You possibly kept metal furniture on those tiles. No? Then there must be home decor items or something else like utensils that were kept on the floor and ignored.
Rust stains appearing on tile floors are common in areas where water is constantly used and metals are kept. In the home, these are usually the bathroom, toilet, and kitchen. In this article, we’ll be looking at different methods of removing rust stains from your tile floor before damage is done.
How to Remove Rust From Tiles?
Outdoor tiles are more prone to rust than indoor ones because they are more exposed to moisture and air. The longer rust stains stay on tiles, the harder it becomes to remove. There are however simple and effective ways of removing rust from your tile floor without damaging it.
#1- Using Kerosene
Kerosene is not only used for lighting lamps but also for cleaning grease and rust off tools and equipment. So, it is great at removing rust from tiled surfaces.
Kerosene will be safe on ceramic, porcelain, marble, and other natural stone as well as concrete tiles. This also makes it our favorite method.
2- Microfiber cloth
6- Dish soap
STEP 1- Pour some kerosene on the rust stains and let it sit on the tiles for about 10 minutes. If it’s an old rust stain, let the kerosene sit for a longer time.
STEP 2- Use an old toothbrush to scrub the rust stains thoroughly and leave it for 2 minutes. You can add more kerosene if necessary.
STEP 3- We will need to remove kerosene from the floor because it will leave the floor sticky (thereby attracting more dirt) Wipe the tile floor with a microfiber cloth. Then wash the area with a sponge and soapy water.
STEP 4- Dry it off with a cloth or mop
#2- Using Hydrogen peroxide & Cream of Tartar
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic used on minor cuts and scrapes to prevent infection and it is also a powerful cleaning and bleaching agent. It can dissolve rust as well. Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use on ceramic, marble, vitrified, and even concrete tiles.
Fresh Rust Stains
Use this method for mild rust stains that haven’t been on the tiles for a long time.
1- 3% Hydrogen peroxide
3- Spray bottle
4- Toothbrush / Soft bristle brush
5- Microfiber cloth
STEP 1- Mix 1 cup of water with 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a bowl and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
STEP 2- Spray the rust on your tiles thoroughly and let the solution sit for about 2 hours. The solution will begin to break down the rust and make it easy for you to clean it up.
STEP 3- An old toothbrush or a brush with soft bristles will make it easy to scrub the rust stains. Use back-and-forth motion for brushing, and continue until the rust stains are entirely removed.
STEP 4- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the mess.
Old Rust Stains
Use this method for old rust stains that are difficult to remove. You should try this method if you have tried other methods or cleaners and they didn’t work.
1- Hydrogen Peroxide
2- Cream of tartar
5- Wooden spoon
7- Old toothbrush
8- Microfiber cloth
STEP 1- Mix 1 part of hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts of cream of tartar in a bowl.
STEP 2- Make a thick paste with this by mixing it with a wooden spoon.
STEP 3- Wear a glove on one hand and use one finger to apply the paste on the rust. Smear the paste on every area there is rust, even on the grout.
STEP 4- Let the paste sit on the rust for 2 hours or overnight.
STEP 5- Scrub the rust stain with an old toothbrush until it all comes off and wipe the mess off with a microfiber cloth.
For both methods, after wiping with a microfiber cloth, you should rinse with warm water. This ensures the solution doesn't leave a residue that can damage your tiles. Rinse with warm water and wipe it off with a cloth.
#3- Using White Vinegar
White vinegar is an acidic solution that is not only good for cooking and baking but also makes a very good cleaning agent because of its high acid content. Vinegar is safe on ceramic/porcelain tiles as well as concrete tiles. However, marble surfaces may be prone to mild etching by using vinegar. Natural stone surfaces such as Limestone and travertine also don’t like vinegar that much.
1- White vinegar
2- Table salt
STEP 1- Pour undiluted white vinegar on the rust stains. If the stains aren’t old you can dilute the vinegar with water. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar.
STEP 2- Allow the vinegar to sit on the stain for at least 2 hours. If it is an old stain you can let the vinegar sit overnight.
STEP 3- Pour some table salt on the rust stains and scrub with an old toothbrush or with a soft bristle brush.
STEP 4- Rinse the tiles with hot water and then, if you wish, you may mop them.
#4- Using Lime or Lemon
Lime and lemon are fruits high in citric acid. This makes them natural cleaners and disinfectants that can remove grime buildup, and grease, and also reduce bacteria and fungi. They are also great at removing rust stains.
Lemon can be used on ceramic or porcelain tiles safely. But avoid this method on marble, limestone, and other natural stone tiles (etching possibility) (Source)
1- Lime/ lemon
2- Coarse salt
4- Microfiber cloth
STEP 1- Cut one lime or lemon into half and squeeze the juice onto the rust stains. If the area is large cut more limes or lemons and remove their seeds from the floor.
STEP 2- Let the juice sit on the rust stains for about 2 hours. It will break down the rust and dissolve it.
STEP 3- Pour some table salt or coarse salt on the rust stains and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
STEP 4- Use a toothbrush to scrub the rust stains until they come off and wipe the mess off with a microfiber cloth. You can rinse the tiles if it’s necessary.
#5- Using Tomato
Tomato is a natural cleaner and not only is it great at cleaning the skin and removing dead skin cells, it gets rid of rust stains too because of its acidity.
2- Rock salt
3- Microfiber cloth
STEP 1- Sprinkle some rock salt on the rust stains. Then cut the tomato into two halves. You may need more than one tomato if the area affected by rust is large.
STEP 2- Rub the tomato on the rust stains in circular motions, squeezing out its juice as you rub. The rust will start coming off. Do this until the tiles are clean and the rust has completely dissolved.
STEP 3- Wipe the tiles off with a microfiber cloth.
#6- Using Toothpaste
This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of getting rid of rust stains on your tiles because you most likely have a tube of toothpaste in your bathroom already.
Toothpaste isn’t acidic and can be used on ceramic, marble, porcelain, and other natural stone tiles safely. You can use any type of toothpaste to remove rust stains from your tiles but the ones that contain baking soda work better. It is a good grout cleaner as well.
2- Microfiber cloth
3- Old toothbrush
STEP 1- Squirt some toothpaste on a damp microfiber cloth, and use the cloth to smear the toothpaste on the rust stains on your tiles.
STEP 2- Let it sit on the rust stains for about 2 minutes. If it’s chilly outside, you can spray a little bit of water on the area so the toothpaste doesn’t dry up.
STEP 3- Use an old toothbrush to scrub the area gently but firmly. The rust will come off easily and will be easy to clean.
STEP 4- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the dislodged rust.
#7- Using Bleach
Bleach is not just a whitening product capable of removing colors from fabrics or whitening them, it is also a great cleaner for hard surfaces around the home and for killing bacteria.
Bleach is safe to use on Ceramic/porcelain surfaces and concrete surfaces. However, bleach should be avoided on marble and other natural stone surfaces.
Bleach can be toxic when inhaled or when it touches the skin, so be careful mixing and using it.
STEP 1- Wear hand gloves and protective goggles because bleach isn’t a skin-friendly product.
STEP 2- Pour undiluted bleach directly on the rust stain and let it sit for about 2 hours.
Note: If it’s not an old rust stain, you can dilute the bleach with water. Dilute 2 parts water with 1 part bleach in a bowl, and pour it on the tiles.
STEP 3- Scrub the rust stains thoroughly with a brush until the rust comes off completely.
STEP 4- Rinse the area with warm water and let it dry.
Preventing Rust on Tiles (3 Tips!)
1- Metal or iron items shouldn’t be left on your tile floor for an extended period especially if you use water constantly in the area. Iron or stainless steel pots or pans, cutleries, etc. should be kept off the floor.
If you keep metal furniture on your tile floors, you may use some floor protection beneath those fixtures
2- Your house should be well-ventilated. This ensures that your tile floor stays dry and moisture isn’t allowed to linger on the tiles for long.
3- Water spills should be wiped off the floor immediately. Also, always check for leakage in your dishwashers, refrigerators, faucets, and other places.
Removing rust from your wall and floor tiles is easy and some of the products you need are in your kitchen or bathroom already. Follow the steps mentioned for your preferred method carefully and you will be done in minutes.