How to Clean Toilet Tank Rust – Details Guideline

Certainly, rust is the worst enemy of your toilet. The rust that accumulates on your toilet tank walls isn’t only difficult to remove. When dissolved in water, it can pass to the toilet bowl and stain its surface.

In the market there are many toilet tank cleaners to remove difficult rust stains. However, not all of them are effective. Sometimes, you need to apply them several times in the same place to get results.

how to clean toilet tank rust

If you don’t want to make mistakes, using poor quality products, you’re in the right place. Today you’ll know the best toilet tank cleaners to remove rust with the first application. In addition, you’ll learn some basic techniques to keep your toilet tanks free of rust for longer.

What is toilet tank rust?

Rust is a reddish compound, product of the iron oxidation in presence of moist air or water. It’s very common to find it in toilet tanks, especially in water systems with iron pipes.

It’s also common, but in less concentration, in the presence of metal elements such as chains, screws and nuts inside the toilet tank. Rust gives the water a reddish tone, causing stains of the same color on the surface of the tank and bowl.

Rust stains form a uniform layer on ceramic. Over time, the stains become darker and difficult to remove. Therefore, not all rust stains are the same. In some cases, it’s necessary to use specialized products to remove them.

While the stain is darker, you’ll need a more concentrated product, like naval jelly. In less severe cases, applying vinegar directly on the stains is more than enough to make them disappear after a few minutes.

Step by Step Guide to Clean Toilet Tank Rust

As stated before, each rust stain is different. The stain tone gives you an idea of ​​the cleaning power you need to remove it. Whatever the case, today you’ll learn step by step how to disappear rust stains from toilet tanks once and for all.

Heavy Rust

Heavy rust stains have a characteristic dark color. They’re the kinds of stains that usually cover the internal walls of toilet tanks. To remove them with a single application, you need a more concentrated product.

And there’s no better than naval jelly for these purposes. Here’s an explanation of how to use it:

  • Close the faucet of the water supply, located just below the toilet tank.
  • Press the toilet lever to drain the tank.
  • Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, dip a sponge in naval jelly. Then, rub the product on the walls of the tank.
  • Wait 15 minutes for the product to take effect.
  • After that, fill the tank with water using a bucket. Then flush. Repeat the same until removing the entire product.
  • Then, remove the remaining stains with a pumice stone. If the stains don’t disappear, it’s convenient to apply more naval jelly.
  • Repeat the procedure until you get the desired results. Finally, open the faucet of the water supply.

Light Rust

Light rust stains commonly appear in the toilet bowl. Most of the time, they form a ring around the bowl. Removing these kinds of stains is very simple and you only need vinegar or citric acid solution. This is what you should do:

  • Fill a spray bottle with vinegar or citric acid solution.
  • Close the faucet of the water supply.
  • Press the toilet lever to drain the tank.
  • Spray vinegar or citric acid solution directly on the stains, inside the tank and bowl.
  • Wait a few minutes and then scrub each stain with a pumice stone. Repeat the procedure if the stain doesn’t disappear with the first application.
  • Finally, open the faucet of the water supply.

Small Stains

In case of small isolated stains, you only need to apply a paste of baking soda and water to remove them. It’s very easy to prepare and these are the steps you should follow:

  • In a bowl, mix a cup of baking soda with enough water to form a paste.
  • Close the faucet of the water supply.
  • Drain the tank, pressing the toilet lever.
  • Apply the baking soda paste on each stain. Then wait 20 minutes for the product to take effect.
  • After that,
    scrub each stain with a wire sponge and a conventional sponge soaked with soap and water.
  • Remove the excess baking soda by applying plenty of water.
  • Finally, open the faucet of the water supply.

All Kinds of Stains

If you aren’t a manual cleaning enthusiast, toilet cleaner tablets are perhaps the most appropriate solution for you. They help to eliminate all kinds of stains and keep your toilets clean for a long time. If you use them, you can forget about manual cleaning up to 90 days.

Chloride tablets are the best, because they provide maximum disinfection and don’t stain. They’re ideal for white toilets. To use them, you just have to follow these steps:

  • Empty the tank, pressing the toilet lever.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the toilet tablet.
  • Place the tablet at the bottom of the tank, near a corner.
  • Wait for the tank to fill for the product to take effect.

Rust stains are one of the most common in toilets. Wherever there are metal parts in direct contact with water, there will be rust. Depending on the color of the stain, it’s easy to determine what type of product to use in each case.

Darker stains require stronger products. Above all, naval jelly is the best rust remover in the market. Although it’s more expensive than other products, it removes even the most difficult stains with few applications.

However, it’s a delicate product and can cause skin and eye irritation. Therefore, it’s advisable to wear rubber gloves and safety glasses during use.

Vinegar, citric acid and sodium bicarbonate give better results with lighter stains. However, with several applications they can give similar results to more concentrated products.


If you want to get the best results, follow these tips step by step. Don’t forget that after applying any cleaning tools, you must wait a reasonable time for the active components to take effect.

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