Rust stains can be a challenge to remove because the stain consists of tiny iron oxide particles, plus some treatments actually set the stain rather than remove it. Use a little chemistry know-how to successfully remove a rust stain.
Materials You Will Need
- lemon or lemon juice and table salt
- or mild dishwashing soap and ammonia
- or commercial rust removal product
Instructions for Removing Rust Stains
- First, do not make the stain worse by applying chlorine bleach as this will react with the rust and may intensify the discoloration.
- Remove as much of the rust stain as possible before applying a treatment.
- Follow the instructions on the package if you are using a commercial rust removal product.
- Squeeze lemon juice onto the stain so that the spot is thoroughly saturated.
- Sprinkle salt onto the lemon juice.
- Allow the salt and juice to react with the stain for 24 hours. Refresh the lemon juice to keep the spot damp.
- Blot the stain (do not rub, as this may damage the fibers).
- Rinse the spot with cool water. You may repeat the process, if needed.
- Another method is to apply a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon mild liquid dish soap in one cup warm water. Thoroughly saturate the stain and allow the solution to react for at least 5 minutes. The surfactants in the detergent will help to lift the rust particles.
- Blot the stain with a clean white cloth or paper towel and rinse it with cool water.
- Repeat this process until the stain is removed or until no more discoloration is picked up by the cloth.
- Thoroughly rinse the spot with water to remove all traces of cleaning solution.
- If the rust stain persists, saturate the stain with a solution of 2 tablespoons ammonia in 4 cups warm water.
- Blot the spot with a white cloth or paper towel.
- Rinse the spot with cool water.
- For carpeting or upholstery, layer clean cloths or paper towels over the spot to remove any moisture