How to remove rust stains on clothes

Rust stains on clothes are among the most challenging stains to remove.

That said, all is not lost if you notice rusty clothing stains.

You'll need to be patient with your stain removal methods to remove rust stains on clothes effectively. 

This means you may have to treat the stain several times before you see clear results.

Removing Rust Stains on Clothes

There are laundry products specifically designed to remove rust stains that can help get the really tough jobs done.

The main ingredient in these stain removers is usually an acid - oxalic or hydrofluoric  - that loosens the iron from the fabric so it can be removed and washed away in the rinse water. 

These products, such as Whink Rust Stain Remover, are aggressive and can be toxic to the skin, so it is important to follow usage instructions carefully and keep them away from the kids.

For that reason, here are a few less-toxic alternatives you can use to remove rust stains on clothes at home.

Baking Soda and Laundry Detergent Stain Remover

A homemade rust stain remover of laundry detergent and baking soda is handy in removing rust stains from clothes. Start by brushing off any excess rust on the fabric surface.

Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a gallon of cold water, then add a capful of laundry detergent and mix all together.

Apply the solution directly onto the stain. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Without rinsing the detergent solution, place the stained garment in the washing machine and wash as usual in the warmest laundry temperature safe for the fabric.

Lemon Juice and Salt Rust Stain Remover 

Mix one tablespoon lemon juice and a spoonful of salt or baking soda to create a stain removal paste. Apply the mix directly on the rust stain.

Allow it to sit and do its stain-busting work for two hours (in the sun, if possible.) Then rinse the mixture from the garment,and wash as usual.

Remove Rust Stains From Clothes with Cream of Tartar Powder

Cream of tartar powder can also remove rust stains on clothes. Here's how:

Boil a solution of 10 teaspoons of cream of tartar to one gallon of water in a pot large enough to hold the rust-stained garment. Place the clothing item in the boiling water and soak for 10 to 20 minutes. If any rust remains, empty the water and repeat the treatment.

To remove really tough rust stains from clothes, follow this treatment with an overnight soak in laundry detergent and hot water. Once the rust stain has lifted, wash the clothing in the hottest water safe for the fabric. 

Vinegar and Salt Rust Stain Remover

Vinegar - a staple in most kitchens - is another effective stain remover. Apply white vinegar directly to the stained area, and cover it with a layer of salt. Leave it to dry in the sun.

When dry, rinse to remove the vinegar and salt and check to ensure the stain is gone. Then wash the garment, as usual, choosing the hottest temperature that is safe for the fabric.

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