How to clean clay stains and rust

Follow these instructions to learn how to get soil and clay stains off your clothes, and how to clean furniture and other things that are exposed in the great outdoors.

How to clean clay stains and rust

When you're doing work outdoors you don't mind getting filthy, but you want to keep all the dirt and grime outside. Sometimes what's outside needs a cleaning too.

Red clay stain remover

  • If you garden in an area with clay soil, you know all too well how its red colour stains your clothes. Set aside an old pair of jeans just to garden in.
  • When they're caked with mud, use this simple recipe to keep stains off the clothes you wash them with.

What you need

  • 1 part table salt
  • Vinegar

What to do

1. Drape muddy jeans over the back of a lawn chair or lay them out on a picnic table and rinse vigorously with a garden hose.

2. In a small jar, add vinegar to the salt, a little at a time, to make a paste. Rub the paste into the mud stains, allow to sit for 20 minutes, then launder as usual.

Rust remover

Vinegar makes an inexpensive rust remover for old hinges, screws and metal lawn furniture that have started to rust from outdoor exposure.

What you need

  • White vinegar
  • Steel wool
  • Paper towels

What to do

1. Fill a wide-mouthed jar half-full of vinegar, drop in small rusty parts, screw the lid on and soak for a few days until rust loosens. Remove the objects, rinse and carefully dry.

2. Soak a paper towel in vinegar and lay it over furniture surfaces to loosen rust. If the rust is stubborn, cover the saturated towel with plastic wrap to keep the towel damp. Set the piece out of direct sunlight for a few days. Remove the wrapping, steel-wool the spot smooth, rinse, dry and paint if desired.

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