Can a Bathtub Rust? What You Need To Know!

Rust is a common problem that can affect many types of metal objects, including bathtubs. If you’re a homeowner or planning to buy a new bathtub, it’s important to know whether bathtubs can rust and how to prevent it from happening.

Rust is the result of a chemical reaction between iron, oxygen, and water. When these three elements are present, the oxygen will react with the iron to form iron oxide, also known as rust. This process is called oxidation, and it can weaken and corrode the metal over time.

Can a Bathtub Rust

What Is a Bathtub Made Of?

Bathtubs can be made from a variety of materials, including cast iron, steel, acrylic, and fiberglass. Each material has its own pros and cons, and the likelihood of rusting can vary depending on the type of bathtub you have.

Cast iron bathtubs are made from a mixture of iron and carbon, and they are known for their durability and heat retention. However, they are also prone to rusting due to their high iron content.

Steel bathtubs are also prone to rusting, but they are generally more durable and less expensive than cast iron tubs.

Acrylic and fibreglass bathtubs are made from plastic-based materials and are less susceptible to rusting than metal tubs. They are also lighter in weight and easier to install, and they can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. However, they may not be as durable as metal tubs and may scratch more easily.

Can a Bathtub Rust?

The answer is that it depends on the type of bathtub you have. Cast iron and steel bathtubs are more susceptible to rusting than acrylic or fiberglass tubs due to their high iron content. However, all types of bathtubs can rust if the conditions are right.

The presence of water, humidity, and exposure to air can all contribute to a bathtub rusting. For example, if your bathtub is located in a damp or humid environment, or if it is not properly sealed, it may be more prone to rusting.

In addition, if your bathtub is not properly cleaned and maintained, it may be more likely to rust. For example, if you allow soap scum and other debris to build up on the surface of your bathtub, it can create the perfect environment for rust to form.

How to Prevent a Bathtub from Rusting

There are several steps you can take to prevent your bathtub from rusting:

  1. Regular cleaning and maintenance: Make sure to clean your bathtub regularly to remove soap scum, dirt, and other debris that could contribute to rusting. Use a mild cleaner and a soft sponge or cloth to gently scrub the surface of your bathtub.
  2. Use a rust inhibitor: There are various rust inhibitors available that can help prevent rust from forming in your bathtub. These products work by creating a barrier between the metal and the oxygen, which prevents the chemical reaction that leads to rusting.
  3. Apply a protective coating: Another way to prevent rust from forming on your bathtub is to apply a protective coating. There are various types of coatings available, including clear coatings and epoxy coatings, which can help protect the surface of your bathtub from rust and other types of damage.


It is possible for bathtubs to rust, especially if they are made from cast iron or steel. However, with proper cleaning and maintenance, and by using rust inhibitors and protective coatings, you can help to prevent rust from forming on your bathtub.

If you’re concerned about rust on your bathtub, it’s a good idea to inspect it regularly and take steps to prevent rust from forming. This can help extend the life of your bathtub and ensure that it looks its best for years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about rust prevention and maintenance for your bathtub, there are a variety of resources available online. You can also talk to a professional plumber or someone who knows a lot about home improvement for more help and advice.