How to Remove Rust Stains from Countertops


It is in every homeowner’s best interest to keep their countertops clean and in good condition. However, these surfaces often develop unsightly marks regardless of their material. Rust can cause pitting and structural damages to components, impact reliability, and reduce instrumentation performance. Eliminating these stains will enhance the surface’s appearance and has numerous other benefits beyond the decorative. The process of eliminating rust stains from your countertop may also differ from one surface to another. Also, some products can work effectively on certain surfaces but not well on others. This guide offers several strategies for removing rust stains from countertops.

Removing rust stains from a quartz countertop

Rust does not easily come off with soap and water, although it is always worth trying. You can remove rust from your countertop by dissolving or scrubbing it off with a mild abrasive. However, an abrasive can scratch certain materials. Rubbing rust stains with a paste made from lemon or lime juice and baking soda is the easiest way to remove these nasty marks from a quartz countertop. Alternatively, you can splash baking soda on top of the stain, add several drops of lemon juice, and ensure it is enough to make the baking soda bubble.

Getting rid of rust stains from a laminate countertop

Rust is an iron oxide caused by the reaction of oxygen and iron. Vinegar contains acetic acid, making it strong enough to dissolve rust. It needs to come into contact with the rust for about two hours to ensure its efficiency in eliminating rust from your countertop. You can do this in two ways: First, combine vinegar with Borax or salt and make a paste. Spread this paste on the rust stains and give it some time. Keep the paste moist by spraying it with vinegar several times while it works.

The second way is by spreading vinegar on the stain and covering it with a plastic food wrap to avoid evaporation. Let it soak for around 30 minutes. You should soak the surface for longer than an hour if you are dealing with a lot of rust. Scrub the loosened rust off the countertop and rinse the area with clean and warm water. According to Mob Stone Care & Supply LLC, you should notice an improvement once you wipe off the vinegar or the paste from the surface, regardless of the method you choose. If the stain is not entirely gone, you can try spreading baking soda on it and rubbing it with a wet sponge. This will help in getting rid of what is left of the stain and neutralizing the vinegar to boot.

Using bleach and vinegar

Bleach can also be as effective as lemon and salt in removing rust stains on your countertop, with the added advantage of lightening the area. According to Kitchen Infinity, You should mix equal portions of bleach and water to make a paste and add an equal amount of vinegar to activate the bleaching properties in the mixture. Apply it to a wet rusted area on your countertop and allow it to soak for five to ten minutes. Lastly, wipe the paste off or rinse the surface with clean water.

Eliminating rust stains from linoleum countertops

Start by soaking a piece of cloth in a solution of liquid detergent and warm water, then using it to scrub off the rust. Rinse the linoleum surface well and let it dry. If the stains do not come off, you can try using a more powerful rust stain remover. Store-bought rust removers often contain powerful agents and, therefore, ought to be handled well, used in a well-ventilated area, and rinsed off properly after you are done using them. Make sure you read the labels carefully and wear the appropriate gear to protect your face and hands.

Removing rust stains with cream of tartar paste

Using cream of tartar is another excellent way to eliminate rusty spots on your countertops easily. Start by making a thick paste from tartar cream (available in the spice section at a local supermarket) and water. Pour water on the stain to make it damp, and apply your paste. You may add a little amount of dish soap if necessary and allow for about ten minutes of contact time before scrubbing it with warm water or wiping it away. Wiping the affected area with vinegar is also an ideal way to finish this stain removal process.

How do you remove rust stains from ceramic countertops?

If your countertop is made of ceramic or porcelain, you can try using a wet pumice stone to scrub off the rust stain. Once the affected area has dried, a stain remover can help eliminate these nasty marks. Alternatively, you can apply homemade rust removers like a mixture of Borax and lemon or tartar paste to the affected area. Leave it for five minutes, then scrub it off. Adding lemon juice and covering the application with salt can make it more effective. It is advisable that you leave it for several hours before scrubbing. Rinse the surface with warm water to eliminate all the traces of your rust remover.

Eliminating rust stains from marble countertops

Marble is one of the best materials for countertops. However, stains can ruin the pristine look of marble surfaces if they are not cared for appropriately, impacting the appearance of these glamorous stones. According to Aztrust, rust stains can be difficult to remove even when they are detected in their early stages. Additionally, most rust removers that work efficiently on different surfaces may not be an ideal option for marble. Using a rust-removing poultice can help you get rid of rusty marks on both smooth and porous marble surfaces. You can also use rust-removing gels, powders, sprays, and pastes. Make sure the stain removal product you are using is suitable for marble.


Rust stains can be an embarrassing problem if not handled well. You can remove these nasty marks from countertops made of different materials with a suitable stain remover or homemade mixture. Homemade rust removers are effective in getting rid of light stains from different surfaces, while stubborn stains require more potent products.

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