How to remove rust stains from toilet bowls

how to remove rust stains from toilet bowls

We all love a fresh, clean and shiny toilet. However, if you live in an area with hard water, your toilet bowl may be prone to rust stains. Fortunately, with just a few natural products, these stains can be a thing of the past. Here are some tried-and-true rust stain removers for porcelain toilet bowls:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Baking soda
  3. Lemon juice/ Kool-Aid
  4. Borax
  5. Essential oils

Acids are the best for breaking down rust stains. However, some acids can be so harsh they might end up damaging the material of your toilet bowl, bathtub or sink. This is why natural ingredients like lemon, which contains citric acid and vinegar, which is acetic acid-based, are preferred.

Vinegar and baking soda rust stain remover

Vinegar, because of its acidity, can work on the rust stains effectively. When mixed with baking soda, the result is a powerful stain eraser.

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda

Follow the procedure:

  1. Flush the toilet to make the bowl wet.
  2. Pour two cups of vinegar, ensuring the vinegar is well spread and mostly where the stains are
  3. Take the baking soda and spread it over the vinegar in the toilet bowl. Pour in the whole cup.
  4. Slowly pour in the last cup of vinegar, as you do this the vinegar will react with the baking soda, releasing fumes.
  5. Take a toilet brush and scrub over the stains, spreading the solution everywhere in the toilet bowl.
  6. Once done, leave the mixture to set in well and work on the stains for about half an hour.
  7. After the half-hour mark, use the toilet brush to aggressively scrub the toilet bowl until all the rust stain has come off completely
  8. Flush the toilet or pour a bucket of cold water to rinse and remove the solution.
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Video: How to remove rust stains from toilet bowls with Vinegar and baking soda

Not just for drinking: Kool-Aid removes toilet stains

Undiluted lemon juice or lemon-flavored Kool-Aid work well on rust stains because of their citric acid. Citric acid works by melting the rust stains and loosening them.

You’ll need:

  • 3 sachets of Kool-Aid, or
  • 3 cups of undiluted lemon juice

Follow the procedure:

  1. Flush the toilet to wet the bowl.
  2. Tear the sachets and pour the Kool-Aid powder on the bowl, ensuring you cover every part.
  3. Alternatively, squeeze lemons to make fresh lemon juice, then pour directly on the rust stains.
  4. Leave the lemons / Kool-Aid for 30 minutes to work on the stained area
  5. Take a toilet brush and scrub aggressively. The rust should be able to easily come off. Keep working on the stain until you’re happy with the results.
  6. Flush to rinse the toilet bowl.

Borax, vinegar and essential oils solution

Borax is an abrasive that is very effective. It works together with vinegar to easily break down rust stains on toilet bowls. Add essential oils to fight off bacteria and leave a fresh aroma. The combination of the three will work like magic on any stubborn stains in your toilet.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil

Follow these steps:

  1. Mix ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Wet the bowl by flushing the toilet and pour in all the solution.
  3. Let the solution sit for about an hour
  4. After the half-hour time frame, scrub the stained areas with a toilet brush.
  5. Keep brushing and adding borax and vinegar, depending on how set in the stains are.
  6. When you’re happy with the results, rinse with cold water or give the toilet several flushes.
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Frequently asked questions about rusty toilet bowls

What causes rust stains in toilet bowls?

Rust stains in toilet bowls form because of the iron content in your water. Water contains a lot of minerals like iron and magnesium. When the water evaporates off the sides of your toilet bowl, it leaves the mineral deposits behind, including iron. The iron mixes with the air, causing it to oxidize and leave a rust stain behind. 

How do you remove rust stains from toilet bowls, bathtubs and sinks?

Rust stains in toilet bowls, bathtubs and sinks can come off by using natural acids. The citric acid in lemons and acetic acid in vinegar usually do the trick. They are also safe for porcelain, which is the material used for most bathtubs, toilet bowls and sinks. They are also harmless and inexpensive.

Can Borax remove rust stains in toilets?

Borax is an excellent toilet stain remover. It’s comprised of sodium, oxygen, water and borons, all of which are natural and safe. For blue-green stains, rust stains and yellow stains in your toilet bowl, borax is the easiest way to clean them out.

If your toilet is suffering from blue-green stains, you can find more information about getting rid of these types of stains here.

Does bleach remove stains in toilet bowls?

No, bleach does not remove stains in a toilet bowl and mixing bleach with other ingredients could cause a dangerous reaction that might release toxic fumes which can be harmful to your health. It is advisable to always go for the natural, eco-friendly options first before trying commercial cleaners that contain toxic chemicals.

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How do you prevent hard water rust stains?

Hard water rust stains and mineral build-up can be avoided by regularly cleaning your toilet bowl, bathtub and sink with either lemon, borax or vinegar. A quick and easy way is to keep a solution of vinegar, baking powder and essential oils in a spray bottle, then every morning after regular cleaning give a little splash.

Wrapping up

Clean, sparkling toilets are pleasant to the eyes and comfortable to use. The bathroom often needs more care and attention than any other part of the house. The ingredients you’ll need are readily available in your home and cheap. Now you have no excuse to continue living with a rusty stained toilet. A clean washroom is equal to a clean, germ-free home, and a clean home is equal to a happy one.

how to remove rust stains from toilet bowls

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