How to get rust stains out of clothes

By | June 25, 2016

Remove rust from clothes

The rust on the metal bodies like window grill, or a car might come over to your clothes when they both come in contact. Rust is just like some extra dust that settles into the fibers of the fabric and appears like a stain.

Rust is iron oxide (a chemical compound) that forms when raw iron comes in contact with oxygen and moisture. Both of these are present in the atmosphere. This causes iron to develop rust when it is exposed to normal air.

Sometimes, the stain might get removed with just a normal detergent wash. Or it may stick harder depending on the kind of fabric. Rust usually settles faster into the fabric if the fabric is damp or wet. This makes the stain a little more stronger.

If the stain persists even after a usual wash, then you need to take additional steps to remove it. It is not very difficult and can be done using common household items.

If the stain is fresh and recent, then first try to rub with some plastic object to remove any rust particles that come out easily. The residue left would be the actual stain inside the fabric that needs cleaning. Try any of the below methods and see what works.

1. White Vinegar

A very simple way to get rid of rust stain is try rubbing vinegar. Vinegar is mildly acidic and works well to dissolve and remove many kinds of stains.

Take plain white vinegar and dampen a piece of cotton ball or sponge or washcloth. Dab and gently rub the rust stain with it. You should see the stain coming out the the cotton ball or whatever you are rubbing with.

Switch to a cleaner part of the cotton ball and rub again. Repeat the process till all of the stain is lifted. After the stain is removed, launder the fabric as usual in detergent and cold water.

With this method, you can mix a little salt with the vinegar. It will enhance the cleaning property of vinegar helping to remove deeper and stronger stains.

2. Lemon + Salt paste

If vinegar was not sufficient to remove the stain then another very simple cleaning trick is to use lemon with salt. Lemon contains citric acid which also acts as a cleaning agent. With little bit of salt it becomes even more powerful.

Mix a little bit of lemon juice with little salt to make a paste kind of thing. Now rub this paste over the stain gently and see the stain dissolve out.

You may have to rinse with water and repeat the process again till all of the stain is gone.

3. Commercial rust cleaners

If none of methods work, then the last resort is to use some commercial rust cleaning solutions or liquid. There are plenty such cleaners out there in the market.

Check out with your local hardware store, or search online on

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