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Removing Rust Stains From Fixtures: A How-To Guide

Imagine this scenario: you own or rent a home, and you take great pride in it. You pick decor that matches your style, choose where things go, organize the way you want them to work, keep things as tidy as you can. You do your best to maintain a clean, functional, comfortable living space.

Then, one day, you notice something. A strange orange-brown stain spreading on your kitchen faucet. Crumbly build-up and corrosion on your showerhead. You freak out, not knowing what to do with this unwelcome intruder, so you never do anything. You lose your security deposit, your home value decreases, and your carefully crafted oasis loses its charm.

Now imagine that scenario again, except the ending is different. Instead of giving up, you go online and look up how to remove rust stains from your fixtures. You find this guide, read it, fix your problem, and all is well. We like that ending a lot better, don’t you? Here’s how to make it your ending:

How do I remove rust stains from metal?

While it may seem easier, it’s not always a valid option to just toss and replace any rusted metal. Removing rust stains from metal is a lot easier than many people realize. There are numerous methods you can use, including: 

White vinegar

Vinegar reacts with rust build-up to dissolve it off of metal. Soak your rusted fixture in vinegar for a few hours. After that, you should be able to wipe the rust off with the leftover paste. 

Baking soda and water

Create a mixture of baking soda and water that’s thick enough to be spreadable. Spread it onto the rust stain you want to remove and let it sit until it’s dry. When the mixture dries, scrape it off with a brush and rinse with water. The rust beneath should rinse away as well. 

Use an abrasive tool and some elbow grease 

This option will work the fastest, but also involve the most physical labor. You can take steel wool, a pumice stone, or any other abrasive tool to a rusty fixture. This runs the risk of causing scratches. If you’re not worried about that, it will get the job done.

How do I remove rust stains from porcelain?

One of the places you’re most likely to find rust stains in your home is within your bathtub. Most of the bathtubs you’ll find in the average Texas home are porcelain. Here’s how you remove rust stains from porcelain: 

  1. The first thing you’re going to want to do is acquire a pumice bar or stick. There are a lot of varieties available for purchase online. Choose one. 
  2. Once you have it, wet the pumice bar using the tap. After you’ve saturated the bar, you should rub it vigorously back and forth on the rust stain. This action will aid in the development of a pumice “paste.” 
  3. When enough of this paste has developed, let it sit for five to ten minutes. Rinse the paste away. If you haven’t removed the stain completely at that point, repeat the process.
  4. Alternate option: you can create a paste out of equal parts borax and lemon juice. Rub it into the stain, allow it to dry, and then rinse. Repeat this process until you completely remove the stain.

There are ways to prevent rust stains from developing in the first place, too. The most effective option is installing a water softener. In-home rust, especially in the bathroom, usually happens because your water is too iron-rich. 

Having them installed is easy – all you have to do is call your local plumber, like Ben Franklin Plumbing. They’ll be able to work with you to find the right solution to help you keep your home and fixtures rust-free.