How to Remove a Red-Brown Rust Stain from a Bathroom Sink

Don't give up on a sink with an ugly rust mark staining it. You can remove the unsightly blemish with simple ingredients and persistence.


Up next in How to Clean Your Kitchen & Bathroom (34 videos)

Keeping the bathroom and kitchen clean is an ongoing battle. Make it easier with the cleaning tips and tricks in these videos. You'll learn fast, easy ways to get rid of bathroom mold, hard water marks, rust stains, bathtub rings, lime scale, mildew stains, soap scum, and more. Plus, tips on how to clean a granite countertop, a toaster oven, the garbage disposal, a sink drain, chrome, grout, your microwave, shower curtains, and many other hard-to-clean household appliances and surfaces.

You Will Need

  • Borax
  • Lemon juice
  • Scouring powder
  • Cream of tartar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Sponge or rag
  • Oxalic acid
  • Pumice stone
  • Chemical-resistant rubber gloves (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Use borax and lemon juice

    Make a paste by mixing borax and lemon juice and apply it to the rust stain. Allow the paste to dry and then rinse it down the drain.

  2. Step 2

    Try cream of tartar

    Make a paste by combining a mild scouring powder, cream of tartar, and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the paste to the rust stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then rinse the paste away.

  3. Step 3

    Use TSP

    Dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, or TSP, in a gallon of water, stop the drain, and pour the solution over the stain. Then scrub the rust mark with a sponge or rag. When the stain is removed, thoroughly rinse the sink and fixtures.

  4. Wear chemical-resistant rubber gloves when using trisodium phosphate.

  5. Step 4

    Use oxalic acid

    Combine one part oxalic acid to 10 parts water. Apply the solution to the rust stain and then thoroughly rinse.

  6. Step 5

    Use a pumice stone

    Run warm water over a pumice stone so that it absorbs some of the water and softens. Then scrub the rust stain with the stone. Use gentle pressure, but be careful not to scratch your sink.

  7. The term "Rust Belt," which includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, refers to the outdated factories and technology that many industries in the region relied upon.