How to Remove Iron Stains From Clothes

An overabundance of iron in your water supply can cause it to turn a rusty red. If you are caught unawares, the coloring will transfer itself to your clothes. Contrary to what you may think, you may be able to remove iron stains from clothes using only common household items.

  1. Add one gallon of vinegar and two cups of salt to three gallons of water in a basin.

  2. Soak your clothing in the vinegar mixture overnight.

  3. Machine-wash your clothes with a heavy-duty laundry detergent. Allow them to air-dry.

  4. Examine your clothing. If the stains are not completely removed, repeat the procedure.

  5. Tip

    Do not machine-dry your clothing until the iron stains are removed. Do not use bleach. While tempting, this will only cause the iron stains to set, making them impossible to remove later.


    You can successfully remove stubborn iron stains with a commercial rust remover. However, this remover will be highly toxic. If you decide to use one, follow the directions on the packaging exactly.