How to Clean Rust Stain from clothes?

We know the feeling of losing your favourite dress or your partner’s pretty cool shirt to rust can be pretty overwhelming. And the stain removal process is even more tedious. Most of us might have sacrificed at least two to three apparel of ours in the name of rust stain removal. But, don’t be heavy-hearted; we bring you a proper manual on how to clean rust stains from your clothes. The nightmare of losing the perfect dress will soon be over after you read this article.

We present you with tested and effective ways to make your clothes free from rust patches. 

First things first: Understand your clothing fabric. 

Before getting into any of the ways, first of all, you need to understand your fabric better. The first step towards making the rust stain go away is finding out what kind of fabric has been used for making your dress or shirt. To ensure the controlled outcomes, always see the wash care label of the cloth. It’s necessary to get the desired result and prevent doing more damage to your rust-patched clothes. Delicate fabrics like silk or wool may need your extra effort and money too. In such cases, dry cleaning at home might not be the answer and you might require professional dry cleaning only.

The second thing to ensure before rust stain removal from clothes is always to test the chemical on a hidden part of the garment so that you don’t harm the surrounding dye of the garment while trying to remove the rust stains.

Now let’s understand rust in a better way-

The rust stains result from iron oxide particles that get clogged in the fibres of the garments. Some typical stain removers like Chlorine bleach and ammonia can worsen the situation and should be used cautiously.

Once you are assured of the above, you can choose any one way, how to clean rust stains from your clothes. All of the below-given ways are for washable fabrics:

Method 1: if you are struggling with rust stains on your clothes, they can be easily removed by using a few simple ingredients like lemon juice, salt, white vinegar and laundry detergent. Here is how:

Step 1: Start by making a paste mixing two parts lemon juice and one part salt together. This paste will help remove the rust stain marks.

Step 2: Apply this paste to the affected area and leave it at least for 30 minutes. But, do not leave it too long as the acidic nature of lemon juice can damage the fabric of your clothes.

Step 3: Now, take 1 cup of water and mix 3-4 tablespoons of white vinegar to make a solution. Use this solution to rinse off the lemon juice-salt paste from the clothes. Vinegar will further help in dissolving the stains.

Step 4: Lastly, toss the cloth off into a washing machine and give it a wash using an effective laundry detergent. Choosing the right detergent for your clothes is also important if you want to increase the longevity of your clothes. If your cloth is not machine washable, you can also give it a hand wash using some warm water and detergent. An effective wash will remove any extra stain or any unpleasant smell left by the vinegar. 

Method 2: How to remove rust stains with hydrogen peroxide, tartar cream, and baking soda?

Step 1: To start, make a paste by mixing hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of tartar cream and baking soda

Step 2: After the paste is ready, treat the rust stain by applying it.

Step 3: Now leave the paste for 30 minutes on the clothes and wait to rinse it thoroughly, followed by washing the clothes as usual.

Method 3: When it comes to cleaning purposes, nothing comes in more handy than baking powder including removing rust stains.

Step 1: Make a paste using baking soda and water. This paste will be your weapon against the rust stains on your clothes.

Step 2: Cover the rust stains with this paste and let baking power do its work for 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Scrub the area with an old toothbrush or steel wool to completely remove all the stains. If you are working with stubborn stains, you might need to repeat this process until you get the expected result. Give the garment a nice wash using a mild detergent once you are done with all the scrubbing and you are good to go.    


While it’s recommended to use all the above ways with caution, there are still a few things that you want to avoid to make the rust stain worse than before. First, it is best to clean a rust stain as soon as it happens or gets noticed, as the iron oxide particles will further oxidize, making the rust stains more complex than initially to remove.

You can also avoid situations where the clothes are exposed to rust often, like:

  • Old pipes with bacteria
  • rust and iron deposits in water heaters and pipes.
  • accumulation of rust during drought or any other reason
  • Rusted tub of an old machine

As we have already told you, any method is recommended to opt with caution after taking pre-requisite knowledge. Therefore, we hope that your query on how to clean rust stains from clothes is resolved now, and you can again enjoy wearing your rust-free, favourite attires.


Ques 1. Can Chlorine bleach be used on Rust Stains?

Ans. Never use chlorine bleach on rust stains; this will cause the stain to set and become darker.

Ques 2. Do the rust stains make the fabric weaker, and do they get torn easily?

Ans. The treatment of different chemicals makes the fabric weak, but the clothes can revive with a bit of care and proper wash. 

Ques 3. How can I remove rust stains from my carpet?

Ans. Non-washable fabrics like carpets often need dry cleaning by expert hands to remove any kind of stains. So, it is advised to hand the carpets over to a professional dry cleaner for effective cleaning. However, you can try spot treat the rust stains if you want to clean them at home.

Make a salt and lemon juice/white vinegar solution, and apply it to the stain marks. Let it rest for 50-60 minutes and lemon juice/white vinegar will do the rest of the work. Now, scrub the area with a soft brush and all the rust stains will be gone.