Rust stains often ruin the appearance of clothing. With the wrong approach, it is possible to cause the stain to become permanent. Use lemon juice, salt and a commercial rust remover to successfully remove rust stains from clothes.
- Avoid setting the stain
Do not use bleach on rust stains. The chemicals in chlorine bleach react with rust to bind it to the fibers and make it impossible to remove. Similarly, machine drying a rust stain sets it into the fabric so it is more difficult to remove. Also, some fabrics should only be professionally cleaned, such as rayon, silk, wool, leather and suede.
- Clean with an acid
Lemon juice is a mild acid that dissolves rust stains. Pour lemon juice on the stain and pour some salt from a shaker over the wet fabric. Place the article, stain side up, in the sun. This approach causes bleaching. Use it for white or off white garments. Repeat the process if the stain remains.
- Use a commercial product
Commercial iron removal products are available in the laundry aisle. Their active ingredient is usually oxalic acid or hydrofluoric acid, so use with caution. Avoid getting the products on your skin, and make sure you rinse the fabric well after removing the stain.