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How to Clean Rust Off a Dryer Drum

M.T. Wroblewski
It takes a little elbow grease to clean rust from a dryer drum.

It happens to just about everybody at some point: You throw a load of clothes in the dryer and promptly forget about them until hours later. When you finally open the dryer door, the clothes are still wet. If you repeat this practice often enough, rust will develop on the dryer drum, and the proof shows up in rust stains on your clothing. Cleaning rust off a dryer drum is rather simple and will freshen up your dryer and clothes.

Step 1

Unplug your dryer. Remove any clothing or other items that are inside.

Step 2

Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into a small bowl. Pour about 2 tablespoons of water into the bowl and stir until the contents form a thick paste.

Step 3

Dip a worn toothbrush into the baking soda paste. Apply the paste directly on top of the rust. Let the paste sit on top of the rust for at least 15 minutes. If the rust stain is in an awkward spot, and the paste will drip right off once you apply it, skip to the next step.

Step 4

Scrub the rust with the toothbrush until the stain is removed. You may have to apply more baking soda paste and scrub the stain again if the stain is in an awkward position and you were unable to let the paste sit on top of the stain. Wipe the area with a wet paper towel or rag.

Step 5

Fill a squirt bottle halfway with white vinegar; fill the other half of the bottle with water. Shake the bottle to thoroughly combine the two ingredients.

Step 6

Spray the area with the white vinegar solution, which will provide a twin benefit: It will lift any rust stain residue and leave your dryer drum sparkling clean at the same time. Wipe with a clean rag or paper towel.


Toss a fabric softener sheet in your dryer along with your wet clothing. The softening agent is thought to leave behind a silky residue that will block rust from forming.