How to Remove Rust Stains from Tile and Grout

Rust on the tile and grout is an unsightly problem. While the ceramic tiles themselves look great and are functional, the rust that stains them can ruin the whole look. Let’s just say that all the great qualities of quality ceramic tiles are overshadowed by the problems brought about by  rust. A lot of options are available to do the job, but most are rather expensive. But you also have alternatives that are right there in your own home. Do you want to know what those alternatives are? Simply read on to find out the details.

Steps to Remove Rust Stains from Tile and Grout

Tiles, or ceramic tiles specifically, are known for being very tough. That is why they are used in a lot of homes, offices, and other spaces. However, the grout that runs in between all of the tiles, can often be where deterioration starts. Such as rust stains. It usually starts from the grout and then spreads to the tiles. 

So how do you remove the rust stains from the tile and grout? The techniques below will help you restore the great look of your ceramic tiles as well as your grout. And the best thing about these is that they are readily available within your own house. 

  • Use undiluted hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the rust stain. No need to worry about using hydrogen peroxide since it is fairly safe to use. After applying the chemical, use a scouring pad or a brush to scrub away the rust.
  • Borax and lemon juice can be mixed to form a paste for the rust stains. Around one part borax to two parts lemon juice. Apply the paste on the rust stain and then leave it to dry. After it has dried, use water to rinse away any leftover stain.
  • Use a commercial cleaner that is specifically formulated to get rid of rust stains. Do not buy cleaners that contain any colored powders. Look for any that contains oxalic acid. Just make sure that you follow the instructions on how to use the product properly.
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Common Questions About Rust Stains

Does Vinegar Remove Rust?

The clear answer is yes. Vinegar contains acid, which will eat away at the rust and corrosion. These steps explain how to make the vinegar solution for removing rust as well as how to use it:

  • Place one gallon of distilled white vinegar in a glass or plastic container.
  • Add a cup of salt and stir the mixture.
  • If the object or area to be treated is smaller, use one-half gallon of vinegar and one-half cup of salt.
  • Soak the rusty object into the solution from 12 hours to as long as a few days.
  • Check the object from time to time.
  • Wear a pair of latex or rubber gloves to protect from the rust. 
  • Scrub the rusty part using a steel wool or a brass-bristle brush.
  • Neutralize the acid using a solution made from one gallon of water and one cup of baking soda.

What is the Best Homemade Rust Remover?

As far as homemade rust removers are concerned there are plenty of options there. In fact, we just discussed one of those options above. That’s the use of white vinegar. 

Let’s talk about another homemade rust remover that’s definitely one of the best:

Lemon Juice

You will need to mix lemon juice with borax in order to form a paste. If there is no borax on hand, you can use baking soda as an alternative. 

Apply the paste to the rust. Let it sit there for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you notice that the paste is starting to dry a little, simply spray a little water on it to moisten it again.

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Scrub the paste into the rusted area and it should remove the rust right away. If any rust remains, simply scrub it some more. Rinse and dry the area or object after you are done scrubbing.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Rust Stains?

Hydrogen peroxide definitely counts among the best simple remedies for rust stains. It is best used for removing stains from ceramics, porcelain tubs, sinks, and showers. 

You need to mix up a paste that contains one part three percent hydrogen peroxide and two parts cream of tartar. Apply the paste using a soft sponge to the affected area. Leave it there for an hour or two then scrub using a stiff-bristle brush. Rinse away what’s left of the rust with running water from a faucet.


Removing rust stains from tile and grout seems like such a complicated problem. It certainly looks like it. But there are solutions to the problem, although some of them are quite expensive. A little careful research will show you that there are simpler and more practical solutions. And that they can be found right within the comfort of your own home. That makes it easier to remove the rust whether it is on the tiles themselves or on the grout.

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