Published on November 20th, 2012 | by Henri


Red-orange stains in toilet, sinks, and shower

Q.      I moved into a new home a couple of years ago. The home is linked up to township water and sewer. Shortly after I moved in, I found faint red-orange stains in my toilets, in my sinks around the drains, and in the base of my shower.

I clean my bathrooms weekly or even more often, so it is not dirt. I have tried everything — bleach, Lime-A-Way, you name it — to get the stains out, but nothing works. It is driving me nuts. I guess it might be some sort of mineral deposit? Please help and tell me how to get rid of the stains and prevent them from building up again.

A.      The stains are caused by iron in the water. Not all minerals are removed from town water so iron is often found. Iron comes in two forms: unoxidized (or ferrous) and oxidized. Unoxidized iron can be removed with a water softener while oxidized iron can be removed with a backwater iron filter. Iron in town water is likely to be oxidized because of chlorination, which may be the case here.

Have a water specialist analyze your water and suggest the type of treatment needed. You can find a water specialist in your Yellow Pages under “Water Analysis”, “Water Filtration & Purification Equip.” or “Water Softening & Conditioning Equip., Svce & Supls” or equivalent. Or else go to, and type your Zip Code into the field at top where it says “Find your local water expert.”

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