What Causes Rust Stains in Toilet Bowl

Stains that developed in your toilet, as well as your sink, shower, and bathtub, are a result of what is lurking inside the water in your home.

If you live in a building that used galvanized or iron pipes for the plumbing systems, then any acidic water that passes through them will create corrosion over time. That corrosion puts rust into the water as it passes into your fixtures. Over time, that rust creates stains on your porcelain, especially with the toilet, because there is water ever-present in the bowl.

There’s a good chance you’ll be seeing rust-colored stains on your clothing if you’re seeing a rust ring in your toilet.

How to Fix the Rust Problem

The only way to solve the problem of rust in your water supply is to replace the faulty pipes. That can be a very costly repair.

Temporary solutions to reduce or eliminate rust in the water are possible as well. You can either connect an ion exchange water softener to your water supply, preferably at the entry point for water into your home. You can also install an oxidizing filter before the water softener or add polyphosphates to your supply.

Unfortunately, some primary water supplies have high levels of iron in them, which means you may be stuck cleaning the rust stains off your porcelain for the foreseeable future.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Toilets

To get rid of a persistent rust stain, you will need to purchase a commercial rust stain remover. Several brands are available at most retail outlets that offer cleaning supplies. One popular cleaner to consider CLR: Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover.

Most cleaners that will remove stains contain some form of acid, so be careful when applying the product. Follow all manufacturer instructions and immediately rinse any cleaner that splashes onto your skin. Wash any clothing immediately and separate from other clothes.

Then you will need to scrub the rust stain until it begins to break up. Because porcelain, even when sealed, is a porous product, the stains could be partially embedded into the fixture itself. Use a stiff-bristled brush and apply the cleaner, as instructed, over multiple days and this will remove a majority of the stain.

By following these steps, you can know why your water has rust, why your fixtures have stains, and what you can do about it.

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