How to Remove Rust Stains From White Clothes

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Rust stains on your clothes, especially white clothes, can be very annoying and frustrating. 

Luckily, there are some easy ways to remove rust stains from your white clothes without having to buy expensive stain removers or bleach.

Are Rust Stains on White Clothes Permanent?

Rust stains are caused by iron oxide, a compound that is formed when iron and oxygen react with water. It’s a common occurrence, especially in humid weather. The best way to remove rust stains is to use a rust remover.

Can Rust Stains Be Removed from White Clothes?

The good news is that most rust stains can be removed relatively easily with a little bit of effort and the right products.

How to Remove Rust Stains From White Clothes

Remove Rust Stains From White Clothes With Vinegar

Vinegar is a great natural way to remove rust stains from white clothes because it contains acetic acid, which helps break down the iron in the blood and other materials that cause rust stains. 

You can use vinegar as a laundry pre-soak for heavily stained clothing before you wash them in the washing machine, or you can soak clothes overnight in a vinegar solution before washing them by hand. 

Use one cup of vinegar per gallon of water for soaking heavy-duty fabrics such as denim or corduroy. For delicate fabrics like silk or wool, use only half-strength vinegar (one part water to one part vinegar). 

Do not use this method on wool sweaters unless they are very new and have never been washed before; otherwise, they will shrink and feel together when wetted with vinegar.

After soaking overnight in vinegar, launder as usual using hot water on a warm setting with detergent (no bleach) and let dry outside.

Rust stains can be a challenge to remove from clothes. Luckily, there are several home remedies that you can try. Here are a few of the most effective methods to remove rust stains from white clothes:

Use Bleach

Bleach is one of the most common products used to remove rust stains from clothing. Make sure you choose a bleach that’s safe for use on clothes, such as Clorox 2 or Purex Ultra Bleach. 

Pour a small amount of bleach into an empty spray bottle and apply this solution directly onto the stain using an old toothbrush or cloth. 

Let the bleach sit for at least five minutes, then wash the garment in cool water and dry it in the shade.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another spot remover option is hydrogen peroxide. This chemical compound is considered less harsh than bleach, but it still contains bleaching properties that work well for removing rust stains from clothing. 

Mix 3 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water in a glass bowl, then soak your stained garment in this solution for about 15 minutes before washing it in cool water and drying it in the shade.

WD 40 Can Work

WD 40 is another product that will help remove rust stains from clothing. Spray a small amount of WD 40 onto the stain, and let it sit for several hours before washing as normal with laundry detergent and warm water (no hot water).

Wash With Detergent

Treat the Stain

Wash with detergent or soap and water. If the stain is fresh, treat it with a pre-soaking solution of warm water and ammonia to help break down the stain.

Rinse the Stain

Rinse immediately with cold water. If possible, rinse under running water without rubbing at the stain. If this is not possible, rub gently with a wet towel or sponge. Do not use hot water because this could set the stain permanently into the fabric or make it worse by causing damage to the fibers.

Wash With Detergent

Wash with detergent as soon as possible after rinsing out any excess moisture. Use cold water and mild laundry detergent if possible, however, if you cannot do so because of other factors (such as limited access to water), use warm or hot water and regular laundry detergent. 


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