How to Remove Rust Stains from Sinks

If you’ve placed a spray can on your sink for a long period of time, it’s likely that there’s a ring of rust stain on your sink surface. These rust stains, though harmless, are not nice to look at. Read more to find out about the rusting process and how to remove rust stains from your sink. 

What is rust?

Rust is the common name for iron oxide or its scientific chemical formula, Fe2O3. It represents the corrosion of the metals which is an electrochemical process involving an anode (a piece of metal that gives up electrons), an electrolyte (a liquid that helps electrons move) and a cathode (a piece of metal that accepts electrons).

There are three types of rust: 

  • Pitting and cavity corrosion. Rusting that occurs on unprotected steels. 
  • Contact corrosion. This type of rusting happens when a non-rusting metal gets in contact with a rusting piece of metal.
  • Crevice corrosion. Rusting that occurs in confined spaces.

How does rusting happens?

The reddish-brown substance we see on old keys and sinks are caused by oxidation. Rust or oxidation occurs when iron is exposed to water and oxygen. When water meets iron, the electrolyte from the water combines with carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid. Simultaneously, the iron will dissolve and the water will break down into its separate hydrogen and oxygen particles. The free oxygen and dissolved iron will form iron oxide. The complete chemical formula is as follows: 4Fe + 3O2 + 6H2O → 4Fe(OH)3

Some causes of rusting are changes in temperature, increased humidity, and geographical elements like heavily salty environments (i.e. out at sea).  

How to prevent rust?

  • Keep the metal clean and dry at all times
  • Prevent scratches 
  • Apply a protective coating 
  • Paint the metal 
  • Use stainless steel metals 
  • Clean off rusts as soon as they appear 

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How to remove rust stains from sink with baking soda

To remove rust stains, you only need to two things: baking soda and detergent. First, you need to make a paste of baking soda with hot water. Then, apply the paste on the affected area(s). After 5 minutes or more, depending on the rust, scrub the baking soda mixture. Then, scrub with dishwashing detergent. Rinse and repeat until you get the desired result. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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How to remove rust stains with lemon and salt

Another way to remove rust stains is with lemon and salt. With fresh lemon juice, make a wet paste with enough salt. Then, apply on the affected area(s). Leave the mixture to sit on the surface for a few hours or overnight before scrubbing with a toothbrush or microfiber cloth. Lastly, rinse with clean water. 

Check out our new post

Now that your sink is rust-free, find out how you to unclog your sink. Stay updated on our website to get all the simple cleaning hacks you need! 

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