While some iron or rust stains are permanent, others aren’t. Fortunately, you can deal with tough iron stains using a few different approaches including a lemon and salt scrub, a baking soda and laundry detergent soak, a white vinegar and salt combination, or use cream of tartar mixed with boiling water.
Read more to see how you can perform each method in detail.
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Lemon and salt combo against iron stains
Aside from being essential cooking ingredients, lemon and salt are also effective natural cleaning agents that can deodorize and disinfect. The acidic property of the lemon juice makes it a good iron stain remover. It reacts with the iron stain to soften and dissolve the mark from the fabric.
While salt has a mild abrasive element that helps to loosen and absorb the stain from the fabric, these two kitchen ingredients make a perfect combo in dealing with the toughest stains.
For the best results, follow these step-by-step procedures on getting rid of iron stains using this combo.
- Sprinkle some salt over the stained area.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice on the salted area of the garment.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub the salt and lemon juice against the fabric. Doing this allows the ingredients to loosen the stubborn iron stain from the fibers of your garment.
- Put the garment out in direct sunlight for a few hours until it dries off, or when the stain visibly lightens. The sunlight acts as a natural bleaching agent that lightens the red iron stain.
- When there’s no visible stain left, wash the garment as you usually do to remove any lemon and salt residue from the fabric.
- Let your clothes air dry.
Remove iron stains using baking soda and laundry detergent
Baking soda and laundry detergent are well-known stain removers, individually. Their cleaning abilities have been proven and tested by time. And combining the two cleaning agents to make a cleaning mixture will result in a double-power stain remover solution.
Follow this approach to eliminate iron stains from your clothes without having a hard time.
- Start by washing the iron stain residue using clean running water, wash the fabric from the opposite side to avoid the stain from spreading. Washing the garment in this manner allows the water to remove some of the solid portions of the stain off the fabric.
- Make a cleaning solution by mixing three tablespoons of baking soda and 1 cup of laundry detergent into a gallon of cold, clean water.
- Soak the stained area in the solution for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, toss your treated garment into the wash, set your wash machine into the warmest setting allowable on the fabric.
- Let it sun-dry.
Vinegar and salt: a natural stain remover combo
White vinegar is now widely used to treat different kinds of stains, and fortunately, it can also get rid of iron stains from your clothes with the aid of salt. Vinegar is a natural antirust remedy, with its mildly acidic property that reacts with iron stains. As a result, it easily dissolves the stain away from the fabric.
Follow these simple steps to remove iron stains from your clothes using the vinegar and salt combo.
- Rinse the stained area by placing it under running water. Make sure to rinse the stain from the opposite side to prevent the stain from spreading.
- Directly apply white vinegar on the stained area, just enough to cover the affected area, then sprinkle salt to cover the whole stained section of the fabric.
- Lay the fabric outside with the treated area facing the sunlight. Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes.
- When the stain is no longer noticeable, wash your clothes normally and let it air dry.
Use cream of tartar powder to treat iron stains
Cream of tartar can remove iron stains with ease because of its acidic properties and mildly abrasive attributes. This method works best on tough or old iron stains.
Let’s go ahead and tackle the step-by-step procedure for removing iron stains on your clothes using the cream of tartar powder.
- Mix 3 ½ liters of clean water with 3 ½ tablespoons of potassium bitartrate in a large pot. The amount of the cleaning solution also depends on the number of stained garments you have.
- Place the pot on a stovetop and bring it to boil, put the stained clothing in the boiling solution, and turn off the stove. Let it soak for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the fabric’s care label instruction.
- After soaking, check if there’s no more stain left on the fabric. Machine-wash like you usually do.
- But if the iron stain is too tough, soak the garment into a solution of laundry detergent and hot water. Leave it overnight to make sure that the stain will completely diminish.
- Once the stain is no longer visible, wash it as you would normally do.
- Let it air-dry or sun-dry if possible.
Common questions about iron stains
Why is my washer leaving rust stains on my clothes?
Your washing machine is built with many metal parts, and metals are very susceptible to rust. And when the inside of your washer starts to build up rust, it can be transferred to your clothes. This can be one of the reasons why you’re getting rust stains on your clothes.
But if there’s no rust in your washing machine, then it must be the water that’s causing rust stains. Check your plumbing or your water source.
Will hydrogen peroxide remove iron stains from clothes?
Yes, hydrogen peroxide can remove rust stains from clothes, with a little help from baking soda and cream of tartar. Mixing these three ingredients into a paste-like consistency will result in an efficient stain remover. The oxidizing property of hydrogen peroxide helps a lot in loosening the iron stain’s grip from the fabric’s fibers.
How long does it take vinegar to remove rust?
Vinegar can remove rust or iron stains easily because of its acidic properties that can strip off the stains, giving you an easier stain removal procedure. You can get rid of these stains by soaking the fabric or material in a vinegar solution, and you can expect the stains to completely diminish in anywhere from 12 hours to a couple of days.
If the iron stains on your clothes seem set or are very old, check out this article for information on how to remove rust stains from clothes.
Iron stains can be challenging to deal with, especially when they’re on your clothes, as most garments are sensitive to most cleaning procedures. Fortunately, you can now remove these stains by simply following the methods we mentioned, giving you stain-free and fresh clothing that you can rock again.