Ugly Water/Rust Bathroom Stains: How To Get Rid Of Them

Let's face it, no one enjoys cleaning the bathroom, especially the toilet bowl. However, in the interest of keeping as "green" as possible and ridding our lives of unwanted germ, bacteria and an unpleasant sight, our blog post below covers what are those unsightly stains in the bowl, tubs and shower tiles--and how best to get rid of them.

Where The Stains Come From

There are buildups produced over time caused by hardened mineral deposits. There is also soap scum that becomes layered on shower wall tiles. Natural minerals found in water supplies, particularly calcium, magnesium and iron, form a scale on any surface in the bathroom. That being said, almost every home has this hard water problem despite the use of water softeners.

Whenever you see rust-colored stains below dripping faucets, you'll know that mineral deposits are present. Moreover, a white scale on the faucet spout is a sure indication of calcium buildup combined with magnesium and soap scum.

What To Do To Get Rid Of These Stains

While it may take longer than conventional methods, the following green tips can be more beneficial than using toilet bowl cleaners, shower tile cleaners and other chemical solutions. First off, keep all bathroom cleaning tools/products in a bucket nearby.

"Must Have Bucket Products"

  • Rubber gloves
  • Non-scratch nylon scrubber brush
  • An old toothbrush and a clean soft rag
  • Large sponge and a spray bottle
  • White vinegar, liquid detergent and a box of baking soda

Cleaning Process--The Vinegar Brigade

Our vinegar/baking soda-based solutions work very well, but it is recommended to leave the solution on the surface being cleaned about 10 minutes before wiping clean or scrubbing off.

Shower/Tub Area:

Spray with a vinegar/soap solution, and clean after showering. At minimum, clean once a week with a designated broom for cleaning.


Once a day, spray fixtures at the faucet with a vinegar solution, and wipe the water off the faucet, sink and mirror with a soft cloth.


Combine 3 tablespoons white vinegar, ½ teaspoon baking soda and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle. Now spray on the tiles! Dry off with a sponge. Use the same solution with a toothbrush to clean between grout areas.

Toilet Bowl: Ruston Water Treatment

Equally pour baking soda/vinegar solution into the toilet bowl. Wait for 10 minutes for the fizzing to finish, then scrub with a toilet cleaning brush and flush.

The Rusty Old Tub:

You'll need to squirt Dawn, Dove or Ivory liquid soap all over the tub. Let it sit for about 3 hours. Next, douse the tub with vinegar, and scrub with a dedicated bathroom broom.

Douse with more vinegar, and let it soak. Depending on the severity of your rust stains, do it again until there are no more stains seen. If you use a soap and vinegar combo from the start, it's even better.

A plumbing contractor may recommend putting in a whole-house water filtering system for your shower, drinking and cloths washing needs. Most importantly, remembering to keep your bathroom areas clean will spare you much elbow grease and even health issues later on.

We can prevent water stains in your Ruston home. Call Mark Johnson Plumbing at (318) 257-6167 for help!