Got rust? Whether you are trying to clean rust stains from clothing, carpet, tools, cookware, or even your driveway – the answers are here. Read on, and if you have any rust stain removal tips to share, please do so using the form at the bottom of this page.
Rust is a red-orange chemical that is produced when iron corrodes in the presence of oxygen and water. When rust forms, it ‘puffs up’ from the surface of the metal that is corroding, which can make surface rust easily flake and rub off onto fabrics or get picked up by fluids and transferred to driveways and walkways. The rust particles then lodge themselves in the porous material and can be a real headache to remove if you don’t know what to do. Follow along, and we’ll show you what to do!
Rust Stain Removal from Clothing
As usual, your first step should always be to check the care instructions for the article of clothing you will be cleaning to make sure it allows for the process outlined here. If it doesn’t or you’re not sure – either bring it to your dry cleaners or test the below process on an inconspicuous area to test for damage or discoloration steps to rust removal from driveways .
Pad the back of the rust stained area with several layers or paper towels.
- Saturate the rust stain with straight lemon juice. (fresh or bottled will work)
- Place the clothing in direct sunlight or someplace warm and allow the lemon juice to dry.
- Launder normally.
- If the rust stain remains and the article of clothing is white, you can boil the fabric in a solution of cream of tartar and water (use 1 tbsp cream of tartar per cup of water). This solution should remove the stain but may also leave a residue so once the rust stain has been removed you should launder the article normally.
- Failing both of the above methods, try saturating the stain with a household cleaning agent that contains oxalic acid and then laundering normally. Your local grocer should have a few of these products (Bar Keeper’s Friend is a common one); read the labels – but be warned, these products are more likely to damage or discolor your clothes so this should be a last resort.
Rust Stain Removal from Carpet
- Vacuum up as much of the rust as possible.
- Saturate the stain with lemon juice and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Using a clean, white towel or several paper towels, blot the rust stain to remove as much of the lemon juice as possible.
- Using a solution of dishwashing detergent and water, re-saturate the rust stain and gently scrub with a toothbrush or small scrub brush. Scrub only within the borders of the stain as this can spread it. The purpose of the scrubbing is to loosen the rust from the carpet so it can be removed.
- blot the area dry once more. Repeat until the stain has been removed.
Rust Stain Removal from Tools and Cookware
The following instructions are best used on objects that are only lightly rusted. If you’re facing severe rust and pitting then you should consider using a commercial rust remover or replacing the tool altogether.
- Place the object to be cleaned into a container large enough to submerge the rusted area under water. A large pot or your sink will work.
- Fill the container with a mixture of ¼ cup lemon juice for every 4 cups of water – or – 1 cup white vinegar for every 4 cups of water and allow it to soak overnight.
- If needed, scrub the object with an abrasive pad, steel wool is also an option but try and use the least abrasive solution that works. If the rust stain is stubborn, increase the strength of the solution and let it soak for another 6-12 hours before scrubbing again.