Asked on Sep 19, 2014

Rust in bath tub

Claudia Watts
by Claudia Watts
I have a bad rust stain that has gotten worse now. I can feel a ridge or edge going down into the surface. What if anything can be done? Would really appreciate your help, thank you. Also the second picture is stained sink that is not as bad.
  37 answers
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Sep 19, 2014
    Rust-Oleum has a tub and tile repair kit that would work on your tub.
  • Ann mize Ann mize on Sep 20, 2014
  • Claudia Watts Claudia Watts on Sep 20, 2014
    Thank you ladies for your advice. Ann, I'm going to use your idea of sanding the area first (because part of the area is so rough), then Donna, I will purchase the Rust-Oleum kit to finish it. Hope this works because the tub is only 4 years old. The reason the rust is there in the first place is my fault. One summer I had fruit flys that were coming up threw the drain and my plummer told me to use a mixture of bleach & water down the drain. I did this several times and they still kept coming, so I one day I pored just the bleach in. That's when the tub surface began to change. I could now kick myself for not following orders. Thanks again I really appreciate the help. Will follow up after the project is done and add another picture.
  • Z Z on Sep 20, 2014
    I'd use Naval Jelly first on the rust. You don't need to buy the whole repair kit. Just get a little bottle of the Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy paint. Less expensive and will work just as well.
    • See 3 previous
    • Z Z on Sep 21, 2014
      @Marion Nesbitt Naval Jelly, as Kathleen said, is a rust remover. I think the reason she had trouble was, again as she said, that she was reaching to the back of her dryer, making it difficult for proper adhesion (for lack of a better word). The jelly needs to set on the affected area for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing well with water. That again would be hard to do in the back of a dryer tub. For more information, please check out the link below.
  • Kathleen Kathleen on Sep 21, 2014
    There is a product called Barkeeper's Friend that is very similar to Comet/Ajax. It costs about the same, too, and can be purchased anywhere. I've found it at Walmart. It easily removes rust stains that regular Ajax doesn't. (although it doesn't do as good of a job that Ajax does on the other stains!) In your case, it won't help in the places where it's chipped on the porcelain, but it's a good cleaner to have around for those small rust spots before they get bad. You can buy a small tube of porcelain paint for about $5 at Home Depot and fill in the chipped areas. Very easy to do--like painting your nails!
    • See 1 previous
    • Mary Mary on Sep 21, 2014
      Barkeeper's friend is how I finally got rust stains out of my tub. I tried dozens of other products, but this worked easily and the first time. Amazing stuff.
  • Claudia Watts Claudia Watts on Sep 21, 2014
    Hi Becky, thank you for your suggestion. By the name Naval Jelly, did you mean Veseline or Petroleum Jelly? Also, does the Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy paint come in a cream color that would match the tub surface? So far this may be a better answer that would be easier, but I don't know.
    • See 2 previous
    • Jeri Hansen Jeri Hansen on Sep 21, 2014
      @Claudia Watts It's not either one. Look for it in hardware stores like Home Depot.
  • Creativeme Creativeme on Sep 21, 2014
    Your bath doesn't seem old enough to be rusting. Looks like some damage was done when the drain was put in. Do not use any bleach products for cleaning iron tubs, ect., it will make this worse. Naval jelly won't remove rust, I believe it is a rust inhibitor to stop rust. Agree with Kathleen about buying a small tube or bottle of appliancehttp Make sure all is completely dry. Last, and more work, are you sure it is the tub and not a plumbing connection at the drain with rust?Leaching out that is causing the rust. paint. Here is another Hometalk about rust.
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Sep 21, 2014
    A little CLR to clean the rust, use a sand block to remove what the CLR doesn't get and then apply the Rustoleum to fill in the holes and repair the surface color.
  • Denise Weick Denise Weick on Sep 21, 2014
    there is a tried & true "OLD" remedy, BARKEEPER'S FRIEND" I like the dry(powder-like) version, they make both wet & dry, it is like Comet or Ajax cleanser& inexpensive. It will remove the rust,while NOT scratching the surface.
  • Julie mead Julie mead on Sep 21, 2014
    Try peroxide on the stain. It's a great cleaner. Kills most germs with no scent. You can buy it in spray bottles at Walmart now. Works wonders on blood stains and laundry. Best of's cheap! It worked on my sink like that. Let it set for awhile. It will bubble the dirt and gunk out of the cracks.
  • Patricia Castrejon Patricia Castrejon on Sep 21, 2014
    We use a liquid called Whink--it's available at grocery stores and hardware stores.
    • See 1 previous
    • Pat Pat on Sep 21, 2014
      @Patricia Castrejon Whink is the best ever. It will IMMEDIATELY make rust disappear. Great for clothing also, if you have high iron-content water that leaves rust stains on your clothes. RINSE thoroughly.
  • Cathy Cathy on Sep 21, 2014
    Try RustOut it is sold at Walmart
  • Kerry Morris Kerry Morris on Sep 21, 2014
    I would try soaking it with vinegar. Then buy some enamel paint at your hardware store that matches your tub. They have little jars specifically for that.
  • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Sep 21, 2014
    I heard coke would take rust out. I want to try it my self I have a couple of stuff that I need to do.
    • See 1 previous
    • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Sep 21, 2014
      @Shari I was just thinking the same thing too :/
  • Tresha Kay Flaurr Tresha Kay Flaurr on Sep 21, 2014
    I use The Works toilet bowl cleaner. You can get it at walmart
    • @Tresha Kay Flaurr Be careful using that on any chrome/stainless faucets or fixtures though. I accidently used it in my shower thinking I had the 'Tub & Shower' bottle and now my shower fixture is permanently discolored. For my money, to remove rust stains, Barkeeper's Friend works best hands down. Never had any luck with CLR.
  • Shari Shari on Sep 21, 2014
    My husband has been a saltwater boater for years. Saltwater is very corrosive on metals so he has used Naval jelly for rust on his boat, trailer, fishing gear etc. He swears by it.
  • Debbie hays Debbie hays on Sep 21, 2014
    The works will get any rust out as I clean homes for a living. It will get anything out if anything. But be very careful when using it as it WILL take the metal finishing off. Also, be sure to wear gloves (I don't) when using it because it will burn and make your skin itch. But it will take out all sorts of stains that most products wont.
  • Daryl Daryl on Sep 21, 2014
    You need to remove the rust and then get an enamel repair kit from the hardware store. The rust will eventually eat a hole through the metal and the entire tub will need to be replaced. The Rust-Oleum kit has some decent reviews.
  • Mary Ottarski Mary Ottarski on Sep 21, 2014
    This is for the person who is looking to fix their sink it looks bad go get this to restore your tub or see it really works very well makes it brand-new like you bought it this is the name of what I used on my tub. TUB & TILE !!!!! I hope that I have helped you with your situation with your seek God bless !! My name is Mary I live in Durham North Carolina
  • Sherry  B. Sherry B. on Sep 21, 2014
    CHEAP and proven over and over by me is Bar Keepers Friend. It's next to the comet in Wal-Mart/grocery stores. It will take rust off of anything....even clothes! It also is a great cleaner of brass. Wet a rag and put some powder on the rag, wipe on brass, wait a couple minutes and rinse off. Awesome results..! Been using this for 27 years wouldn't use anything else.
    • Irene Compean T Irene Compean T on Sep 27, 2014
      I am starting to see this product only in liquid form. It does not work as well as the powder. I hope they continue to make the powder.
  • William Anderson William Anderson on Sep 22, 2014
    Coca-Cola will do the trick - the phosphoric acid found in it is also used as a rust remover - it chemically reacts nicely with iron oxide (ie rust) - don't fret, it has a different reaction with you than with rust
  • Krazy K Krazy K on Sep 22, 2014
    I agree with Sherry B, Bar Keepers friend is the BOMB!!!! they sell it at Lowe's for under $3 it comes in soft cleanser and scouring powder. Both r awesome!!!
  • Christine Jess Danbrook Christine Jess Danbrook on Sep 22, 2014
    Clean area with vinegar, let dry, then use appliance repair paint that you can buy at Walmart, it comes in a small bottle with it's own brush. Dab onto spots and let dry . Good luck.
  • Doris Doris on Sep 22, 2014
    Most important to make sure the whole area is dry before applying the new enamel paint ....use a hair dryer ...
  • Judith Dilly Judith Dilly on Sep 25, 2014
    Christine is right
  • Claudia Watts Claudia Watts on Sep 25, 2014
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
    • See 1 previous
    • Boyd Boyd on Sep 28, 2014
      @Claudia Watts You must cover the exposed metal with 'appliance type paint', sold in hardware stores. If not it will continue to rust and enlarge. As stated above, it comes in a very small bottle with a very small brush inside. After cleaning with a mild cleanser, rinse, dry completely and simply brush on over the exposed metal where the rust is. Simple solution. Use it over any other nicks in the finish of tubs, sinks etc.
  • Barbara Barbara on Sep 27, 2014
    a product called IRON OUT from HOME DEPOT has worked great for me
  • Sherry  B. Sherry B. on Sep 28, 2014
    I am telling do not scrub with Bar Keepers Friend !! Just make wet paste..rub on..wait about 5 min or longer if you want to and rinse off. It gets No easier...believe me, I am Always looking for that !! You can also remove rust off clothing with this stuff!!
  • Claudia Watts Claudia Watts on Sep 28, 2014
    Thank you Sherry, I'm going to try it tomorrow! I'll let you know after.
  • Debbie Kuhar Debbie Kuhar on Sep 29, 2014
    I read that 2 bottles of coke a cola will clean a toilet, im not sure on rust. I have a water softener, have alot of iron in my water. Go to walmarts & buy iron-out. I put in a new toilet and tub in about 5 yrs ago, and I want to keep them as good looking as new. Read the directions on back of the bottle
  • Mouse Mouse on Dec 01, 2014
    Lysol toilet bowl cleaner! Just tried it in my kitchen sink per another commenter and it works! Get the gel kind so it sticks, let it sit (I let mine sit for 30 min while looking up carpet stain removal tips), then scrub with a dish brush and rinse; rust gone!
  • Kathy Sorrentino Kathy Sorrentino on Dec 25, 2014
    this looks like the enamel is gone in these spaces you need to get a repair kit to fix the area, or have the whole thing professionally reglassed
    • See 2 previous
    • Claudia Watts Claudia Watts on Jan 11, 2016
      @Margie Margie Margie Thank you for the information, Margie. What type of professional would you suggest, a plumber?
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 25, 2014
    Get rid of the rust a acid base cleaner like The Works toilet bowl cleaner but it will have to be repaired or it will keep rusting. Kathy Sorrentino give you the right advice to repair it. Or the tub will rust in larger spots.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 29, 2015
    They also have a enamel base touch up paint I would use and allow to dry according to directions. I would use it right at the spot with the rust. A lot of appliance stores carry it.
  • Margie Margie Margie Margie Margie Margie on Jan 10, 2016
    She can do that that but it will continue to rust from the inside and her drain will eventually fall through.
  • Margie Margie Margie Margie Margie Margie on Jan 11, 2016
    I recommend you google tub repair companies and check Angie's List. Don't trust the Better Business ratings. The BBB is a scam. Have a company with bad reviews, pay the BBB and automatically your rating goes way up Don't use Royal Finish. We use a small company and they seem to take pride in their work. Also always ask for a copy of their insurance liability. Depending on the state, you also might need a worker's comp certificate. Don't be shy about asking for the info. If they are legit they have the paperwork. We require a million dollar insurance policy with our company name on the declaration line. You should even call the insurance company to verify the policy is still in effect. It's a pain but worth it. Ask for references, especially from local apartment communities or call the local apartment association in the largest near by city. They can probably recommend a good company. My overflow is rusting out but it isn't as urgent since we only take showers. Sorry for all the info. I hope you find some of it useful.