Do you clean on a regular basis yet still discover that your toilet bowls are stained with a ring of rust? Rust stains can give your plumbing fixtures a filthy appearance and may even cause embarrassment when your guests ask to use your bathroom. While rust stains don’t necessarily mean your toilet (or sink) is dirty, it is understandable why you’d want these unsightly blemishes gone. Unfortunately, rust stains can occur in bathrooms that rely on sewer systems as well as those that are supplied by a septic system.
How Iron Stains Form
Those hard-to-clean streaks or rings of rust on your plumbing fixtures are likely iron stains. When dissolved iron in your drinking water come in contact with the air, it begins to oxidize. These oxidized particles can then start to accumulate on the surface of your toilet, sink or other bathroom plumbing fixtures and progressively discolor until they form a rust-colored stain. If you notice a rusty tint to your water or it smells and tastes metallic, you may want to take extra measures to determine the reason for the excess iron. It could be coming from your pipes, water heater or the city’s sewer supply.
Your Bathroom Cleaning Regime May Be the Culprit
While we can’t stop the process of oxidation in your water, there is one commonly used product that an accelerate or encourage the formation of iron stains. Did you know that any bleach-based cleaners could actually be making your iron stains worse instead of better? This is a common mistake for homeowners who are trying to use strong cleaning products to remove rust stains. The chemicals in bleach cleaners interact with the iron to urge further accumulation, which makes it more challenging to clean. In addition, if you are regularly scrubbing your fixture surfaces, you may also be “roughening” them up, and oxidized iron prefers to linger in rough or compromised surfaces compared to smooth ones.
Ways to Conquer Iron Stains
Iron is strong, but you can win the fight. Removing iron stains from your fixtures can some extra time and effort, but keeping them away is simple. There are some homemade remedies as well as store-bought products designed to address rust/iron stains on your fixtures. If you have a septic system, it is very important that you confirm your cleaning product is “septic-safe” first.
Consider the following tips for removing and avoiding rust stains in your toilet bowl:
- #1 Stop using bleach and harsh scrubbers.
- #2 Make your own cleaning product using one part white vinegar with one part water. Let the stains soak before firmly removing them.
- #3 Consider a water softener. By installing a water softener in your home, you can remove or lessen the iron content of your water supply and thus prevent rust stains from forming.
Call a Plumbing Expert
Still struggling to keep a rust-free toilet bowl? At Metro Septic, we understand both septic and sewer systems. Our team is equipped to handle all types of plumbing needs, from busted pipes to stubborn stains in your bathroom fixtures. We can help you determine what is causing frequent staining and explain the best way to remedy it.