Tips for Removing and Preventing Rust Stains in Your Toilet Bowl

We’ve all heard of the term, “bathroom humor.” But there’s nothing funny about a dirty bathroom. And one of the biggest eyesores is a toilet with rust stains around the bowl. Even if the rest of the bathroom is sparkling-clean, rusty streaks can be off-putting for household members and guests alike.

What causes rust stains on toilets?

Rust stains in the toilet bowl typically indicate that there are higher levels of iron in the water supply. This may not pose a health risk, but the iron particles can oxidize and turn to a distinct red-brown color. If you have an older home, the iron may be coming from old pipes that are deteriorating. 

How to clean rust stains

Unless you have an especially queasy stomach, rust stains are not that difficult to remove from a toilet bowl. The trick is using appropriate cleaning products. 

  • Do not use bleach, as it can make the rust stain even worse
  • Avoid using an abrasive scrubber that could scratch the porcelain surface
  • Try a homemade cleaning solution – either 1-part vinegar and 1-part water as a spray; or 3-parts baking soda and 1-part vinegar as a paste
  • Use a toilet brush or non-abrasive scouring brush to scrub the bowl
  • Don’t forget to wear proper safety gear such as rubber gloves and goggles
  • Turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to remove most of the water from the bowl
  • For extra stubborn rust stains, try commercial cleaning products such as Borax or Bar Keepers Friend

Upgrading your plumbing

Cleaning is important for keeping your toilet rust-free, but it doesn’t fix the issue of iron in the water. To prevent stains from appearing in the first place, you may need to upgrade parts of your plumbing system

  • Replacing old iron pipes with new copper or PEX piping
  • Adding a water filtration system to filter iron and other particles from the incoming water supply
  • Installing a water softener system to remove a variety of minerals

Professional plumbers in New Haven and Fairfield Counties

While a rust-stained toilet can look rather gross, it doesn’t qualify as a plumbing emergency. However, if you want a solution to address the iron level in your water or any other plumbing issue, you can always Rick’s Plumbing. Our professional team is ready to help – call us today at (203) 874-6629.