Removing Rust Stains from Toilet Bowls
LESLIE: Alright. Going out to Tennessee where Jack is dealing with some rust on a toilet. What is going on, dude?
JACK: Well, I’ve got a toilet-bowl problem with a stain that I’m unable to do anything with.
TOM: OK. What have you tried so far?
JACK: I’ve only tried the normal thing with Ajax or Comet, one of the scrubbing powders.
TOM: What kind of stain is this? Is it like a rust stain?
JACK: I think it is sort of – the plumber said it was a rust stain. I had the tank – all the works in the tank.
TOM: Replaced? Mm-hmm.
JACK: I was talking with him about it and he said it’s a rust stain and says, “Never use Brillo or any of the other scrubbing wires,” and suggested a sanding pad. It’s a soft pad. And I did use one of those and got a tiny bit of result but not what I’m looking for.
TOM: Alright. Well, here’s a suggestion. First of all, you’ve got commercial products like CLR or Lime-A-Way that can work. Or you’ve got some sort of do-it-yourself products or mix-it-yourself products that you could put together. But the most important thing is to start with a dry bowl. So you want to turn the water off at the toilet and flush it and dry out that bowl. Because you’re going to be able to get more of the cleaning product onto the surface.
You can use lemon juice. That’s an acidic-based rust remover. White vinegar also works well. Borax works well. You can mix Borax with hot water and that works pretty well. And here, right from The Money Pit Engineering Department, my crack engineering team tells me that they’ve had good success with Coca-Cola. And I’m sure they wouldn’t be making that up. So, again, any of these acid-based products can do a pretty good job of pulling that rust out of the toilet bowl. But you want to flush it and dry it first so that it really has a chance to get to work.
And in terms of the scrubbing pad you mentioned, something like the Scotch-Brite pad is a good thing to use on that. It’s not going to destroy the surface.
JACK: Thank you so much for taking my call. And I’ll get on it this afternoon.