Hard water stains
January 25, 2009 1:27 PM   Subscribe

How do you clean hard water rust stains from plastic and rubber? The fridge front door where you get water and ice has nasty brown stains on the rubber levers and plastic drip tray.
posted by hardbop to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I'd dry a paste of baking soda and water, or maybe baking soda and a little hydrogen peroxide.
posted by zippy at 2:16 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Note, this paste is abrasive, so be gentle.
posted by zippy at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Magic Eraser - aka generic white melamine scrubbing pads (and water).
posted by acro at 2:23 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

hull cleaner (as in boat) it is a mild acid brand name on & off i think.......
posted by patnok at 5:28 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

On mine, the drip tray has an insert that pops out. I take it out and soak it in a vinegar/water solution to remove white lime/hard-water stains. I don't know if that would work on your brown stains, but it's worth a try.
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:41 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know if that's rust. I don't think plastic rusts...

It might be some sort of mold attracted to moist and bacteria filled surfaces. Try a cleaner that has alcohol or some other disinfectant in it. And Magic Erasers are really magic; they're the only thing that gets my MacBook really clean.
posted by jay.eye.elle.elle. at 8:09 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

no, plastic doesn't rust, but hard water does (white/light) turn plastic and caulk stuff a weird pink/brown color. i hate it SO much, and have not found a great way to clean it. though the baking soda + hydrogen peroxide combo sounds a treat.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:06 AM on January 26, 2009

should read:

does turn (white/light)

comment editing can't come soon enough.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:07 AM on January 26, 2009

Kinda late to this question, but you want some good old CLR. Our water has so much mineral crap in it that a magic eraser just won't cut it, but a bit of CLR and a soft scrub bruch (or old toothbrush) will take that stuff off. I just make sure to rinse with clean water afterwards, since CLR is a bit on the nasty chemical side of things, but it should do the trick!
posted by dellsolace at 10:25 AM on February 18, 2009

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