What Are the Causes of Rust in a Toilet Tank?

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Toilet tanks can develop rust stains.

Rust can develop inside your toilet tank as well as your toilet bowl. When this happens, clean the rust as soon as possible to prevent it from building up and decaying your toilet or causing a stain that is too difficult to remove.


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Rusty Pipes

If the pipes in your home have rust in them, the water in your tank will have a rusty tint. This rusty tint will eventually cause the inside of your tank to turn orange and rusty. Eventually rust growth will develop inside your toilet tank. Once the pipes in your home become rusty you will need to replace them.

Rusty Components

Most of the time the components inside your toilet tank are made of plastic or of rust resistant metal. If this isn't the case, the components of the toilet tank might begin to rust. The rust will eventually spread to the water and consequently the walls of the toilet tank.


Iron Water

Your home's water might have excess amounts of iron in it. This can turn the water brown and it can eventually rust the inside of your toilet tank and your toilet's bowl. Iron in the water will eventually create the perfect environment for a type of bacteria, which will create a brown slime in the toilet tank.

Remove Rust Stain

Remove rust stains as soon as possible to prevent the toilet tank from decaying. Drain the toilet tank by lifting the tamper and flushing the toilet until the entire tank is empty. Remove rust stains with a commercial rust remover or with a white vinegar solution. Lower the tamper and flush the toilet to refill the tank.



Kaye Wagner

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.