rust stains : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi, I have really enjoyed reading the Q's & A's on this board and learned a bunch! Thank you. Here is my question: The area we live in, Southern Oregon, has pockets of ground water with lots of iron, and apparently we are in one of these pockets. We are having problems with rust stains from our well water in the sink and toilet, and we hate using a bunch of harsh chemicals all the time. It just doesn't seem good for the septic system. Does anybody know of a less environmentally harmful way of removing rust stains? AND, what is your experience with iron filters? How well do they work? Are they worth the expense? The iron also stains our laundry for which I use a product called Iron Out. But what is Iron Out really? Does anyone know? It smells sort of toxic to me! And what does Iron Out do to the septic system?? Thank you kindly, Helen

-- Helen Walker (, May 07, 2000


I've heard of a gadget that attaches to the outside of your water pipes, its supposed to use a ring of magnets to "clump" the iron and other mineral atoms which is supposed to allow them to pass through your pipes without attaching to anything, maybe that would keep it from attaching to your sinks too.

I have no idea if the thing works or not though, it could be just a snake oil scheme....

-- Dave (Ak) (, May 08, 2000.

Helen: My sister in law and brother in law live about 45 miles from me, and they have terrible iron problems in their area. They have a filter on their water system, I think it is connected to a water softner, also. She and her neighbor also use some type of product sold by the Melalucca Company that keeps the iron off your clothing. I'll ask her today when she comes home what it is, etc. and email you later with the info. Sure glad we don't have that here, I know it can really be a problem. Jan B

-- Jan Bullock (, May 08, 2000.

If Iron Out isn't oxalic acid, it ought to be. All of the rust (and dried blood - same thing) stain removers I know are oxalic acid - QUITE poisonous, but not instantly deadly, sort of. Just use with care, and rinse thoroughly. We use a product called Rustiban - same thing. You can probably buy it straight, although I wouldn't know how much to use. Oxalic acid can be manufactured, but is organic - comes from oxalis (duh!) and also rhubarb leaves - the part you shouldn't eat because it's poisonous.

-- Don Armstrong (, May 10, 2000.

Thanks for the help! Helen

-- Helen (, May 11, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ