While brass plated light fixtures in your bathroom may lend a look of elegance to your home, it takes only a little bit of rust to mar their appearance. While many rust removing products boast the ability to remove it near effortlessly, you may have all you need for the job in your home already.
Before You Start
It's important to remove the light fixture from the wall or ceiling and take out the light bulb. Even with the light turned off it's still unsafe to use moisture where electricity is. Depending on the light fixture you must unscrew it, so have the right tools for the job ahead of time and use caution. Ensure that the fixture is indeed brass plated and not solid brass by holding a magnet to it. If the magnet sticks, then it's brass plated with another metal underneath. If the magnet falls off, it's brass and the discoloration is tarnish.
Try This First
Scrub the rusted area with a really fine piece of steel wool. Rub the steel wool gently to remove as much rust as will come off. If the rust stain is small, this may be all you need to do. If the stain remains and can't simply be scrubbed away, consider other methods.
Remove the Rust
Using a mild acidic, you can easily eliminate lingering rust. Vinegar and lemons are both mildly acidic are a natural alternative to removing rust. Mix salt and white vinegar into a thick paste and scrub the rusted area with it. Leave the paste sit on the rust for at least an hour before rinsing it off. To use lemon, slice it in half and sprinkle salt all over it. Scrub the rust with the salted lemon half adding more salt if needed until the rust is gone.
After the Rust
Wash the area with warm soapy water. Use a mild soap such as a bleach free dish soap and rinse the area well. Dry the light fixture with a soft absorbent dry towel and set it aside to finish air drying. Depending on what the piece looks like after the rust has been removed, it may need to be repainted.