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Rit Rust Remover - About.com Laundry Guide Product Review

The Enemy - Rust

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Rit Rust Remover - About.com Laundry Guide Product Review

Photo: MML

As any sailor will tell you, rust is a boat or ship's worst enemy. It's not much kinder to fabric. Rust is a difficult stain to remove and if you don't treat it correctly, the rust will be yours permanently.

Rit Rust Remover

Rit Rust Remover (retail price is around $3.00 per package) removes rust spots on fabrics caused by metal objects and rusty water. The formula will also remove ink, coffee, wine and red clay stains. It is recommended for washable white and some dye-stable fabrics. It can not be used on wool or silk. The product can be used in the washer, in a sink or bucket or for spot treatment.

Rit Rust Remover works best in very hot water but can be used at lower temperatures. Special care should be taken to protect skin, eyes and lungs. Wear rubber gloves and no not breathe in the powder or fumes. Adequate ventilation is a must.

Listed product ingredients:

  • Sodium hydrosulfite
  • Sodium bisulfite
  • Sodium carbonate anhydrous

    Before using on colored fabrics, a test should be done on an inner seam or hem to evaluate fading. If fading occurs in hot water, test with warm and then with cold.

    Rit Rust Remover is used as a pre-soak for 10 to 15 minutes before laundering as usual.

  • The World of Rit

    The Rit Dye Company began in Chicago, Illinois with an entrepreneur, Charles C. Huffman. Mr. Huffman created a formula of dye and soap that would color fabrics and wash them at the same time. The name came from his friend, Louis Rittenhouse, who invested in the company and became its first vice-president. In 1917, the company opened with the slogan: "Never Say Dye...Say Rit!" As America went through the Great Depression, Rit Dye was there to help women extend the life of clothes and household goods.

    In the 1940s new fabrics were hitting the marketplace and Rit developed a new all-purpose formula that would dye nylon and other synthetic fabrics as well as natural fibers.

    The 1960s signaled the hey-day of fabric dye as tie-dyed fabrics become the uniform of the counter-culture movement. Rit Dye is now popular in crafting circles for use on fabric, paper, wood and plastics.

    Additional laundry treatments like Rit Brightener & Whitener, Rit Super Stain Remover, Rit Fixative, Rit White-Wash and Rit Color Remover have been added to the basic line of dye products.

    Rit is a product brand of Phoenix Brands, LLC based in Stamford, Connecticut.

    Laundry Guide Recommendation

    Before using Rit Rust Remover or any commercial rust remover, you should make sure that the stain you are treating is really rust. There are several other stains like aged sugar, face creams, acne medications and sunscreen that look like rust stains. These can be treated using less harsh methods. One thing to remember is, if you suspect that the stain is rust, NEVER use chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach permanently sets rust stains and they will be impossible to remove.

    To insure I was was dealing with rust, I used a towel to wipe down a garden ornament that had a lovely rust patina. The rust oxide was easily transferred to the towel. I followed the package directions using the washer method of hot water and ten to fifteen minutes of agitation. The Rit Rust Remover solution is then drained away and the material washed as usual using detergent. I would be concerned about using the washer method with a front load machine. The rust remover powder must be sprinkled onto the top of the water to prevent dust from being inhaled.

    My biggest concern was the odor. The scent of sulphur (rotten eggs) was prominent. I had to open all the doors to air out the house. The odor did dissipate once the solution was drained from the washer.

    I am pleased to report that the towel came out rust stain free. I would recommend that Rit Rust Remover be added to your laundry shelf.

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

    Your Thoughts

    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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