How to Remove Rust From a Stainless Steel Shower Caddie

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Make your stainless steel shower caddie like new by removing rust spots.
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A shower caddie is a practical accessory for any bathroom, and a gleaming clean one provides a nice aesthetic touch. But even though shower caddies are constantly exposed to water, they can acquire stains from soap scum, hard water and rust.

A rusty, stained shower caddie is an unsightly blemish on your bathroom's look, and the rust can get on your shower products. It's important to know how to remove rust from your shower caddie to maintain the cleanliness and aesthetics of your bathroom.

Removing Rust From Shower Caddies

First, remove the shower caddie from the showerhead or corner and clean off loose or excess rust with a dryer sheet. Next, you will need to submerge the shower caddie in a solution of water and vinegar. This may need to be done in the bathtub or in your kitchen sink, depending on the dimensions of your caddie.

To do this, Better Homes & Gardens suggests using equal parts vinegar and water mixed into a bucket. Alternatively, you can use a pitcher to measure how many gallons of water it takes to submerge the caddie and add the corresponding amount to vinegar. Let the caddie soak in the mixture for about half an hour. This should loosen much of the soap scum, hard water and rust stains, and you can then wipe away the stains and vinegar.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove rust with bleach. According to Bar Keepers Friend, using bleach and bleach-based cleaners can actually set the stain.

How to Treat Remaining Rust

If there is rust remaining, the next step is to use a baking soda paste on the stubborn rust stains. Add enough water to baking soda to make a paste and apply it to the rust stains. This paste should be left on for several hours or overnight.

After leaving it on, apply more vinegar to the baking soda paste and scrub the mixture with a nylon scrubber or brush. This mixture will fizz and form bubbles. This fizzing action is part of the cleaning power of combining vinegar and baking soda and will help lift the rust stains.

Add more baking soda and vinegar to the rust spots and scrub them away with the nylon scrubber. Once the rust is removed, rinse the shower caddie with warm water and dry it fully so it doesn't develop more rust stains.

Other Methods for Removing Rust

Rust can also be removed in several other ways. One alternative is lemon juice and salt. The acidity of the lemon juice and the scrubbing power of the salt can attack the rust stains.

Make a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and coarse salt and apply it to the rust stains. Scrub with a nylon scrubber, rinse with warm water and completely dry the caddie with a cloth.

In addition, there are some professional products on the market for removing rust stains, such as Brasso. These products generally cost a bit more, and it's important to read their safety information. You may need to use gloves with them and ventilate your work area.

Finishes and Preventing Rust

Once the shower caddie is rust-free, you can give it a polish with car wax to give it a shine and protect it from rust to some degree. However, a more permanent rust solution is to use spray paint, especially if the caddie is so rusty that none of the above methods have completely removed the rust.

Rust-preventing spray paint can be purchased at hardware stores and is easy to apply. Be sure to wear a face mask and work in a well-ventilated area. Clean the shower caddie completely first, such as with a Magic Eraser, before applying the spray.

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Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (www.sweetfrivolity.com).

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