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‘How to get rid of rust stains?’ is a common question that many people have. Iron stains or rust stains are always difficult to deal with. They usually appear on your washed clothes when you hang them on iron wires for drying. Using an iron hanger can also be responsible for these stains. The iron content in the water you use for washing clothes can also be high. This gives clothes a yellowish hue that does not go away on its own. Iron stains are difficult to remove and are more visible on light-coloured clothes. Here, we will discuss a few tips on how to get rid of iron stains from clothes.
Ways to Remove Iron Stains From Clothes
There are a few simple things that you can do to remove iron stains from clothes. Not sure whether to use the same hacks for expensive clothes? Do not worry, as we have discussed tips for non-washable and dry-clean-only clothes as well.
For Washable Clothes
You can use vinegar to prevent iron stains from appearing on your clothes and even to remove them. And follow this without fail when you are washing whites! Keep your clothes soaked in warm water mixed with one tablespoon of vinegar after washing. This will prevent white clothes from turning yellow. You can also add vinegar to the water you use for washing clothes.
This is another kitchen essential that you can use to remove iron stains. Soak washed clothes in water mixed with a pinch of salt for 20-30 seconds. Salt helps in cutting down iron from fabric. However, do not soak clothes in salt water overnight. It lightens the colour of the fabric.
Take a small slice of lemon and rub it over the rust stains. This will not only remove iron stains but all other stains from your clothes. If you are unable to see results using lemon, add a pinch of sea salt to the lemon slice before rubbing.
For cleaning rust stains on white clothes, lay the clothes out in the sun for about an hour covered with lemon and salt. This will help in removing the stains.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another kitchen product that you can use to remove tough iron stains from fabric. To half a bucket of cold water, add a tablespoon of baking soda. Keep your clothes soaked in this solution for 20-25 minutes and then wash off using a mild detergent.
You can also use baking soda paste for this purpose. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Spread this paste over the rust stains and let it soak into the stains. Scrub off using an old toothbrush, steel wool, or wire brush (softly, in the case of hard materials). You will need to repeat this quite a few times in the case of tough stains.
5. Cream of Tartar
Take a vessel and boil two litres of water with six spoons of cream of tartar. Remove the vessel from the heat and soak the stained clothes in hot water for 1-2 hours to get rid of rust stains. Please avoid using this method for coloured clothes and clothes with elastic.
The final option is opting for commercial rust removers. These may be expensive, but results are guaranteed. However, ensure that you choose the right kind of rust remover that will be gentle on your fabric.
For Non-washable Fabric / Dry-clean-only Clothes
Dealing with rust stains on non-washable clothes is not easy. Whether you should try it at home depends on the quality of the fabric.
Dry-clean-only expensive clothes should be sent to professional cleaners. Trying rust stain removal at home might damage the fabric, so it’s imperative that you test these methods out on a very small area of the fabric first.
1. Lemon Juice & Salt
You can apply lemon juice mixed with salt. Apply the lemon juice-salt mixture and let that sit for a bit. Keep moistening the stain with the mixture regularly. Continue doing this until the stain disappears.
2. Vinegar & Salt
In the case of non-washable fabric like carpet and upholstery, you can try the following. Sprinkle salt on the stain. Take a cloth and soak it in white vinegar. Wring the vinegar out and place the cloth on the stain. Leave the vinegar-soaked cloth on the stain for 15 minutes. Remove the cloth and place a clean cloth. Repeat until the stain disappears. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess salt.
These are some of the ways of removing rust stains from clothing using ingredients you can find at home. Ensure not to use bleach as this will do more harm than good. Chlorine bleach will react with iron and worsen the colour. Also, do not put the garments in a dryer unless the stains are gone.