How to Prevent Rust Stains in Bathtubs & Sinks


Rust stains are unsightly and can be hard to remove, especially from fiberglass bathtubs and cultured marble sinks. Both are easily scratched surfaces, so cleaning options are limited. In the fight to keep bathtubs and sinks rust stain-free, sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing rust stains varies according to the source of the staining, but most staining can be handled before it becomes an issue.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear nail polish or paint
  • Shower caddy or plastic pad
  • Steel wool
  • Waterproof varnish
  • Faucet aerator
  • Water filter or softener
  • Test the water to determine if it's the source of the staining. The stains could be from iron content in the water itself or from rusting pipes.

  • Remove iron pans, metal cookie sheets or any non-stainless steel from your sink promptly. Do not them sit in your sink when it is wet or soak them in the sink.

  • Store steel wool pads in a soap dish or under the sink. Do not leave them sitting on or in the sink

  • Remove any metal canisters, like shaving cream, from wet areas in tubs. If you must keep them in the tub, use a shower caddy, a rubber pad or a coating of paint or clear fingernail polish on the bottom of the can to prevent contact between the wet can metal and the tub.

  • Replace any rusted sink parts or use steel wool to remove rust and seal it with varnish or paint. Check the faucet, overflow drain cover and stopper fitting for chipped finish that has exposed the metal underneath and caused rusting.

  • Install an aerator to sink spouts. Adding oxygen to water can transform soluble iron into insoluble iron.

  • Remove iron from hard water with a filter or water softener.

  • Remove rusting metal piping and replace it with copper or PVC pipe.

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  • Photo Credit Old Rusty Sink 1 20080713-1210446 image by SIGNSofMIND from
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