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Rust stains on the tiles in the garden, on the terrace or in the garage are part of everyday life for many people. Fortunately, there are numerous methods and home remedies to combat the clearly visible rust spots.

In a nutshell

  • Rusty spots can appear on sealed and unsealed ceramic plates
  • Home remedies can easily be used for cleaning
  • no utensils such as steel wool or wire brushes should be used for cleaning to avoid scratching the tiles

Rust on tiles: 5 detergents

Rusty ceramic tiles are not uncommon. Especially in the garden you will have to contend with these due to moisture. The dirt can be recognized by its reddish-brown color, which takes on an intense tone, especially on light-colored panels. The rust stains cannot be removed in conventional ways. In addition, some utensils such as the high-pressure cleaner are not recommended because they can damage the surface. Ditto for wire brushes or steel wool sponges as these will scratch even sealed tiles. If you are looking for a suitable method to remove the rust, the next sections will introduce you to 5 means for this purpose. In all likelihood, most of them already belong to your household.

Notice: You only need a few utensils to remove the rusty dirt from your ceramic plates. In most cases, kitchen towels, sponges and soft brushes are sufficient.


One of the classic methods for removing rust deposits on ceramic tiles is the use of toothpaste containing fluoride. The action of the toothpaste loosens the rust particles and removes the stain. The method is particularly suitable for individual rust deposits that do not occupy too large an area. The paste is applied with a toothbrush. If you have a soft brush available, you can use that as well. The following instructions describe the application:

  • Apply a thin layer of toothpaste to deposits
  • leave on for a few minutes
  • Moisten the toothbrush
  • Rub toothpaste with brush
  • rub until the stain comes off
  • rinse with clear water

Depending on the intensity of the stain, it may take a little longer to remove.

dirt eraser

In addition to toothpaste, you can use a dirt eraser to remove rusty dirt. An advantage of this method is that it is easy to use since you do not have to soak the stains. Likewise, the ceramic tiles are not damaged by the eraser. The only downside is the size of the sponges. Cleaning may require a bit of work depending on the size of the rust stains. Once you've got your hands on the erasers, available for prices ranging from 40 to 80 cents each, follow these instructions:

  • prepare a bowl of clear water
  • do not add detergent
  • Dip dirt eraser
  • wring out
  • rub over the stain
  • remove rust stains
  • rinse with clear water

Some rust deposits are so stubborn that you have to repeat the procedure again.

Notice: Depending on the product selected, the eraser may crumble a bit during use. At the end, just wipe with a kitchen towel to collect the pieces of sponge.

vinegar essence

Sealed ceramic tiles can be easily cleaned of rust with vinegar essence. The application is extremely simple, because you let the acid in the essence work for you. Put a dash of vinegar essence on the stain and leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes. Then the dirt is wiped off with the vinegar and clear water is used for rinsing. When using this method, be sure to pay attention to the joints. These must not come into contact with the vinegar.

citric acid

Similar to vinegar essence, citric acid is used to remove rust stains from tiles. The application of the mixed acid as follows:

  • Place kitchen paper on dirt
  • Pour citric acid directly onto kitchen paper
  • Paper must be saturated
  • Exposure time: about 90 minutes.
  • remove paper
  • wipe

If the rusty dirt does not come off immediately, use a brush or sponge. With a little pressure, the last traces can be easily removed.


An effective remedy for rusting on tiles is phosphoric acid. Since the use of phosphoric acid is not recommended, you can use cola instead, as it contains the substance. Cola is used like citric acid, but the exposure time should be significantly longer. We recommend about 24 hours in which you keep pouring a little of the drink. The cloths are then removed and the tiles cleaned. If you don't want it too gooey, you can opt for a sugar-free cola.

Notice: Do not use this method outdoors over the summer. Too many insects are attracted to the sugar in the drink.

cola liquid

frequently asked Questions

How can rust film be removed from tiles?

As soon as you spot rust film on your panels, you should remove it as soon as possible. In this way, you prevent the formation of larger dirt, which can only be removed with the agents already mentioned. First remove the rusty objects and then use a mixture of washing-up liquid and water to wipe off the rust film. Don't forget to rinse with clean water and let the surface dry.

Which agent is suitable for rust stains on natural stone tiles?

If you have untreated natural stone tiles, you have to proceed completely differently, as they are much more sensitive to the agents mentioned. Since these variants are not sealed and therefore open-pored, no acidic or aggressive cleaning agents can be used. Only use an acid-free rust remover. These cleaners are also offered under the name rust converter. Apply the funds according to the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging to achieve the best result.

How is rust prevented on tiles?

One of the most important points of prevention is the removal of rusting objects. Especially outdoors, these can cause numerous rust spots. Mention should be made here of garden furniture, tools or buckets made of non-stainless metal. Typical stains include edges caused by rainwater coming into contact with the material. You should also be careful not to use iron-containing fertilizers in the immediate vicinity of the ceramic plates, as these can leave rust.

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