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Rust Stains on Grout – Use Whink


About a year ago we had a shower installed and I cleaned the tile grout with grout cleaner and sealed with a silicone sealer before using it. About three months ago some of the grout developed a reddish brown color. All of the colored areas are under the showerhead. The remaining grout does not have this color. We use “Clean Shower” after every use. I have tried a grout cleaner and mildew cleaner with bleach but the stain remains. What should I do?



I assume you have rust in your water and eventually areas of grout that see water flow develop a rust stain. The areas that have more water flow will also lose the grout sealer earlier and need re-sealing. I think the Clean Shower is a good product and not related to your problem.

pACE-1189597regI suggest you clean the grout with Whink. Whink is the rust stain remover you will find in the grocery store in the small brown plastic bottle. Whink has been around forever and is often used as a laundry rust stain remover. Soak the stain with Whink and scrub with a pad or stiff brush.

If the Whink does not remove the stain, try Whink Brand – Rust and Iron Stain Remover. This is a powder you mix with water and a totally different Whink product. You will find it in larger grocery stores and hardware stores in a clear bottle with red and blue lettering. Follow the label directions and make a strong solution to soak the stains.

41EJ761KE9L._SL500_AA280_If you can’t find Whink, try a product with oxalic acid content like ZUD.

Once you have removed the rust and cleaned all the shower tiles and grout, you need to re-seal with a grout sealer. In your situation, you may need to seal the grout every 6 months to prevent stains because you may have chemically aggressive water. In most areas, grout sealer needs to be re-applied every year or so.