathroom looking its best for longer periods of time! With this simple cleaning routine, you won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals or costly commercial rust removers ever again! Transitioning into subsequent sections about borax and water should be easy if done regularly.

Borax and Water

Borax and water is a great natural combination for tackling tough stains and giving your bathroom fixtures a sparkling finish. Studies have shown that borax can be up to 10 times more effective than bleach in removing bacteria from surfaces. To remove rust stains from porcelain bathtubs with this cleaning method, you’ll need:

  • Borax
  • Water
  • A soft cloth or sponge
  • Cream of tartar (optional)
  • A scrubbing pad (optional)

Mix equal parts of borax and water together to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing gently with a damp cloth or sponge. If necessary, use cream of tartar or a scrubbing pad to get rid of stubborn rust stains. Afterward, rinse away any remaining residue with warm water, then dry the surface thoroughly. For extra stain removal power, you can also try combining baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste and applying it on the affected areas. Scrub it off after 30 minutes for best results! With this multi-pronged approach to removing rust stains from porcelain bathtubs, you can take comfort knowing your bathroom will look as good as new!

Dedicated Removers

For those extra tough rust stains, there’s nothing like a dedicated remover to get the job done quickly and easily! Dedicated removers are especially useful for removing rust from porcelain bathtubs that have been stained by high levels of iron content in minerals. These chemical cleaners can be applied directly on the rust-stained areas or mixed with water to create cleaning solutions for a flat surface. Rust removers are best used when other methods such as using lime juice or a paste of lemon juice alone do not have any effect on the stain.

When using a dedicated rust remover, it is important to first read the instructions on how to use it safely and effectively. A scrub sponge should be used along with either a pumice powder or purpose bathroom cleaner if you need an extra boost for removing stubborn stains from an acrylic tub or enamel surface. It is also important to use either a soft brush or WD specialist while applying the solution onto metal surfaces, followed by rinsing off with warm water afterwards.

Once you choose your preferred method of rust removal, make sure you take all necessary precautions and safety measures before beginning your project. Be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear whenever handling any harsh chemicals or abrasives that may damage your porcelain tub’s finish. After dampening the affected area with water, apply either wet paste made from gentle abrasives or natural abrasive like acetic acid, citric acid powder, tartaric acid, etc., then gently scrub away at the stain until it lifts off completely. This will ensure that no traces of rust remain in order to keep your bath looking clean and beautiful!

Scouring Pad/Sandpaper

scouring pads and sandpaper

Scouring pads and sandpaper are great for tackling tough rust spots that require a little extra elbow grease, so don’t be afraid to break out the tools if other methods aren’t cutting it! Here are some tips on using scouring pads/sandpaper to remove rust stains:

  • Start by wetting the affected area with warm water and then apply a small amount of WD-40 Multi-Use Product or any other commercial rust stain remover.
  • Use an abrasive scouring pad or light sandpaper to scrub away at the rust spot until it is removed.
  • For tougher rust stains, add table salt to your scouring pad and gently scrub away at the rusty surface. Make sure you test this method on a small area first before applying it more liberally.

Using abrasive materials like scouring pads and sandpaper can be difficult when trying to clean delicate bathroom fixtures such as acrylic tubs or shower walls. If this is the case, opt for chemical-free cleaning pads that won’t scratch these surfaces. A pumice stick can also work wonders on orange stains and light rust stains from bathtubs, while a cleaning screen placed over a drain can help prevent rust from clogging up the tub’s drain. After you’ve tackled tough spots with your scourer, finish off with a soft cloth or wet sponge for best results before moving onto prevention tips!

Prevention Tips

To prevent rust stains from forming in the first place, it’s important to regularly clean and maintain porcelain fixtures such as bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. Using cold water to rinse after each use can help reduce the levels of iron particulate left behind. Additionally, using a warm water and a nylon scrubbing brush to scrub away any dirt or grime before rinsing can also help remove rust-causing iron oxides.

Cleaning MethodBest Used For
PeroxideIron Stains
Nylon BrushDirt & Grime
Cold WaterRinse

A watersoftening system is another device that can be used to reduce iron levels in your home’s plumbing system. Additionally, using air fresheners near porcelain fixtures can help mask odors that might attract more dirt and grime build up over time. Taking these steps will ensure that your porcelain fixtures remain free of rust stains for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any special precautions that should be taken when using a pumice stone to remove rust stains?

Using a pumice stone to remove rust stains is an effective way of restoring your porcelain bathtub to its former glory. Of course, it’s important to take certain precautions when using one. Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses, as the pumice stone may create dust particles that could harm your skin or eyes. You should also wet the surface of the tub before use so that the pumice doesn’t scratch it. Lastly, use gentle strokes in small circles and don’t press too hard on the surface, as this could cause damage.

Is it better to use a dedicated rust remover or a more natural option?

When it comes to removing rust stains, there are two main options. You can choose to use a dedicated rust remover or a more natural option. Rust removers are specifically designed for the purpose of removing rust and they work quickly and effectively, but some contain chemicals which could be damaging to your porcelain bathtub. Natural options such as baking soda and vinegar may take longer to work but they don’t have the same potential risks associated with them. Ultimately, it’s up to you which method you decide to go with depending on how quickly you need the job done and the desired outcome.

How often should I use a scouring pad/sandpaper to remove rust stains?

Using a scouring pad or sandpaper to remove rust stains can seem like a daunting task. But with the right technique and materials, it’s actually surprisingly easy. When removing rust from porcelain surfaces, I recommend using a non-abrasive scouring pad and light pressure. This will help prevent further damage to the surface while gently removing the rust stains. I suggest lightly scrubbing the area with the scouring pad once every few weeks to keep any rust at bay.


I hope this article has been helpful in showing you how to remove those pesky rust stains from your porcelain bathtub. Prevention is better than cure, so I’d advise making sure that you regularly check for any signs of rust and take steps to treat them immediately before they have a chance to get worse. With the right tools and some elbow grease, it’s like taking candy from a baby – easy peasy!

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