Thread Number: 75116  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Removing rust stains?
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Post# 989322   4/3/2018 at 14:18 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        

Somehow I'm getting what appears to be recurring rust stains on the left leg of my work pants below just the knee.

Frankly, I'm baffled as to where this is coming from, looks like a splashed line, always in the same area.

Needless to say regular detergents and pre-treats are useless.

Any suggestions how to remove these stains?

Post# 989328 , Reply# 1   4/3/2018 at 14:53 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Citric acid (or lemon juice) is supposed to combat iron stains.

Post# 989332 , Reply# 2   4/3/2018 at 15:46 by Stan (Napa CA)        

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Wetting the stain with hit water, and sprinkle Bar Keepers Friend, lay a wet cloth over it, roll up, and let sit a hour and check. Might take a while. Then launder as usual

Post# 989334 , Reply# 3   4/3/2018 at 16:11 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Barkeeper's friend contains the toxic but never the less often used chemical in laundry; oxalic acid. Yes, the stuff will remove rust marks (along with blood, tannin and some others), but be sure to test in an inconspicuous spot first as color may also be removed.

Truth to tell various acids will remove rust, but cotton and linen fibers especially can be harmed, so use with caution.

Post# 989404 , Reply# 4   4/4/2018 at 08:44 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
try white vinegar?

My mom used to tell me she couldn't get the hash marks out too.

Post# 989432 , Reply# 5   4/4/2018 at 13:45 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        

How about Navel Jelly?

Post# 989439 , Reply# 6   4/4/2018 at 14:34 by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

Oxalic acid works amazingly well.

I don't know if it's possible to buy here in the us, in brazil it comes in tiny bottles like eye drops.

Keep the faucet open, drip one drop of oxalic acid on the stain and immediately rinse with lots of water.

1 second contact is enough to make the rust stain disappear. 3 seconds is enough to cause discoloration. 5 seconds it will open a giant hole on the fabric.

Post# 989450 , Reply# 7   4/4/2018 at 16:35 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
I have had good luck using Iron Out. I have very hard water that leaves rust stains without the softener and the Iron out worked well for me on laundry or other stains.

Post# 989465 , Reply# 8   4/4/2018 at 18:57 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Oxalic acid

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Is easily found in most of USA. From various chemical supply houses (including commercial/industrial/professional laundry), to hardware stores (sold as a wood bleach), and so it goes.

Oxalic acid is extremely poisonous! Housewives back in the day who made up solutions (from crystals) for use in laundry and elsewhere were strongly advised to label the thing as such, and to put it away where it couldn't easily be reached by children.

Commercial laundries have access to rust "reclaim" kits, which often are largely built upon high amounts of oxalic acid. Idea is to treat a batch of badly rust stained and or those with marks such as blood that otherwise couldn't be removed. If material is damaged in process the things were destined for the rag bin anyway....

Post# 989506 , Reply# 9   4/5/2018 at 00:40 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Dicided to look

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at my can of BarKeepers Friend for a list of ingredients per Laundresse's warning..
I knew oxaciic acid was contained there in, but not sure of the percentage?
I "assumed" it had to be a diluted form, being that there has to be other ingredients in the mix?
No ingredients listed on the can?
Can only guess that it's a mix of oxaciic acid, feldspar, and some soap or detergent?
It dose state that it should not be ingested (I wasn't aiming to, LOL) and to used gloves if one was planing prolonged skin exposer.
Just curious to know if what I thought was a "relatively" harmless cleaning product, is something to be less Cavalier about?
Douglas.. What finally worked?

Post# 989507 , Reply# 10   4/5/2018 at 00:56 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Here it is Stan, from their website:

mineral abrasive, oxalic acid, surfactant, water-softening agent


Post# 989509 , Reply# 11   4/5/2018 at 01:04 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thank Greg

stan's profile picture
So Oxcilic acid isn't the first ingriedant.. The rest didn't sound too terrible?

Post# 989612 , Reply# 12   4/5/2018 at 23:51 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Douglas.. What finally worked?

Haven't tried it yet but I'm leaning toward navel jelly as I have some on hand and I know it removes rust.

I'll try it on a well worn old pair first, perhaps diluted, and see how that goes.

Oh, and I found where I was picking up the stains, definitely rust.

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