Rust stains quickly make your bath an unsightly prospect.
If you’ve ever accidentally left a can of shaving foam sitting on the bath then you’ll have probably come across bath rust stains at some point. The contact of the metal on the wet surface of the bath can quickly develop a circle of rust. These bath rust stains can often be removed fairly easily if you catch it quick, but if, for example, you’re only shaving every few days then the stain will linger and be much harder to remove.
But how do these rust stains appear? And more importantly, how do we get rid of them?
Preventing Rust Stains
Before we get into the nitty gritty of removing rust stains from your bath, let’s first take a look at how you can prevent them forming in the first place. As already mentioned, don’t leave metal cans sitting on the surface of your bath like I did. In fact, don’t leave anything that has metal at the bottom sitting on the surface of the bath at all. Put all of these items away into a storage cupboard, or on a surface that’s not going to be wet (be sure to wipe the bottom of the item after use).
It’s not just cans of shaving cream that can cause rust though; sometimes the problem can be the water itself. Areas with hard water are especially prone to various stains and limescale build-up on the bath and fixtures around it. This is due to higher levels of iron and calcium in the water, and when water is left to dry on the surface these elements undergo oxidation and leave behind those unsightly looking stains.
If you live in a hard water area then one way you can combat it is by buying a water softener. These usually work through an ion-exchange process, whereby the magnesium and calcium ions found in hard water are replaced by sodium ions.
The simplest prevention method is to remember to wipe down surfaces after use. That way the water doesn’t have time to linger and form that dastardly iron residue.
Removing Rust Stains
Ok, so you didn’t manage to prevent it this time around. But let’s not worry about it now; we can still get rid of those pesky rust stains!
“BUT HOW THOMAS?!?” you’re no doubt crying. Don’t fret, the solution is coming if you move your eyes a bit further down the page.
Just a bit further.
Pumice stones: Good for your feet and your bath!
A Pumice stone!
There you go!
“What? That thing I use to clean dead skin off my feet?”
Yep, although you should probably purchase one simply for rust removal only. The pumice stone needs to be real by the way, and that means proper volcanic rock and not a cheap imitation that shady guy down the street sold you for 10p. The latter won’t do much to remove the stain, and you don’t want to end up scratching a porcelain bath because you’ve used the wrong thing.
Simply wet the pumice stone and use it to gently scrub at the rust stain. You’ll notice that the pumice stone begins to form a paste as you scrub, so just spread the paste around the stain as you continue to work the stone. Make sure to rinse the stone and affected area a few times during scrubbing to prevent smearing. Eventually you’ll have removed the stain, although if any residue remains you can use a apply a smattering of baking soda, before scrubbing the stain with a toothbrush to finish up.
What if the pumice stone doesn’t work?
If the pumice stone hasn’t done the trick then there is another method to adopt, and it involves vinegar or lemon juice.
Add one part water and one part white vinegar or lemon juice to a spray bottle. Spray the affected area with your solution, before scrubbing away with a hard bristled brush. You’ll have to put a bit of elbow grease into it, but it should completely remove the stain.