How to Remove Rust From Sink Drain

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Sink drains are one of those things that most people don’t think about until something goes wrong. But sinks aren’t just for washing dishes anymore. They’re used for everything from storing food to running water for pets. And since they’re often hidden behind cabinets, they can easily go unnoticed.

But when they do break down, they can cause serious damage. Sinks are made up of three main parts: the faucet, the trap, and the pipe. The faucet connects to the trap, which holds backwater. Then the pipes connect the trap to the sink basin.

When rust builds up inside the pipes, it can create a dangerous situation. Rust can cause leaks, which can lead to mold growth. Mold can then spread into the air, causing health issues.

So what’s the solution?

This is where you come in. We’ve got tips on how to remove rust from sink drains.

1. Use a Cleaner

First off, you should always use a cleaner designed specifically for cleaning sinks. These cleaners contain chemicals that break down the rust stain and prevent future staining.

Next, you should clean the sink after every use. This will ensure that any leftover soap scum or food debris doesn’t accumulate and cause future staining.

2. Use a Sponge

rust stain sink

Sponges are another tool that can be used to clean sink drains. Sponges are ideal because they absorb water and dirt, allowing you to scrub away the rust stains without leaving behind any residue.

3. Use Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural product that works well for removing rust stains. Simply pour vinegar into the sink and let it sit overnight. The next morning, rinse the sink thoroughly and wipe up any remaining vinegar using paper towels.

4. Use Bleach

Bleach is another option for removing rust stains. It’s an effective chemical cleaner that breaks down the iron oxide found in rust stains.

To use bleach, simply mix 1 part bleach with 9 parts water. Pour this mixture into the sink and allow it to soak overnight. Rinse the sink thoroughly the next morning and wipe up any remaining solution.

5. Use Salt Water

Saltwater is another option for removing sink drain rust stains. To do so, fill a bucket halfway with salt water and add a cup of baking soda. Let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, pour the mixture into the sink and let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing and wiping up any remaining solution.

You may need to repeat this process several times if there’s still a lot of rust left of your sink. Allow them to soak overnight. In the morning drain the sink and replace the citrus over.

6. Use Citrus Peels

rust stain sink

Citrus peels also work as a way to get rid of sink drain rust stains. All you have to do is cut open a lemon or orange and squeeze out all of its juice. Cut the peel into small pieces and place them in the bottom of the sink.

Cover the sink with plastic wrap and leave overnight. When you wake up, rinse the sink thoroughly. If necessary, repeat this step several more times until the sink is completely clear.

7. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is yet another option for removing sink drains. Simply sprinkle some baking soda into the sink and let the mixture sit overnight. The next day, rinse the sink thoroughly, wipe up any remaining solution, and replace the citrus over the top.

8. Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another option for removing rusty stains. Mix one part lemon juice with two parts warm water. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and stir. Then, pour the mixture into your sink and let it sit for 24 hours. Once the time has passed, rinse the sink thoroughly with hot water and wipe up any remaining lemon juice.

How to Keep Sink Drain Clean

rust stain sink

After cleaning your sink drain, you’ll want to keep it from getting dirty again. Here are a few tips:

1. Make Sure Your Sinks Are Level

If your sinks aren’t level, then water could pool on the floor instead of flowing through the drain. This will cause rust stains to reappear.

2. Don’t Overfill Your Sink

Overfilling your sink can create suds that will prevent water from draining properly.

3. Replace Your Citrus After Each Wash

Replacing your citrus after each wash prevents soap scum build-up.

4. Wipe Up Any Remaining Solution

Wiping up any remaining solution helps prevent rust stains from forming again.

5. Always Dry Your Sink With A Cloth Towel

Drying your sink with a cloth towel keeps it clean and free of bacteria buildup.


Q: How often should I clean my sink?

A: Cleaning your sink on a regular basis will help prevent future rust stains. However, if you notice a stain forming again, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. We’ll provide you with tips on how to remove rust from sink drains.

Q: What causes rust stains on sinks?

A: Rust stains occur when iron reacts with oxygen in the air. This reaction creates iron oxide which is then deposited onto surfaces such as sinks, tubs, and toilets. 

Q: Can I use vinegar to remove rust stains?

A: Yes, but only after trying other methods first. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent, however, it can be harsh on certain materials like porcelain and brass. For best results, we recommend using a mild acid-based cleaner instead.

Q: Will my sink look new again?

A: No, unfortunately, rust stains are permanent. But, our experts at ServiceMaster Restore® can restore your sink back to its original condition.

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