Getting Rust off Silver Shower Rods

Rust, caused by iron in the water or by rusty water pipes, can occur on any metal surface in the bathroom, including a silver shower rod. Removing rust takes a little elbow grease but is not difficult to do. Take the shower rod down and remove the curtain before you begin. Place the shower rod on a sturdy work surface. Keep in mind that the rust will return in time. The only permanent solutions are to paint the shower curtain with an enamel paint or install a rust filter in your pipes.

With Aluminum Foil

Place the shower curtain rod high enough that most water splatters don't reach it.

Step 1

Tear off a 12-inch piece of aluminum foil and crumple it up loosely. 

Step 2

Rub the foil briskly over the rusty spots with the shiny side facing you.  The friction of the two metals rubbing together removes rust without damaging the finish on the shower rod.

Step 3

Wipe the shower rod with a dry cloth to remove any residue.  Re-install the shower rod.

With Mild Acids

Step 1

Mix 1/2-cup mild cleaning powder, 1/4-cup cream of tartar and 1/4-cup hydrogen peroxide in a bowl to form a thick paste.  Apply the paste to the shower rod with a brush or cloth.

Step 2

Wait 30 minutes for the mixture to eat away at the rust.  Wipe the paste off with a paper towel.

Step 3

Wipe down the rod again with a damp cloth to remove any residue.  Re-install the shower rod.

With Commercial Rust Remover

Step 1

Mix and apply a commercial rust remover to the shower rod, according to the package directions.  Commercial rust removers contain oxalic acid and will remove stubborn rust stains left behind by other treatments.

Step 2

Allow the rust remover to remain on the shower rod as indicated on the packaging. 

Step 3

Wipe the rust remover off with a clean cloth, rinse it with water then dry it off.  Re-install the [shower curtain](https://society6com/shower-curtains?utm_source=SFGHG&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=8610).

Things You Will Need

  • Aluminum foil
  • 1/2-cup mild cleaning powder
  • 1/4-cup cream of tartar
  • 1/4-cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Clean cloths or brush
  • Commercial rust cleaner


  • Almost any acidic solution removes rust. Try a paste made from borax and lemon juice or vinegar and salt. Do not use chlorine bleach to remove rust, though. Chlorine bleach sets stains.


  • Oxalic acid is a strong chemical that can cause skin, eye and lung irritation. Wear rubber gloves and keep children away while you are working. Open windows for ventilation.

About the Author

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images