Ah, the beautiful Red Mountains. Such a lovely site.
I took this picture when we were in Ouray a few weeks ago. What a glorious morning it was.
The reason I'm showing you this picture is so you will understand the source of the rest of this post.
A day or two before this photo was taken, we took the boys to the abandoned mining town of Ironton.
Ironton is a neat little place that a lot of folks don't even realize is right off of the main highway. Many of the buildings are still standing in this place that was once home to over a thousand people. Today, it's a quiet respite. At least for us adults.
But if you're a kid, it's ripe for all sorts of mischief. Like throwing rocks.
Notice the golden hue to the water. That's from all the minerals as the water flows past the Red Mountains. Actually, it usually has more of a rusty tint, so I was a little surprised by the different color.
Whatever the case, our little genius in the aqua shirt was pretty irritated when he discovered those wet rocks had left deep golden spots all over his shirt.
Rather than spark his ire by reminding him it was his own fault, I told him he could change shirts when we got back to hotel and I would try to rinse out the color.
No go. Those marks were there to stay. At least until we got home and I had all sorts of laundry products at my disposal.
So, once we got home, I pretreated the spots with liquid laundry detergent.
By the way, I never put the shirt in the dryer. That would set the stains for sure.
Since the stains actually reminded me of rust, I took to the internet, looking for ideas on removing rust from clothing. Believe it or not, I found something that really worked. And everything I needed was in my kitchen and right outside my back door.
Okay, so these are the spots in question.
Sorry, I didn't even think about taking a picture until I'd already treated them.
By now you're probably wondering what I treated these pesky stains with, aren't you?
A simple slurry of salt and lemon juice. Just enough juice so it's thinner than a paste, but not too soupy.
I spooned it evenly onto each of the spots.
Then laid the shirt out in the bright summer sun and waited for the magic to happen.
Round one - stains were faded, but still obvious.
Round two - faded more, but still there.
I rinsed the shirt out after the first two applications to make sure the stains really were fading and not simply covered with salt residue.
Liking what I saw, I kept going. I don't remember if I did three or four rounds, but I was determined to get those stains out. And I am happy to say that I was successful. It's always good when moms can score brownie points with their kids. And resurrecting their favorite shirt from the dead scored me plenty.
Okay, I just now took this picture instead of when the shirt was first cleaned and it has been worn and washed several times since. That light area over the logo did not appear until this most recent washing, so I'm not sure what caused it.
I will tell you that the person who posted this information on the internet did say they had only used it on whites. But since the shirt was headed for the trash anyway, I figured it was worth trying. It did lighten a couple of the areas at the bottom just slightly, but not enough for my son to notice, so I didn't say a word.
All in all, it was a fun experiment so I thought I'd pass it on in case you ever had to tackle a rust stain. Or mineral deposits from boys throwing wet rocks. :)
I'm also wondering how this treatment might work on some yellowed antique linens I have tucked away. Nothing too delicate. Perhaps when I unearth them during the move I'll consider giving it a go.
Do you have any stain removal secrets? If so, you know we'd love to hear about them,