Asked on Aug 07, 2016

How do I clean a rusty bathtub?

Kathy Powers
by Kathy Powers
There are several metallic stains and other stains that bleach and lime remover don't remove. Part of the ceramic coat is gone! Any help, please. I'm sure my landlord is not up to this! I'd like the greenest solutions to my problem. Any ideas about how to discourage my cat from licking this is also helpful. Thank you.
Black spot, ceramic gon. Yellow spot, who knows Gritty down stain-don't know
  36 answers
  • Christine Christine on Aug 07, 2016
    Not green, but Zud Cleanser does wonders on rust. I've used the powder in the past with fantastic results.
  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Aug 07, 2016
    Zud does a good job but I prefer CLR. Again it is not green but does a good job. If you have a good hardware store near you why not go and see if they have a recommendation on how to fix. Often they can be very helpful. You might want to let the landlord know you are intending to try to repair it. As for your cat licking it, maybe she likes the roughness of it or has an iron deficiency? Maybe check her gums or call the vets office and ask them if you should have a concern about her doing that.
    • See 1 previous
    • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Aug 07, 2016
      Maybe she is just saying I love you, myself, my home and my playmate LOL. I think I would call the vets office first and see what they think of what she is doing. May just need a vitamin supplement. Could just be a habit that she has.
  • Lynn Lynn on Aug 07, 2016
    Try peroxide.
  • Joan Joan on Aug 07, 2016
    Use Barkeepers Friend.Sprinkle it ion let it sit use a non scratching pad.It took the rust off our pool deck !!
  • Randy Grey Randy Grey on Aug 07, 2016
    your landlord has to replace this the health bureau or landlords and tenants act if not.
  • Linda Wright Linda Wright on Aug 07, 2016
    you can try a product called krud kutter if that doesn't work I don't know what else will.
  • William William on Aug 07, 2016
    You've got chipping porcelain. The tub would need to be refinished or replaced. That would be your landlords responsibility. No amount of cleaning would remove rust off metal.
  • Patti Nicholas Patti Nicholas on Aug 07, 2016
    BarKeepers Friend will get the stain off the porcelain, and a pumice stone (yup just like you use on your feet, but get a block from the cleaning aisle, it's cheaper) will get rid of the rough mineral stains (that gritty spot) from the hard water. but the rust is coming from the cast iron area that the porcelain has chipped away from. That will have to be refinished. It would be lovely if your landlord would do this and yes, it should be professionally done, but this is the real world and landlords face the same financial constraints the rest of us do and can't always fix something immediately that technically is still working. As a temporary fix, you can get a kit at most hardware and DIY stores that will patch the porcelain. It is TEMPORARY but should last several months at least. (My Mom did a spot on her guest bath in the 80's and its still there) Just tell them you are looking for a porcelain tub and tile patch kit. Now it looks to me as though there may be water still dripping on the area which is just aggravating the problem and probably why your cat likes licking it. Try a heavy sprinkling of cayenne pepper, the cat will smell it and move on, after many sneezes of course. just be sure to wash it away before you get in.
  • J747725427 J747725427 on Aug 07, 2016
    Use a pumice stick it will remove rust. Concerning hole or missing porcelain you can use bondo to fill then sand it smooth have landlord refinish your tub .
  • Sue  T Sue T on Aug 07, 2016
    There is a product called "Iron Out". I have found it locally (Southern Alabama) It is NOT Non toxic, so do Not let the cat get to it, it is a powder, but wet the rusty area with water, then sprinkle the powder on it, let it sit for several minutes then stopper the tub and run a little water in the tub and let that soak awhile, Anywhere the solution touches will be rust free in a few minutes. Don't breathe the fumes, open windows, avoid being closer than a few feet away from this. When the porcelain is back to the beautiful white it is supposed to be, turn on the water and rinse the tub completely, Use Cold Water ONLY. I know you wanted Nontoxic, and this is Definitely NOT, but it Does work and it works fast.
  • Lyn2398900 Lyn2398900 on Aug 07, 2016
    BarKeepers Friend is right on. Patti has good advice.
  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Aug 08, 2016
    I'm sorry but you can go to this page look for something to work. I know it is there. You paint it on leave and then use appliance something to cover. You can even call them and they can help you do something to help you out now.
  • D'Sapone D'Sapone on Sep 22, 2016
    We would eliminate all the stains with our most powerful cleaner that soaks deep into the surface bring a cleanliness, which you have never imagined before.
  • Holly Jones Holly Jones on Oct 21, 2016
    Bar Keepers Friend, is all I have to say!!! It works awesome, with a little elbow grease to go along with it.
  • Sherry Marie Sherry Marie on Jul 04, 2018

    Bleach will eat porcelain up. When I prep a car to paint I use comet and a red scuff pad to get it super clean.

  • Amazing Grace ! Amazing Grace ! on Dec 13, 2021

    Go buy yourself a toilet stone. That will remove anything.

  • Kathy Powers Kathy Powers on Dec 13, 2021

    I moved!

  • Dmholt4391 Dmholt4391 on Dec 30, 2021

    Liquid rust remover from walmart, in a rust colored bottle. -And maybe some comet or bar keeper's friend.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 05, 2022

    Hello, hope these help you out,

    1. Use a rust remover. This one is probably pretty obvious, and if you’ve spent any time in your supermarket’s or hardware store’s cleaner aisle, you know that there are several different products on the market that claim to remove rust on contact. It really is true: rust removers usually work great because they immediately oxidize the rust without any scrubbing. All you have to do is rinse it away, and your sink or tub looks sparkling clean. However, many homeowners are hesitant to use commercial rust removers because they contain harsh chemicals that give off terrible fumes and can make you lightheaded. These products can even cause burns on your skin if they’re not handled properly. Plus, many people are looking for a more eco-friendly way to clean their sinks and tubs. If that’s you, you’ll want to try another method.
    2. Use Shaw’s Pads. If you don’t mind using a little elbow grease, Shaw’s Pads are an effective, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly way to clean up stains on porcelain and ceramic surfaces. Plumbers swear by these because they work well and don’t leave scratches. If you can’t find them at your local hardware store, you can easily order them online. (
    3. Use pumice. An ordinary pumice stone is also a good way to remove rust, especially from porcelain, since it won’t scratch or damage your surface. Simply wet the stone, wet the rusty surface, and then rub the stone lightly over the surface to remove the rust.
    4. Use lemon juice and salt. Two pantry staples can work in combination to clean off the rust and make your kitchen or bathroom smell lemony fresh. Make a paste using salt and enough lemon juice (bottled is fine) to get a thick consistency. Apply the paste to the rust, let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes, and then scrub it off with a scrubber sponge.
    5. Use baking soda and vinegar. For tougher rust stains, make a paste of two other pantry staples: three parts baking soda and one part vinegar. Apply it to the rusty surface with a scrub sponge, and let it sit for an hour. When you rinse it off, the rust should be gone, though, for more severe stains, you may need to repeat the process.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Aug 01, 2022

    I have several cleaning tutorials that might help you

  • John alam John alam on Oct 30, 2022

    with the help of your post i clean my floral studio bath thanks for sharing this great idea

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 04, 2022

    1. Make a paste using baking soda and a little water. The amount of paste you’ll need will depend on how much of your tub is affected with rust. Start small and make more if it’s necessary.
    2. Spread the paste on the areas of your tub that have rust stains.
    3. Let this sit overnight.
    4. The next morning, gently scrub the paste away with the microfiber cloth.
    5. Rinse any remaining baking soda from the tub.
    6. Repeat as needed.

  • Cerama Bryte. Worked magic on my sink.

  • Kathy Powers Kathy Powers on Jul 30, 2023

    I moved!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 16, 2023

    Try WD-40 , let it sit a while before you try to wipe it off. Close the Topilet or Bathroom door at all times to deter cat!

  • Janice Janice on Aug 16, 2023

    I've had good results on rust and hard water stains using CLR (calcium, lime, rust remover). No idea why the cat is licking that area but just keep the cat out of the bathroom so you don't have to worry about it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 16, 2023

    Either repair or replace.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 06, 2023

    Don't let the cat in the bathroom - Close the dooe at all times!

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Sep 06, 2023

    Vinegar: This all-purpose household cleaner is also great for keeping your faucets and showerheads clean. Pour 3 parts white vinegar and 1 part water into a spray bottle. Generously spray the rust stain with the solution and let it soak so the vinegar can break down the rust and mineral buildup.

  • Karl Karl on Sep 16, 2023

    Use clr or bartenders friend cleanser. If you want it to be permanent use navel jelly or other rust converter. Rust converters change the surface chemistry to prevent rust from reforming. It will convert it to a black color so you will need white epoxy paint to change it to white. If there are any holes use epoxy putty to fill them in before painting. Before each coating wait for never jelly to dry, then the epoxy putty, then the paint.

  • Lottie Finney Lottie Finney on Sep 17, 2023

    I used bar keepers friend and a Mr clean eraser and mine comes off.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 26, 2023

    Landlord should pay for it to be replaced.