How To Remove Rust and Iron Water Stains in Toilets and Sinks

Removing water borne rust 

Want to know how to remove rust and iron water stains? A water filtration system!

If you get your water from a private well and you've noticed stains on your appliances or fixtures, or that it seems to take more detergent to get your clothes clean, you may have a hard water problem. While probably not a health risk, hard water can be a tremendous nuisance and can shorten the life of your major appliances due to scaling. Iron stains can be difficult to clean, and no matter how often you clean sinks and toilets, you may still accumulate reddish/brown rings around drains and toilet bowls.

Let's take a look at how to remove rust stains and permanently remove excessive minerals from your home's water supply.

What Causes Mineral and Rust Stains?

If your water supply has excessive levels of iron or other minerals like calcium and magnesium you have “hard water.” You may see reddish/brown staining around your drain or in your toilet bowl. These stains are an indicator of excess iron. If you have a deep well, oxygen content may be low. As a result, your water may contain elevated levels of iron and manganese. While the water coming from your tap appears clear, these dissolved minerals oxidize or rust when exposed to air.

If iron is present, it will turn to rust as it dries leaving a reddish/brown stain on everything, including clothing, plumbing fixtures, and porcelain toilets. The more the iron is exposed to oxygen, the darker the staining. This rust can also form in the drum of your washing machine and cause stains on clothing. It can turn some white fabrics slightly yellow or orange after washing.

How To Remove Rust and Other Mineral Stains

Along with telltale iron stains, you may also notice white powdery stains on your chrome fixtures, or spotting on your glasses when you remove the from the dishwasher. This is lime scale and it is caused by excessive dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water.

Anytime water containing these minerals comes in contact with a surface, it will leave a telltale white stain. Calcium and magnesium can also be present along with iron. Over time, limescale build-up can be harmful to your home's plumbing and while not a health risk, much like iron staining, limescale is a nuisance and difficult to clean.

There are many commercial products on the market that are designed to deal with limescale and rust. In order to keep lime scale and rust stains to a minimum, frequent cleaning is necessary. Limescale, iron and rust removal products come in many different forms. From liquids to powders there are cleaners available for every purpose, from cleaning rust stains on porcelain, to removing rust from your washing machine. Liquid rust removers are effective at cleaning rust off of porcelain surfaces like sink drains and toilets. They are safe for septic systems and will not harm your pipes. Powdered removers are typically used to clean appliances.

Lime de-scaler is similar to liquid rust removers. A de-scaler dissolves lime scale on contacts and is gentle enough to not damage chrome fixtures, glazing or grout. Liquid de-scaler is also safe for septic systems and will not harm your home's plumbing.

There are also natural environmentally safe remedies available. Acids like white vinegar or lemon juice are effective at dissolving limescale buildup. These substances are also a great way to de-scale washing machines and dishwashers. Just run your machine using 1 cup of vinegar or lemon juice instead of detergent. It will remove the scaling and will not harm the environment.

Preventing Iron and Mineral Stains

While there are many products designed to keep rust and lime stains at bay, the best solution is to remove them entirely. Adding an affordable whole-house water treatment system can prevent iron and minerals from entering your home's plumbing.

In the long run, a whole house water treatment system will save you money and time. It is how to remove rust and lime scale caused by iron, minerals and other harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, organic and inorganic chemicals, a whole house water treatment system will provide you and your family with a consistent supply of crystal clear, safe water for drinking bathing and cooking.

A whole house water treatment system is placed between your well and your home's plumbing so any water entering your home has contaminants removed before it enters your plumbing. This means no more money spent on dangerous chemical cleaners, no more staining, less detergent needed to get your clothes clean, and no more spots on your dishes and glassware. It also means that your appliances will last years longer saving you money on early replacement.

If you're having staining issues, give Skillings and Sons a call. We've been providing solutions for our clients in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for years. We'd be happy to meet with you, and explain your water treatment options. We can handle it all, from testing your well to determine the best type of system to installation we're ready to help you solve all of your water related problems!