Ways to Remove Rust & Black Marks From Tile Floors

Updated February 21, 2017

Often, cleaning tile floors does not require the use of professional cleaning equipment such as rust removers and stain removers. It is also often tricky to find professional products for tile floors. Luckily, there are several home remedies and ways to remove both rust and black marks from your tile floors without damaging them. Always test methods on a small area to test for colour fastness.

Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a mild acid that will gently clean the rust and black marks off of sensitive tile floors. It is particularly useful at removing iron rust stains. To make it a paste, add just enough water to create a thick paste that is the same consistency at toothpaste. Apply the paste to the stain on the tile and rub it with a clean, damp cloth. You will notice that the paste will pick up the colour of the rust or black mark. Rinse the area and dry it once you've removed the stain.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is another weak acid that will remove rust or black marks from tile floors. Rub pure distilled vinegar on sealed tiles and dilute it with water if your tiles are sensitive or are unsealed. Always rinse the area completely after cleaning it. If you are concerned about introducing the strong vinegar in your home, dilute the mixture and add a few drops of essential oils.


You can also use kerosene to remove rust or even black marks from your tile floors. Kerosene is especially useful on ceramic tile floors. To use it, dip a clean cloth in the kerosene and dab it on the floor to remove the rust. Work in a well-ventilated area and do not work near any open flames, as kerosene is flammable. Always test every cleaning solution in a small and inconspicuous area of your home to ensure that it will not damage your floor.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is yet another acid that is especially useful in removing rust stains. To use it, squeeze fresh or bottled lemon juice on the stain and let it sit for several hours before gently agitating the stain with a clean cloth or wiping it away. If the rust stain is particularly tough, sprinkle salt onto the stain and rub it into the tile with a clean cloth. This will gently agitate and loosen the stain.

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About the Author

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.