rust on tiles

How to Remove Rust from Tiles

Rust can be a real pain. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also damage your tiles if left untreated. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll be giving you the lowdown on all the different ways you can tackle those rust stains, whether you’re a fan of using chemical rust removers, prefer to take a more natural approach or fancy giving some scrubbing a go.


Safety Precautions

rust treatment on tiles safety precautions

It’s important to remember that no matter which method you choose, it’s always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area of your tiles first. This will ensure that the method you’ve chosen won’t damage your tiles.

And don’t forget to wear protective gear, such as gloves and eye protection, when using any rust removal method, especially when using chemical rust removers or muriatic acid.

By following these recommendations and safety precautions, you’ll be able to remove rust from your tiles effectively and safely.


Chemical Removers

Alright, let’s talk about using chemical rust removers or oxalic acid. Now, these methods can be a bit more heavy-duty and are best used for tougher rust stains that have been around for a while.

Rust removers and oxalic acid

Rust removers and oxalic acid can be purchased at most hardware stores, and they work by breaking down the rust and making it easier to scrub off.

These products can work wonders in getting rid of those stubborn rust stains. Just make sure to refer to the product instructions.


chemical rust remover for tiles

Muriatic acid

Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, is also a great way of removing rust from your tiles.

Now, this is a strong acid and should be used with caution, so make sure you’re wearing gloves, eye protection and are working in a well-ventilated area.

It’s also important to dilute the acid with water according to the instructions on the label.

Muriatic acid is a good choice if you need to remove rust stains that have been around for a while and have proven to be difficult to remove with other methods.

But be careful not to leave the acid on the tiles for too long, as it can cause damage to the grout.


Should you choose a chemical rust remover?

The big pro of using chemical removers is that they can be very effective in removing rust stains, especially those that have been around for a while and have proven to be difficult to remove with other methods.

They can also save you a lot of time and elbow grease compared to using mechanical methods like wire brushes or sandpaper.

The cons are that chemical rust removers can be quite harsh, so it’s important to use them with caution and follow the instructions on the label.

They also require protective gear like gloves and eye protection, and can potentially damage the tiles or grout if not used correctly.


Natural Methods

remove rust from tiles using natural methods

Lemon or vinegar

Using lemon juice or vinegar to remove rust from tiles is a natural and effective method. Lemon juice and vinegar both contain acid that can help break down rust.

To use this method, simply apply the juice or vinegar to the rust stain and let it sit for a while.

You can use a brush or cloth to help spread it around. After that, scrub the area with a stiff brush or an old toothbrush. The rust stain should start to lift off the tile.

You may need to repeat the process a few times for tough rust stains.

One thing to keep in mind is that vinegar and lemon juice may have a bleaching effect on certain coloured tiles, so it’s always good to try it out on a small area first. But overall, using lemon juice or vinegar is a great natural way to remove rust from tiles.


Bicarbonate of soda

Using bicarbonate of soda is another natural method for removing rust from tiles.

To use this method, mix bicarbonate of soda with water to form a paste. Then, apply it to the rust stain and scrub it off with a brush or an old toothbrush.

The paste will work to break down the rust, making it easier to scrub off. This method can be a little bit more labour-intensive than using lemon juice or vinegar, but it can be just as effective.

One thing to keep in mind is that bicarbonate of soda can be abrasive, so be careful not to scrub too hard and damage the tiles.

And as always, it’s best to test a small, unnoticeable area first.


Things to consider when using natural cleaners

Natural rust removers are great because they are safe to use and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen, such as lemon juice, vinegar, or bicarbonate of soda.

Also, these methods are usually more environmentally friendly and less harsh than chemical rust removers.

We found that the natural tricks may take longer to work and may not be as effective as chemical methods for removing rust stains that have been around for a long time.

On top of this, some natural methods, such as lemon juice or vinegar, may have a bleaching effect on certain coloured tiles, so be aware of this, and try it on an inconspicuous area first before using it on the whole surface.

Natural methods can be a great option for removing rust stains but it’s important to be patient and use them with caution.


High Effort, High Reward Methods

wire brush, sand paper and pressure washer

These methods taking a bit more time and can be cause quite some exhaustion, but they work very well.

Wire brush or sandpaper

Using a wire brush or sandpaper to remove rust from tiles is a bit more hands-on and can take some elbow grease, but it can be effective for removing rust stains.

To use this method, simply scrub the rust stain with a wire brush or sandpaper, being careful not to damage the tile. You can use a stiff-bristled brush for tough rust stains or a fine-grit sandpaper for more delicate tiles.


Pressure washer for outdoor tiles

Another trick for removing rust from tiles is using a pressure washer. This method can be great for outdoor tiles that have been exposed to the elements and have developed rust stains.

The high-pressure water can blast away the rust, making it easy to remove. Just make sure to use a low-pressure nozzle and keep the nozzle at least a foot away from the tiles to prevent damage.


Preventing Rust from Forming

So, you’ve finally got rid of those pesky rust stains, but you don’t want them coming back. Here are some tips for preventing rust from forming on your tiles in the future:

Try to keep your tiles as dry as possible. Moisture is one of the main causes of rust, so make sure to mop up any spills or leaks right away.

Second, use a sealant on your grout. Sealed grout is less likely to absorb moisture and less likely to develop rust stains.

If you have metal fixtures near your tiles, such as pipes or shower heads, make sure they are properly coated to prevent rust.

rusty tiles

Regularly check your tiles for any signs of rust and address them right away, it’s much easier to deal with rust before it becomes a big problem. This can be as simple as giving your tiles a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth to remove any rust stains that may have formed.

And lastly, if you’re storing metal items near your tiles, such as tools or outdoor furniture, make sure to cover them with a rust-resistant coating or plastic sheeting to prevent rust from transferring to your tiles.


Final Thoughts

So, when it comes to removing rust from tiles, the best method for you will depend on the severity of the rust and the surface of your tiles.

If the rust stain is minor and the tiles are glazed, a natural method such as using lemon juice or vinegar may be enough to remove the stain.

If the rust stain is more severe and on unglazed tiles, a chemical rust remover or oxalic acid may be more effective.

With rust on outdoor tiles, a pressure washer may be the way to go.

With these tips, you’ll be able to keep your tiles rust-free for a long time.