Most of the time these stains aren’t necessarily the result of rust problems in your plumbing system or even in the water authority’s pipelines. Any water with high iron content can leave these stains behind over time, even if the water tastes normal and appears to be clear. So if you live in an area with lots of iron deposits underground, that iron is probably leaching into the groundwater and could potentially lead to these troublesome porcelain stains.
In sinks and tubs, the place where these stains most frequently form is in the little ridge around the drain. If you have a leaky faucet, there may also be brown stains right where the water drips.
If there’s a brownish ring around the water line or brown streaks leading down from the outlets where water flows into the bowl, these may be rust stains that won’t come clean with the usual toilet cleaner and scrub brush. It usually takes a good amount of contact between rusty water and porcelain for tough stains to appear, so you’re most likely to see this in areas where there’s always standing water, like your toilet bowl.
To cleaning those stains, you have your work cut out for you -- over time, severe rust stains can permanently etch themselves into the porcelain. But you could also try these trusted remedies:
Even bleach is a poor match for tough rust stains. Look for a cleanser that contains hydrochloric acid and is safe for use as a tub and tile cleaner. Follow the safety instructions carefully, as these products are hazardous if mishandled.
Lemon juice and salt
A wet paste of lemon juice and salt is a potent combination that can effectively attack rust stains if given time to penetrate. It doesn’t form a sticky paste, so it’s tough to use this technique on a toilet bowl, but it works great on flat surfaces like sink and tub drains. Let the mixture soak for at least 15 minutes or up to several hours, then scrub away with a toothbrush.
No sink, toilet or tub is made to last forever, and etched-in rust stains may have you thinking about replacement. At JCN Plumbing we have the best market prices for toilet replacements. We are currently running a special price for this service. If you are in the Miami Dade or Broward area, contact us for a free estimate.