How To Remove Rust From Sink Drain? [7 Easy Steps]

Rust can slowly creep into your sink drain over time, not only diminishing its visual appeal but also potentially causing damage and clogs. It may happen due to the age of the sink, high moisture environment, or the corrosive nature of certain substances that find their way down the drain, rust is a common issue many homeowners face.

If you don’t repair or clean it, it may damage the sink. You don’t need any special cleaner to remove rust from the sink drain. With common household items, you can remove the rust and give a new look to the sink drain. This guide shows how to remove rust from the sink drain without damaging the sink by using vinegar, baking soda, alcohol, pumice, and sourcing pads.

Reasons for Rust Around The Sink Drain

how to remove rust from sink drain

If you are seeing slightly brown color stains around the kitchen sink drain, it is rust. Not only rust looks unsightly but also it is unhygienic.

  • High Iron in Water – This is the most common reason for rust in the sink drain. If your water contains high iron then after washing dishes it leaves iron compounds in the sink and with time these compounds create rust in the sink. It will give an old look to the sink. when iron and oxygen in the water react with each other they create rust. Iron is a common material in the water supply.
  • Plumbing Issue – If the water in your area is normal and doesn’t contain harmful material then the plumbing system is the reason for rust in the sink drain. Debris travels through old pipelines and is stuck in the sink. Debris creates rust in the sink.
  • Standing Water – If the whole water is not going through the kitchen sink drain and some amount of water stands around the sink drain, it also causes rust in the sink drain. When standing water remains in near-constant contact with the sink then stains appear on the sink drain. This standing water creates a brownish ring around the drain.

Things You Need to Remove Rust From Sink Drain

  • Gloves
  • Paper or Towel
  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Non-Metallic Brush
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pumice
  • Alcohol
  • Scouring Pads

How To Remove Rust From Sink Drain?

There are various products available in the market to remove rust from the sink drain. These products may contain harsh chemicals that may harm your skin. Use proper precautions before using these chemicals. Wear gloves so your hands are safe from them.

Lemon Juice and Salt

how lemon juice remove kitchen sink rust

In every household, you’ll find two common items that can prove to be incredibly useful: lemon juice and salt. If you’re wondering how to tackle that stubborn rust buildup in your sink drain using an organic and wallet-friendly method, look no further than this DIY solution.

The best part? It’s not only effective but also gentle on your skin.

  1. Prepare the Lemon-Salt Mixture: Begin by mixing lemon juice with salt. This simple concoction is your secret weapon against rust.
  2. Application: Apply the lemon juice and salt mixture directly to the rusted area in your sink drain. Ensure you cover the affected area generously. Once applied, be patient and let it sit for a few hours.
  3. Chemical Reaction: During this time, the lemon juice and salt mixture will react with the rust, making it easier to remove.
  4. Scrub Away the Rust: After the waiting period, take a toothbrush and scrub the rusted portion vigorously. The gentle abrasiveness of the salt will help dislodge the rust.
  5. Rinse and Repeat: Once you’ve scrubbed the rust away, rinse the sink drain thoroughly with water. If some rust still lingers, don’t be discouraged. Simply repeat the process until you’ve completely banished the rust from your sink drain.


pumice stone to remove rust

When it comes to tackling rust on a porcelain sink, a pumice stick or stone emerges as a remarkable choice. The best part? It’s gentle on your sink’s surface and won’t leave any unsightly scratches behind.

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  1. Pumice Power: Pumice stone is your trusty ally for rust removal on porcelain sinks, especially when other cleaning agents fall short. Its natural abrasive properties make it highly effective.
  2. Preparation: Begin by wetting the pumice stone and the rusty surface of your sink. This moisture will help facilitate the rust removal process.
  3. Gently Does It: Lightly rub the damp pumice stone over the rusty area of your sink. While it’s effective, it’s essential to exercise care and use a gentle touch to prevent any potential scratches on your sink’s porcelain surface.
  4. Apply Elbow Grease: If the rust proves to be particularly stubborn, don’t hesitate to apply a bit of elbow grease. This extra effort can help ensure that all traces of rust are eradicated.
  5. Rinse and Rejoice: Once you’ve finished rubbing the pumice stone, rinse the sink thoroughly with clean water. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find your porcelain sink looking as good as new, with no signs of rust.

Scouring Pads

scouring pads to clean rust from the sink

When it comes to environmentally friendly and body-safe options for rust removal in your kitchen sink drain, scouring pads are a fantastic choice. These pads are not only chemical-free but also budget-friendly, making them a top pick for rust cleaning.

Scouring pads are known for being gentle on both your kitchenware and the environment. Since they’re chemical-free, you can use them with confidence, knowing they won’t harm your body or the planet.

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These scouring pads are most effective when dealing with fresh rust stains. If the rust has been lingering for a long time, their performance may be less impressive.

To effectively remove rust, use the scouring pad with a light hand. Applying excessive pressure isn’t necessary and could potentially damage your sink’s surface.

Gently scrub the rusted area of your kitchen sink drain using the scouring pad. Allow the pad’s abrasive texture to work its magic on the rust.

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Once you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse the scrubbed portion thoroughly with water. You’ll be pleased to see the rust disappearing, leaving your sink looking clean and rust-free. These environmentally friendly scouring pads offer a safe and cost-effective solution for tackling rust in your kitchen sink drain, particularly for dealing with fresh rust stains.

Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is a household staple that can work wonders when it comes to removing stains and rust from your sink drain. Its secret weapon? Acetic acid, which is highly effective at rust removal.

  1. Begin by generously spraying distilled white vinegar directly onto the rust of your sink drain. The acetic acid in the vinegar will work its magic over time.
  2. Allow the vinegar to sit on the rust for approximately 15 minutes. During this time, it will start to break down the rust, making it easier to remove.
  3. After the 15-minute waiting period, grab a scrub brush and gently scrub the rusted spots. The combination of vinegar and your scrubbing action will help lift the rust away.
  4. Once you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse the sink drain thoroughly with water. This step is crucial to ensure that all the loosened rust particles are washed away.
distilled white vinegar to clean sink drain rust

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Use Potatoes

Believe it or not, the potato, combined with the power of baking soda, can be a surprisingly effective rust-removal solution for your sink drain. This method relies on the presence of oxalic acid in potatoes.

Begin by cutting a potato in half. You’ll also need some baking soda on hand for this rust-removing process. Take one-half of the potato and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on it.

Now, use the potato as a scrubber and rub it over the rusted areas of your sink drain. Apply moderate pressure and keep at it for a few minutes. Depending on the extent of the rust, you might need to repeat the process with 5-6 potatoes, one after the other. This method is particularly effective on relatively fresh rust stains.

After you’ve finished scrubbing with the potatoes, be sure to rinse the sink drain thoroughly with water to remove any leftover residue.

Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar, a common ingredient in cooking, can also be employed as an organic and effective rust-removal solution for your sink drain. This kitchen staple contains potassium bitartrate, which can help break down rust.

Begin by mixing a sufficient amount of cream of tartar with a few drops of water to create a thick paste. The paste consistency is essential for easy application.

Apply the cream of tartar paste directly onto the rusted areas of your sink drain. Ensure that you cover the rust spots evenly with the paste. Allow the cream of tartar paste to sit on the rust for approximately half an hour. During this time, it will work to loosen and dissolve the rust.

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After the waiting period, take an old brush (an old toothbrush works well) and use it to scrub the rusted areas. Apply moderate pressure to help dislodge the rust.

Once you’ve finished scrubbing, thoroughly rinse the sink drain with water to remove any residual paste and rust particles.

Chemical Cleaners

If these organic cleaners are not working and rust is still in the sink drain then use chemical cleaners. The cleaner that contains hydrochloric acid is good to remove rust from the kitchen sink.

Read precautions on the cleaner bottle and follows all of them. Chemical cleaners may be harmful to your body so use gloves for safety. Don’t use too much cleaner, it will damage the sink finish.

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How To Prevent Sink Drain From Rust?

There are a few steps that you may use to prevent the sink drain from rusting.

  • Always clean the sink after using it. Clean the sink with a dry cotton cloth so all water from the sink will be wiped.
  • Rust is the result of chemicals in the water. Use a water softener to clean water. You may use a faucet water filter to remove the hardness of the water.
  • Don’t use bleach to clean the sink drain. Bleach can also cause rust in the sink drain.
  • Remove metal cans from the sink. Metal can and water react with each other and create rust below the can area and over time this rust comes into contact with the sink and spreads all over the sink.
  • Clean sink drain properly after every use of there is no standing water collected near it. Standing water causes rust around the sink drain.

What Not To Do To Remove Rust From Sink Drain?

People try different methods to remove rust from sink drains but all methods are not safe and most of them will damage the sink. If you abide by the following tips, you can easily clean rust from the kitchen sink drain without damaging it.

  • Avoid any abrasive cleaner, it will destroy the finish of the sink.
  • Avoid all those cleaners that contain chloride. Chloride is not good for stainless steel sinks.
  • Metal brushed and steel wool should not be used to remove rust because they will make scratches on the sink surface.

FAQ About How To Remove Rust From Sink Drain

How Do You Get Rust Stains Out of a Sink Drain?

Always clean the sink after every use so there will no rust in the sink. Use lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and other mentioned product in this article to remove stains from a sink drain.

Do Bleach and Vinegar Remove Rust?

Yes, bleach and vinegar both are good products to remove rust. They are safe to use on the sink.

How Long Does It Take For Vinegar To Remove Rust?

It depends that how rusty the sink drain is. Generally, vinegar takes 6-12 hours to remove rust but if rust is old then maybe it will take 2-4 days to remove rust.

Does Coca-Cola Really Remove Rust?

Coca-cola is used to remove rust. If rust is new then coca-cola will remove it. Put rusty part into coca-cola for a whole day and it will shine like a new one.

Final Words

So, now you know how to remove rust from sink drain. We have also shown reasons for rust on the sink drain. Clean your kitchen sink regularly, so no rust would form there. Everyone needs a clean and rust-free sink. Our rust removing methods are DIY and inexpensive. Make sure, you don’t use any abrasive chemicals to clean rust from the sink because it will damage the finish and material of the sink.

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