Got Rust Stains? Try Whink Rust Stain Remover
Aug 13, 2009 (Updated Aug 13, 2009)
Review by Elzora Shaw
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:It removed rust stains in our toilet quickly and totally
Cons:It is very toxic
The Bottom Line: Very toxic and there are precautions to take, but this WILL remove rust stains.
My husband and I have lived in our home for 25 years, and due to our extremely hard water, we installed a water softener about 10 years ago. I have never had any problems with hard water stains in our toilet, but for the past few months I noticed red colored staining coming down the inside of the toilet bowl, from the holes all around the top where the water enters the bowl.
Recommend this product?
I tried cleaning what I assumed were rust stains, with a variety of cleaners. I started out with non-toxic cleaners such as Bon-Ami, which is a powder similar to Comet. When that didn't work, I tried Bar Keeper's Friend (thanks for the suggestion lllovemakeup!), but that didn't work either. Okay, I thought, it was time to get a little more aggressive with this rust stain, and I used some CLR cleaner that we had purchased quite a while back, but even that didn't work.
We ended up having our well pump and pipes pulled, and they were full of rust. The outsides of half of the pipes (that were in the water) were rusty on the outside and the inside. Our water softener had been filtering out most of the rust, you could not see it in a glass of water. Our only clue was the tell tale rust stains in the toilet bowl. We ended up paying $2300 to have the pump and pipe replaced.
The contractor put chlorine granules down our well, and then we were instructed to flush the well with our garden hoses for three hours. While it was being flushed, my husband and I went to
WalMart to find a cleaner that removes rust. There weren't many to choose from in the cleaning aisle, and my husband wanted to buy CLR, as it is supposed to remove calcium, lime and rust. I told him I already tried it and it didn't work. Then down toward the bottom of the store shelf I spied a bottle of Whink Rust Stain Remover. I grabbed it and couldn't wait to take it home and try it out.
Whink Rust Stain Remover comes in a rust/brown colored 16 ounce plastic bottle. It reminds me of the shape of a ketchup bottle. It has a white colored, child proof cap, that needs to be pushed down while turning in a counter clockwise direction.
The front of the bottle reads in capital letters "Removes Rust Stains!". Further down on the label it states:
* Quickly & Easily Removes Rust Stains
* White Sinks and White Toilet Bowls
* Colorfast Fabrics and Carpet
* Safe on Pipes and Septic Systems
There are numerous warnings on the label as well. The manufacturer concedes that this is not a general purpose rust remover, and one should not use it if they don't intend to follow the directions.
There is, right on the front, the words DANGER. It may be fatal or cause permanent damage, cause severe burns which may not be immediately painful or visible, vapor harmful, contains hydrofluoric acid, and to keep it out of the reach of children.
The back of the bottle reads: Avoid contact with skin or eyes. Do not taste, swallow or breathe. Antidote: Medical care required.
The back of the bottle reads "Danger - Poison" in bold black letters with a skull and crossbones on each side.
How To Use
Whisk Rust Stain Remover should only be used when you are wearing heavy duty household rubber gloves. You should not get any of this rust remover on any surfaces such as bathtubs, counter tops, stainless steel sinks, or glass surfaces.
This product can be used to remove rust stains from clothing and carpeting, after you have tested for colorfastness. To use in this manner, you need to dampen the rust stain with water, then put a few drops of the cleaner on the stain. When the stain disappears, you then need to rinse carpeting with cold water, and wash clothing in a washing machine. (You are to avoid contact with washer and dryer surfaces).
To use on a white sink, you simply wipe over the rust stain with a damp pad containing some of the Whisk Rust Stain Remover, and rinse immediately with cold water. Second applications may be necessary.
For toilet bowls, which is what I needed to use this product on, it's a little easier. It can only be used on white colored bowls, and you use it like your typical toilet bowl cleaner, squirting it around and above the water line. When the stain disappears, flush the toilet. You may need to repeat the process if you have deep stains.
Removing the cap was as hard or easy (depending on your view) as removing a childproof cap from a prescription medication container. I applied this as directed inside my toilet bowl. The cleaner squirted out easily from a small hole in the top of the bottle, and it has the look and consistency of water. I didn't notice any scent at all, and I am not going to smell the bottle for this review, due to the warnings on the container.
After a few minutes I didn't notice the stains starting to dissolve, so I took my toilet bowl brush and started to swipe the stains, and they came off immediately! I had only allowed them to sit on the rust stains for maybe 5 minutes. I was amazed at how well and how fast Whink Rust Stain Remover worked! (The manufacturer site says it cleans without scrubbing, but it does not say that on the bottle).
After visiting the Whink website, I found a link to the material safety data sheet on this cleaner, which only confirms again how deadly this product can be if used incorrectly. The MSDS states it has an acrid/sharp pungent scent, and lists three ingredients: water, hydrofluoric acid and denatonium benzoate. It is listed as a corrosive liquid, with a health hazard of 3, fire hazard of 0, and reactivity hazard of 1.
Clearly, this is a toxic product that should be used sparingly, and only when absolutely necessary. I don't intend to have to use this rust remover again, but if I do, I feel quite certain that it will do a great job for us, just as it did in removing the rust stains in our toilet bowl.
Whink has been selling their rust remover since 1947, and state that it has been the number one best selling rust remover since that time. If you ever have a rust problem, I highly recommend Whink Rust Stain Remover, but please use this product with all the cautions listed on the container, and keep it well out of the reach of children.
The 16 ounce bottle of Whink Rust Stain Remover retailed for $6.47, and is also available in 6, 10, and 32 ounce sizes. Had this been available in the smaller 6 ounce bottle, I would have chosen that size, but WalMart only sold the 16 ounce containers.
Thank you Dawn!
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