Coppery, annoying rust stains are not what we have in mind as a part of our design for our homes. Rust can be inevitable at times, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Rust stains can also be prevented in a number of ways so that they do not become permanent.
What is rust anyway?
In order to understand how to prevent and clean rust, it’s important to understand what it actually is. When iron and oxygen react with water or moisture, it forms iron oxide. This is why we typically see rust problems arising in our bathrooms and kitchens. Sinks fall prey to rust fairly often. Sometimes, in hard water areas, rust can also form on porcelain and not just the metals. These stains are harder to prevent and treat because as long as hard water continues to make contact with these surfaces, it will continue to build rust.
Can rust be treated with conventional cleaning methods?
The simple answer is yes. At-home rust stain removal isn’t all that complicated. Only a few materials are necessary, and the odds are, you’ve got them all on-hand:
- scrub brush
- toilet brush
- spray bottle
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lemon juice
Where to start?
Using lemon juice and baking soda, you can create a gritty paste to put on rusted surfaces. After letting it sit for some time, use your scrub brush to help rub away the rust. The citric acid in lemon helps to eat away at the rust stains. Acid-based cleaners are best where rust is involved.
Next up to bat…
Distilled white vinegar shares similar properties to lemons. They are both quite acidic, so white vinegar is also typically effective when using it to treat rust stains. Using it weekly to clean sinks and other rust-affected areas can help to keep stains at bay and contains the level of growth. Pouring white vinegar into a spray bottle and using a rag to scrub down surfaces is a quick and easy way to tackle the problem, and the scent of vinegar dissipates quickly.
You can also use white vinegar in your toilet to clean any rust build up. Pouring a cup of vinegar into the bowl and letting it sit will help to lift stains from the bowl. Using your toilet brush to scrub can be helpful in removing rust buildup, too.
It gets easier.
If you don’t have lemon or white vinegar, don’t sweat it. The gentle abrasions that baking soda has to offer can be enough to help with rust stain removal. It is gentle enough to not scratch or chip away at your hard surfaces, and is usually strong enough to get the job done on its own!
These are some of the most simple, non-toxic remedies for rust stain removal. If you have rusty surfaces, give these methods a try to restore your home back to its beautiful self.