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One of the most common cleaning problems people face in their sinks, tubs and toilets is getting rid of rust stains. Quite often the reason behind these and other stains is due to either hard water mineral deposits or having high iron content in your water system. Do not despair! Here is a list of tips and tricks to keep your sinks and bathrooms looking brighter.

Common Mistakes

It’s important to remember that some stains, no matter what you treat them with, will be difficult to remove, especially if the staining is continual. Most stains can be removed however, if you know the right tips and tricks. You should also know that most toilet bowl cleaners or powdered chlorine based cleaners will not solve your cleaning problem. Also, stay away from using bleach when trying to clean those stains. Bleach sets rust and can give you a larger problem than you had to begin with.

Elbow Grease vs. Chemicals

When it comes to cleaning your different fixtures, the first step is deciding which approach you want to take with cleaning. One of the big motivating factors in this decision is whether or not you have a septic system. If you do, you should avoid any chemical cleaners that could potentially do you more harm to your system. I’ve broken down the different ways of cleaning into elbow grease and chemicals.

Elbow Grease – There are different brands of pads and pumice stones that use no chemicals and are safe for septic systems. Using these will take a bit more work, but there are various brands for each that can do the job. You can also try using a piece of fine steel wool, but remember to be extremely careful with this tactic as it may scratch porcelain. Feel free to try other homemade recipes on your stains for a natural, septic safe way to clean.

Chemicals – There are also different types of chemicals to use when treating rust stains, but again, you want to make sure that you to stay away from any products that use bleach. Remember to always use protective gloves and other shielding items when using and keep the area well ventilated to avoid any fumes. There are various sprays, powders and gels that you can pick up at any hardware store. Remember to avoid these methods if you have a septic system.

Another tip for rust in toilets that combines both of these ideas but is relatively safe to your system is using a water softener resin bed cleaner. Simply use a foam paint brush and dip it into the resin bed cleaner and then apply to any rust stains. Stubborn stains may take a few more treatments, but a flush to rinse away the bowl and repeating the process can make your toilet rust free.

Trial and Error

Lastly, there are going to be different methods you may choose that don’t work as well as others. The important thing to remember is you can also count on a trusted plumber and repairman to help you out with any decisions or answer any questions you may have on what is safe and what works.

When she isn’t showing off her DIY knowledge to help friends out, Amanda Peters is working on projects around her house and writing on topics ranging from home style and décor to do-it-yourself repairs and plumbing advice.

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