How to remove rust stains from clothes

How to remove rust and iron stains from clothes

Rust and iron stains can be scary if they get on your favourite garments. Although both can be tricky to remove (especially if they’re not dealt with while they’re still fresh), there are ways to remove them easily. Read on to find out all you need to know about how to remove rust and iron stains from your clothes.

7 steps on how to remove rust and iron stains from clothes

  • 1

    Remove excess

    Use an old toothbrush or a soft bristled brush, and gently brush off the excess rust or iron from the garment.

    Remove excess
  • 2

    Dilute the stain

    Rinse the stained garment under cold water. Use higher water pressure make it easier to remove any excess rust or iron stain residue.

  • 3


    Fill up a plastic bucket or your sink with cold water, and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to create a soaking solution. Let your garment rest in it for up to 30 minutes.

  • 4

    Preparing for wash

    Gently wring out the excess water from your garment.

    Preparing to wash
  • 5


    Add detergent based on the instructions on your detergent package. Choose Ariel Matic for Ariel’s best rust and iron stain removal. It’s available for front and top load machines. If you own a semi-automatic washer, simply choose  Ariel Complete Washing Powder.

  • 6


    Load your garment into the washing machine with similar items, and wash on your usual cycle, not exceeding the temperature instructions on the fabric care label.

  • 7


    When your cycle is complete, make sure you unload your garments immediately, and hang them out to dry if the stain has disappeared.


How to remove rust and iron stains from clothes in a front load washer with Ariel

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Extra tips for removing rust and iron stains from white clothes

Rust and iron stains can be daunting, especially on white clothes, but there’s no need to panic. After removing the excess, you can try the soaking method with the help of mixing washing powder with water. Or, alternatively, you can pour liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain, and let it sit for a while before you put your garment into the washing machine.

How to remove rust and iron stains with vinegar and detergent

If you’ve got a seriously bad rust stain emergency on your hand, consider using this alternative rust stain removal technique:

  1. Lay the garment on a flat surface

  2. Pour a small amount of white vinegar (one of nature’s top rust stain removers) onto the stain and spread it evenly

  3. Let it sit for a few minutes

  4. Blot the spot with a clean white towel

  5. Lay the garment in the sun until it dries and the stain begins to fade

  6. Wash as usual with your choice of Ariel detergent

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FAQs on how to remove rust or iron stains from clothes

If the above guide didn’t answer all your rust-related questions, our FAQ section will most definitely will!

  • First, lay the rusty garment on a towel on a flat surface in direct sunlight, with the stained area facing upward. Next, sprinkle the stain with lemon juice and rub it into the stain using your fingers. Allow the garment to sit for 15 minutes, rinse it with cold water, and wash as usual.

  • Yes. To remove rust stains from clothes, mix a few drops of hydrogen peroxide together with a teaspoon of tartar cream and baking soda. Apply the resulting paste onto the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly and wash the clothes as usual.

  • There can be a number of reasons behind rust stains appearing on your freshly washed clothes, including:

    • bacteria in older iron pipes
    • rust and iron deposits breaking loose within water pipes and water heaters
    • an accumulation of rust during drought or in case of low water reserves
    • old washing machines with rusty tubs
  • Yes. To remove rust stains using the baking soda method, mix some baking soda with cold water, add a capful of laundry detergent, then pour the solution directly on the stain. Wait for 30 minutes, then wash the stained garment as you normally would.

  • Soak your iron stained garments in a mixture of white vinegar and water overnight, then wash them as usual.

  • No, bleach is oxidising agent that will set the rust stain for good.

  • Fortunately, no. If you soak your garments in a solution of water mixed with laundry detergent, then wash them as usual, you can easily remove rust stains from your clothes.

Effective stain removal on many stains

Thankfully, rust and iron stains are not an every day occurrance, however you can’t avoid all stains in life. This is why Ariel is here to lend a hand and help you get stains like red wine or paint out of your clothes any time.