How to Remove Rust Stains from Toilet?

Remove rust stains form toilet

Rust stains in a toilet look pretty awful, and besides this, they are tough to clean. Bathtubs, sinks, commode all are made out of porcelain. Porcelain is rust-resistant, but the metal attached to it is usually not. I have personally experimented with some stuff, and I will be sharing that with you.

How to remove rust stains from toilet? To remove rust stains from the toilet; firstly, start with using household items like vinegar, baking soda, lemon, or harpic powerplus. These will remove mildly rusted stains. It is best to have commercial removers like CLR PRO, Iron OUT, POR-15 40701 Rust Remover for heavily rusted surfaces. Some may need scrubbing with an abrasive material like a pumice stick and shaws pad.

Rusty toilet is not uncommon, despite stainless steel piping we still often encounter them. This is due to deposits of salts, mainly calcium. These salts not only destroy the aesthetics but also prone the piping to leakages. Therefore this needs to be addressed properly.

A. Household methods to Remove Rust Stains from Toilet

Household methods to remove rust stains from toilet are an easy and affordable alternative to expensive and unconventional industrial grade rust removers. I prefer to use household products for mild to moderate rusts and only jump to industrial-grade removers for heavily rusted stains.

Below I have elaborated the methods.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda to Remove Rust Stains from Toilet

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar, if left for long on rusty surfaces, removes the stains very well. But vinegar can’t stay on incline surfaces for long. To solve this problem, we need to sprinkle baking soda over it. The method is pretty simple:

  1. Make sure to dry out the surface. Drain water from the tank and mop walls dry with a piece of cloth.
  2. Spray white vinegar on the rusty surface, and then sprinkle baking soda over the vinegar. Spray a second layer of vinegar over the baking soda. This will help retain vinegar better.
  3. For better results, I recommend waiting for few hours.
  4. Now using Aluminum foil, make a ball out of it and scrub the stains with it. You can also use steel wool for the same purpose.
  5. Wash the surface with water and make sure to dry it out.
  6. Repeat the process if necessary.

2. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice to Remove Rust Stains from Toilet

Baking Soda and Lemon

Lemon juice contains citric acid in good quantities. Making a paste of it and baking soda can be handy for removing rust stains from the toilet. Although heavy stains can be difficult to remove, a steel-wired brush can make the job easy. The steps are simple:

  1. Squeeze freshly cut lemons for juice in quantities sufficient for the project.
  2. Add equal quantities of baking soda to make a thick paste out of it.
  3. Please make sure the surface is dry, and then apply the paste onto it.
  4. Preferably wait overnight and then scrub the surface with a steel wire brush or aluminum foil.
  5. Wash the surface with water.

3. Harpic Powerplus


This is excellent rust removing product that is readily available in every household. Due to its strong acidic nature, it helps to remove rust stains pretty effectively. While it is easy to use, caution must be bear in mind due to its corrosive nature.

All you have to do is, apply a layer of harpic powerplus on the stain and wait for 30 minutes approx. Then using a toilet brush, scrub the stain vigorously and wait for another 10 minutes. In the end, wash it with water and mope the surface dry.

B. Best Available Toilet Rust Removers.

Rust in a toilet is not alone from a rusty metal but actually a combination of salt deposition and oxidizing metal; therefore, the term rust may be a misnomer. This is important because when selecting an appropriate rust remover, salt deposits should be always be kept in mind.

I have selected a decent amount of the best rust removers for the toilet and will try to explain them. The List is as follows:

1. WD40 to Remove Rust Stains from Toilet

WD 40

Although WD40 is not a rust remover, it can still remove rust stains from the toilet. Its immersive nature can easily soften the stains to a level that scrubbing with a brush will do the job. To use WD40 for this purpose, follow these steps:

  1. Dry out the surface with a cloth. It is important because water can interfere with WD40 action.
  2. Spray a generous amount of WD40 on the stain and scrub it with a steel wire brush.
  3. Please wait for 30 minutes, and then scrub it again with the brush.
  4. Wash the surface with soap water and make sure to dry it out.
  5. Repeat the procedure if needed.

2. CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover


This is the best I can find for you. Besides removing calcium and lime from the toilet, it also helps remove rusty stains pretty well. The real benefit of using this is that it’s nontoxic and noncorrosive, so you don’t have to take extra precautions when using it.

It got only one problem, and that is its bad smell. But don’t worry, that can be overcome by using Nature Fresh Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags.

CLR is simple to use as follows:

  1. Spray CLR Solution on the stains using a spray bottle.
  2. Scrub the surface with a brush and apply a second layer of CLR solution.
  3. Wait for 20 minutes and then again scrub the surface, preferably using a ball of steel wool.
  4. Once the stains are loose, wash with water and make sure to dry the surface out.

3. Iron OUT Powder Rust Stain Remover

Iron Out

If you are looking for an excellent affordable alternative to CLR Rust remover, this is a must-buy item. Besides its fast action and industrial-strength rust removing capability, it also helps prevent them. Follow the below-mentioned steps to get the maximum out of it :

  1. Make sure to turn off the water valve to prevent its interference with the powder.
  2. Sprinkle the powder on the surface that needs cleaning.
  3. Wait for 20 minutes, and then scrub the surface with an abrasive material.
  4. Wash with plenty of water.

When cleaning the commode tank, after turning off the water supply and sprinkling a lot of powder, fill the tank with boiling water and wait for 30 minutes. Scrub the walls of the tank if needed, but that is not always needed. Flush the tank and enjoy a cleaner look.

4. POR-15 40701 Rust Remover

POR Rust Remover

Although it’s mainly used to remove rust stains from vehicles, it still works very well to clean these stains in the toilet. It works excellent when left for long on the surface. It does not create fumes or leaves a bad odor but is caustic, so always wear gloves when using it. Follow these steps:

  1. Cutoff water supply to the toilet and drain out water from the tank.
  2. Use old towel as a plug and block the commode drain.
  3. Pour a generous amount of POR Rust Remover into the flush tank and drain out 1/3rd.
  4. The plug will avoid the liquid to escape.
  5. Wait for 24 hours, remove the plug, restore water supply and drain out the remover.

Can WD40 remove rust stains from toilet?

Yes! Although WD40 is not a rust remover, it can still remove rust stains from the toilet. Its immersive nature can easily soften the stains to a level that scrubbing with a brush will do the job.