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Canning Day Quilt

Laundry Stain Tip: Rust Stain Removal

Every once in a while, from out of nowhere, I will find a rust stain on one of our clothes.  I’d like to know what causes them.  It’s a mystery.

I suspect they may come from a wet wash or cleaning cloth being tossed in the laundry basket on top of a dry shirt or pants.  Since we have really hard water, I think if the wet cloth sits there for a few days, it makes the stain.  It’s a theory.

Whatever causes them, I know just the thing to get rid of the nasty stain.

First off, if this is a precious article of clothing, first test this solution on an inconspicuous spot.  This solution does involve lemon juice, and as many a teenager with lemon juice and lounge chair knows… lemon will act as a bleaching agent.

Speaking of bleach, whatever you do, don’t put bleach on the rust stain.  It has to do with chemical reactions, but it will set the stain and make it near impossible to get out.

Oh yeah, there a nasty culprit.  On linen no less!  There are two rust stains on these pants at different spot.  I.  I’m not going to bother testing my fabric, because if this solution doesn’t work, these pants are essentially ruined.  It wouldn’t be a total loss, they will be cut up and go into a quilt.  It’s a very pretty fabric after all ; ).

Sprinkle on little salt onto the stain.  Often I will first squeeze lemon juice first so the salt sticks.

Next squeeze more lemon juice over the salt to saturate it with the juice.

Let the whole thing sit until the next day, occasionally squeezing on a little more lemon juice.

After about 24 hours, I washed the pants in the washing machine.  (Again, don’t use a laundry soap with bleach!)

And here’s the results.  One of the stains is completely gone without a trace.

The other stain was faintly still there.  So I think I may repeat the process one more time on that stain.  Even though it’s actually hard for me to find the stain.   Lemon and salt for rust stains.  It’s a good thing Martha.


A few weeks ago I tested out the New Lysol Scrubber Sponge on my super dirty gas BBQ.  The sponge was awesome and even more awesome is the $10,000 kitchen makeover sweepstakes you can sign up for on the website.   Click here to go to the Lysol Scubber Sponge Challenge site to read my review and enter the sweepstakes.

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5 Responses to “Laundry Stain Tip: Rust Stain Removal”

  • Thanks so much for this! I hand-embroidered some dish-towels and over the years they’ve gotten rust stains from wiping the bottom of a cast-iron skillet. Hope it’s not too late for them!

  • Holly:

    That’s ingenious!

  • I must must get these.

  • nmrosycheeks:

    New to your blog–love it!

    I read somewhere that you can also get rust stains if your water pipes have rust in them, and little bits of it crumble off and run down into your washing machine when it fills up with water. Then the laundry in that load may get rust stains.

  • V.vezina:

    These marks are from the drum seal in your dryer machine, you need to change it every two to tree years. Ask your appliance technician to change it…

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