7 Easy Ways to Remove Rust Stains from Clothes

Rust stains can be one of the hardest stains to remove from your clothes. They get deep into the fibers of your clothing and remain stuck there. Not all rust stains are created equal either, and some will prove more difficult to remove than others.

That’s why we’ve compiled these 7 easy ways to remove rust stains from clothes. You need quick, actionable solutions and that’s what this comprehensive guide provides you. All you’ll need is a little time, and a couple of ingredients, and you’ll be ready to rid your clothes of their rust stains.

So, are you wondering how to remove rust stains from clothes? Our detailed guide provides the 7 best options for you to choose from for a successful cleaning! Let’s dive right into it so you can get your clothes rust stain-free again.

The Different Types of Rust Stains on Clothes:

There are a handful of different types of rust stains that can get on your clothing. Here are the different types you can expect to see:

  • Red and Orange Rust Stains (Iron Rust Stains)
  • Brown Rust Stains
  • Black Rust Stains
  • Yellow Rust Stains

What Rust Stain is the Hardest to Remove?

Black rust stains are the hardest to remove. This is because black rust occurs after red rust as the final and toughest layer of oxidization occurs. This rust will cling to your clothing fibers more tightly than the other rust color stains. With black rust stains, you may need to repeat one of these techniques multiple times.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Clothes?

When it comes to removing rust stains, you need to right techniques to help you get your clothes back to their previous state. We’ve compiled 7 of the easiest ways to remove rust stains from clothes, and we’re going to dive into the details of how you can use each technique.

1. Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Salt, Cream of Tarter, and Boiling Water Natural Method

White vinegar in a glass bottle. White background. Organic cleaner.

This method actually combines a couple of different techniques to achieve the desired result. If you have a little time and want to experiment to see what works best, then buckle up because it’s time to get started.

First, you’ll want to gather your ingredients. You’re going to need light colored cloths, salt, distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, a large rubber band, cream of tartar, a heat proof bucket, and boiling water.

There are a couple of different ways you can remove rust stains from your clothing with these ingredients, so let’s get into the individual techniques.

  • The first idea is to create a paste by mixing together salt and distilled white vinegar. Then, take the paste and work it onto the stain with an old toothbrush or cloth. Let the mixture stay on the stain for about 30 minutes.
  • Another method involves making a paste out of salt and lemon juice. Once you’ve mixed up a paste, apply it to the stain and then place your clothing outside in the sunshine to dry.
  • This technique is where your heat proof bucket, large rubber band, and boiling water come into play. Take the stained piece of clothing and stretch it over your bucket so the stain is front and center. Secure the clothing with your large rubber band. Then, use a paste made from salt and lemon juice on the stain. Rub the paste in with a cloth or toothbrush. Next, pour the boiling water over the stain, allowing the water to fall into the bucket.
  • It may surprise you to learn that cream of tartar actually has cleaning properties, but it works well to remove rust stains from clothes. For this method, you’ll want to sprinkle cream of tartar over the stain on your clothing until it’s completely covered. Bunch up the clothing so that the stain and cream of tartar are contained in a pouch. Next, dip the pouch into hot water for 5 minutes. Then, remove the clothing.

The final step for each of these techniques is to wash and dry your clothing as normal. You can repeat these methods as many times as it takes to completely remove the rust stain, though they might end up being effective on the very first try.

Each of these techniques will successfully remove rust stains from your clothing. The best part is that these methods all use household products that are eco-friendly. These easy methods were found in a Prose video, where they walk you through the steps on how to complete each technique.

2. Apply Liquid Toilet Cleaner Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner Gel, For Cleaning and Disinfecting, Stain Removal, Forest Rain Scent, 24oz

This is another easy method that uses household items to help you remove rust stains from your clothes. You’ll need liquid toilet cleaner, an old toothbrush, and powered detergent for this method.

The first step is to apply the liquid toilet clean to the stains, and allow it to sit for one minute. Make sure that you don’t leave the cleaner on your clothes for too long, and don’t use a cleaner with permanent coloring, as it could cause permanent discoloration and additional staining.

Next, sprinkle some powered detergent onto the stain and begin scrubbing the area with an old toothbrush. Continue scrubbing until the stain is completely removed. Then, you can wash and dry your clothing as normal.

You can watch this process in action here if you’d like.

3. Lemon Juice and Sunshine

Lemon Juice and Sunshine

If you’re looking for an easy method that doesn’t require much elbow grease, then this is the perfect technique for you! All you’ll need for this method is a lemon, white cloth or paper towels, and a sunny day.

Start by placing the white cloth or paper towels underneath the stained part of your clothes. Then, cut the lemon in half and squeeze as much lemon juice onto the stain as you possibly can. It’s very important to saturate the stain with the lemon juice.

Let the lemon juice sit and soak into the stain for 10 minutes. After that, bring your clothing outside and place it in the sun. Leave it to air dry, then wash and dry the clothing as usual.

For a visual walk-through of this process, check out this video.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide Paste Method Amazon Basics Hydrogen Peroxide Topical Solution USP, 32 fluid ounce, Pack of 1

Here’s a method that uses ingredients to create a safe and effective chemical reaction to help remove rust stains from clothes. You’ll need hydrogen peroxide, cream of tartar, baking soda, and a sponge for this process.

You’ll want to start by mixing together baking soda and cream of tartar. Use one teaspoon of cream of tartar and ¼ cup of baking soda. Once those ingredients are combined, add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide at a time until a paste is formed.

This creates an exothermic reaction and will work effectively to remove even the toughest stains from clothing. Apply the paste to the rust stain and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Once that time has passed, use a clean and damp sponge to wipe away the paste. The stain should be removed, or at least greatly reduced. Wash and dry your clothing as usual, and repeat the process if necessary.

5. Lemon Juice, Salt, Baking Soda, Vinegar, Liquid Dish Soap Method

Seventh Generation Dish Soap Liquid Free Clear, 19 Fl Oz (Pack of 6)

This unique method combines several household cleaners and ingredients that need to be carefully layered in order to maximize their effectiveness. This is the perfect method for the toughest rust stains that have survived other methods you’ve tried.

You’ll need a lemon, salt, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, liquid dish soap, and a toothbrush for this technique. Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you can begin by squeezing lemon juice onto the stain. Scrub the stain with the lemon for a couple of minutes.

Next, cover the stain with simple table salt. Squeeze more lemon juice onto the salt and then scrub the salt into the stain with the lemon. Scrub for a couple of minutes, then cover the stain with baking soda.

Add one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar on the baking soda. The mixture should begin bubbling at this point, and that’s when you take out the toothbrush. Scrub the stain vigorously for a minute, then add a few squirts of liquid dish soap. Use the toothbrush to scrub at the stain until it’s completely removed.

Once the stain is removed, run your clothing under running water and continue scrubbing. This will remove all of the other ingredients used in this method from your clothing. After that, you can wash and dry your clothing as normal and it’ll be completely stain free.

Housekeeper shows exactly how to complete this process in their video tutorial.

6. Bottled Lemon Juice ReaLemon 100% Lemon Juice, 8 Fluid Ounce Bottle

Bottled lemon juice is a great buy because you can use it for so much more than cooking! Lemon juice works great as a cleaning agent, especially when it comes to removing stains.

You can use lemon juice to create a paste like some of the other methods on this list. However, if you want to keep things simple, then all you need to do is to soak the stain in lemon juice and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Then, take the clothing outside and let it dry in the sun. Your clothes will be stain-free, and you can repeat this process as necessary.

7. Salt and Vinegar Paste Method

Salt Shaker or Pepper Shaker with Adjustable Pour Holes - Stainless Steel Spice Dispenser - Perfect for Pink Himalayan, Table Salt, Black and White Pepper

This method is similar to others on this list, but you only need these two ingredients for it to be effective. Combine some salt and vinegar in a bowl until they form a paste. Then, apply the paste to the rust stain and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

You can scrub the paste to help lift the stain off your clothes. Wash and dry the clothing as you usually would, then repeat this process if necessary.

Related Questions

What Cloths Should I Use When Cleaning Rust from Clothes?

Any type of cloth would work, but light-colored cloths are the best. You can cut up an old white t-shirt to make some rags if you don’t have any suitable ones lying around. Make sure to avoid using dark-colored rags when using the methods on this list as the colors could bleed into your clothing and create a new stain problem!

Will WD-40 Remove Rust Stains from Clothes? WD-40 Multi-Use Product with Big-Blast Spray, 18 OZ

If you’re thinking of using WD-40 to remove rust stains from clothes, then make sure you get the WD-40 Multipurpose Product. It works well to remove rust stains from fabrics and won’t damage or create new stains on your clothes.

Can You Use Bleach on Rust Stains in Clothes?

Bleach is not a good chemical to use when trying to remove rust stains. The bleach will actually react with the rust and cause it to set permanently into the fabric. You won’t be able to remove the stain after this and your clothing will be permanently damaged.

Do Stain Removers Work on Rust?

Some stain removers will work on rust, but not all. You’ll want to check the ingredients of a stain remover before using them to make sure they don’t contain any bleach or other chemicals that could interact with the rust. Your best bet is to use natural cleaners and methods, just like the ones on this list!

Will Oxiclean Remove Rust Stains from Clothes? OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder, 3 lbs.

One of the main ingredients in Oxiclean is oxygen, which can react with the rust and cause the stain to become set in your clothing. This can permanently discolor your clothing, so you should avoid using Oxiclean when trying to remove rust stains from clothes.

Final Thoughts

Rust stains can be tough and frustrating to deal with, but they don’t have to be! You need easy solutions to remove rust stains from clothes, and that’s why we’ve made this list. Using any of these 7 methods will effectively and quickly eliminate the rust stains on your clothing by utilizing simple ingredients found in every home.

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