You can get iron stains on your clothing for many reasons.
There may be high amounts of iron in your water.
You could accidentally place a damp shirt on a wire hanger and find rust marks where the hanger touched the clothing.
These can be tricky and difficult stains to remove from clothes, particularly light-colored clothing.
All is not lost; you can follow the steps below to learn how to remove iron stains from clothes.
What You’ll Need
- lemon or lemon juice
- baking soda
- powder laundry detergent
- liquid dishwasher detergent
- bowl of warm water
Keep reading below for step-by-step instructions on how to remove iron stains from clothes.
1. Apply Lemon Juice To Iron Stain
The lemon juice’s acidity will help remove alkaline stains, like iron stains.
First, take half of a lemon or a tablespoon or so of lemon juice and apply lemon juice to the iron stain.
If the iron stain is minor or more extensive, you may need more or less lemon juice.
2. Apply Toothpaste Over Lemon Juice
Considering the fact that toothpaste is used to remove stains from your teeth, why can’t you use it to remove stains from your clothing!
Apply a generous amount of toothpaste over the stain without removing or disturbing the lemon juice.
Do not worry about spreading it, as you will do that later.
3. Scrub Lemon Juice And Toothpaste Onto Stain
Using a (preferably out of commission) toothbrush, scrub the lemon juice and toothpaste into the iron stain.
Doing this will not only ensure that the lemon juice and toothpaste are fully covering the stain, but it is also helping to allow these ingredients to penetrate the stain.
4. Apply Baking Soda To Iron Stain
Next, apply baking soda to the iron stain.
The baking soda will help lift the stain through abrasion and its absorption qualities.
Ensure it is enough to be able to create a paste but not be too dry on the iron stain.
5. Apply Powdered Laundry Detergent To Iron Stain
Also, apply a similar amount of powdered laundry detergent to the iron stain.
Try as best you can to spread it out around the entire stain.
This laundry detergent will also have stain-lifting qualities for the clothing.
6. Apply Liquid Dishwasher Detergent To Iron Stain
On top of the powdered laundry detergent, baking soda, toothpaste, and lemon juice, finally add some liquid laundry detergent.
This step will also help to remove stains from the clothing.
7. Scrub Iron Stain With Toothbrush
Using the same toothbrush before, scrub all these ingredients into the iron stain.
Doing this will help to use the abrasive qualities of the powdered ingredients and the general stain lifting and removing qualities of all the ingredients.
You should see the iron stain beginning to lift from the clothing.
8. Place Iron Stain Into Bowl of Warm Water
Place the clothing and iron stain portion into a warm to a hot water bowl.
Allow this to soak for about 10 minutes to allow the water to absorb into the clothing and the rust stain.
This process should also help activate some of the ingredients’ stain removal agents.
9. Scrub Iron Stain With Toothbrush
Using the same toothbrush, scrub the iron stain with the toothbrush.
You should see even less of the iron stain remaining on the clothing.
10. Pour Some Warm Water On Iron Stain And Scrub With a Toothbrush
If you see a small amount of the stain remains you can repeat some of the steps above.
Pour a small amount of warm water on the iron stain.
Continue to scrub the iron stain with the toothbrush.
You should now see the iron stain has been completely removed.
If there remains any more stain, you can wash the clothing as usual in your washing machine and dryer.
- Step 1 (:18) — Apply Lemon Juice to Iron Stain
- Step 2 (:27) – Apply Toothpaste Over Lemon Juice
- Step 3 (:34) – Scrub Lemon Juice And Toothpaste With a Toothbrush
- Step 4 (:51) – Apply Baking Soda To Iron Stain
- Step 5 (1:01) – Apply Powdered Laundry Detergent To Iron Stain
- Step 6 (1:12) – Apply Liquid Dishwasher Detergent To Iron Stain
- Step 7 (1:18) – Scrub Iron Stain With Toothbrush
- Step 8 (1:44) – Place Iron Stain Into Bowl of Warm Water
- Step 9 (2:03) – Scrub Iron Stain With Toothbrush
- Step 10 (2:13) – Pour Some Warm Water On Stain And Scrub With a Toothbrush
Will White Vinegar Remove Iron Stains?
Since white vinegar is an intense stain remover, it is certainly a viable option for removing iron stains from your clothing.
You will want to dilute the white vinegar with water.
Then set the clothing into the white vinegar and water mixture overnight.
During this time, the acidity of the white vinegar should start dissolving the alkaline stain.
The next day you will see that the stain has been removed, and you can wash the clothing in the washing machine and dryer as normal.
Will Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Iron Stains?
You can use hydrogen peroxide to remove iron stains from clothes as well.
You can make a paste with toothpaste.
Apply the paste onto the iron stain and then gently rub it with a cloth or toothbrush.
You can then rinse the paste, and the iron stain will be removed.
What Causes Iron Stains On Clothes?
There can be numerous reasons why your clothing is getting iron stains.
It can be from being in contact with rust or metal while wet or damp.
In addition, it could be due to your water.
Older pipes may have bacteria forming or parts of the pipes breaking down and causing rust to accumulate in the pipes.
If you notice that this is due to your water, you may want to contact a plumber or other professional to address this issue with your water.