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How To Remove Rust Stains: {Recipes & Tips}

Have a rust stain problem that you want to get rid of? Here are a variety of methods for removing them from laundry, carpets, toilets & sinks, plus I added a couple old recipes I found for cleaning metal pieces (cast iron cookware, tools, etc.).

LemonsLots here, good luck!

This article from an old Popular Mechanics magazine (1979) provides two different recipes for cleaning metal objects (their noted source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards’ Consumer’s Guide on corrosion). Use caution and note these are poisonous so keep away from kids while you’re working on this:

For Iron Or Steel: Dissolve four teaspoons of citric acid (or sour salt) in one quart of water. Carefully add small amounts of household ammonia to this solution, mixing thoroughly. Very carefully sniff the mixture after each addition. After the first few additions of the ammonia, you will not smell an ammonia-like odor from the mixture. Keep adding small amounts of ammonia and mixing until the mixture just starts to smell of ammonia again. Add more water to bring the volume of the mixture up to two quarts.

Put the solution in a fire-safe glass or enameled container. Place it on the burner of the kitchen range and heat the liquid to a temperature of about 150 to 160° F. Maintain that temperature and soak the object. Check from time to time by removing and rinsing with clear water. For heavy rust, the procedure may take several hours.

For small spots: Combine 2 oz. of cream of tartar and 1 oz. of oxalic acid (caution: poisonous). Moisten the spot, apply the powder and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water; then dry it quickly.