How to Remove Rust Stains From Tub

Although this is not our area of expertise, we thought we'd pass on this information that was tested by our employees. They are always talking about their own home repairs and we thought this was an interesting topic and solution.
Rust in the bathroom is usually the result of two related situations. Either iron-containing metals in your bathroom fixtures have begun to rust OR your mineral-rich water supply contains iron particles and has begun to stain areas where water runs. This happens even with a porcelain tub as two of our employees found out.
Bleach and Tilex made the rust stains worse and they sparked another chemical reaction, creating more rust stains on the non-skid surface on the tub floor. Other products that either made things worse or didn't work at all: Lysol, toilet bowl cleansers, Soft Scrub, Goof Off, Awesome, Comet, Simple Green, Mean Green, Magic Eraser and CLR,
However, we found 2 things that really worked: Clorox2 and Hydrogen Peroxide. The Clorox2 worked best and required less scrubbing. Just pour either product on the stain and let it sit. Then scour gently with a damp sponge and rinse. If the stains are really bad you may have to repeat the process twice.
If this is a recurring problem and the staining is chronic, there may be no way to remove the stain as it may have etched itself into the porcelain.
Most staining is not that bad and can be successfully removed if you know how but regular toilet bowl cleaners or powdered chlorine based cleansers will not solve this problem.

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 17 questions
  • Amanda Elizabeth Amanda Elizabeth on Jun 21, 2017
    How do you let it sit underneath the water tap? It just goes to the bottom
  • Judy H. Judy H. on Jul 18, 2017
    How can I put a liquid product on a vertical or downward sloping surface and "let it sit"? It runs right down the drain.
  • Rose Garrison Rose Garrison on May 21, 2018

    If you are on a well, will the hydrogen peroxide negatively affect your septic tank?

Comments

Join the conversation

3 of 306 comments
  • Kristine Poskus Kristine Poskus on Jun 19, 2020

    I haven't tried the peroxide yet but I'm going to however if you buy Lysol toilet bowl cleaner it must be the Black Bottle you can squeeze this on and let it sit for 15 minutes and just wipe it down no scrubbing required makes your white surfaces look brand new

  • Paula Zelazny Paula Zelazny on Oct 29, 2020

    i used "the works" bad news. ate the enamel off my tub. please do not use!!


Next