Some of the most challenging stains to remove from clothes are rust stains. They take a lot of time and patience, and unfortunately, sometimes it can be downright impossible. However, if you do happen to get a rust stain on your favorite garment, don’t panic.
Several tips and techniques can help you get rid of rust stains from your clothes. Here’s how to remove rust stains from clothes at home.
A commercial rust remover that you can find in your local grocery store is both safe and effective to use on most fabric. However, they also contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic to you and your family.
If you want to remove rust stains from clothes naturally, here are the best home remedies for how to remove rust stains from fabric using everyday products.
How to Get Rust Stains Out of Clothes
Discoloration on your clothing as a result of rust stains can not only be pesky but can become permanent if you don’t quickly deal with it correctly. It is imperative that you act fast if you want to get rid of rust stains from fabrics. These stain removal techniques will free your white fabric and other clothes of unsightly rust stains.
Apply Lemon Juice and Salt
The method for removing rust stains is safe for white clothing or unbleached fabrics, like linen. If you’re dealing with rust stains on delicate fabrics, like wool, rayon, leather, silk, or suede, it’s a good idea to take them to a dry cleaner. You can also substitute lemon juice for white vinegar, which is especially helpful if the stain has been present for a while.
Start by sprinkling the stain with the salt, then fully cover it with lemon juice. Allow the rust remover to sit for about 10 minutes. Use a clean white towel to blot the stain. Next, place the garment under a sheet, in the sun, to dry. Check the fabric every hour to make sure the lemon juice doesn’t bleach the material.
Leave in the sun for up to three hours, or until the stain has disappeared. Finally, thoroughly rinse the clothing in cold water, and wash as usual in the washing machine.
Use White Vinegar
White vinegar is rust’s worst enemy and one of the best rust stain removal remedies you can buy. When you act fast, it can eliminate even tough stains. This method also works exceptionally well for removing set in rust stains from clothes.
Start by laying the affected garment on a towel. Pour the vinegar over the stain until it is saturated. Use a clean white cloth or sponge and blot the stain and absorb the red discoloration. Next, place the clothing in direct sunlight to allow the rust stain to continue to fade.
Wash the item with your regular laundry detergent, following the manufacturer’s recommended settings. Allow it to air dry. If the stain hasn’t vanished entirely after the first treatment, the repeat the process until it disappears.
Use Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar, also known by its scientific name, potassium bitartrate, is an acid salt that is a natural byproduct of winemaking. It’s acidic properties, and mildly abrasive qualities make it an excellent product for removing stains and general cleaning.
This method also works well for getting rust stains out of clothes like jeans, as it will remove rust without fading the fabric.
Mix cream of tartar and baking soda in a small bowl. Add a few drops of the hydrogen peroxide, and mix to form a thick paste. Apply the spot removal paste directly to the stained area. Let the stain remover to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the area with warm water, then wash as you normally would in the washing machine.
Check to see that the stain has gone before drying it. If it is still visible, repeat the process until it is gone. This method can also remove oil stain from fabric and is similar to tea stains, as well.
How to Remove Rust Stains from Colored Clothes
While using rhubarb for rust removal isn’t a conventional method, it does offer a “green” solution for removing rust stains. This strategy is ideal for large stained areas that are too difficult to clean separately.
Add enough water to a large pot so that you can fully immerse the affected garment. Fill the pot ½ way full with water. Place the rhubarb stalks in the pot, and bring the water to a boil. Allow the rhubarb to cook for at least 20 minutes, then remove it from the pot, leaving the hot water.
Place the stained clothing into the rhubarb water and allow to soak. Once the stain disappears, remove the garment and wash as usual.
What Causes Rust Stains on Clothes?
When you get rust stains on your clothing, it is imperative to track down the source of the rust to prevent more stains from appearing on your garments. While rust stains from locks, corroded metal furniture, or cars are easy to track down, rust stains that appear in on your freshly laundered clothing can be more difficult to track.
If you frequently find rust stains on your freshly laundered clothes, it could be due to two problems. The first is that your water source contains iron bacteria, which can cause discoloration on your bathroom and kitchen fixtures, as well as on your laundry and dishes. Secondly, they could be a result of a rusty water heater, pipes, or storage container.
If the problem comes from the water source, there are several ways you can treat the water to eliminate the problem. If the stains are due to a water heater or pipes, then they should be replaced.
Unsightly rust stains on your favorite clothing can be especially challenging to treat. However, you don’t have to throw away your favorite shirts if you happen to find a spot of rust. With these tips and techniques, you can effectively remove even the toughest rust stains from your clothing.
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