How to Prevent Rust in Your Home’s Bathtubs

Rust stains are a common problem in bathrooms across the country. This is especially true in areas with a hard water supply, where minerals and other deposits can rust and corrode bathroom surfaces, such as tubs and sinks. If you’re tired of looking at unsightly rust stains in your bathtub, shower, or sink, the good news is that there are some easy ways to prevent them and get rid of existing stains.

Remove Existing Rust Naturally

Let’s start with a clean slate by getting rid of rust in the bathtub. While there are many products on the market that claim to remove rust, these tend to contain harsh chemicals (such as bleach) that can actually make your tub more prone to rust down the road. With that in mind, why not start by trying a natural method for removing rust stains?

In a spray bottle, combine one part white vinegar (or lemon juice) with one part warm water. Then, spray the mixture onto the rust stain, allowing it to work for a couple of minutes before scrubbing the area with a bristle brush. Scrub in small, circular motions and watch the rust disappear!

Wipe Down Tub After Each Use

Now that your tub is nice and rust-free, it’s time to take some measures to prevent rust in the future. One of the best ways to do this is to simply wipe down your tub with a clean towel after each use. This way, the water doesn’t get a chance to react with any of the materials in your tub and eventually cause rust. Another similar option that’s applicable to a shower is to keep a squeegee in your shower and use it on the walls after each use to prevent rust and hard water stains.

Keep Metal Cans Out of the Tub

If you have a tendency to leave metal cans in your tub—such as shaving cream cans—now’s the time to break that habit. Rust and metal, when put into contact with each other, will always form rust. As a result, you’ll end up with ugly rust rings around where your metal cans once sat. Consider switching to a shaving cream that comes in a plastic bottle, or simply remove your metal shaving cream can from the tub after use.

Invest in a Water Softener

Because hard water contains minerals and other debris that can react with your tub to form rust, a great way to reduce and prevent rust stains altogether is to switch over to a soft water supply. This can be done by simply having a residential water softener installed in your home. A water softener attaches to your water heater and filters hard water before it hits the heater. Specifically, salt inside the softener tank removes minerals and other deposits from the water.

Not only does soft water reduce your chances of rust stains in your bathtub, but it’s also better on your home’s plumbing system. This includes plumbing appliances, such as sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers, and the like. Not to mention, having a water softener installed typically only costs a few hundred dollars and doesn’t require much maintenance (aside from keeping the tank filled with salt).

Ensure Proper Bathroom Ventilation

Last but certainly not least, make sure that your bathroom space is well ventilated, as this will help to dry out your bathroom and thus reduce moisture content, making for an unfavorable environment for rust formation. If your bathroom has a ventilation fan built-in, make sure you have it running each time you bathe, and keep it running for a while after you shut off the water. If your bathroom doesn’t have a ventilation fan, now is the time to consider installing one.

Depending on the time of year, you may also consider cracking a window to provide additional ventilation during and after your bathing. This will further reduce your chances of rust stains forming in your bathtub, shower, or sink.

As you can see, there are so many ways in which you can reduce instances of rust formation in your bathroom spaces. By following all of these simple yet effective tips, you can enjoy a more presentable bathroom and avoid the hassle of having to constantly scrub away rust rings.

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