How do I get rust spots off white trousers? And how did they get there, anyway?

I followed official laundry protocol and put in a load of whites.

Two of the sets of trousers came out with rust spots.

Two questions:

  1. how do I get the rust spots off?

  2. how did the rust spots get there in the first place?

There is a tiny bottle of rust remover you can get from most supermarkets. It’s an incredibly strong acid so be extremely careful.

There are plenty of hits on Google about using lemon juice or oxalic acid, but I’m guessing your case is too extreme for such half-measures.

The rust came from either something in the wash, or your washing machine itself. Spin the barrel by hand, if you hear any scraping there’s probably a nail or something trapped in there. Otherwise most likely the enamel is starting to come off.

Oxalic acid should work fine.

If you use lemon juice, drench the spot with the juice (even bottled concentrate is fine)and lay the piece of clothing in the sunlight. Sun will help the lemon bleach away the rust.

ETA: My husband had a pair of white trousers that had a metal ornamental zipper that stained the trousers and others clothes. Look for metal studs on your clothing. If there are any present, be sure to dry your clothes right away after washing, not to let them sit in the washing machine.

I had a problem just like this only it was tan pants. Anyway I tried various things, including RIT rust remover and I went to Walmart and found a generic rust remover for a dollar and it worked. It really worked. Nothing else did but this got the rust out and didn’t discolor the garment.

I have used Iron Out with good results.

Are you certain they’re rust spots?