If you have furniture or other objects in or around your home that are made from certain metals, there’s a good chance they’ll eventually rust. Rust happens naturally when certain metals are exposed to water and oxygen for a long period of time. There is a chemical change in the metals that occurs when these materials begin to rust. Even tools can rust, whether they’re kept in a tool box or not. Since there is less exposure to moisture in the air, the process is a bit slower when if tools are kept in a tool box. Is there a way to get rid of rust stains on these sorts of items? And what about the rust that gets on your clothes if you lean up against or brush against objects that have rust on them? And the worst of all, what happens if rust accumulates in your washer, and your clothes get rust stains as a result of that? There may be a simple way to get rid of rust, and it may already be sitting in your kitchen cabinet. Plain vinegar. Using vinegar to remove rust is a viable option.
Vinegar is an acetic acid that will dissolve rust. Using a plain bottle of vinegar, this household item can bring back the shine of your metal objects. Simply fill up a bowl of undiluted vinegar and put the rusted objects in the bowl. Let the objects sit a while, and allow the vinegar do it’s job. The acidity in the vinegar will break down the rust, so when you take the object out, and rinse it thoroughly with water, the rust will be gone. You want to be sure to wash the object of any residual vinegar, so the acid doesn’t continue to “eat” through the metal itself. This is unlikely, however, as it will take a long time for that to occur. It’s also a good idea to let the object sit in the vinegar outside. Vinegar does smell, and the odor can linger in the house for a long while after it’s used. The odor has a way of seeping into fabrics.
If you have rust stains on your clothes, there is a way of using vinegar to remove rust from them as well. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and dab lightly on the rust stains. You don’t have to dab too hard, just a light touch. As you do this, the rust stain will transfer from your clothing onto the cotton ball. When most of the stain is gone, rinse the clothing thoroughly and do an assessment. If there is still a stain, go back to lightly dabbing the clothing item with the cotton ball.
To avoid clothes getting rust stains through the washing machine, vinegar can help with this also. The first time you use vinegar to clean your washing machine, you’ll want to pour in two gallons of plain vinegar. Let the washing machine run through an almost full cycle with the two gallons of vinegar. Don’t add any detergent. Before the washer runs through the spin cycle, stop the washer, and let the water and vinegar solution sit over night. In the morning finish off the cycle. Letting it sit for that long will allow the vinegar to loosen the rust, and make it easier to rinse away. Once that first cleaning is done, you can do this again periodically, and only use about two cups of vinegar. There’s no need to let it sit over night if it’s a maintenance cleaning.
Rust can be an ugly blemish on your furniture or clothing. But there is a way to get rid of those unsightly stains. Using vinegar to remove rust is inexpensive and can leave your things looking like new again.
Photo by HVargas