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Are you noticing brownish stains in your sink or your tub? If you’ve tried casually removing them but found that you couldn’t, that’s a sign you’ve got rust coming through your faucet. (Feel free to groan in frustration.) Where on earth does this rust come from? Well, from your water! More specifically, aged, rusty pipes are one major source of rust in your water. Another common source would be if your home has hard water – meaning you’ve got minerals such as iron flowing through your water and scaling on the surface of your plumbing fixtures.

Unfortunately, municipal water treatment facilities in Phoenix are not obligated to manage the hardness of your water in the same way they have to for toxic pollutants and diseases, allowing for many particles to pass through and reach your home plumbing system, wreaking havoc on your pipes, appliances, and fixtures.

Read more about how water treatment in your home can help.

So, how do you remove rust stains from your sink and tub?

There are a number of ways to combat the rust building on your sink or tub.

how to remove rust from sink

Commercial cleaners and rust removers 

This is something you’d normally find at your local grocery stores or online. They are a common remedy for eliminating rust stains on your plumbing fixtures, including brands like Bar Keepers Friend, Lysol and OxiClean. These products chemically oxidize the surface without needing to scrub, removing the likes of lime, calcium, and rust particles which have a habit of scaling and dampening the cleanliness of your bathroom. But because of their chemical nature, some homeowners tend to avoid using products producing fumes from harsh chemicals in their home. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options for stain removal to choose from.


Whether in the form of a stick or stone, pumice is used to remove rust stains particularly on porcelain surfaces (although it may damage other surfaces, like fiberglass, for instance). Simply wet the surface being cleaned and the pumice, and lightly scrub over the stain to remove the rust.

Lemon and salt 

This is an easily accessible home remedy for rust stains. Whether squeezed fresh from a lemon or pre-bottled, mix the lemon juice with enough salt to form a paste-like consistency over the target stain. Let the paste sit, even as long as several hours depending on the stain (ideally overnight for the tough ones). Then, scrub away with a toothbrush, a scrubbing sponge, or a microfibre cloth, and rinse with water.

Baking soda and white vinegar 

This is another typical remedy found in households for removing rust stains. Three parts baking soda, one part vinegar, and you’ve got yourself a potent enough remover for those annoyingly tough stains. Apply with a scrubber sponge on the stained surface, then let it sit for an hour. Finally, rinse away and the stain should be gone. If not, you probably just need to repeat the process.

Another DIY option would be using a potato! Seriously! Cut a potato in half and dip the inside of one of the halves into either dish soap or baking soda. Then, simply scrub the stain. When the surface of the potato is worn down enough, slice for a fresh surface, dip it in your cleaning product again, and continue scrubbing. Repeat this process until the stain has been eliminated.


How do you prevent rust stains in the first place?

It’s good to have plenty of options for removing the presence of rust stains on your plumbing fixtures, but wouldn’t it be even better if you can prevent them from happening at all?

There are small habits that can go a long way when keeping your tubs clean. For instance, keep metallic objects away from the surface of your tub, typically shaving cream cans, hairsprays, and cleansers have a metal bottom. If you can find another surface to place it on that doesn’t get wet, you’ll be sure to keep those rust rings at bay.

Another helpful habit would be to wipe down the surface of your tub after every use. Again, minerals such as iron flowing through your water will sit upon the surface of your tub, and scale overtime if it isn’t removed. If you simply wipe it clean after you’ve showered or bathed, then you eliminate the particles that would otherwise have been sitting there after your tub has dried for hours until the next time your faucet is turned on.

Obviously, replacing old, rusting pipes will eliminate a major source of rust particles flowing through your water line and scaling on your fixtures. If you have a much older home, you’ll more likely run into this as the source of your problem as opposed to much newer homes.

Water softeners are also a popular preventative measure and do well to combat hard water, ultimately preventing any staining as a result of the build-up of any minerals on your pipes, appliances, and fixtures.

water treatment in phoenix

Improve Your Water Quality

From Ion-Exchange to Reverse Osmosis, water softeners are either neutralizing the bonding of these minerals or removing them entirely, giving you fresh, clean water that is kind to your fixtures and plumbing system as a whole. You’ll use less elbow-grease cleaning, that’s for sure!

At Deer Valley Plumbing, we have plenty of options for improving the quality of your water to meet your home and budgetary needs.

Don’t wait any longer for high-quality water – call us today!

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