How to remove rust stains from a plastic tub

how to remove rust stains from plastic tub

Rust stains on your bathtub? Gross! Let’s get rid of them.

Rust stains are caused by several factors, the main one being minerals in hard water. The good thing is, it’s possible to get rid of rust stains in your plastic tub completely, using a few inexpensive household products including:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Bar Keepers Friend
  • Liquid dish soap

Bar Keepers Friend eliminates rust stains

This product is a lifesaver. If you still haven’t used it on rusty stains before, stop what you’re doing and go out and get some. It will save you time and energy, making your cleaning jobs painless.

Barkeepers friend is the easiest way to deal with rust stains, the product contains oxalic acid, which has been proven to be the best at erasing rust. Make sure you wear gloves because Bar Keepers Friend can cause skin irritation.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup Bar Keepers Friend
  • A plastic kitchen scourer

Follow these steps:

  1. Wet the plastic tub first by running water over it.
  2. Sprinkle the Bar Keepers Friend to form a paste with the leftover water. Pour it all over, making sure all the stained parts are well covered.
  3. Leave the Bar Keepers Friend paste to sit for about two hours.
  4. After the two-hour time frame, take your kitchen scourer and work on the stains
  5. You will not need to aggressively scrub as the Bar Keepers Friend will remove the stains like magic.
  6. Rinse your bathtub.
  7. Enjoy your newly shiny tub!
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Vinegar and dish soap for removing rust stains

Vinegar and liquid dishwashing soap form a good combination to effectively remove rust stains on plastic bathtubs. The mixture works like a charm.

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of liquid dish soap
  • A kitchen scourer (plastic, not metal, as that can damage the tub)
  • A spray bottle (optional)

Follow this procedure:

  1. Take the liquid dish soap and spread it all over the bathtub with more focus on the stained areas.
  2. If you feel you need to add more liquid dishwashing soap, it’s okay. Half a cup is just a guideline.
  3. Let the soap sit for about 4 hours.
  4. When you get back, sprinkle a cup of vinegar all over the stains.
  5. Take a kitchen scrubber and start working on the stains.
  6. Take the second cup of vinegar, spray all over the tub.
  7. Let the mixture soak for another two hours
  8. You can put all the ingredients together and leave to soak. How you do it does not really matter, as long as you are using the mentioned ingredients.
  9. Last, come back with the last cup of vinegar after the two hours is over.
  10. Sprinkle and brush again using the kitchen scrubber.
  11.  Rinse to examine if the rust stains on your plastic tub are gone.
  12. Once happy with the results, rinse and enjoy a sparkling clean tub!

If the vinegar and dish soap haven’t gotten rid of the stains, you might have to repeat the process all over and this time add borax or baking soda.

Cream of Tartar: not just for the kitchen

What is the cream of Tartar and where do you find it? Cream of Tartar is actually a natural by-product of wine. It’s used specifically for baking, but people have discovered it has some excellent cleaning properties. Its acidic property makes it slightly abrasive and excellent for removing rust stains.

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You’ll need:

  • 1 cup Cream of Tartar
  • A sponge or kitchen scourer

Follow the procedure:

  1. Run water to rinse off any dirt on the tub and wet the surface.
  2. Sprinkle the Cream of Tartar and cover the stained areas well.
  3. A paste will form once the Cream of Tartar lands on the tub because of the wetness.
  4. Let the paste sit for 1 to 4 hours.
  5. Once you feel the paste has had enough time to work on the stain, get your sponge or plastic kitchen scourer.
  6. Begin scrubbing and working on the stains.
  7. Once done, turn on the water to rinse away the paste.
  8. If the stains haven’t cleared completely, repeat the process.

Preventing rust stains on a plastic bathtub

The best way to deal with rust stains on your plastic tub is by preventing them in the first place. This type of stain is easy enough to avoid by cleaning your rub regularly. To maintain a clean shiny bathtub every day:

  • Rinse well with clean water after every use.
  • Dry after rinsing, ensure the bathtub is always dry.
  • Clean the tub with vinegar and liquid dish soap twice a week.

If you follow the above guidelines, you will never have to worry about hard water stains, soap scum or mold stains. Your bathtub will be sparking clean and always ready for use.

FAQs about rusty bathtub stains

What causes rust stains in plastic bathtubs?

Rust stains on plastic bathtubs are caused by hard water or leaving metallic materials in the bathtub, such as a can of shaving cream. It’s impossible to completely prevent hard water stains, so most households are prone to this kind of stain on their bathtubs.

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How do you get rid of rust stains on plastic surfaces?

To remove rust stains from plastic surfaces like bathtubs, focus on products that contain natural acids like: vinegar, which contains acetic acid; cream of tartar, which contains tartaric acid; Bar Keepers Friend, which contains oxalic acid; and even lemon juice, which is rich in citric acid. Avoid bleach.

Will bleach remove rust stains on plastic bathtubs?

Bleach will not remove rust stains on your plastic bathtub. Bleach will also eat away at the plastic on your tub and overtime reduce the quality. Using bleach is harmful, expensive and won’t get the job done.

If your tub is made of fiberglass, here is more information about removing rust stains and other types of stains.

Wrapping up

 A warm soak in your bathtub is so relaxing after a long, tiring day. But rust stains on your bathtub can make it so unappealing. If this had been your experience for long, then we are happy to have helped solve your rust problems. As you can see, removing rust stains from your bathtub is easy and quite an inexpensive procedure.

Try the methods above and let us know which ones worked for you?

Happy cleaning!

how to remove rust stains from plastic tub

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