You have probably encountered rust if you are an avid gardener or do the occasional DIY home project.
You might even have gotten it on your clothes, and removing rust stains can seem impossible, especially if the rust stain is old.
While you can use lemon juice or vinegar to remove rust stains, some people claim that WD-40 will remove them from your clothes.
So the question remains, will WD-40 remove rust stains from your clothes?
WD-40 is designed to get the rust off of metal, but it will also remove rust from your clothes. Simply spray the WD-40 onto the affected area, allow it to sit in the sun for a few minutes, and then wash like normal. Be careful not to douse your clothes with WD-40 because it can also stain, but luckily, that stain is easy to remove with your favorite stain remover and some paper towels.
How Does WD-40 Remove Rust From Your Clothes?
WD-40 will remove rust from your clothes.
It is a petroleum-based product designed to remove rust from metal and lubricate stuck parts like hinges and hard to get areas.
WD-40 is so good at removing rust that it will remove rust from your clothes by loosening the molecules holding the rust to the fabric.
This product tends to work best on jeans, but you can use it on colored material.
Before spraying the WD-40 onto the affected area, we recommend testing the product in an inconspicuous area to ensure no discoloration.
How to Remove Rust from Clothes Using WD-40
You’ll need a few common household items to remove rust from your clothes.
Now that you have everything you need, read on to learn how to remove rust from clothes using WD-40.
1. Spray the WD-40 onto the affected area
After dusting off as much of the rust as possible, spray the affected area with WD-40.
Spray the fabric’s front and back to ensure the WD-40 covers the rust.
There is no need to rub the product into the rust stain—the WD-40 will naturally mix with the rust and begin working to lift it.
Be careful not to over-saturate the area because WD-40 can leave a stain of its own, especially if you apply too much of it to a concentrated area.
2. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes
After spraying the affected area entirely with WD-40, allow the fabric to sit in the sun for about 10 minutes.
Doing this gives the WD-40 time to loosen the molecules holding the rust to the fabric.
The sun also has natural stain-reducing qualities, and it has been known to lighten rust stains.
Be careful not to leave the fabric until the WD-40 has completely dried.
Pro tip: If you are concerned that there is too much WD-40 on the stain, you can blot the area with a cleaning cloth or paper towel before allowing it to sit in the sun. Doing this will remove any excess WD-40 without jeopardizing its stain-fighting powers.
3. Wash The Clothing in cold water
After the affected garment has sat in the sun, wash it in cool water.
We recommend first washing the item by hand so that you can keep an eye on how the rust stain is fading.
If the rust stain does not vanish entirely, repeat the process.
This may be necessary for old rust stains.
Once the rust is completely gone, you can wash the clothing as usual in the washing machine.
Pro tip: You can further the stain-removal process by using a commercial stain remover before washing your clothing. Simply apply according to the package instructions and then wash as you usually would.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will WD-40 stain my clothes?
Yes, WD-40 can stain your clothes.
If you overspray the affected area, the WD-40 can absorb into the fabric, leaving another stain behind.
Luckily, after removing the rust, the WD-40 stain is easy to remove.
Begin by blotting the area with paper towels to remove as much of the WD-40 as possible.
Then, cover the area thoroughly with your favorite stain remover.
You can also mix water and washing soda to create a paste that you can apply to the affected area instead if you are out.
Then, wash the garment.
Use a normal amount of detergent and the hottest water that the clothing will tolerate.
After it is washed, allow the garment to air dry completely.
The WD-40 stain should be gone, but if it is not, you can repeat the process until it is.
Be careful not to place the garment in the dryer until the stain is completely gone, or it may set, making it nearly impossible to remove later on.
What other stains can I remove with WD-40?
WD-40 can remove more than just rust from your clothes.
It is designed to remove rust and lubricate sticking metal, and the solvents in WD-40 make it great for eliminating certain oil-based stains from fabric.
WD-40 allows the oily stain to wash away by loosening the oil molecules.
Try WD-40 for oil-based stains like crayons, chewing gum, and candle wax, although we recommend testing the WD-40 on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure that it will not stain.
To remove oil-based stains, spray the area with WD-40, cover it with baking soda, and apply a little dish soap.
The baking soda then absorbs the oil, and the soap helps remove any residue.
Brush everything away with a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush, and then wash like normal.
Applying WD-40 to an oil stain uses the scientific principle that oil will be drawn to oil.
Some experts are hesitant to completely endorse this because the WD-40 can also leave its oil stain, so test your garment carefully before using this stain-fighting trick.