A Closer Look Into How To Remove Rust Stains From Your Toilet

There is nothing more off-putting than a toilet stained brown in an otherwise spotlessly clean and hygienic bathroom. In this article we’ll discuss how to remove rust for your toilet and chat through some preventative measures you can put in place to ensure a shiny white porcelain bowl.

Unsightly Rust Stains Getting Your Down?

Nothing spoils the feeling of scrubbing a bathroom until it shines than that unsightly stain. Although we know that our toilet has been scrubbed to within an inch of it’s life, do your guests know that by looking at it’s stained appearance?

I’m Scrubbing But Nothing Seems To Be Working

If your toilet remains stained after bleaching and scrubbing it is probably due to the build-up of iron that has oxidised that has flowed into your toilet unsuspectingly along with the water. This indicates a higher than normal level of iron in the water supply. This could be caused by hard water or an indication that your pipes are old and deteriorating. However, there are ways to remove these ghastly stains AND prevent these stains from forming again.

How to remove rust

How to remove rust stains in your toilet

Although our normal go to for stains is a traditional toilet bowl cleaner or bleach, try to avoid using this in this instance as this could actually cause the rust stains to become chemically charged and even more resistant. Also try to take care when scrubbing your toilet with something harshly abrasive as this can scratch the porcelain toilet bowl and make stain removal in future even trickier.

So, get your gloves and goggles on and let’s dive right in!

Before we get started, open a window to ensure good ventilation and turn off the valve to your toilet to stop water from flowing back into your toilet bowl once you’ve flushed it.

Now that your toilet bowl is empty, the following can be done:

How to remove rust

White Vinegar For The Win

Create a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts bicarbonate of soda and smear it on to the stained area. Leave it to fizz and sizzle and then give it a good scrub with a toilet brush. Reapply the mixture as necessary until the stain from your toilet is removed.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Another method is to rub borax powder onto the toilet stains, spray with vinegar, let it soak in and scrub the stains with a toilet brush. Reapply as necessary.

How to remove rust

How to Prevent Rust Stains in Your Toilet

Now that you’ve put all that effort into removing the stains in your toilet, keep your toilet stain free by following these recommendations:

How to remove rust

Clean Your Toilet Regularly

Cleaning your toilet bowl once a week will help to prevent iron and other deposits from building up again. Aside from preventing rust build-up in your toilet, try get into a healthy bathroom cleaning routine to prevent and keep harmful germs and bacteria at bay. Be sure to use gloves during this process and always wash your hands afterwards to prevent spreading and germs around the house.

Install A Water Softening System

Installing a water softening system or adding a water filtration system will help remove rust from your toilet. A water softener is a whole-house filtration system that removes hardness-causing calcium and magnesium minerals from your water. Some of the benefits of installing a system like this is that your dishes will no longer come out of dishwasher stained. On an aside from that your electrical appliances like your Kettle will thank you as the scale build up from your pipes won’t attach itself to the heating elements.

Water Softening System
Installing New Plumbing

Upgrade Your Plumbing

When issues like reduced water pressure, overflowing toilets, water discolouration or sluggish drains begin to emerge it may be time to upgrade your old, deteriorated plumbing system as rust will continue to be a problem as your pipes deteriorate further. When your plumbing system starts to break down, look for tell-tale signs and call your friendly Plumber In Cape Town to come in and assess the problem. Signs that your plumbing system is failing are things like:

  1. Water stains on the walls
  2. Leaks
  3. Physical changes to your plumbing pipes like dents or cracks
  4. Water discolouration
  5. Unpleasant odours
  6. Minimal to low water pressure


At Absolute Plumbing Cape Town we recommend cleaning your toilet regularly to keep your toilet rust free. The only way to permanently stop rust deposits in your toilet is to upgrade certain parts of your plumbing system. Call us today for more tips on to how to remove rust from your toilet and let’s make gross toilet stains a thing of the past!