Do you have rust stains in your bathroom or kitchen? Rust stains are caused by mineral deposits from hard water or rusty components that leak (or, in my case, the bottom of a shaving cream can!). They can leave unsightly marks on tubs, sinks, and toilets. If you’re getting ready to sell, or you just moved into a new house, you’ll want to attack those stains as soon as possible. While tough to remove, it isn’t impossible. Here’s what you need to know to successfully remove stubborn rust stains naturally.
If you’ve ever left a can of shaving cream on the edge of the tub for too long, then you’ve seen the rust stain the bottom of the can leaves behind. Luckily, there’s an easy for fix this that is safe for the environment. If your tub, shower, or sink is ceramic or porcelain, use hydrogen peroxide to clean the unsightly stain. Using one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts cream of tartar, make a paste. Then apply the paste with a sponge or cloth. Leave it on for a couple of hours and then scrub it off with a brush. If the stain is particularly stubborn, repeat the process. Once the stain is gone, rinse with water.
Baking soda is another wonder product that you should always have at home because it has so many uses. If you’ve got a stainless steel sink or appliance with rust stains, baking soda can help to remove them. Since it’s both abrasive and slightly alkaline, it can remove stains and help neutralize acids on the surface that make the rust stains worse. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to two cups of water and work into a paste. Apply the paste to the stain in the direction of the grain then wipe off. For larger or more stubborn stains, sprinkle baking soda on the area and let it sit for up to an hour. Then scrub with a brush. Once the stain is removed, wipe down with water and then dry the area.
Along with baking soda, white vinegar is one of those household products that should always be in your home pantry. One of its many uses is to clean rust from metal, such as sinks and faucets. If you’re able to remove the faucet or parts of the faucet that have rust, then soak them in a bowl of white vinegar for 24 hours. Scrub clean with a brush and then rinse with water. For larger areas, pour vinegar on the rust stain. Then add a generous layer of salt. Let it stand for a few minutes and then scrub with a brush. You can also dip aluminum foil in vinegar and use it like a scrub brush to remove rust.
Finally, lemon juice is another natural remedy to remove rust stains – and it smells better than vinegar, which makes it a great choice. For rust stains on ceramic or porcelain sinks and tubs, cover the rust stain with salt. Then pour lemon juice over the salt until it is saturated. Mix the two together and let it sit on the stain for several hours. Then scrub with a soft cloth until the stain is gone and rinse with water. For stains on metal, try rubbing the rust stain with the rind of the lemon to remove the stain.
Susan Matthews is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential and Global Luxury. Contact her with your home or real estate questions.