Rust from galvanized steel pipes

How To Eliminate Rust From Showers, Sinks, Toilets, And Counter Tops

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

If you live in an older home, you may experience rust in your sinks, showers, or toilets? These ugly brownish-orange streaks appear when water passes through older, rusted, galvanized pipes. However, if you live in California and your home has succumbed to hard water, those ugly stains could be a product of mineral deposit residue left behind on the surface of your sinks and tubs. Learn how to eliminate rust today!

These stains, thankfully, will not last forever and may be readily removed. There are five natural ways to rid yourself of those stains without relying on harsh chemicals. We also have tips on avoiding them in the future. 

First, We Need To Understand Why They Occur In The First Place

Rust forms when oxygen and iron combine with moisture to produce iron oxide. You can also see evidence of this process on the bottom of a steel shaving cream dispenser or a razor blade that was sitting on the counter.  You can also clearly see the rust stains around bathtubs, toilet tanks, toilet bowls, and sink drains. These rust stains may be created by water having high quantities of iron particles in the water or iron-oxidizing bacteria. Rust can also be caused by old galvanized steel pipes or old rusted water heaters

eliminate rust

The Bulk Of California Contains Extremely Hard Water 

The stains are especially common in residential homes where hard-water locations are prominent. This is where the mix of hard water minerals and iron-oxidizing bacteria in your water can cause rust particles to adhere to the porcelain and enamel surfaces, including bathroom fixtures. Water hardness gets measured in grains per gallon (GPG). San Diego and Riverside County have 16 grains of hardness which is very high but will vary from city to city.  The bulk of California contains hard to extremely hard water, and San Diego and Riverside County are no exception.

As a result, unless your water gets filtered by a reverse osmosis system or water-softening system, the stains may resurface after washing, often within the week. Fortunately, eliminating them even temporarily is not complicated when you know what to do.

Removing Rust Stains Without Using Chemical Cleaners

Commercial rust cleaners normally work well; after all, that’s what they’re designed to do. In addition, a product such as CLR® is not only environmentally safe, it can remove rust and mold quickly. Simply apply it to the rusted surface and rinse it away. Many individuals, however, are cautious about using commercial rust removers since they often include strong chemicals that might cause harm to your skin or your respiratory system. 

Furthermore, most are not environmentally friendly, so do some research and shopping to find a product that will remove your rust without affecting the environment or your health. Learn more about how harmful chemicals can affect your pipes, environment, and health. Meanwhile, here are five non-chemical methods how to eliminate rust from toilets, showers, and sinks.

Eliminate rust

Cleaning Your Toilet Bowl Of Rust Stains

When cleaning your toilet bowl of rust stains, first turn off the water at the shut-off valve. Then flush the toilet to eliminate most of the water in the tank and bowl. This will allow for a good surface to clean from and prevent dilution of the cleaner.

Citrus Is An Organic Way Of Removing Rust Stains

Citrus acid is a natural organic way of removing stains. However, not all fruits have the same amount of stain-removing acids. For example, lemons and limes have the most citrus acid, while other fruits such as grapefruits and oranges may take the punch out of the acid you need to remove the stains. This is a great chemical-free way to attack to remove rust stains. If it doesn’t seem to be working well, you can use a soft abrasive by adding some baking soda or salt for that deeper clean.

Powdered citric acid is also available at most supermarkets. Make a powder paste by adding a few drops of water, then immediately apply it to the stained area. Allow it to stand for a few minutes before scrubbing away the stain with a scrubbing sponge or brush.

Citric Acid Is Good For Removing Stains

Baking Soda with Vinegar Seems to Do The Trick Against Rust Stains

Do you have a persistent rust stain? Combine a solution of three parts of baking soda and one part vinegar to form a paste. Apply it with a scour sponge to the rusted surface and let it settle for an hour. In most cases, it will remove the rust once you rinse it. Although, if the stain is particularly tenacious, simply repeat the procedure.

Maintain Your Plumbing System

Vinegar Is Another Organic Cleaner

Once the rust stains are removed, you may prevent the problem from returning by spraying the problem area with distilled white vinegar,  cleaning the area with a scouring pad, and then thoroughly rinsing it.

Eliminate Rust Using A Rust Remover

Acidic Residue Of Winemaking Is An Excellent Rust Remover

This powdery, acidic residue of winemaking gets utilized in various baking dishes ranging from cakes to cookies. Most homeowners don’t know this, but its acid is also an excellent rust remover. Sprinkle it over rust spots and in your shower, sinks, or toilets.  Allow it to sit for 30 minutes; you may even consider covering it with saran wrap to keep the paste wet while it works.

Pumice Is Not Just For Your Feet

Pumice stones are volcanic rocks that are naturally occurring stones that may get used to removing rust, particularly from porcelain, because they will not scratch or harm the surface. Instead, simply moisten the rusted surface and stone, then rub gently over the surface to eliminate the rust.

Shaw’s pads Is A Low-Cost Rust Remover

These may be a handyman’s best buddy! Shaw’s Pads, which are available at hardware shops or online, are an excellent, low-cost, and ecologically responsible solution to remove stains from ceramic and porcelain surfaces — and they won’t leave scratches. They are also effective when removing lime and calcium deposits. It’s also effective for removing gray, brown, and green water residue, including algae, chemical stains on pool tiles, and toilet ring residue. Simply dampen the pads and gently massage the spots away.

Set Up A Water Filtration System

Rust stains, as previously stated, will persist over time. However, there are a few things you can do to keep it at bay. For instance, setting up a water filtration system can keep arsenic, nitrates, bacteria, and organic compounds filtered from your plumbing system. This will minimize hard water mineral deposits, including rust while producing great-tasting water. 

Keep Your Counter Tops Dry

Since rust needs a damp place to produce, keep products such as air fresheners, cleansers, shaving cream, hair sprays, and razors that quickly rust tucked away in a medicine cabinet or under your sink. These products will accumulate rust on the surfaces of sinks and showers. Additionally, keeping sinks and countertops clean and dry will stop the promotion of rust particles on your sinks and bathtubs, 

Replace Leaky Toilets And Faucets 

Even the slightest leak from your faucet can soon lead to rust stains. So, if you suspect a leak, it may be time to replace those old faucets and toilets. In addition, metal components in the tank of older toilets may show signs of corrosion. Substitute non-corrosive PVC components.

Employing The Best Of The Best!

Big B’s Plumbing which employs some of Riverside and San Diego County’s most experienced plumbers, can handle all your plumbing concerns, even those pesky rust stains. In addition, our staff of experts can install the latest in water treatment systems that will decrease mineral accumulation, which causes numerous rust issues. Schedule an appointment today and discover what service and value are all about.  

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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