Metal shower rods have a tendency to develop rust over time. This is due not only to direct water but also the moisture and humidity in your bathroom while showering. Because the metal on shower rods is so thin, it is important to remove rust from the shower rod. Rust removal on a shower rod is not difficult. Most of the time the rust is merely on the surface and has not begun to deteriorate the metal.
Remove the shower curtain from the shower rod. Depending on the types of hooks you use, the rod might have to be taken down to remove the curtain, or the hooks may just snap on and off. If you remove the shower rod, put it back up after taking the curtain off.
Hold the shower rod steady with one hand and rub a steel wool pad over areas of rust. Rub back and forth along the length of the shower rod, applying steady pressure. Rotate the shower rod as necessary to remove all of the rust.
Dampen a cloth with water and rub along the entire length of the shower to remove fine dust left by the steel wool. Dry thoroughly.
Purchase a metal-etching solution at a home improvement store if the steel wool does not remove all the rust. Wear rubber kitchen gloves and apply the solution according to package directions. Usually the solution applies with a brush or cloth. Allow the solution to work for the recommended time and proceed with the steel wool method once again.
Sweep the area under the curtain rod to remove the residue, then rehang your shower curtain.
Paint the shower rod with a rust-protecting paint to prevent future rusting. The rod should be removed to paint. If rust has penetrated the metal, leaving holes, replace the shower rod. Avoid extra cleanup in the bathroom and take the shower rod outside to rub off the rust.