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Rust stains in the toilet, tub or sink can happen for a few reasons. But mainly it's caused from a high iron content in the water and is particularly common with well water systems.

Getting rid of rust stains from porcelain can be difficult to impossible if you use common household scouring powders. They work great for food stains but won't work for removing stains from rust and mineral deposits.

In the tutorial Removing Rust Stains From Toilets, Tubs and Sinks, I'll tell you about a several different products and methods for ridding your porcelain of those unsightly rust stains.


October 29, 2007 at 1:49 pm
(1) Tiffany says:

I can not even believe the picture that went along with this article. As a full time working professional woman it really bothers me. Please join us in 2007.

October 29, 2007 at 4:45 pm
(2) homerepair says:

Oh please…lighten up! We’re talking about cleaning a toilet bowl here, not your career.

November 8, 2007 at 10:31 pm
(3) carol says:

Pumice??? You’ve got to be kidding — my husband RUINED the relatively new toilet with it.

And I don’t care if you show a monkey cleaning the toilet in the picture. I actually found it kind of amusing that it looks like a family outing.

November 10, 2007 at 9:32 am
(4) homerepair says:

LOL family outing! You have to remember that back in the 50′s they apparently didn’t have much to do. (C’mon Carol, “monkey” is a little rough though!).

Sorry about your husband’s bad pumice experience. You have to be careful with that one but it does work if done properly using lots of water and GENTLE pressure.

November 23, 2007 at 9:44 pm
(5) peter says:

It’s called routine maintenance using good ajax once a week

June 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm
(6) Sue says:

You do not know how many times a week I SCRUB my toilet….This does NOT work.
Routine maintenance? Hahahahahahaha
This kinda upset me!

August 3, 2008 at 7:57 am
(7) Srini K ( Toronto) says:

Amazing !!!
There was a nasty rust mark in the toilet bowl of my rental property. Tenants were complaining. I tried CLR, Iron Out and lots of scrubbing. All no use. I started checking out to replace the toilet.
Then I came across a forum, where our net friends mentioned about Lysol Power. With mixed feelings I tried it. Just poured it inside all around. About 30 mins later I went to check. And the most amazing thing happened. There was no rust mark anymore. It disappeared like magic without any scrubbing for less than 3$.
My respect of Lysol has increased a lot. Folks, try this magic liquid for removing rust.

October 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm
(8) Mjoy says:

I have found that using “Barkeepers Friend” and a clorox Magic Eraser works very well and it doesn’t take much time. Where I live the iron in the water leaves streaks that I have to work on at least every other day. This combination works well.

November 16, 2008 at 10:36 am
(9) Dave says:

Get a grip Tiffany.

June 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm
(10) Lisa says:

I just found something that works s.o.s. pads and scrubbing very hard :)

July 3, 2009 at 8:25 am
(11) Lisa says:

As a woman in 2009 (or 2007) you should be confident enough in yourself to not be bothered by antiquated images of housewives cleaning toilets ;)
As Dave said…Get a Grip.
Now, I have to go and get my toilet scouring dress on…I have important housework to tend to.

August 25, 2009 at 4:03 pm
(12) Dabney says:

You were right Mjoy !!

August 30, 2009 at 7:23 pm
(13) Johney says:

Tiffany sounds like an Obamunist.

September 8, 2009 at 9:37 pm
(14) Don Brown says:

We have received fantastic (a bit stimulating) before and after photos from our customers that use our phosphoric acid based product.

I am the president of the company, and I am the one that cleans the toilets in our house! When you have the tools jobs can almost be fun.. almost.

December 31, 2009 at 10:32 am
(15) Dee Duerson says:

I always, always, use Bar keepers friend, gentle for your porcelain and you can use it in with your laundry soap. Ive been using it for years.

January 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(16) Janet says:

Don’t be so picky Tiffany. I thought it was cute, but I remember those pics from old Look mags & Life & Readers Digest. Ages me doesn’t it.

February 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(17) tom says:

Try “Rust out”.

February 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(18) June Clever says:

Tiffany Don’t forgett to wear you Rubber Gloves and Cleaning Dress on along with your Strands Of White Pearls. Heavens Sakes Why not show the kids how to do the domestic things such as cleaning …..etc. Make it Fun

April 19, 2010 at 9:49 am
(19) sandy says:

Obviously some of the folks commenting here do not have a REAL RUST PROBLEM! When all else fails buy a new toilet! It is a real tough problem.

June 13, 2010 at 10:23 pm
(20) Barbara says:

I live remote on 40 acres & have a well; our water is full of rust. Cleaning the toilets is a nightmare-there is rust in both tank & bowl. I found a wonderful product GREASED LIGHTENING POWER PROFESSIONAL STRENGTH TOILET BOWL CLEANER (good for septics) at Lowes, but they don’t carry it anymore. I tried to find it on the Web but no luck. You just pour it on, rub & rinse. Anyone know where to get it?

July 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm
(21) CJ says:

What I use is a paste made with cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. I works everytime.

August 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm
(22) Johnny says:

“Tiffany says:
I can not even believe the picture that went along with this article. As a full time working professional woman it really bothers me. Please join us in 2007″

PLEASE lady, get a life and get over yourself! Your job is barefoot and pregant to begin with-

September 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm
(23) Tom says:

One word. Vinegar.

October 22, 2010 at 11:57 am
(24) Nick says:

I too used pumice and which left scratches at the water line, which now is the first area to catch dirt, etc. BE CAREFUL with Pumice!!

October 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm
(25) Marc says:

Tiffany, get over it! There are many more important things to get in a huff about than an old drawing like this one.

November 18, 2010 at 10:35 am
(26) Tom says:

Now I’m wondering what Tiffany’s toilet looks like. As a hard-working professional woman, Tiffany probably has little time to clean her toilet. And she spends a lot of time being mad. On second thought, I don’t think I want to see Tiffany’s toilet.

December 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm
(27) Purr Purr Jones says:

Tiffany…get a life

December 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm
(28) Tanya says:

Who cares about Tiffany!!! I’m here to fix my toilet not read
Peoples opinion of a stranger!!!

January 15, 2011 at 11:35 am
(29) jazzop says:

Tiffany has a right to be startled by that picture. You have a right not to be. Get over it.

January 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm
(30) homerepair says:

Ohhhhh ppplleeeaaaasseee! She has a “right” to be offended? Give me a break. You’re the PC police for everyone now? This site is for people who clean their own toilets and aren’t thin skinned prima donnas. Get over it.

January 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm
(31) ItsHim says:

The blame should be placed of the toilet mfr. They are the people that do not do a good job of spraying the inside surfaces of toilet forms with porceline before they are fired. A thicker layer would surely help. The thin layer that they do put down quickly errodes exposing the course material which traps rust much more easily. What is needed is for Glass mfr. to start producing toilets.

January 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm
(32) Helen says:

Our upstairs toilet has brown stuff in the bottom, inside the drain hole that will not come out. I assume it is rust. The brush can’t reach it. I always have used bleach or comet or something and never had this before.

the downstairs toilet is fine

We live in a soft water area and the pipes are plastic

but both the tanks have rust of course… What is this from and how to get rid of it

I can’t reach it to scrub it

March 7, 2011 at 10:53 am
(33) Happi says:

Ta Da!!!! after reading all comments and product ideas i went and tackled the bowl problem with
Comet & Magic eraser and it’s done….no monkey, no rubber gloves, no mess and no mean comments….I pick my battles and the toliet bowl was the only one and I WON!!!

March 8, 2011 at 9:54 am
(34) Maggie says:

I to am a working woman. I am a wife to a soldier and a mother to two.Why the photo upsets you is beyond me because regaurdless of your profession, like it or not, you still have to clean your toilettes. And realistically its a job women do becuase if we dont it wont get done ;)

March 31, 2011 at 7:04 pm
(35) nate says:

Many lols, its just a pic, anyway what is so bad about a house wife. my mom is a house wife and does a great job. No need to be pridefull.

June 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm
(36) Grant says:

Why can’t we all just get along. We’re talking about how to clean your toilet for goodness sakes!!!!

June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm
(37) Joe says:

tytyty….just read a post on rust stains and it worked lol…no muss no fuss etc…just poured some cleanser….any brand on a magic eraser and away it went…

October 27, 2011 at 8:59 am
(38) Marty says:

This is for Barbara (20) whose comment were:

“I live remote on 40 acres & have a well; our water is full of rust. Cleaning the toilets is a nightmare-there is rust in both tank & bowl. I found a wonderful product GREASED LIGHTENING POWER PROFESSIONAL STRENGTH TOILET BOWL CLEANER (good for septics) at Lowes, but they donít carry it anymore. I tried to find it on the Web but no luck. You just pour it on, rub & rinse. Anyone know where to get it?”

I called the company and found out they no longer make this product but now manufacture the exact same thing with the exact ingredients under the name The Works. I have found this product at Wal-Mart.

I also live in a rural area with a septic and have used,with great success, a product (also available at Wal-Mart) called Rust Stain Remover manufactured by Whink–brown plastic bottle, 16 oz., UPC 0 702759 8, about $6.00. If you need to contact Whink, their number is 1-800-247-5102, weekdays 9-4 CST.

January 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm
(39) sue Merzanis says:

magic eraser and comet!!!!!

April 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm
(40) Lorrene says:

I want a can of that stuff the woman in the picture is using. She is just pouring it in and evidently it works because you can tell she isn’t on her knee’s scrubbing. She is even dressed for church.

August 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm
(41) Leanna says:

Just used sos pad, rust stains are gone, didn’t have to scrub hard either

September 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm
(42) Sunny says:

Helen – That upstairs toilet? Try this: First shut off the water supply to the toilet tank and flush it to drain as much water as possible. Then use a bucket to dump about 3 gallons of plain water in the toilet bowl. Do this step pretty quickly to get as much water out of the bowl as possible. Then try using an old toothbrush along with a cleanser such as comet to clean the bowl areas that are difficult to access.

September 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm
(43) growing granny says:

Tried the comet and scrubbing pad. Left black marks where the rust marks once were :(
Going to try the safe for septic rust remover described above.

November 30, 2012 at 1:35 am
(44) Ann says:

I remove rust toilet stains using a wet SOS pad sprinkled with Comet powder or any cleaning power. Takes 15 seconds. I couldn’t even find the suggested products in many articles.

December 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm
(45) CM says:

The works can also be purchased at the dollar tree, used to buy it at Wal-Mart. Works great and there is also one made for the tub….

January 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm
(46) Sarah says:

Please do not use an SOS pad or bleach on your fixtures! Bleach can damage the rubber gaskets in toilets and jetted tubs, which can cause far more damage than having a rust spot in your toilet bowl. As far as the steel wool goes, you shouldn’t ever scrub your toilet with anything that’s harder than the porcelain finish. It will remove it, much like sanding a piece of wood. That’s why pumice is recommended – it is softer than the porcelain and shouldn’t scratch it.

January 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm
(47) Robin says:

Wow! This was more fun than Facebook! LOL

January 19, 2013 at 10:16 am
(48) Melissa says:

I have rust stains in the toilet and in the shower the best fix it to clean the bathroom with SOS pad and barmaids. I use IRON OUT once a month to help with anything that I couldnt take out with the sos pad. But For the most part my shower and toilet are white. I live in old farm house and we have well water. We dont drink our water because of the Iron and what nots in it. But If you clean like you are s’pose to you dont need to replace it just clean it . Nothing wrong with little elbow greese.

April 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm
(49) Gelgamark says:

Because women don’t clean toilets? Lol there’s no way you have a “career” with that lack of intelligence.

May 1, 2013 at 9:59 am
(50) Big Mike says:

I also recommend Bar Keepers Friend. It’s inexpensive and has many other uses also.

June 11, 2013 at 8:43 am
(51) Nikki says:

I have grey and brown stains that look like corrosion at the bottom of my toilet. Do you think any of these suggestions would also work for that? I’m not sure what caused then I can’t seem to get them off. Thanks!!

June 15, 2013 at 11:27 am
(52) ackeegrl says:

Lysol toilet cleaner works wonders. No scrubbing. Just pour the thick liquid around the bowl and it just covers the bowl as it flows to the bottom…..it removes anything stuck to the bowl like magic…..had rust in one tiolet and nothing else cleaned it and I just poured it in one day left it overnight and next morning it was clean…..

June 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm
(53) Sarah says:

Geez, I’ve been reading the comments left by everyone and I have to say I think you should get a life! I thought a public forum was for expressing opinions not suppressing them! But on the toilet front, I’ve always used just plain white vinegar to keep my toilets clean.

September 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm
(54) Anna says:

It is the Lysol with the black bottle that removes rust. It is amazing!!!!! Just pour it around bowl and leave for an hour or so and it removes all the rust stains instead of scrubbing Awesome!

October 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm
(55) suzanne says:

I found a wonderful product called The Works, for Toilets and The works for Shower and Tub. It took all the Rust out of my toilet and Tub & Shower the first time. The toilet cleaner has to sit if the rust is really bad.

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