Rust Stains

Removing Rust Stains

Before I became Mrs Clean, my husband and I lived in a home that had cast iron pipes.

All of our white clothing became dotted with rust spots. At the time, bleach was the only solution I knew of, and I quickly discovered that bleach did not work for rust stains. I tried and tried to get rid of the rust stain and ultimately just about ruined my favorite white shirt.

But what is rust? It’s a chemical reaction that happens when water touches iron due to humid conditions such as from rain or snow, and the oxygen and the hydrogen in the water react to dissolved the iron. This causes rust to form.

The rust build up can be severe, but the cleaning solutions are simple. I’ll share my cleaning secrets for removing rust stains so you don’t ruin your favorite shirt too.

Removing Rust from Kitchen Knives:

Rust typically forms from washing your knives in the dish washer. Wash your knives by hand to avoid rusting in the future.

  • Find the biggest onion in your fridge and slide the knife blade into the onion; but not all the way through.
  • Leave it for about 30 minutes. Then remove your knife, and wash it in the sink.
  • Finish it off with a nice polish and some veggie oil to prevent the rust from coming back.

Rusted Stainless Steel Sinks:

Utensils thrown in a stainless steel sink can also cause your sink to suffer from the occasional rust spot. The best way to get rid of the rust stain on your sink is to take some lighter fluid and rub it over the rust stain until it’s gone. Then wash your sink with your normal cleaning agent. It’s quick and effective.

Rust On A Electric Stove Plate:

These do come in handy around the holidays but they also have a tendency to rust when they get older and haven’t been used much or put in storage. To clean rust from your stove plate, try using a few teaspoons of lemon juice with a couple of teaspoons of salt, along with a thick scouring pad.

Once the rust has disappeared and you’ve washed the salt and lemon off the stove plates, smooth a little vegetable oil over them. This protects them from rusting and keeps them looking shiny and new.

Cleaning Rust from Porcelain Sinks, Tubs & Toilet:

Maybe you still have a beautiful farm style sink in your kitchen. These are beautiful but scratches and rust can happen. To remove a rust stain try one of these methods.

Using a Pumice Stone:

A pumice stone is a natural occurring volcanic rock and can work wonders for removing rust on porcelain.

  • Put on gloves to protect your hands then wet a pumice stone and lightly scrub the rust stain.
  • The pumice stone should not be dry as it could scratch your sink.

Rusted Wrought Iron:

Outdoor furniture is subjected to weather and rusting whether it’s wrought iron, metal, or metal pieces on your plastic furniture. All will eventually rust if you leave it to sit outside in the elements.

  • First get your gloves on and protective eye wear – you don’t want to get any chips flinging back in your eyes.
  • Using a wire brush or sandpaper, start removing the rust down to the metal.
  • When you have removed the rust from the surface of your furniture you will be left with a few bare spots. Prime over these areas with a rust resistant primer.
  • Then using a paint that can withstand the outdoor elements, repaint the area.
  • If you have the time, you can give all your furniture a fresh coat of paint. It doesn’t take that long and it will make all your pieces look fresh and new.

Rust On Fabric:

We know that bleach doesn’t work worth a darn removing rust from fabric.. But surprisingly- Lemon juice and salt does. On a sunny day mix a solution of 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and dab it on the rust stain. 30 minutes or so of the lemon juice, salt and sun will dissolve the rust stain fast.

Heavy Duty Rust Stain Removal:

If your rust stain is tough and will not come out using home remedies or you have a ton of rust. There are several good commercial products that will remove instantly so you won’t have to mess with it.


Whink rust stain remover eliminates embedded rust stains from white toilets, sinks, bathtubs, color safe fabrics and carpeting. It’s a liquid that penetrates fabric easily, but as it’s a thin liquid it will drip off of horizontal surfaces like the sides of the toilet. It is safe on your pipes and your septic system. Always wear heavy duty rubber gloves and do not mix with any other household cleaners.


Rustaid rust stain remover works on rust stains on tile, grout, sinks, tubs, toilets, dishwashers, counters and on your outdoor problem areas.

It comes in a gel which is great for adhering to the sides of rusted items like the sides of sinks and the toilet.

The product also comes in tablets which is a great solution if the rust is inside of your toilet bowl is rusted. It also removes calcium deposits and lime scale. Be sure to test in an inconspicuous area before use.

Iron Out:

Iron out rust stain remover removes rust in laundry, from bumpers, tools, porcelain surfaces, glassware, toilet and flush boxes, all this in addition to cleaning water softener of iron and rust deposits. It contains no acid and is guaranteed to be nontoxic.

Use Caution:

Rust stain removers can be highly toxic and can damage your skin and eyes. Read all manufacturers warnings and follow the directions exactly. Use gloves and protect your eyes when using these products.