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What To Do If Your Iron Stains Your Shirt

Stains on a T-shirt can turn a great looking tee into one that is your official house cleaning shirt. Stain removal is one of the biggest concerns for T-shirt owners, as stains happen so easily. Eating, cooking, working, playing and even caring for your shirt can result in stains that are hard to remove.

Leaving water in an iron often leads to rust in its water reservoir. When the same iron is used to press your clothes, whether with the old water still sitting in it or with fresh water, the rust can taint the water, which will then transfer onto clothes that are being ironed with it. Telltale rust spot stains stand out like a sore thumb and look hideous. To make matters worse, the heat of the iron helps to set the stain in quickly, so it is critical to deal with such stains right away. Luckily, there are several ways to get the problem under control.

An all-natural method of treating rust stains from your iron is as follows:
•    Soak the item in a 1 to 5 parts mixture of vinegar and water overnight.
•    Wash the shirt as usual.
•    Inspect the item to be sure the stain is gone before drying it, as drying often sets the stain permanently.

If this method does not work for you or you wish to treat the stain more aggressively, the following steps are recommended.
•    Immediately take the T-shirt and pre-treat it with a product especially made for harsh stains, such as from rust and other mineral deposits. Such treatments may be specifically for laundry or may be for general cleaning purposes, but work well for laundry also.
•    Follow the directions carefully for using commercial rust-removal products, as many such products are very toxic.
•    If no instructions are given, soak the T-shirt in this pre-treatment for about 15 to 30 minutes. Gently rub the product into the spot.
•    Wash as usual and inspect it to make sure the stain is gone. If the stain persists, repeat the process leaving it on the stain longer.
•    Do not dry the shirt until you are sure the iron stain is out.

If all else fails and you are stuck with a permanent stain on your T-shirt from your iron, rest assured that you do have a couple of last ditch solutions. You can camouflage the stain by having something printed over it or dying the whole T-shirt a darker color so the stain blends in.

Another alternative is to get yourself a replacement T-shirt exactly like the one you have ruined. A custom-made T-shirt can be made to exactly replicate your stained one. You can have it printed any way you would like, choose any color you want and even select the style and quality. In fact a new custom-made T-shirt is usually even better than the one you ruined.

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2 Comments

  1. John Rohrs · March 30, 2009

    what if there isn’t rust stains from the iron, but material from previous clothes that are left on the iron and then transfer to your clothes? how do you get this out?

  2. Kerri Hewett · March 25, 2010

    Removing the iron stain:

    I used hydrogen peroxide to remove the stain. It took all of 2 minutes to soak the area of the stain, wipe gently with a cotton pad soaked with the hydrogen peroxide, and then let the shirt dry. The shirt is white with pin striping, a cotton/spandex mix. It removed the stain without changing the color of the pinstripes. :)

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