How To Remove Stubborn Rust From Bathtub

professional cleaner cleaning bathtub

Rust stains form brown patches in your bathtub and other surfaces in your bathroom, giving it an unsightly appearance. Unfortunately, trying to eliminate these stains can be quite a task for many homeowners, and unsuccessful attempts to remove them can easily convince them that the stains are not removable.

  • What Causes Rust Stains?


Among the most common causes of rust stains are deteriorating water heaters, old pipes and worn out fixtures. These often leave rust particles in your water system, which consequently stains your bathtub.


Hard water leaves iron residues that cause rust stains, mostly on areas that hold stagnant water, such as the toilet and bathtub. However, it matters not how the stains got into your bathtub. Instead, the most critical concern is how to get rid of them. Fortunately, there are many methods you can use to remove these stains.


  • How to Remove Rust Stains


The effectiveness of stain removal is dependent on several factors, such as the material from which your bathtub is made. In addition, different materials react to cleaners differently. Enamel bathtubs, for instance, are easily damaged by acidic cleaners, while bleaches can damage acrylic bathtubs. Therefore, choosing the right cleaner for your bathtub is essential.


The length of time the rust has been on the bathtub also influences the ease of stain removal. Stains that have been etched permanently on the surface of the bathtub might require more than just scrubbing.


Before embarking on stain removal from your bathtub, it is advisable to perform a test on an inconspicuous section of the tub to have a look at how the cleaning agent you chose will work.


  • Using Commercial Rust Removers



Commercial cleaners are probably the first thing we think about when we encounter rust stains. Luckily there are different products available in stores. These cleaners work pretty well by oxidizing the rust on-site and do not require scrubbing. While these cleaners do a fantastic job, some contain harsh chemicals that sometimes produce pungent fumes that can leave you indisposed. Some of the chemicals are also potentially corrosive and can cause skin burns if not handled carefully.



  • DIY Cleaning Methods


Currently, most people are interested in using eco-friendly methods of cleaning in their homes. If you are one of them, you can try these do it yourself (DIY) cleaning methods.


  • Lemon and Salt



Salt and lemon have superb cleaning properties you may not have imagined. To get the sparkle back to your bathtub;

  1. Mix fresh or bottled lemon juice with salt to form a thick and consistent paste
  2. Apply the paste generously to the affected area
  3. Let the paste sit for a few hours or even overnight
  4. Scrub lightly with a soft brush or wipe out with a microfiber cloth
  5. Rinse with clean water


  • Baking Soda and Vinegar


This method is excellent for removing tough stains that may have formed over time. For best results;

  1.  Mix the baking soda with vinegar to form a paste. A ratio of three parts of baking soda to one part of vinegar is ideal
  2. Apply the paste on the stained sections
  3. Allow the paste to sit overnight
  4. Scrub with a toothbrush or a microfiber cloth
  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean water
  6. Repeat the process if the stains do not come off


  • Pumice Stones

This cleaning method is suitable especially for porcelain bathtubs since it’s not abrasive. First, wet the stone and apply adequate elbow grease to scrub away the stain. Continuous scrubbing with the wet stone will produce a paste that will lift and remove the stain. Once the stain is cleared, rinse the surface with clean water. Pumice and water also work perfectly well if you don’t prefer elbow grease.


  • Using Scouring Pads

You can clean lightly stained areas by scrubbing lightly using a scouring pad. All you need to do is dump the pad, scrub and rinse.



  • How to Prevent Rust Stains


As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. The following tips will help you maintain a stain-free bathtub to the comfort of your family.

1. Install a water softener or iron filter if you have hard water supply. This will prevent the formation of stains that are caused by iron deposits.
2. Ensure you keep away metal cans from your bathtub or sink. The metallic rings at the bottom of the cans rust easily, leaving stains of rust on the surfaces of your bathroom.
3. Always remember to wipe down your bathtub after every use. It helps clear residue that might contain iron.
4. Replace old and rusty fixtures promptly.




A clean tub adds bliss to your shower and makes your bath time exciting. We have what it takes to ensure you keep enjoying your bath. Contact our Houston Location to learn more about our services and to schedule your cleaning services.


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