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Removing rust stains!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So...I'm living in this near slum apartment building, and found rust stains on three cotton dress shirts after laundering over the weekend. My sister recommends Whink.

Anyone have experience? Will the rust stains come out? Or should I simply toss the shirts?

post #2 of 5
Will OxyClean do it? Perhaps VersaceMan could chime in here -- I still regularly use his stain-removal guide, although I can't find it in the archives right now. Edit: d'oh. Here it is (3rd post down):
post #3 of 5

I have a chapter in my book (The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes) on stain removal and here's what I have on rust:


Rust stains cannot be removed in normal laundering. Do not use chlorine bleach, it will make the stains permanent.

Small stains may be removed with a few drops of a commercial rust remover, or by repeated applications of lemon juice and salt on the stain. Do not let the garment dry between applications. Rinse thoroughly and launder with a liquid laundry detergent and oxygen bleach, following directions.

If safe for fabric, boil in solution of 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar per pint of water. Rinse thoroughly.

Severe rust stains may be removed with a commercial rust remover available at grocery or hardware stores. Follow package instructions. Caution: rust removers that contain hydrofluoric acid are extremely toxic, can burn the skin, and will damage the porcelain finish on appliances and sinks.
post #4 of 5
Drycleaners use hydrofluoric acid to remove rust stains. Of course, it is very rarely used, and when being used, it is used extremely carefully, as it is not a chemical to be trifled with. However, it worked unfailingly. If you have a delicate cloth, it could be a problem, however.
post #5 of 5
Originally Posted by trogdor
Will OxyClean do it?

I've used OxyClean with good results on rust stains before.
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