State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500388
Removing Rust/Iron Stains on Bathroom Fixtures:
Rust stains come from iron in the water supply, which can only be
permanently remove through installation of an iron filter. Occasionally
iron is dissolved from rusting water pipes or mains by corrosive water.
Iron stains can be removed by a weak acid solution, usually oxalic
acid which is highly toxic and must be handled with care. Never
use chlorine bleach as this sets the iron stain.
Fresh iron stains on plumbing fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs and
chrome will generally yield to treatment with heavy duty cleaning
compounds containing large proportions of trisodium phosphate. Apply
cleaner with damp cloth, pad or sponge. Rub discolored surface until
stain is removed. Rinse. Wipe dry and polish.
Heavy, stubborn rust stains can often be removed by oxalic acid stain
remover compounds such as Zud or a tri- chloro-melanine compound such
as Barkeepers Friend. Follow directions carefully.
For rust stains already set on bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures,
dissolve oxalic acid crystals in hot water and add enough whiting or
talc to make a soft paste. Apply this poultice to stain and let dry
before removing. Rinse and polish. Use with care-it is poisonous.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with references from Purdue Extension bulletin Iron Control for the
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status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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