cleaning rust stains tips plumber Sheffield

You may find that, over time, you find brown rust stains on your sinks, baths and toilets.  These can be a result of rusty pipes, fixtures or heaters or simply because your water supply has a high iron content.

It takes a good amount of time for rust stains to appear on your porcelain, so you’re likely to see it first appear in places where the water is standing longest, such as your toilet bowl.  If you see a brown ring around the water line or brownish streaks leading down from the water outlets in your toilet, chances are these may be rust stains and they won’t come off using the usual toilet cleaners or brush. You may also find brown rings around the drain in your sink or bath or, if your taps drip, you may see a streak from your tap to the drain.

If you do think that you have rusty pipework or fixtures, then you’ll need to look at replacing those in order to stop the problem permanently.  If the problem is being caused by excess iron in the water supply, then you may consider installing a water softening system.

However, getting those stains out is what this article is about. These stains are by no means an easy thing to remove; they almost etch themselves into the porcelain over time, but here we have a few tried and trusted methods.

Scouring Pads

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If your stains are quite light, then you may find that a simple kitchen scouring pad will do the trick. However, there are also versions of this product that are design specifically for use on tough stains on toilets and baths.  This should be your first port of call as there are no chemical involved and high quality pads can be cleaned and reused several times, making it a cost effective solution.


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Pumice is a gentle scourer and there are several products that are perfect for removing rust stains from toilets, baths and sinks.  Try using a pumice stick or scrubber, which are designed for porcelain and tile cleaning. Use them in the same way you would a scourer and use time and time again. Again, a cost effective and environmentally friendly product.

Lemon Juice and Salt

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Mix up a wet paste of lemon juice and salt and apply it to the affected area.  This can effectively attack rust stains if given time to penetrate.  It’s not easy to use this technique on a toilet bowl as the solution will wash away before it has chance to do its work, but it’s ideal for baths and sinks.  Allow the mixture to soak for at least 15 minutes, the longer the better, up to several hours if possible, then use a toothbrush to scrub the stains away.

Chemical Cleaning Products

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If your stains are really too much of a match for the environmentally friendly techniques above, then your last resort would be to use a chemical cleaner.  However, bleach and general household cleaners won’t do the job, you’ll have to buy something specific for this purpose.  A good idea is to get a cleaning product that contains hydrochloric acid and that is safe to use on tiles and porcelain. Remember to follow the instructions very carefully as these products are hazardous if not handled correctly.

If you need help identifying the cause of a stain, advice on replacing pipework or would simple like to replace your old bathroom suite for something new, call us today on 0333 313 3134