How to Remove Rust Stains



Stains can be a nuisance, but they’re also part of life. Whether you’ve got rust stains on your clothes or mold on the shower curtain, it’s always important to know how to remove them quickly and effectively. There are some easy ways to tackle stubborn stains like these. But first, let’s talk about why these rust stains happen in the first place so that you can best prepare for removing them from your home or clothing items.

Rust stains often occur when the metal comes into contact with moisture over time. Mold tends to grow in damp areas where there is little air circulation. When this happens, they require special cleaning solutions if you want to get rid of them completely.

You can have certain things, including household items such as salt, lemon, and cream of tartar, to remove these tricky stains. As a bonus, do not use chlorine bleach to remove rust stains, as this will damage your fabric and worsen the stain.

How to Get Rid of Rust Stains from Clothes and Fabric

To get rid of the annoying rust stains from your precious clothes, here are steps you can use.

Go natural with salt and lemon juice

Here’s how it works:

  • Sprinkle salt on the rust stain, then squeeze fresh lemon juice on top
  • Let lemon juice soak for five to ten minutes to allow citric acid to break down the rust stains
  • If you’re worried about discoloration, test your lemon juice on a seam or inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t discolor the fabric.
  • After that, blot your fabric with a soft, clean cloth. 
  • Rinse clean with cold water, and don’t hesitate to repeat the same process if the stains don’t go away.
How to Get Rid of Rust Stains From Clothes
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Consider stain-removing paste 

Alternatively, you can make a paste to help you deal with tough stains. 

  • Combine one teaspoon of cream of tartar, one teaspoon of baking soda, and a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. 
  • Apply the paste to the stains and leave it to work its magic for a few minutes. 
  • Finally, rinse under cold water, and you’re done.

Apply rust remover

There’s no need to panic if you’re dealing with stubborn rust stains. Get yourself a commercial rust remover from a hardware store near you. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions since most removers have different handling procedures.

Commercial rust removers found in most groceries are effective and safe for use in most colorfast fabrics since they’re made of oxalic acid. So, read the product label carefully to ensure it is safe with your clothing.

Wash your clothes as usual

Now that your clothes are rust-free, you need to wash them as usual with laundry detergent and warm water. You can also use a washer, but avoid washing machine brands that don’t clear stains well. After washing, check if there’s any stain before drying. You can also air dry, check for any remaining rust stains, and repeat the process until all stain is gone.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Metal

No matter how well you take care of your metal items, it is still vulnerable to rust. 

Household ingredients

Rust can be easily removed from metals using a few household ingredients such as lemon juice or cream of tartar. Just follow these steps, and you’ll have your rusty metals looking good as new in no time.

  • Soak your rusted metal object in a white vinegar or lemon juice solution. The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice will help dissolve away the rust. 
  • Allow your metal to soak for at least one hour
  • Remove your metal object from the solution and lightly scrub
  • Use an old toothbrush to remove any excess dirt or grime that was loosened from the rust. 
  • Scrub your metal surface with a bristle brush, steel wool, or aluminum foil to remove any stubborn rust spots.

Wash your metal object with soap and water

This will help remove any vinegar or lemon juice residue, then dry it with a clean paper towel or cloth. If the white vinegar doesn’t work, try the same process with oxalic acid from any home supply store.

Try potato and dish soap

  • Cut your potato in half and scrub the cut surface on the rusty area, being careful not to let it touch any other part of your metal.
  • Next, rub a few drops of dish soap directly onto the rust stains and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing the potato and soap with water.
  • For stubborn stains, leave the potato to rest for several hours in the rusted area. 
  • Scrub away the remaining rust and dry the area. 
  • Repeat until you’ve removed all the rust stains from your metal.

Try lemon juice and salt

Apply a generous amount of lemon juice to the rusty, stained area before sprinkling it with table salt. Let it rest for 30 minutes before scrubbing off any residue with a clean cloth or paper towel.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Concrete

Here’s how to remove rust stains from concrete:

  • Clean the stained area with soap, and plain water, then rinse thoroughly with clean water for several minutes. 
  • Allow the countertop to dry completely, then mix a solution of equal parts water and muriatic acid available at hardware stores.
  • Apply either white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide directly to the stained area. 
  • Allow it to soak for a few minutes, then scrub with a wire brush. 
  • Rinse thoroughly, allow it to dry completely, and coat with paste wax or oil.

If you’re dealing with vertical or angled concrete, use a spray bottle of warm water to clean the rust stains. Then, spray on a solution of 1 part distilled white vinegar and two parts hydrogen peroxide.

How to Remove Rust Stains From Concrete
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If available in your area, apply a small amount of oxalic acid after scrubbing with the bristle brush. Only use this when dealing with tough concrete stains. You can also use trisodium phosphate, a common additive to concrete.

If the rust stains are light, you can try using a commercial rust remover available at most hardware stores. Rinse thoroughly after application and allow it to dry completely before sealing the surface, as this product may alter the color of the substrate.

How to Get Rid of Stains from Porcelain and Ceramic

Get rid of those rust rings on the edge of your porcelain sink bathtub by following these procedures. Get out your elbow grease and manually remove rust stains from your porcelain and ceramic surfaces.

Get yourself a pumice stone, then rub it on stained areas to remove the rust and paint stains. You might also use a pumice-based cleaner for easier application. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.

How to Get Rid of Stains from Porcelain and Ceramic
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Apply a paste made of baking soda and water on stained areas. If you don’t have baking soda, substitute it with clear ammonia or oxalic acid crystals available at hardware stores.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Carpet and Upholstery

No matter how much you learn how to clean your upholstery, the methods will never work on rust removal. Below are the processes that work:

Remove the loose rust from your car’s upholstery with a vacuum cleaner 

Mix equal parts of water and ammonia into a spray bottle, then spritz the stained area to get rid of rust stains on the carpet. Scrape away any visible rust from your fabric fibers by using a butter knife.

Apply a homemade cleaner

Use a bowl to mix two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of ammonia in two cups of water. Place the stained fabric on a towel and pour the cleaning solution over it, then let it sit for about an hour or until you see that the stain has disappeared. Rinse your car upholstery under cold running water to remove any ammonia from its fibers.

Try another homemade cleaner if the stain does not go away. Make a thick paste with table salt and lemon juice and spread it on the rust stain that has set into your upholstery. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then vacuum the area to remove any remnants.

Dry cleaning solvent

Apply a dry cleaning solvent after trying one of these homemade cleaners. Dampen a clean cloth with white spirit, hold it firmly over the rust stains and rub the area until the rust is gone. Rinse your upholstery with water to remove any white spirit from its fibers. Avoid oversaturating your upholstery fabric because excess moisture can exacerbate your stain problem.

FAQs on How to Remove Rust Stains

What naturally removes rust stains?

You can use a number of products to remove rust. You can make your paste from baking soda and water and apply it directly to the rust stains. If this doesn’t work, try mixing one tablespoon of ammonia, dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide in a quart of water.

What is the best cleaner for rust stains?

One of the best cleaners for rust stains is oxalic acid. It can be found in stores as a pre-mixed cleaner, or you can make your mixture with baking soda and water.

Final Thought on How to Remove Rust Stains  

Rust stains are a problem that can become embarrassing if not handled properly. With the right mixture of rust remover and scrubbing, you can remove rusted objects like no other. Try any of the above methods and see what works.

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