Rubbing out rust

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Sooner or later all of us find rust on something and try in vain to remove it. It won’t respond to bleach, normal pre-spotters and soaking. Here are some natural and some not-so-natural ways to deal with it.

Rust on white clothes: Apply lemon juice to the rust and let sit in the sun, then launder as usual. This is generally safe for all washable fabrics. If in doubt, test in a small area first. It can also be used on color fast clothes. Again, if in doubt test first.

Another method is to apply cream of tartar to the rust spot, gather up the edges of the material and dip the spot into hot water. Let sit about 5 minutes and then launder as usual.

Rust on metal: Sprinkle Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser on a cork and then rub the stain. Wash and rinse as usual.

Removing rust from fixtures: On faucets and other fixtures, rub the spot with lemon and salt until it disappears. Rinse well and polish dry.

Removing rust from the toilet bowl: There are, of course, acid bowl cleaners available, but for a safe, inexpensive way to remove rust try this. Once a month sprinkle a layer of Tang Breakfast Drink or lemon Kool-Aid on the sides of the toilet and in the water. Leave for an hour and then brush and flush.

Removing rust from chrome: Simply rub the rust with a crumpled ball of aluminum foil until it disappears. It also works well for chrome on cars, bikes, etc.

Rust on countertops: Use this on Formica™, plastic laminates etc. Make a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide, apply to the rust and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Scrub with a nylon scrubbing sponge and rinse. Reapply of needed.

Rust on pool deck and tile: Moisten the area and apply Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser. Let sit for a few minutes then rub with a paper towel. Rinse well.

Buy and try: If you are looking for a commercial rust remover, try WHINK Rust Remover, Rust Magic or Magica Rust Remover. Look for them at some grocery stores, home centers and hardware stores. Remember to use only as directed to prevent damage to you or the surface you are working on. Keep out of reach of children.

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