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Removing Rust From Linen Fabric


Linen fabric is robust – which is one of the reasons we love it. Thanks to their longevity linen textiles have been handed down through generations as heirlooms, loved as much for the memories they contain as for the item themselves. It makes it a great sustainable choice, too, as you can keep the same item for years to come instead of disposing of things into landfill. With the right care linen can stay beautiful and useful for longer than other fabrics, silk or satin.

But what do you do when stains strike, or marks appear? One problem you may encounter with your home textiles is rust. Fear not, we can show you how to remove rust from linen fabric and keep your linen tablecloths, linen napkins or linen towels in tip top condition.

Many commercial rust removers contain acidic compounds that can damage the fibres in linen fabric and cause colors to bleed. We recommend using natural or mild cleaners when removing stains.

Here's what to do to get rid of rust marks in linen:

how to wash linen table linen

  1. Place your linen towel or piece of linen clothing on a flat, firm surface away from possible spills or stains.
  2. Put one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and two tablespoons of sea salt into a small bowl and mix them until you have a paste. It should be the consistency of butter.
  3. Carefully spread the lemon paste onto the rust stain on your linen fabric and let it work for half an hour. Don't rub or scrub as this will ingrain the rust into the fabric. If the amount of paste you prepared is not enough to cover the entire stain, mix up some more using the same ratio of salt and lemon juice.
  4. After 30 minutes rinse off the paste from your linen towel or linen garment with cool water. If the stain is still visible, continue to apply the paste until it comes out completely. It will probably require several paste applications before the stain is removed.
  5. If you decide to use any commercial stain remover liquid or paste, test it on some invisible part of your linen fabric (e.g. inner hem of the dress) in order to see how it affects the fabric before using on the stain.

how to get rust off linen

Most modern linen textiles can be machine washed, making them a practical option for everyday use. We believe that lovely things shouldn't be kept 'for best', and instead that you should surround yourself with beautiful, useful things all the time. Having linen in your home brings a relaxed aesthetic and easy style, making it a welcoming place for loved ones and visitors. Don't be afraid of stains or marks – use your linen wares as much as you like, and just follow the care instructions when needed.

For tips on how to wash linen clothes go here.

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I'm Inga and this is a space where I celebrate simple, slow living. It's a place to be curious and creative, to share ideas on how to live and work sustainably and mindfully. Being the creative force behind I also write about my love for linen and natural fabrics. Linenbeauty weaves inspiring stories of slow living with interior style features, travel and cookery tips and outfit ideas. Thanks so much for stopping by.