1st Dec 2021
Worn Out Pipes
24th Jan 2022


Plumbing Rust stains
Toilet with Rust stains

Does your toilet have unsightly streaks of orange-brown rust stains inside the toilet bowl? Although not serious, these stains look terrible and make your bathroom seem unhygienic.

Regular cleaning goes a long way towards avoiding these stains in the first place. But once you have them – the problem demands a specific solution and some elbow grease. Not necessarily a job for the expert plumbers at Drain Surgeon – but plumbing is our thing and we love to help. So fear not! Your toilet bowl will soon look spick and span again.


Rust stains in toilet bowls are most often caused by water that contains high levels of iron particles. This could be because of iron plumbing pipes or metal components inside the toilet cistern. As with most stains, sorting it out sooner rather than later makes removal easier as built-up stains are harder to shift.

To resolve toilet rust stains, start by identifying the source of the rust. Do a physical inspection of your home plumbing system or get a professional plumber in your area to have a look. Replacing the rusty water pipes or old geyser could possibly solve the problem. It’s also a good idea to walk over to the neighbours to ask them if they have the same problem. If they do, it’s probably a municipal water supply issue.


If you notice a rusty tint to the water coming from your faucets or taps, you could have corroded pipes in your home. This rusty tint will eventually cause the inside of your toilet to streak orange. If you suspect you might have deteriorated pipes in your home, best to call the experts at Drain Surgeon to do an inspection.  


Most of the time the components inside your toilet cistern are made of plastic or metal like aluminium. If this is not the case, you’ll notice the components and mechanisms inside your cistern look rusty. The rust will leak into the bowl and eventually stain the sides. To solve this, replace the flushing mechanism with non-corrosive PVC components. Our team of expert vetted plumbers in your area will gladly assist.


Borehole and well water often have a brown tint because of the high amounts of iron and other metals found in underground water sources. To deal with this you can install a water filtration system, and/or use a water softener in your home.

So now that you know what the most probable cause is – let’s sort out the stains:


  1. First and foremost – NEVER use chlorine bleach as this will cause the stains to become permanent. If you’ve already tried this – move straight to the heavy-duty solves and see if they work.
  2. Acid-based products are a solid bet. Start off with something mild like lemon juice, distilled white vinegar or tartaric acid (made from cream of tartar). Try using half a lemon dipped in salt or baking soda to scrub the rust-stained area. For heavily stained areas, mix a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, apply it to the offensive streaks, cover with plastic wrap to keep it moist and let it sit for a couple of hours before giving it a good scrub.
  3. You can also try powdered abrasives like baking soda, pumice powder or salt used as is or in conjunction with acid-based solves.
  4. If you don’t have any luck with the abrasives from your pantry, it’s time to bring out the big guns like hydrochloric and sulfuric acid found in commercial rust remover products, or try a commercial abrasive that contains sodium hydrosulphite.  
  5. Lastly, be careful to avoid scratching or damaging the porcelain of your toilet bowl, as it will make future stains removal more difficult.
  6. Once your stains are removed, it’s a good idea to keep the stains at bay with a weekly clean. Add one or two cups of vinegar to the bowl and scrub. For old stains, pour undiluted vinegar into the drained toilet bowl and leave overnight.


We love plumbing. And we love making sure your plumbing stays tip-top. Drain Surgeon is the largest plumbing group in the Southern hemisphere. We will give you quick and professional service no matter what your plumbing and drainage needs may be.

Call us today and our plumbing team will take care of it – any time of the day or night. We’ve been in the business for a long time and we’ve seen it all, so you can enjoy peace of mind in the knowledge that one of our expert plumbers will be with you soon. 

At Drain Surgeon we only contract security-screened plumbers and electricians, so your home and family are in safe hands when we perform work on your premises.

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Why call Drain Surgeon? We offer all general and specialised plumbing services, 24/7.

  • We only contract security-screened plumbers and electricians, so you can feel at ease when we work on your premises.
  • We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Your call will always be answered by our helpful staff – never an answering machine.
  • You do not pay extra for services outside office hours.
  • We will keep you informed throughout the process.
  • Our technicians will always be professional, highly competent and wear our recognisable uniform.
  • The Drain Surgeon vehicles carry all the equipment to complete most jobs immediately.
  • We leave all work areas clean and tidy.
  • We always aim to solve your problem quickly and professionally.

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